The time has come to winterize your outdoor water features. Night temperatures descending into the low 30s can put your pumps, hoses, and other water fixtures at an increased risk. Save yourself the hassle of replacing everything with new equipment in the spring, and do your winterizing now. Whether you have a waterfall, stream, or fountain, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize damage and keep your equipment functioning for many years.
First, be sure that your pumps have been turned off and disconnected from their power source. Any streams should be free of leaves and debris. Cover and stake them down with netting to catch fallen leaves, so they don’t build up over the winter and become a nuisance. Clear all plants (aquatic and otherwise) away from the area. If you plan to keep some of your more delicate aquatic plants over the winter, here is a resource with a few tips to keep them safe inside your home until the spring. If you have purchased annual water plants, they can be composted.
Next, drain your fixture and lines of all water to avoid cracking from the fluctuating temperatures. Any moisture left inside can expand and contract this time of year, causing problems down the line. Clean your fixtures with a water & vinegar mixture or algaecide to remove the dirt and slime and then give them a final rinse. Be sure to do this prior to a frost so that any moisture left inside the lines and smaller parts has a chance to evaporate if they are going to be outdoors.
Removing your pump for the duration of the winter is the best way to ensure that it will maintain its longevity. When water pumps freeze, pressure from outside the pump’s casing causes cracks, allowing water to penetrate the interior. Electrical lines and other working parts can become damaged if subjected to moisture. If your outdoor fountains or concrete statues cannot be disassembled and moved indoors, then cover them with a waterproof tarp or fountain cover to prevent moisture from getting in and freezing.
With winter on the way, it’s time to drain and clean your waterfalls, streams, and fountains in preparation for our longest season. We’re here to help answer any questions you might have about the winterization process for your water features.