Frigid Cold Temps: Do I Turn Off My Pond Fountain or Keep It Running?
As temperatures drop below freezing we often get asked “what should we do with our floating fountains? When it comes to protecting your fountain you really have two options for periods of extended sub-freezing weather where your pond is experiencing a true hard freeze with considerable surface ice. If your fountain runs 24 hours a day you can just leave it that way.
If you currently run your fountain on a timer and have it come on and off each day, you will have to make a decision. Either set the timer to allow it to run 24/7 or turn it off until the hard freeze is over. When a fountain timer is set turn a fountain off at night, during the cold winter months, the water around the fountain motor can freeze and prevent the fountain shaft and propeller from moving when the fountain tries to restart the next morning. You can turn off your fountain completely until the threat of consistent below-freezing temperatures has passed. The fountain will be safe floating amongst the ice and should return to normal operation once the ice has melted and it is restarted. The other option is to reset your timer to allow the fountain run on 24/7 and not turn it off at all during consistent sub-freezing weather. The fountain will create enough flow to prevent any ice buildup around the critical moving parts of the fountain. Ice may still build up around the fountain float while it is running, but this will not cause any internal damage to the fountain.
There is one solid and tested solution for keeping a fountain running through the bitter months of winter regardless of how cold it gets. Bottom diffused aeration systems make a perfect companion to a fountain. When placed directly under a fountain, the constant stream of air will prevent the water directly around the fountain from freezing all winter. This coupling of aeration systems will keep your beautiful fountain running all year long, and will also provide a dramatic increase in water quality due to the supplemental benefits of bottom diffused aeration.
Even if you forget to do either, the fountain controls have overload protection that will cause the fountain to shut down after a few seconds if the propeller and shaft are unable to turn. However, even with this protection in place, it still puts a strain on the motor that could cause issues if this were to happen too frequently. Also, once this occurs, a manual reset will be required to have the fountain come back on, and if you are not familiar enough with the fountain controls, this will require a service call from us to restart it for you.
As always, if you have any questions, we are available to help you.