No matter how serene-looking and tranquil-sounding your fountain may be, the beautiful features will not last if it is not given the proper care. Water fountains rely mainly on submersible water pumps for constant circulation of its water to prevent algae build-up and stagnation. Even so, your fountain can accumulate mineral deposits and debris; hence, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure smooth operation.
Here is a DIY procedure on water fountain maintenance:
1. Make sure that the water pump is covered by water at all times, by checking the water level frequently and adding water as needed. If possible, use distilled water to reduce amount of mineral build-up in the fountain and on the water pump.
2. Use a small net to remove debris such as leaves, twigs, and insects from the water several times a week. Remember to check the water pump, as well, and remove any debris that could cause clogs and prevent it from circulating water properly.
3. Unplug the pump and drain water from the fountain at least once a month or when the water starts to get dirty. Most fountains have a small plug at the bottom that allows for easy draining. If not, you can scoop or siphon the water with a tubing piece.
4. Remove the pump from the fountain. To loosen tough mineral stains, soak in a 50% solution of diluted distilled white vinegar. For the outside, wipe it with a soft cloth.
5. Remove the pump cover and use your hands to remove large debris from the inside. With an old toothbrush, clean and remove all algae deposits and mineral build-up in those hard to reach areas. After which, rinse thoroughly and replace the pump cover.
6. Scrub the inside of the fountain with a stiff-bristled scrub brush, hot water, and mild dish detergent. If needed, vinegar can also be used to soak off mineral stains or baking soda to act as a mild abrasive to loosen and lift stains.
7. Rinse the fountain’s inside thoroughly by using a rag to make sure that its walls are completely free of detergent.
8. Replace the plug and fill the fountain, if possible, with distilled water as it contains fewer minerals than tap water. As larger fountains need a lot of water, add a few teaspoons of chlorine bleach to the tap water or treat it with a fountain enzyme products made specifically for mineral and algae build-up prevention. For smaller fountains, use only about one teaspoon of bleach.
9. Place the pump back in the water, plug it into an electrical outlet and turn on for water circulation to begin.
10. If you live in a location with frost danger wherein you can’t operate the fountain year round, it’s ideal to drain, clean, disassemble, and store your fountain indoors from early fall to spring.
Even before deciding to install a fountain for your garden, you have been already made aware of the water fountain maintenance responsibility that comes with it. Yes, the process of doing so may sound like a chore, but thinking of the end result should be enough to give you the motivation to get through with it.