Ecotech Vortech MP10 Bearings and Wetside Guide
I’ve been buying and repairing MP10s, mostly for my tanks at home, but also for some friends. I’ve found numerous revisions of MP10s throughout my journey, and I’ve documented some of this here.
It should be noted that Ecotech never officially claimed there to be any changes in these motors until the later QD motors came out. With the QD motors, they mention that it’s no longer backwards compatible with the ES controllers. This is because they removed some sensors and reduced the number of wires from 10 to 5. That said, the newer MP10QD motors are actually simpler than the older MP10ES motors, they use fewer wires, have fewer parts (lacking sensors), and share one of their bearings with the MP40.
The official MP10 upgrade guide calls out none of these differences, and they basically consider any MP10 motor with a QD controller a fully upgraded MP10QD. I’d say with new bearings, that’s mostly true, but some models seemingly run quieter than others regardless.
Another interesting phenomena is that the QD motors don’t run properly without the magnet attached, but the ES motors do, I suspect this might be related to said sensors being absent on the QD motors.
|Connector Wires||The length of the colored wires between the rubber grommet and the plastic connector, on the connector side, inside the controller.|
|Grommet Style||The grommet on the connector-end of the motor, the older grommet has a few ridges/grooves and is often damaged, the newer grommet is smooth|
|Case Style||The old models had a smooth plastic case, the newer ones newer style which is painted in a smooth rubbery “soft-touch” style paint|
|Wire Count / Sensor||The amount of wires that are connected to the 10 pin connector. Later model QD dry-sides lack the internal sensors, and only have 5 wires. This also means they are no longer backwards compatible with the ES controllers.|
|Connector Wires||Grommet Style||Case Style||Wire Count||Sensors||Bearings||Notes|
|long||old||old||10||yes||687 7x14x5||Original MP10 w/Blue Gen2 Controller|
|short||old||old||10||yes||687 7x14x5||First-Run MP10ES “EcoSmart”|
|short||old||old||10||yes||696 6x15x5||Middle-Run MP10ES “EcoSmart”|
|short||new||old||10||yes||696 6x15x5||Mid-Late-Run MP10ES “EcoSmart”|
|short||new||new||10||yes||696 6x15x5??||Late-Run MP10ES “EcoSmart”|
Need to confirm the bearings, but it’s the quietest/least-vibrating dry-side I’ve owned. Better than a brand new QD, but it looks very similar to one. The case has the newer style rubber paint, but it’s slightly fatter than the later QD case to accommodate the sensors. I upgraded this to a QD controller and it’s quieter than my QD motors.
The motor now uses two different bearings, the 696 from the later MP10ES, as well as a larger 626 bearing which is shared with the MP40.
With regards to wetsides, at some point in time, they changed from the “square” style on the right, to the “circle” style, pictured left. This one on the left is the newer style, and the “square” one on the right is older. There is no functional difference, and they should work on QD or ES motors, regardless of which you have.
As far as I know, ecotech never officially announced this change, but some of the very old user manuals mention that the square ceramic plate is removable for cleaning, and later manuals remove this reference, as the circular disc is no longer removable.
Some other observations to make. The newer “circle” style’s magnet appears to have the magnet exposed, the raised circle on the magnet appears to actually be the magnet material. The older “square” style’s magnet appears to be entirely encased in plastic, and in my experience, these are the ones that tend to be swollen/rusted.
As you can tell by the photo, even the newer generation on the left is still prone to the ceramic shaft cracking. In this case, I was able to take the impeller/magnet on the left, and the frame on the right, to make one working but “mis-matched” wet-side.
Other repairs are possible as well, including swapping/re-gluing impellers to the magnets, and I’ve even heard of people using heat-shrink to replace the ceramic shaft, although I’m still looking for a better solution to this.
Always soak them in acid before trying to take them apart, and NEVER RUN THEM DRY!