How to Maintain Your Outdoor Fountain

A fountain is a beautiful addition to almost any landscape. It can work to tie together themes or garden features, and can create a soothing, ambient sound when you’re relaxing in your yard. Fountains and water features come in all different shapes and sizes, and some are much more fragile or expensive than others. For these reasons, it’s important to take good care of your fountain all year long to avoid needing any unexpected repairs or replacements from landscaping professionals.

  1. Make Sure You have Chosen a Good Location
    Although you may be reading this article after you have installed your fountain, this is something homeowners need to be aware of in order to stop encountering the same problems over and over. A fountain or pond-like water feature that houses fish or plant life should not be positioned in an area on your property where it is always exposed to direct sunlight. This can cause the living things within your water feature to become overheated and die, and it can be the cause of an algae bloom. Likewise, if you keep noticing that your fountain is always being knocked over or damaged, it might be in your best interests to move the set-up to a location where there is less foot traffic.
  2. Regular Cleaning
    Cleaning your fountain is an important step that will keep it working to optimal potential. Algae, debris and waste can build up around vital parts of your fountain that can cause it to stop running or break, so be sure to inspect your fountain regularly for warning signs. Change out your water monthly, or at the very least remove the dirt and grit from where it pools. Wipe off the inside of your fountain with vinegar and a soft-bristled brush. If you neglect your cleaning duties, you may notice a buildup of a white residue called white scale. If this built-up calcium is left for too long, it will have to be removed with a special cleanser. You can also purchase a clarifier to add to your water so that algae won’t be able to grow as well.
  3. Avoid Running Your Fountain Dry
    If your water level is too low for too long, it could result in an overheating pump. Frying your water pump means having to go out and get a replacement, as well as the hassle of having to install it. Depending on how large your fountain is and how much water it circulates, buying a new water pump could be a pricey endeavor that you would rather avoid.
  4. Prevent Damage from Heavy Winds
    If your fountain keeps getting knocked over by the weather, consider sealing the design fixture to the base with landscaping putty or a silicone sealant. When re-positioning your fountain over the adhesive, make sure to use a level so that you avoid making it lopsided.
  5. Use Chlorine Wisely
    Although chlorine is a good way to initiate an attack on an algae invasion in your fountain, these types of water pumps are generally not designed to circulate high concentrations. It’s also worth mentioning that chlorine is a harsh enough chemical that constant circulation could erode the surface of your fountain, depending on the material it’s made out of. For this reason, it’s suggested that a ┬╝ cup of chlorine bleach should be the limit for every 5 gallons of water, and that the mixture should only be run as long as overnight.
  6. Winter Care
    The most important thing you can do to prepare your fountain for winter is the same thing you should do to prepare any type of irrigation system or other water feature: draining it of water completely. Having water freeze, thaw and refreeze within your fountain system could cause cracking. If possible, disassemble your fountain and move it to a warmer place, such as a shed or garage. If you cannot move your fountain, try to see if you can at least remove the water pump and bring that indoors for storing.