Warm weather is in the air and it's time to get outdoor water fountains out of storage and running regularly. You could just take the fountain out, fill it and be done, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee that your fountain will last as long as it could if you were to take just a few more steps when setting it up again. There is an efficient way to properly care for your fountain that will lengthen the lifespan of your fountain. This involves cleaning, filling and using an additive in the water to help prevent mold, lime, etc.
Step 1: Take the Fountain Out of Storage
Whether your fountain was covered or stored in a garage or shed, the first step is to remove the fountain from storage. When you stored your fountain, you likely completely emptied it, to prevent water from freezing, cleaned it and placed it where it would remain dry for the cooler season. Upon removing it, inspect the fountain for any holes or cracks. If there are none, proceed. If there appears to be a crack or pinhole, seal it with a silicone compound and allow that to dry before you proceed.
Step 2: Clean the Fountain Pump
Unlike indoor water fountain pumps, outdoor pumps are often subject to the outdoor factors: dirt, leaves, grass, wildlife, weather and numerous other factors that can take their toll; so it is important to remove and clean the pump regularly. To clean your pump, follow these steps:
- Place your pump in the sink and remove the back (most pumps have a removable face).
- Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to get into the smaller holes of the pump.
- Place the face cover back on the pump and hook it back up. If possible it is also ideal to clean the hose as well.
Step 3: Clean the Fountain
Even while in storage, fountains will likely collect dust and cleaning the tiers, bowls or parts of your fountain is a great way to make it look like new again. You can clean smaller fountains in a sink or use a bucket of water for larger fountains. To wipe down the fountain, use a nonabrasive sponge and a mild detergent. Scrub until any algae or white scale buildup is gone. Next, rinse the pan by wiping it with clean rags and cloths, and add the clean pump. For more information view our fountain cleaning guide.
Step 4: Fill and Inspect for Leaks
Filling the fountain is the next step. If you find it seems to be leaking once you run it, it may be a result of too much water. Try removing some of the water in the fountain and run the water feature again. If the leak persists, turn off the fountain, dry it and find the pinhole or crack. Cracks or pinholes are easier to spot when it is completely dry. If there appears to be a crack or pinhole where the leak was, seal it with a silicone compound and allow that to dry before you run the fountain again.
Step 5: Add Algae Preventing Additives
Once your fountain is filled, and you have either fixed any cracks or pinholes or found no pinholes, you can add an algae control or white scale control additive to help keep your fountain free of algae and white scale buildup. Just adding the recommended amount of the additive will help keep your fountain clean and help your outdoor fountain last longer.
Some of the best algae or white scale control products are:
- FounTec Algaecide and Clarifier
- Controls green water and string algae in outdoor fountains and ponds
- EPA registered so it will control, kill and inhibit algae without harsh chemicals.
- Safe for birds, plants and animals but not for fish.
- Also helps keep water mosquito-free.
- Protec Scale and Stain Remover
- Removes and prevents white calcium, iron, copper and manganese stains.
- Monthly water treatments will keep water clean.
- Safe for birds, plants and animals, including fish.
- Large or Small Fountain Cleanser
- Prevents sludge, ammonia, cloudy water and mineral deposits.
- Keeps pumps and water lines free from organic buildup.
- Natural food-grade enzymes break down fountain contaminates.
- Safe for wildlife, aquatic life, and pets when used as directed.
Once your outdoor fountain is assembled, cleaned, filled and the water is treated with an additive, it is ready to run! Taking these steps, and regular cleaning and water treatments (when a lot of water is added to the fountain) will help prolong the life of your outdoor fountain resulting in years of enjoyment.
Our goal is to ensure your fountains last. If you don't find an answer to your question here, please call one of our fountain experts at 1-888-881-4668. Or, you could check out some other helpful pages:
Definitive Guide to Fountain Care
Water Fountain Troubleshooting Guide
Wall Fountain Cleaning Guide
Time to Clean Your Outdoor Fountains