My Outside Trader – Protecting Me From All the Elements

The Outside Trader was a trendy coffee table in my home until a few weeks ago. The seller assured me that it was an original model, and the previous owners were very careful not to damage the unit. Since the item was bought second-hand, I decided to conduct an informal examination to check whether the seller’s words were true.

outdoors trader

I started by removing all accessories from the Outdoors Trader. I removed the water pump and the three screws securing the castors. Next, I removed the three plastic guards attached to the inner tray with Velcro tape. These plastic guards prevented me from moving the unit while cleaning the inside workings of the components. The tank was next. I removed the vacuum tube and jug and inspected the contents for signs of wear and tear, replacement parts, and signs of rust.

All looked well. After glancing at the maintenance history of the unit, I determined that the previous owners had probably replaced the vacuum tube due to poor operation. So I pulled out the old water pump and examined it closely. It was a Seiko style 42mm water pump, so it would be easier to identify parts if necessary. The Seiko pump was replaced by a Motorola drive unit, so some wear and tear were evident due to normal use. The only other detail of any useable nature was a small dent under the hood near the gas cap.

The tank cover could also be examined for signs of rust and was then prepared for removal. The tank cover had experienced numerous leaks over the years, so I decided to remove it and inspect it for similar signs of wear and tear. I would also clean any areas that were dirty or dusty before putting the tank back in position.

Once the tank was in position and cleaned, I installed a new vacuum tube and attached the top cover. Before using the filter basket, I re-inflated the original water pump and connected the vacuum tubing. A strong airflow was soon running through the tank, with the original filter basket held securely in place by the stainless steel gasket. I was ready to begin testing the waters!

After completing all the required setup steps, the water began to drain into the tank through the bottom. When the outdoor Trader was turned on, the machine started to fill with water until I took control of the pumps controls. Water was now draining through the bulkhead on the side of the dealer. I turned the power back on, and within seconds, the tank filled back up again. However, this time, the water was flowing smoothly and easily, and there was no evidence of leakage anywhere else.

After completing the above test, I turned on the power and checked the water pump. Everything was fine, and there was no evidence of water leaking anywhere else. So I added a fresh (from the tank) gallon of water and began testing the outdoor Trader again. Again, everything was fine, and there was no leakage at all.

The water flow was smooth and even with the cover over the bulkhead, and there was no visible damage to the tank or other pipes. Finally, I removed the cover and hooked the water pump back up. Everything was working like new again. I knew that I had successfully performed a simple maintenance task, but learning how to service an outside hot tub and keep it running was so much more fulfilling.

With that issue out of the way, I started looking at the other things that the Trader needed. Was the filter really necessary? Or, was I going to have to purchase a new one to make everything work right again? Knowing how everything works now, I decided to add a cover that would help protect the workings of the Trader from the elements when not in use.

My next step was to find a good location for the cover. After thinking about how to protect it from the elements, I realized that I did not want anything blocking sunlight from my house. So I decided to place it on the wall near my gate so that I could watch the fish. Yes, that’s where my water pump is located now too. The cover does a great job of keeping out rain and snow, but it looks pretty silly sitting on the wall when I’m not using it.

Now, when I’m not running the sprinklers or watering the garden, the cover keeps out everything from getting to me. In fact, my first watering since installing the cover, I was able to water the plants without having to get out of my chair. This is such a huge money saver! With that extra protection, I’ve noticed that my Trader is now saving me money each month.