Since it has no moving parts, it can hardly break down.
It is based on the air-lift effect.
It is a very old system, I just found a cheap and easy way to build it with a T junction.
No glue, no welding required.
I use it in hydroponic projects and water fountains.
Can also be used for irrigation, with a bicycle pump fitted with a non return valve.
All parts I use are aquarium parts, and can be found in aquarium or pet shops.
You can also use a compressor for a higher flow.
List of parts;
a 10mm T junction
an aquarium air pump (the stronger PSi you can buy, the better)
an air tube for the aquarium pump 4mm
a 10 mm tube
When i say 10mm T junction , it is the inner measurement of the tube.
A regular T from Hazelock 1/2" can be used, as Hazelock gives the outside measurements.
I use the inner measures, because i fit my tube inside the T junction.
See later why.
Step 1: Slip the Air Hose Into the T
To do that, the easy way is to start inserting the air hose into the shorter end of the T.
Then use a pencil (but the blunt side) to help push it trough.
This is the toughest part of the project.
Then pull the air hose all the way, till you leave about 1 inch or 30mm sticking out of the
short side of the T.
Step 2: Diameter of the Water Hose
The system works by injecting air into the T.
Air bubbles will push the water upside, so do not use a too wide tube, otherwise it will not work.
Troubleshooting; these are possible causes;
T must be immersed in minimum 5 inches of water.
Airflow is not strong enough, not enough pressure.
Diameter of the hose is too big.
Step 3: Attach the Air Pump
Step 4: Blurping Water Out
This is an amarillys in a colander and a bucket, but this is another instructable.
The pump will only work if there is enough water in the bucket.
This system has a slow but constant flow.
The only disadvantage of this system is a slight blurping noise.