Consider the following points in deciding whether to run your feature all winter or shut it down:
- Can you view your feature from the inside during the cold months? If not, it may not be worth the maintenance to keep it running.
- How do you feel about going outside periodically to fill the feature and check for ice dams?
- Do you have a way to fill the feature over the winter? You will need to have a hose ready and thawed and a spigot that can be used.
- Will you be in town to monitor your feature? Many things can happen very quickly over the winter that may need attention such as power outages that could cause your feature's tubing to freeze and crack.
- Keep in mind that water feature pumps are designed to run continuously. In our experience, not running a pump during the winter tends to shorten it's life span.
If you decide to shut down your water feature, follow these steps to complete the process...
To Shut Down Your Feature for Winter:
- Leave your feature running until all the leaves have fallen
- Disconnect your pump. If installed properly, there should be a rubber boot or union fitting that disconnects from the pipe that feeds your return line (that goes to your waterfall.) There will be a check valve assembly or plumbing assembly (set of pipe and fittings) that stays connected to your pump. Click here for a video tutorial.
- Clean any debris from the pump intake and place the pump completely submerged in a 5 gallon bucket of distilled water in a freeze proof location. Check the water level in the bucket every so often over the winter. The pump needs to stay submerged in order to keep the seals inside the pump moist. (Magnetic drive pumps or asynchronous pumps do not need to be stored in water.) Click here for video instruction of cleaning your pump.
- If you have a skimmer and/or waterfall filter, remove the filter media, clean the media, and store inside for winter.
- If you have a pond with fish, install an aerator or deicer to keep a hole in the ice for gas exchange.
Also, NEVER leave your pump in your pond if it is not running. This could cause damage leading to expensive repairs if still connected and even if the pump is not connected, the cold water can be detrimental to your pump if it is not running.
If you have decided to keep your water feature running, check out these tips here.
901 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227
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