AquaClear Filter Won’t Turn Back On [All Issues Fixed]

You’ve cleaned up your AquaClear filter and put everything back on just like it should be. Or maybe you’ve just turned off the switch accidentally or have faced a power outage. But when you try to restart the filter, it’s just not turning on.

So, how do you fix the AquaClear filter won’t turn back on problem?

You can fix the Aquaclear filter that won’t turn back on with a gentle push on the impeller. Replugging the power cord and soft smacking on the filter also sometimes does the trick. If nothing works, cleaning the impeller and the motor housing with vinegar usually solves the problem.

This is just a glimpse of the solution to AquaClear filters not turning back on. In this article, I’ll break down all the solutions thoroughly. Furthermore, I’ll provide some special cleaning tips at the end as well.

Now, sit back and follow along.

How to Solve AquaClear Filter Won’t Turn Back On Problem?

I’ve been using several models of AquaClear filters for my aquariums for over a decade. They’re rock solid. However, sometimes they just don’t turn back on, even after a partial water change or cleaning.

From my experience, I’ve found this issue to be really easy to fix. I’ve put together the fixes like a troubleshooting guide. Just follow the steps I’m providing here. 

Make Sure the Proper Power Connection

I’ve seen many people, including me, make this mistake. On many occasions, I’ve put all the parts accordingly, but the filter just won’t turn back on.

This is because I’ve missed the very first step, checking the power connection.

So, check the wall socket and your power cord. Make sure the power cable has no free play and the switch is turned on.

However, if your filter still isn’t turning on, follow the next step.

Firmly Smack The Filter

Do you remember smacking your old TV or radio to fix them? Well, the AquaClear filter is no different here.

Firmly smack your filter around the motor to see if this makes your filter run again.

But what if smacking as well doesn’t solve your problem? Well, you need to go a bit deeper for the next troubleshooting steps.

Push & Spin The Impeller Yourself

Sometimes a little push on the impeller makes the filter run again. You can use a chopstick or a pen to push the impeller down to the motor. Your filter’s motor should start spinning.

However, if the little push alone doesn’t make the motor spin, you can spin the impeller yourself. Try to spin the impeller clockwise with the chopstick or pen. You won’t believe that this makes the filter run 9 out of 10 times.

This is because the impeller can’t move if there’s a little junk built up. Your little push or assist in spinning gives the motor some fuel to start spinning.

But remember, if there’s too much junk built up in the impeller housing, this may not work. Hence, you need to clean the impeller and the housing thoroughly to turn it back on.

So, how do you clean the AquaClear filter impeller housing?

Cleaning The AquaClear Filter Impeller & Impeller Housing

To clean the impeller housing, follow the steps I’m describing here.

Step-1: Turn off the filter power.

Step-2: Take the filter out of your aquarium for easy cleaning.

Step-3: Drain the water out of the filter.

Step-4: Twist the motor 90 degrees towards the arrow marked on the motor. This will detach the motor from the filter.

Step-5: Pull off the impeller firmly from the motor.

Step-6: Rinse the impeller shaft with fresh tap water. Make sure to firmly scrub the impeller shaft with your fingers.

Step-7: Clean the shaft housing (where the shaft goes) using a Q-tip or cotton bud. Make sure to lube the Q-tip or cotton bud with water before cleaning.

Step-8: Clean the housing with fresh tap water.

Step-9: Dip the impeller and the motor in vinegar. This will remove all the calcium buildup from the impeller shaft and housing.

Step-10: Wash the impeller and the motor with fresh water to remove vinegar from them.

Step-11: Lube the shaft with food grade silicone lubricant. Put the impeller back on the housing. Make sure the shaft goes all the way down and can spin freely.

Step-12: Test the motor before you put everything back on.

[Make sure you don’t run the motor for more than 2 to 3 seconds. The motor can get fried within a minute if it runs without water.]

If the motor passes the test, you can put everything back on. Make sure the “O ring” is properly placed. Otherwise, it will cause water leakage.

However, if the motor still doesn’t start, you may need to replace the motor or the shaft. 

But how do you know which part is causing the problem?

Identifying The Damaged Parts to Replace

The shaft and the motors need replacement if they get damaged. But you don’t need to change both the parts if you know which one is damaged.

You can be sure if the shaft is damaged by closely looking at it. Try to find out the following.

  • The shaft is bent.
  • The shaft is worn out unevenly.

If you find any of these, it’s time to replace the shaft. But if the shaft is OK, it’s the motor that needs replacement.

So, that was all about fixing your AquaClear filter won’t turn back on problem. However, if you follow some simple steps, you may not face these issues again.

Steps to Prevent the AquaClear Filter from Not Turning Back On

Regular maintenance will ensure your filter operates longer without any issues. And the maintenance is nothing but cleaning the filter. Here’s what I do with my AquaClear filters.

My AquaClear Filter Maintenance

I clean my AquaClear filter every 3 months. However, the motor is the most expensive and sensitive part of these filters. Hence, it needs more frequent cleaning.

I usually clean the motor and the shaft area every two to three weeks.

Here are some tips to help clean any HOB filters.

Tip-1: Always clean your filtration material with aquarium water. Don’t ever use tap water to clean them. This can kill the helpful bacteria.

Tip-2: Before starting the filter after cleaning, pour the aquarium water into the filter yourself. It’ll speed up the priming process and reduce the pressure on the motor.

Tip-3: Make sure nothing is blocking the intake tube. Also, make sure the tube fits properly. Otherwise, the motor won’t get enough suction to circulate the water.

So, that’s all for today. Do check our FAQs section to find out more interesting facts about HOB filters.


Why Are AquaClear Filters Called HOB Filters?

Aquaclear filters are called HOB filters because of their fitment type. HOB stands for “Hang On Back”. And, aquaClear filters are designed to hang on the back of the aquarium. However, these types of filters can be used for other operations as well.

Why Is My Fish Tank Filter Humming?

Your fish tank filter can make a humming noise if there’s any obstruction in the intake tube. It’s because your motor gets a higher suction to circulate the water and needs to work hard. However, a damaged motor can also make this sort of noise.

Why Is My HOB Filter Not Priming?

Your HOB filter will not prime if the intake tube isn’t fitted properly. An improper intake tube fitment will cause a loss of suction. As a result, your motor won’t be able to suck the water into the filter. Hence, your HOB filter won’t prime.

Final Words

I hope this article solves your AquaClear filter won’t turn back on the problem.

However, a problem can have many solutions. Hence, I’d like to hear from you if you’ve got any other ideas to fix this issue.

Also, let me know in the comments which of the methods solved your problem.

Howard Parker

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