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How to Fix a Bubble Tube

Experia USA’s bubble tubes use the best quality materials available - our tubes have the highest clarity of any acrylic tube and the air pumps we use are among the best in the world. Although our bubble tubes are designed with durability and longevity in mind, accidents do happen! If your bubble tube isn’t working as it should, this blog post will offer a few solutions on how to fix a bubble tube, as well as how to empty it beforehand.

Issue: Fewer or No Bubbles

If your bubble tube has stopped producing bubbles, and you hear a “hum” or feel a vibration from the bubble tube as if the pump is trying to work, the diffuser plate may be clogged with algae/bacteria due to lack of proper cleaning and care. If your bubble tube is completely silent and no vibration can be felt, it is likely something more serious, like water damage to the circuit board. In this case, please contact us for repair.

The diffuser is a plate at the bottom of the column inside the bubble tube base that contains tiny holes that air passes through to create bubbles. Do not run your bubble tube if it has stopped producing bubbles. If the diffuser plate is clogged and unable to create bubbles, too much pressure is placed on the pump and further damage will likely occur.

If it appears that there is a build up of bacteria on the diffuser plate at the bottom of the acrylic tube, you can use a concentrated amount of Bubble Tube BCB Water Treatment Fluid to clean the diffuser. Do this by first emptying your bubble tube (see “How to Empty a Bubble Tube” below), then filling the tube with approximately six inches of water. Add 1.75 ounces of BCB Fluid to the six inches of water in the tube and let it sit.  After 48 hours, empty the tube, refill halfway with clean water, and test.  If it is a minor bacteria/algae problem the bubble tube should now operate as expected. If so, you can fill to the recommended height (approx. 4-5” from the top).

The water in your bubble tube should be replaced every 6-12 weeks to ensure the bacteria level is low and doesn’t interfere with the diffuser plate. Be sure to add Bubble Tube BCB Water Treatment Fluid at every water change to help keep unwanted bacteria at bay.

It’s easy to avoid problems with your bubble tube by staying on top of regular maintenance.  Poor care can lead to pump and/or check valve failure, water leaks and damage, and circuit board and LED issues. Be sure to stick to the instructions on the bubble tube maintenance worksheet that came with your purchase.  If you need another worksheet, it can be downloaded by clicking here.

How to Empty a Bubble Tube

Before you attempt to fix your bubble tube, it’s important to empty it. But prior to emptying your bubble tube or refilling it you should always wrap a towel (or some other absorbent material) around the base of the clear column. In the event of a spill, this offers a little extra protection against water entering the base and damaging internal components.

Emptying your bubble tube is most easily achieved with our pump and hose kit as it enables you to empty the tube without the need to siphon. However, if you decide to siphon water from the bubble tube, it’s important that you DO NOT USE YOUR MOUTH TO START THE SIPHON as the anti-bacterial fluid in the water is toxic if ingested. Instead, remove the cap and fill approx. 15 feet of hose with water, plugging both ends. Put one end into the bubble tube and the other into an empty bucket. Unplug the end in the bucket to allow the water to siphon out.

When replacing the water, again, be sure to add BCB Water Treatment Fluid to manage bacteria levels in the water.

Issue: Bubble Tube Won’t Turn On

If your bubble tube doesn’t light up AND you don’t see any bubbles, first check the power supply. Is it plugged into the wall and is it securely plugged into the bubble tube? If it is, and you suspect the power supply could be the cause of the issue, you may need a replacement power supply. However, this could, of course, also be another issue unrelated to the power supply.

The LED and pump in your bubble tube is designed to last for a very long time, so it is unlikely that they have reached the end of their useful life. Give us a call to help you troubleshoot before purchasing a replacement power supply.

Issue: Bubble Tube was Knocked Into/Over

If there is an accident and your bubble tube column is broken or damaged, but the other components seem to be working properly, we do offer replacement columns.  Please call us with the details of your bubble tube (Size, Model Type, and Date of Purchase if known), so we can discuss whether a replacement column is a viable option.

To prevent a tip-over, bubble tube safety brackets are highly recommended for bubble tubes that are 60” or taller. Replacement bubble tube mirrors and platforms are also available should they become damaged or worn over time. Again, remember to empty your bubble tube correctly before attempting to replace any elements around the bubble tube.

When purchasing your bubble tube, familiarize yourself with our warranty terms. If you have any questions regarding how to fix a bubble tube, technical issues with your equipment, or you require a repair beyond what is described above, contact our technical support team here.

Note: Any alteration or improper use or care of the bubble tube voids the warranty. Opening the base cover of the bubble tube without authorization from Experia USA will void the warranty. Our products will experience normal wear with use.  The warranty does not cover failure or damage from normal wear and tear.

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