Cat water fountain pumps are very simple and cat fountain pump care is easily done. The fountain pumps are comprised of the motor, the impeller, the impeller cover and the screen.
The image to the left shows the pump completely disassembled with its parts, the motor, impeller, impeller cover and screen displayed from left to right. To get it to this state, first remove the screen. It will give a little resistance but essentially simply pulls off, shown on the right.
The next piece on the pump is the impeller cover, a tear drop shaped piece. Put your finger nail under the pointed end and pull it off. This reveals the impeller. See the image below, left.
The impeller is magnetically held in but lifts out easily. On some models of pumps it can be hard to get hold of and you might need a small pair of pliers or tweezers. Be careful not to damage it.
Removing the impeller, cleaning it and inside the impeller well is vital to the maintenance of your cat fountain pump. If your pump stops working it is almost certainly because the impeller well has debris in it and is impeding the turning of the impeller. Using a tooth pick or Q tip, clean inside the well and sponge down the impeller.
If you have hard water you can also get mineral build-up on the shaft over which the impeller fits and on the impeller itself. Customers who bought their Thirstycat fountain years ago have contacted us, asking to buy a new pump. We tell them that they most certainly can, and installation is not
difficult, but they probably don’t need to.
To get their pump working again, we advise them to make a solution of one tbs salt and one cup white vinegar. This creates a very mild acid. Put the impeller in this and put a little in the impeller well for a couple of minutes. This dissolves the mineral deposits. Sometimes more time may be needed and it won’t hurt to soak them overnight. In almost every case this is all that is necessary and the pumps continue working for years more. We endeavor to make our cat drinking fountains as simple, yet effective and beautiful as possible. Any and all suggestions to assist in this are welcome.
This video below is the fountain cleaning video from the FAQ before this. It shows as well how to clean the pump and this link shows how to deep clean using vinegar and salt.