Winterís coming, so itís time for you to decide what to do with your outdoor water fountain. Water Fountain Placeís fountain experts routinely get requests on how to winterize or store garden fountains. Many fountains come with specific instructions about care and handling, so make sure to follow them. Otherwise, take a look at the following guidelines:
Get it Done Before the Frost
No matter how much you love the idea of running an outdoor fountain all year round the truth is that unless you live in an area where the temperature never drops below freezing you must shut your fountain down before the temperature dips below freezing. Even if there isnít a full freeze, a few ice crystals can damage your fountainís basin, ornamentation and pump. Pouring antifreeze in your fountain is not only not going to help, but will make your fountain a toxic, neighborhood danger. Donít do it!
Get it Indoors If Possible
If your garden fountain is light enough to move inside, do it. Disassemble your fountain according to its directions, empty it out and store it in an area that maintains moderate above freezing temperatures to prevent cracking. If your fountain is too heavy to move, remove the fountain pump, empty, clean and dry it, and cover it with a form-fitting fountain cover. A tarp may blow off or create condensation. Disconnect and store electrical cords away from any snow, ice or moisture. If you canít move your fountain, try to place it somewhere out of the way of snowdrifts, high winds areas that melt into stagnant pools.
Get Your Fountain Dry Ė But Keep Your Fountain Pump Wet
The key to keeping your outdoor fountain healthy through the winter is to keep it dry. Wipe it off and fill the basin with absorbent rags to prevent moisture from building up. If you do this while storing it somewhere where the temperature stays steady your fountain will last a long time. But while your fountain needs to stay dry, your fountain pump should stay submerged as much as possible to keep rubber elements from drying out. Clean your pump of any accumulated debris and put it in a bucket of water. Store this bucket in a location that never drops below freezing.
Can Your Fountain Work Indoors?
Many smaller outdoor fountains are actually dual use. You can plug them in indoors as well to enjoy their relaxing effects all year round. Check your fountain, but generally speaking, flat-bottomed or stub-footed water fountains that use household electricity, maintain regular water circulation and donít emit a heavy mist can be installed indoors. Place your fountain on a waterproof surface such as Plexiglas, slightly raised from the floor, and allow for several inches to a foot of clearance on all sides. Make sure you no children or pets will drink from the fountain (or in the case of pets, use a nontoxic additive, but donít let it become their regular water bowls!) and you can keep it running at room temperature through the winter. Indoor fountain maintenance is a simple process of keeping your fountain clean and maintaining water levels.