Rena Filstar XP Not Pumping – Replacing or Repairing

In the history of the best filters on the American market, Rena Filstar XP is one of the reputable canister filter brands with durable filters that get the job done. Before its acquisition by API, it was listed as one of the most reliable brands for making filters, and the shortage of complaints about its products speaks volumes.

But some hobbyists complain that their Rena Filstar XP is not pumping. And they wonder whether they ought to replace it or simply repair it.

This article discusses why your Rena Filstar XP is not pumping and how to fix the problems. This will help you decide whether to replace your Rena Filstar XP or repair it. Read on to find out.

Rena Filstar XP

The Rena Filstar is perhaps one of the most recognized American filter companies in the US.

They often come in different types with a few differences. The Filstar XP-S has one media tray, while the filter XP-M has two media trays. The Filstar XP-M is the original version produced by Rena, while the XP-S is the newer version produced by API because of the acquisition.

Perhaps the visible differences are the number of media trays in each of the two filters and their different heights. The other differences are hardly noticeable.

Essentially, the API version, which is the newer Filstar XP, is modified differently. It has some extra rubber on the feet. It also has more unused space between the bottom of the tray and the bottom of the canister.

Perhaps, both filters use the same pump heads with differently sized impellers. They have a somewhat square footprint and are constructed with very durable materials.

The canister filters are transparent for you to see the water level when priming the filter. Another benefit of this transparent body is that you can monitor the accumulation of sediments over time.

There is a convenient handhold on both sides of the housing. The plumbing accessories are pretty quality accessories. They are quite better than what comes with other filters. Earlier setups used to have a spray bar option, but recently, more recent orders of accessories do not include a spray bar. But they come with an adjustable nozzle.

They are pretty durable, usually lasting for as long as 12 to 15 years.

Common Reasons for Rena Filstar not Pumping

Whether you will decide to change a failing Rena Filstar XP unit or not will depend on the problems with your unit and how easy it will be to fix them.

It is almost impossible to find a forum or two where owners of the Rena Filstar XP complain about the product; the engineers and designers took their time to design a quality product that can stand the test of time.

However, there are some times when your Rena Filstar stops pumping. Most times, there is hardly any serious problem. That is how strong the product is. Here are some common reasons:

1) Failing To Fully Prime the Filter

One of the common reasons your Rena Filstar XP is not pumping water into the aquarium is that you have not primed it or not primed it correctly.

It is important to understand that the Rena Filstar XP does not have an in-built self-priming device. You must prime it manually to ensure it pumps water back into the aquarium.

Priming is important before starting your filter. First, disconnect the electricity supply if you want to prime your Rena Filstar XP. The filter mustn’t be switched on during the priming. After that, you want to lift the handle of the quick disconnect valve. Lifting the quick disconnect valve is also important because the disconnection will keep the water in the inlet pipe and prevent it from entering the canister filter.

After disconnecting the quick disconnect valve, you want to remove the fill cap from the inlet pipe and place a priming funnel into the inlet pipe. Fill the inlet pipe with water from the aquarium until it is full. You can do this with a disposable cup, a measuring cup from your maintenance kit box, or a normal cup from your kitchen.

After filling the inlet pipe to the top, you want to cover the inlet pipe with the cap. Now, you want to lower the handle of the quick disconnect valve. Ideally, this should automatically start a siphon from the aquarium. This siphon should fill the canister filter.

But if your filter does not begin filling, you want to repeat the process while consulting your manual to see if you missed anything. Otherwise, you can check for the other common causes discussed below.

After the siphon begins, allow for about 30 minutes for your Rena Filstar XP to fill up. After about 30 minutes, you can plug in your filter when the unit is full. It should begin to pump in water immediately.

2) Failing To Seal the Inlet Pipe

Another reason your Rena Filstar XP is not pumping could be the ineffective seal of the inlet pipe. Although this is an indirect reason, you do not want air leaks in the suction line.

So, if you notice that the cap on your inlet pipe is not tight enough to give a good seal, you can wrap some Teflon tape around the tread of the inlet pipe before closing it with the cover. This will ensure that you get a good seal.

3) Fibrillation Issues

Fibrillation is another reason your Rena Filstar XP does not pump. Fibrillation is usually a result of old age. Rena Filstar XP filters are usually very durable and can last for as long as a decade if regularly serviced and properly used.

But after use for a long time, it is common to find that your unit has gone into fibrillation. This means that dirt fibers, sludge, or debris have settled on your impeller. The implication is that your unit will not perform well again.

If it does, it will only do barely. While the impeller is one of the main things to check and clean, many other parts need to be inspected, cleaned, or changed for optimal performance.

Fibrillation normally occurs with old units. However, here are some things you can do to get your unit working back.

First, you would have to clean the impeller. You can get to the impeller after flipping the blue Motor house over. Twist the impeller cover anti-clockwise to remove it. You want to carefully remove the impeller and the shaft for inspection and cleaning.

Set them aside because you will still have other inspections to do. You want to check for sludge and debris in the opening where the impeller sits. If you find some, you want to clean them because they prevent the impeller from turning properly.

After cleaning the opening, carefully install the impeller and the shaft back as it was. Don’t forget to secure the impeller with the impeller cover back the exact way it was before you opened it.

Also, it would be best to check the gasket and the O-rings. Your goal is to make sure that the gasket is in place. You also want to check the O-ring twist. Your goal is to ensure that it is not twisted or damaged. This is important because if the O-ring is damaged or twisted, the motor housing will not be properly sealed.

After all the inspection for dirt, sludge, and damage to the parts of your Rena Filstar XP, you want to return the motor housing into the canister and couple your unit together.

The last step to solve this problem is to restart your unit. You must press the quick disconnect for the water to fill the canister. But if you had drained the flexible tubing, you would need to reprime the filter. You can refer to the priming instructions above to get it right.

As the filter is filling up with water, inspecting the strainer on the filter intake pipe for any possible clogs would be best. If you do not find any clog on the filter, you can plug the power cord into the electricity supply and start your unit. This should get your unit pumping water back into the aquarium.

Repairing or Replacing – What Do I Do?

Rena Filstar XP filters are usually durable and last up to a decade. If your unit is not pumping, these common reasons likely cause the problem. You can try the tips above to correct the situation and get your unit back in action.

But if your unit still fails to pump after trying all the tips above, the problem must be a fundamental defect in your unit, such as a failing pump, rotor, or some other crucial parts.

Although this could be a reason to replace your unit, you can choose to buy the parts and replace them only.

However, the choice is yours. Some hobbyists prefer to replace the whole unit if they have been using the failing unit for more than a decade. And other hobbyists whose units stopped pumping opted to replace only the failing parts.