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The Hey Abby DWC Built-In Air Pump: A Short-Lived Promise

In the world of hydroponics and deep water culture systems, reliable equipment is essential for successful plant growth. One crucial component in these systems is the built-in air pump, which ensures proper oxygenation of the water reservoir. However, not all air pumps are created equal, as demonstrated by the Hey Abby Air Pump, which unfortunately failed to live up to expectations in less than three weeks of use.

The Promise of Hey Abby:

The Hey Abby entered the market with promises of efficiency, reliability, and durability. Marketed as a solution for hydroponic enthusiasts seeking a high-performance medium and air pump for their deep water culture setups, it seemed to check all the boxes on paper. With a sleek design and the manufacturer’s claims of robust performance, many users were eager to give it a try.

The Early Signs of Trouble:

Initial impressions were positive as users set up their deep water culture systems with the Hey Abby built-in air pump. The pump operated smoothly during the first days, delivering a consistent flow of air bubbles to the water reservoir via the air stone. However, the initial excitement quickly turned to disappointment as signs of trouble emerged within a surprisingly short time frame.

Failure in Less Than Three Weeks:

Reports began surfacing within the first three weeks of use, detailing issues ranging from diminished air output to complete pump failure. The Hey Abby built-in air pump, which promised reliability, failed to withstand the test of time. Hydroponic enthusiasts were left frustrated and concerned about the impact on their plants, as oxygenation is crucial for healthy root development and overall plant growth in deep water culture systems.

Potential Causes of Failure:

As we attempted to troubleshoot the Hey Abby built-in air pump issues, several potential causes of failure were identified. Some pointed to subpar manufacturing quality, citing components that were not built to withstand continuous use. Others raised concerns about inadequate ventilation, suggesting that the built-in air pump may be prone to overheating, leading to malfunctions. Regardless of the specific cause, the common denominator was a lack of durability, ultimately compromising the longevity of the Hey Abby built-in air pump.

Our Work-Around:

In response to the malfunction of the Hey Abby’s built-in air pump, we opted for a straightforward solution, albeit one requiring modifications to the Hey Abby unit. This involved drilling a hole in the side of the unit, a seemingly intricate step that aimed at transforming the product into a functional and efficient unit, addressing the shortcomings overlooked by CL Design Studio LLC. Here’s a detailed account of the steps we took.

For those acquainted with aquariums and their maintenance, air-stones and air pumps are familiar components. The Hey Abby features a built-in air pump (which unfortunately failed) that connects to an air-stone, similar to those used in aquarium setups.

Our remedy involved a trip to the local pet store, where we acquired a Tetra brand Aquarium air pump designed for external use (outside the Hey Abby grow box). Additionally, we purchased about 8 feet of tubing, although a shorter length sufficed for our needs.

To integrate the external air pump into the Hey Abby system, we drilled a 3/16th inch hole in the lower right side of the unit. Although the drill bit was universal for aquarium tubing, it differed slightly from the tubing that originally came with the Hey Abby. Nevertheless, the size difference was minimal, and the pet store tubing proved to be a suitable alternative.

*3/16th inch is a universal size for aquarium air-pumps.

By disconnecting the existing tubing inside the Hey Abby that linked the built-in air pump to the air-stone, we successfully modified the system to accommodate an external air pump and new tubing. The outcome was remarkable – swift and effortless replacement in the event of future air pump failures.

Aquarium enthusiasts are familiar with the inevitability of air pump replacements for air-stones. Regrettably, Hey Abby overlooked this aspect in their design. Attempting to replace or repair the built-in air pump necessitates disassembling the Hey Abby box, posing a potential risk to your growing efforts. To mitigate this, we connected an external air pump, tubing, and utilized the original air-stone, completing the entire process in less than 15 minutes. The result is a consistent and efficient air-stone flow, promoting optimal root health and overall plant well-being.

Disconnected built-in air pump and replaced with pet-store aquarium style pump. WORKS GREAT! Perhaps Hey Abby could learn from this, maybe add a replaceable air pump to the build? I would imagine this to be most beneficial to your customers.


The Hey Abby Built-In Air Pump, despite its initial promise, failed to live up to expectations in real-world applications. With reports of malfunctions and pump failures emerging within a remarkably short time frame, users are left questioning the reliability and durability of this particular product. As hydroponic enthusiasts seek dependable equipment for their deep water culture systems, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate user feedback and product reviews to make informed purchasing decisions and avoid potential setbacks in their gardening endeavors.


3 responses to “The Hey Abby DWC Built-In Air Pump: A Short-Lived Promise”

  1. Hey Abby Grower Avatar
    Hey Abby Grower

    I thought this was normal. I figured that the app was controlling the air pump. No wonder my grows have failed so far! Thanks

    1. Thanks for the comment. We’re here to help where Hey Abby won’t!

  2. suttleyous Avatar

    It seems like the built-in air pump might be falling short of expectations for some. Share your experiences below and let’s create a space to discuss workarounds like ours and potential improvements.

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