When it comes to caring for a garden fountain, there are a lot of questions that often arise. These include what types of water to use, how often it needs water added, should the fountain run all the time, how to I make the water stay clear, how to I clean the fountain, is there a way to keep algae from growing, how much water should go into the fountain, and what if my pump stops working or makes a weird noise? In this article, we will try to answer some of these questions, and give you a little more knowledge about how to care for your water feature.
Fountains need water to run, this is the whole point of adding a fountain to your garden setting. It is always recommended to use distilled water in your fountains. This water is pure. This means there is no sediment allowing it to keep your fountain cleaner longer. If distilled water is not an option, try to use filtered water at least. Using plain tap water has a lot of mineral deposits in it that cause build up on your fountain and wearing out the pump. Using distilled water does not mean the water will stay clean; water that flows downward actually pulls in the dust and dirt from the air, in an effort to clean the air. When the water gets murky you know it is time to clean the fountain and change the water.
Another issue with water is knowing when to add water to your fountain. This will depend on many variables. For instance if there is very low humidity in the air and the temperature is high, the water will be absorbed much faster, meaning water will need to be added more frequently. Also, if the fountain is in direct sunlight all day, it will also evaporate faster. If you leave the fountain turned on all the time, the water circulation will also allow water to evaporate faster as it covers more surface area. It is best to pay attention during the first few days and weeks of running your fountain to learn when and how much water to add.
Another question often asked is if the fountain can be left running. The easy answer is yes; by leaving the fountain on it allows the pump to experience no wear and tear from turning it on and off. Running the fountain continuously does not give build up time to settle because the water is never stagnant.
Cleaning the fountain and dealing with algae and buildup is another issue that needs to be dealt with. If the fountain is in the sunlight algae will be an issue. There are products that can be added to fountain water to prevent the growth of algae, but this can be dangerous for fish, pets, and even humans. So be careful when it comes to your pets or kids and these products. Otherwise simply cleaning the fountain periodically will have to do. You can use any basic household cleaner and a soft brush or cloth. It is a good idea to drain the fountain once a month, clean it, and refill with distilled water. You never want to use an abrasive product as this can damage your finish.
Finally, there are often a lot of concerns about the pump of the fountain. Often if the water level is too low, the pump will begin to make a loud noise. Simply add water to your fountain to the appropriate level and it will stop. Pumps do wear out eventually; they are not made to last forever. It is best to never let your pump wear out, and keep them free from debris to keep them running for as long as possible. If the pump is completely dead, it is easy to replace though. They can be found online as well as in a lot of garden centers that carry fountains.
These should give you a good start to caring for your fountain. Properly maintaining a fountain will ensure it lasts a long time running in top form! Don’t forget to check out our fountain accessories section for fountain covers for winterizing!
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team