Fall can be just as busy as springtime in the garden because it’s a transition period where you have to get everything prepared and protected for winter. If you have a water fountain, let’s learn how to winterize it properly! Follow the steps in this feature to learn how to properly winterize your water fountain before our freezing Edmonton winter temperatures set in.
Winterizing Garden Fountains: How It’s Done
It’s important to make sure your fountain is drained of all water before temperatures dip below freezing. This prevents cracks from forming in the fountain’s basin as water freezes, melts, contracts, and expands.
Step One: Unplug and Clean the Fountain Pump
Unplug your pump and protect the cord—if possible, remove the pump from the fountain. Leaving the pump in your fountain through late fall and winter can be risky if water enters the basin. Open the pump for cleaning and remove any gunk and debris with a cloth soaked in soapy, warm water. If the algae is especially thick and grimy on the pump, soak it in a solution of hot water and vinegar for one hour. Toothbrushes are helpful for scrubbing hard-to-reach places.
Clear out the pump tube by blasting the hose through it. Thoroughly rinse and dry all the parts of the pump before safely storing them away for the winter. If you have a tiered fountain, it’s a good idea to disassemble it at the end of the fall and store it in the garage.
Step Two: Drain the Water from the Fountain
If your fountain has a quick drain feature, use it to release the water reserve. If not, then bail out the water with a cup or scoop.
Step Three: Clean the Inside of the Fountain
Scrub the inside of the fountain basin with a gentle scrub brush and soapy water to remove any built-up, grime or gunk. Rinse it clean to remove any soap residue. Then, rinse the basin with a vinegar and water solution, and let it sit for ten minutes; this helps to remove calcium and lime buildup. Scrub the basin to really work in the vinegar solution, then rinse, and dry.
Step Four: Line the Basin
Putting some old towels or burlap sacks in the fountain basin can help prevent damage if water finds its way inside over the winter. They’ll absorb the excess moisture, preventing it from soaking into pores or cracks and making them worse. Avoid using vinegar solutions on copper fountains, as this will spoil the pretty metal finish.
Step Five: Cover Your Fountain
Putting on a fountain cover is arguably the most important step because after you’ve figured out how to winterize your fountain, you need to prevent more water from entering. While you can easily store smaller fountains away for the season, larger fountains that you can’t move will require a well-fitting cover. Depending on size, you could use a patio furniture cover or bbq cover if in a pinch.
If you have any further questions about how to winterize your water features in Alberta, or if you need any supplies to get the job done, feel free to contact or visit Salisbury Landscaping. Our team will be happy to help you through all the necessary steps to ensure your fountains and other water features are protected throughout winter.