Updated: Dec 31, 2022
When we purchased a large fountain for our front garden I never stopped to think about how I would protect my fountain during the winter, and I must admit finding a resource with that information was a little bit hard.
We love our fountain in our garden, but as a friend recently related to me, a swimming pool takes much less care. Let’s hope you’ve enjoyed your fountain all spring, summer and fall, and now as the temperature starts to drop you need to make sure it’s winterized so you can enjoy it next season. If you’re like me, you probably waited until the first extremely cold night of the season which this year in South Carolina is occurring a little late on December first. You might think it’s a great idea to continue running your fountain through the winter and that the fountain won’t freeze since it’s moving water, but it will if it gets cold enough. Plus, the mist from the fountain will find its way into the cracks and crevices of your concrete, freeze and begin cracking the surface.
To begin winterizing your fountain first take a bucket and bail as much of the water out as you can. My handy-dandy helpful hint for getting the rest of the water out is to use a battery powered leaf blower. Now, I may have risked electrocution by doing this but what is life if you don’t live a little bit dangerously. Try not to get the blower too wet. Simply blow as much of the water out as you can but make sure you’re wearing clothes that can get a little bit damp. Then, stuff the fountain with towels to remove any remaining moisture. I’d recommend doing this as early in the day as possible so that the sun can dry up any remaining water. Once your fountain is totally dry cover it with either a small tarp or store-bought fountain cover, which is what I did.
If your fountain is small enough to disassemble, simply disassemble it and store it dry in a garage or closet. Also, if you can remove your pump that is a way to make sure that the pump will last much longer. Not only can ice damage the surface of your fountain but it can also damage the pump permanently if the pump should freeze.
You might want to consider cleaning your fountain at this point as well. A solution of white vinegar should clean most of the scale and build up from the fountain, but if that doesn’t do a good enough job certainly you can use a solution of bleach. Just make sure to protect any plants or pets. A light pressure washer can also work well to remove any surface debris. Just make sure not to damage your finish. You don’t want to use harsh algicide or scale remover as it can damage the fountain surface and the surrounding environment.