Water Pump Maintenance

Water Pump Maintenance

Most people are familiar with working on small engines after owning lawn care equipment, but there are some unique challenges when maintaining water pumps. Here are some tips to keep your Honda water pump working reliably for years to come.

Oil

For the most part, checking and changing the oil in a water pump engine is no different from any other Honda-powered product. However, there’s always the chance that a leaking hose can spray the engine with water, letting it seep into the crankcase. This can create a sticky, light-colored emulsion that won’t lubricate the engine. If this happens, the oil should be changed immediately.

To check the oil, set the pump on level ground, remove the dipstick from the filler neck and wipe it clean. Insert it into the neck without screwing it in to get an accurate reading. When adding oil, it should come up to the top of the filler neck.

Most recent GX-Series engines used in Honda’s pumps come with the Oil Alert system. If the float inside the crankcase is too low, it will cut power to the ignition to prevent engine damage. If you have starting problems, start by checking the oil level.

Pump Case and Strainer

All models except electric and mini 4 stroke-powered pumps have a separate pump case. This case should be flushed after each use. Trash pumps have a clean out port, while all other pumps can be cleaned by spraying the outlet and inlet of the pump with a garden hose until the runoff is clean.

If you hear grinding noises, debris may be entering the pump housing or a clogged strainer is preventing steady water flow, resulting in cavitation. Either way, the pump should be shut off immediately and the strainer should be checked for damage and debris build-up.

Fuel

Honda recommends using Unleaded fuel that is at least 87 Octane and no more than 10% ethanol or 5% methanol. Fuel should be treated with a stabilizer if it won’t be used for at least a month after purchase and should be replaced entirely after three months, even if it has been treated. Since most pump use isn’t on a set schedule, it’s a good idea to treat all fuel used in your equipment. Stale fuel can be safely used in cars where it will be diluted by fresh fuel and be easier to burn thanks to the engine’s fuel injection system.

The fuel level should only come up to the bottom of the filler neck, and the holes in the cap need to be clean. This lets the fuel expand and contract as temperatures change and allows air to enter the tank as gas is drawn into the fuel system.

Gear Box

Some models have a gear case between the engine and pump housing that contains a reduction gear. The oil inside should be replaced at least once a year with a GL5-rated 80W90 gear oil. Removing the old oil will be faster if you can run the engine for a few minutes to warm it up. When you do this, make sure the pump is off to prevent overheating that can ruin the seals. The dipstick should not be screwed in when checking the oil level, and the level needs to be rechecked once the case has been filled.

Pump Connecting Rod

The WDP30 uses a spring-loaded connecting rod to absorb shocks from rocks entering the pump. Honda recommends applying NLGI Category 2 grease, which is the standard grease for most mechanical and automotive applications. The rod shouldn’t be making direct contact with water, so this grease doesn’t need to be waterproof or designed for marine use.

Electric Pumps

These pumps should mostly be maintenance free. However, dirt can cause problems with the float switch and overall pump performance.

If the float is dirty and isn’t responding to water level changes, it just needs a thorough cleaning. If debris build-up on the inlet is causing problems, the volute case should be cleaned. To access the case, remove the screws that attach the lower part of the housing and pry the base and housing apart with a flathead screwdriver. Remove any debris in the case and pump base holes and make sure the impeller can spin freely. Never open up the pump itself: if it isn’t precisely reassembled and resealed, water can leak into the case, causing a short. Once everything is clean, reassemble the case.

Getting Parts for Your Pump

Hondalawnparts.com is a certified Honda Engines and Honda Power Equipment dealer, which means we’re able to offer all the parts and accessories you need for your pump including everything from spark plugs to hoses. Our site makes it easy to find what you need thanks to built-in factory parts diagrams and descriptions, and we can ship your order to any location in the U.S. or Canada.

Winterizing Water Pumps

Winterizing Water pumps

Winter is on its way, which means it’s time to think about putting up your Honda water pump for the season. Depending on the model, that may mean removing a submerged pump from a well at a vacation home, stopping work on moving water between ponds or knowing that you won’t need to worry about flooding until the snow melts off. No matter how you use your pump, there are a few things you should do to ensure your equipment will be ready to be put back to work next spring.

Before You Begin

Before working on the pump, disconnect the spark plug to prevent an accidental start. Give the engine some time to cool off before working on it: some parts of the engine including the head and exhaust can remain hot up to a half hour after the motor has shut off.

Running the pump without water, even on self-priming models, can cause the pump seals to overheat and melt. If you need to warm up the engine to change the motor or gear box oil, make sure the pump is shut off.

Cleaning the Pump

The pump chamber should be flushed with water using a garden hose. To ensure all water is drained from the pump, it should be tilted so that the discharge side of the pump is lower than the suction side. Never tilt the pump the other direction: while water may still flow out, this also tilts the engine in a way that will flood the carburetor. A few drops of water may still be inside the pump case, but this isn’t enough to cause freeze damage, and there’s no need to run anti-freeze through the pump for protection.

Electric Pumps

Ice can damage the pump, whether it forms on the pump body or on the power cable. If temperatures are going to dip below freezing, the pump should be pulled out of the well or sump where it’s being used. While it’s out, this is a good time to remove the impeller cover and clean out any debris.

Yearly Service

Servicing your pump now will save you from having to do so when you first need it next season.

If the pump has a separate gear box, the oil should be changed. The engine should be run for a few minutes to warm up the oil so it flows out easily. Refill the gear box with a GL5-rated 80W90 gear oil.

Some models have grease points for the pump connecting rod. In most cases, Honda recommends NLGI Category 2 grease. These components are shielded from water, so marine grease is not required.

The air filter should be inspected and cleaned. Remember that foam elements need to be re-oiled after cleaning and the air box should be wiped out before reassembly.

All nuts and bolts on the pump and engine should be checked for tightness.

Engine

Any fuel inside the engine should be removed before storage. Honda recommends draining fuel that is over a month old or three months old if it has been treated with a stabilizer. Some small engines like the Mini 4 Stroke may need to be tilted to let gas flow out of the tank, while other motors with a removable sediment cup will have a bolt on the base of the carburetor that can be removed to drain the entire fuel system. Either way, this fuel should be drained into a suitable gasoline container and disposed of properly. Using this fuel in your car is fine, as fuel injected motors are less sensitive to stale fuel and the fuel you add will be diluted by the fresh gas already in the tank.

If the engine has a fuel valve, set it to “Off” to prevent any residual fuel from leaking out during storage.

Have an electric pump? The motor shouldn’t need anything outside of normal maintenance before storage, and it should be left alone to make sure it stays sealed off from water, which can cause a short or electrocution during operation.

Storing

Storing the pump indoors will help prevent damage from UV light and extreme temperatures. Since there may be a little fuel left in the motor, it’s best to keep it stored away from ignition sources including power tools, furnaces and anything else that produces a spark or flame.

Keep the pump uncovered. If a tarp is laid over it, moisture can become trapped, promoting rust.

Getting Parts for Your Honda Pump

Hondalawnparts.com carries parts for everything from submersible electric pumps to trash pumps and everything in between. Our site makes finding what you need easy by letting you see factory parts diagrams and descriptions for your model, and we can ship those parts to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

How to Troubleshoot your Honda Water Pump

Honda water pumps are known for their durability and flexibility through a wide range of operating conditions. However, regular maintenance is a must if you want your pump to continue running as advertised. If you have started to experience problems with your pump, use this guide as a starting point to troubleshoot the issue.

Low Output

If your Honda water pump does not appear to be creating the output that you are expecting or if it seems to be running much slower than normal there are a few things you should check. First of all, check the speed and throttle indicators to ensure that the throttle is turned up high enough. If the pump is set to the correct speed, next check your hose. A hose of the wrong length or size can prevent the pump from creating enough pressure to move the water. Try changing to a hose that better fits the pump if problems persist. If these simple troubleshooting steps are not enough to fix the problem, you may have a worn or damaged pump. Continue reading

Honda Water Pumps Comparison Guide

Honda Water Pumps

Honda offers consumers and businesses a wide selection of water pumps for many different applications. Their pumps come with several different designations as to the type of work that each pump is designed to do. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about the Honda water pump line.
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