Water Fountain Troubleshooting Guide

Frequently Asked Indoor, Outdoor, and Wall Fountain Questions

Below you will find some commonly asked questions by our customers regarding indoor and outdoor water fountains. If you don’t see a question below that relates to yours, you can Contact Us and we will be happy to help!

Q: What is this white stuff that is forming on my water fountain?

A: If you are using hard water as opposed to distilled water, this is called White Scale, or Lime Deposits. It is caused by chemicals in hard tap water, and usually forms along where the water sits on the fountain. White Scale deposits can be stubborn to remove but you can use CLR (calcium lime remover) commonly found in a hardware or discount store, or a mixture of vinegar and water. To prevent hard water stains (white scale) from forming use Protec fountain care.

Q: Why does my fountain smell?

A: The most common reason for an odor coming from your water fountain is that it needs to be cleaned. It probably has algae growing in it. Although water fountains are fairly low maintenance, they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid algae growth which leads to a smelly water fountain. Read our Water Fountain Cleaning Guide for more on cleaning water fountains. You can also purchase one of many fountain care products to prevent and prolong algae build up in your fountains. This does not make cleaning unnecessary but you may be able to go longer between cleanings. You should be completely emptying and cleaning your water fountain every 2-4 months. I think more often is better if you have a smaller tabletop fountain that is easy to clean.

Q: My water fountain is making a spitting sound and not pumping water very well, or running very loudly, what is wrong with it?

A: This is most likely a sign that there is not enough water in your fountain. Depending on the humidity level in the air, your fountain may need to be filled as often as every day, or as little as once a week. Be sure your indoor and outdoor fountains have enough water to cover the entire pump, best to even be sure there is 2 inches of water over the fountain's pump.

If adding water did not help, another factor to consider is that the pump may not be positioned properly causing it to vibrate. If your fountain has suction cups, you can use them to position your pump securely or use foam strips. You can also use a Scotch Brite pad or other type of sponge tied around the pump to keep from vibrating.

If none of the above works, and your pump is still performing poorly, it could be that it is dirty, clogged, or has mineral deposits inside. Remove the pump and clean it using the directions on our Water Fountain Cleaning Guide. Also, keep in mind that fountain pumps are actually designed to run 24/7, so turning them on and off a lot is hard on the pump, and will decrease the life of your pump.

Q: My water fountain is splashing, is this normal?

A: Depending on the type of fountain you purchased, this may or may not be normal. Most fountains that are designed for outdoor use may splash some, but indoor fountains are engineered not to splash. If you experience splashing, a few things you can check are the water level, pump speed, and the positioning of any rocks or splash guards.

If the water level of your fountain is too low, and the pump is exposed, the pump will take in air and cause a spitting/splashing effect. Most fountain pumps have an adjustable flow control. Check this as you may have yours set too high for your particular fountain, which would cause the water to come out too quickly and cause splashing.

If you have rocks in the basin of your fountain, the water could be bouncing off the rocks. Try to rearrange the rocks for a better flow into the base of your fountain. One other tip, if you are using a outdoor style waterfall indoors, you may want to cut a screen to place in the basin so that once the water falls into the basin it will not bounce back out and onto the floor.

Q: What do I do in the winter months with my outdoor fountain?

A: If you live in a climate where the temperature gets below freezing in the winter, you will either need to bring your outdoor fountain in or completely drain and cover it. Water can not stay in your fountains and be allowed to freeze. The freezing and thawing of water inside your water feature could cause the fountain to crack. If the fountain pump is allowed to sit in the fountain in ice this could cause pump damage as well.

Fountain covers work exceptionally well and will protect your fountain. No matter what you plan to do with your fountain in the winter months it must be drained completely and dried out. You can get more tips in our Outdoor Fountain Care and Maintenance Guide.



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