After being stored in the corner of my apartment for the last few years I decided to bring out the Aerogarden and start using it again.
After taking one look at it I knew I would have to clean it. It was heavily calcified and had left over roots from the previous grow cycles.
Once I had it cleaned, I added water into the bowl and did a test run. I quickly found that the water pump no longer worked and the bulbs had lost most or all of their light output.
Taking the Aerogarden apart
I pulled the bowl off the base and removed the insert. I then flipped the insert over on my cutting sheet (desk protector).
I removed all the screws you see below to separate the two pieces (you’ll want to do this if you’ve used the Aerogarden for more than a year or two).
The bottom piece (the top of the bowl) had quite a bit of calcification left over.
But the real bottom piece or the top of the bowl where the pump dumps the water was totally filled with calcium. Be sure to hose off or thoroughly rinse all that away! I soaked them in water and some calcium and lime remover like CLR.
If you use something like CLR be sure to give it a really good cleaning (you don’t want any chemicals left over and entering your plants).
Once it’s clean you’ll need to flip if over and remove the bottom cap holding in the old water pump. I used a flat head screwdriver to pry the snaps out. Be gently trying not to break the pieces holding it in.
Putting it back together again
Pull the pump out, being sure to leave the clear plastic hose connection.
Insert the new Aerogarden water pump with the dial facing out and the suction cups facing top (what would be the bottom when flipped over).
After that you’ll just have to pop back on the cap, add a new filter and re-screw on the top and bottom piece.
Finally put the top back into a water filled bowl and connect the unit to test everything out. My new pump is running and dripping water again!