Ecotech Vectra L1 - New Version - Improvements!

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by NeverlosT, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT SPS nut Build Thread Contributor

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    I hadn't seen a thread depicting the improvements that Ecotech has made to this sweet pump, so I decided to make one. It doesn't seem to be generally known that there have been improvements in the last several months.

    I have been a longtime user of the Ecotech Vectra L1 pump (run externally), here is the history:

    1. I bought the first version when it was new to the market. A year later, it melted itself (plastic bubbled on pump impeller shaft wall, no water circulated around impeller shaft, pump slowed and failed).
    2. Ecotech overnighted me a new one, same pump (great customer service!).
    3. The replacement pump also lasted a little under a year, then failed in exact same fashion. It was so hot that when I removed it from the system and opened it, steam was pouring out of the impeller cavity in the pump.
    4. Ecotech shipped me a replacement, expedited, and when I said "I don't really want to keep replacing this thing" they mentioned that there had been a fix...
    5. I got the new pump and there are significant changes which I believe should fix the issues, time will tell!
    This isn't a thread to shame Ecotech for initially having pump issues. Who knows maybe I didn't clean it often enough, but I do believe that the two design flaws were:
    1. The pump did not have an effective manner to circulate new cool water around the spinning impeller shaft.
    2. The pump material used around the impeller shaft was not robust enough to handle the heat generated in that area, without a constant supply of cool water.

    Here are pictures of a failed pump:

    The impeller that had been dragging against the housing:
    20161201_041149.jpg

    The inside of the housing shaft (the rough surfaces you see are the plastic bubbled up and now hitting the impeller):
    20161201_041110.jpg

    Before you panic, I am fairly certain that the pump knows when it is getting too hot and it turns itself down. So that is one of the easiest ways to know if you are impacted. Your return pump will go fast initially when cool (has been off for a bit) and then it will slow down. I run a herbie drain so this was super evident because it would get really loud after being initially fine tuned.

    Here is the second one, same failure:
    IMG_1634.JPG

    And now for the good news! Some companies might sit back and just wait a decade to come out with a new pump, but Ecotech seems to have acted and improved their pump significantly.

    Here are the differences:
    IMG_1684.JPG

    New on left, old on right.
    1. New one has a new, more robust material (it feels like am much tougher polymer) as the pump shaft walls (it is black, sorry, bad pic).
    2. Notice that little hole in the new pump housing on the lower left? That is a vent hole! It flows water to the back of the impeller shaft! (I blew into it to test).
    Here's a better pic:
    IMG_1677.JPG

    IMG_1685.JPG

    New on bottom old on top:
    See those vent holes? Those are to allow water to make it to that recirculation loop. I think initially they thought those holes around the shaft would flow enough water, but they did not, especially if any biofouling had taken place.

    Anyhow, it has only been running for a few months but no issues so far.

    Anyhow, I am in the product development business as well, and it was comical because I told my wife what I would change after the first pump failed, and then when the second pump was replaced, those changes had been made (i need to check my house for bugs! ;Nailbiting)

    With the issue solved, in my opinion, the Vectra L1 is the best controllable DC pump for the money by a long shot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

  2. gcarroll

    gcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for documenting the differences. I was wondering how long it would take someone to notice the difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  3. Forsaken77

    Forsaken77 Valuable Member

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    Makes sense that they did something. Because for a while every store was unable to get any in stock. I bet they were redesigning it.
     
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  4. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award CTARS Member Reef Tank 365 R2R TV Featured Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Interesting, I wonder if there have been comparable changes to the M1? Bought mine on day 1 over 2 1/2 years ago but I've never taken it apart.
     
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  5. gcarroll

    gcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    You would win that bet!
    I do not believe there were any changes made to the M1.
     
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  6. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award CTARS Member Reef Tank 365 R2R TV Featured Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    It certainly did seem, anecdotally at least, that the L1 had the most problems with reliability.
     
  7. kashman100

    kashman100 Well-Known Member

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    I had mine do the same thing and was replaced about 4 months ago. They said they fixed the issue but it looks like I got the original as replacement because it's not black inside and using the old shaft
     
  8. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Maybe reach out to them about it? I hear their customer service is pretty good.

    That said ... I avoided the L1 due to these issues... I'd love to have one - so time will tell if this fixes the issue.
     
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  9. Knaszak

    Knaszak Member

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    Thanks, more than expected in a review... ready to buy especially now .... mr Ecotech
     
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  10. theMerchant

    theMerchant Member

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    My L1 failed over the weekend also and noticed the same failure inside the motor, melted plastic. The pump is ran in the sump, underwater.
    I submitted an RMA today and hope they will honor the warranty since it was bought last year in January.
    20180416_080624.jpg

    20180416_080615.jpg
     
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  11. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm sure they probably will because it's a design defect they're aware of and re-designed.
     
  12. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 Cyber Monday Sponsor R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    That's why this company is one of the leaders in innovation in this industry. I also know of some pretty cool things coming soon from them! :p
     
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  13. marcoolger84

    marcoolger84 Member

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    Went through 2 in less than 2 years. Moved on to Abyzz
     
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  14. markstubb

    markstubb Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    That's just not playing fair! ;Yawn
     
  15. Sleepydoc

    Sleepydoc Well-Known Member

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    It's good to see that they are working on improving the design. In all honesty, I think it is too soon to say whether the changes have worked or not. At least they made some changes, though.

    It's not clear to me from the pics how water is actually circulated through the holes. Just because there's a path for the water to flow doesn't mean it will. Have you been able to tell?
     
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  16. Joe Heavy

    Joe Heavy Member

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    After all the reading I too went with Abyzz. I cannot have the heart of the system be the weakest link
     
  17. Bmezz

    Bmezz Active Member

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    I guess using in sump u would not have this issue? Mine is about 8 months old and runs great and no heat felt around the unit in the sump runs cool externally.
     
  18. Bmezz

    Bmezz Active Member

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    I guess using in sump u would not have this issue? Mine is about 8 months old and runs great and no heat felt around the unit in the sump runs cool externally.
     
  19. Jack Wang

    Jack Wang Member R2R Supporter

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    Ecotech. The Apple of aquarium technology.
     
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  20. Jack Wang

    Jack Wang Member R2R Supporter

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    Ecotech. The Apple of aquarium technology.
     
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  21. vetteguy53081

    vetteguy53081 Well known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have heard many complaints and hopefully this is the answer. I have many of their product and would like one of these- not a headache
     
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