How to Protect Your Water Fountain in Autumn


As autumn is quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to do some preventative maintenance on your water fountain.  As the summery green slowly fades into a mirage of brilliant reds, starry yellows, and dusty oranges it is important to remember that your water fountain is in need of some TLC after working the long summer month’s uninterrupted. 

While fall weather is known to be cool and comfortable, it can also get chilly in the latter months depending on where you call home with temperatures dropping dramatically as fall proceeds.  This is why it is important to complete your maintenance before winter arrives.  Freezing temperatures can result in irreparable damage to your water fountain.  Frozen lines can crack and leave you unaware until next season. 

Water left in a basin has potential to crack your fountain.  Even the largest cast stone fountains face this threat of freezing water.  At the very least you could see significant wear on your ornaments.

Girona Water Fountain

Girona Water Fountain

Autumn is Here - Protect Your Water Fountain

Protecting your water feature comes down to one word - preparation.  There is a myriad of techniques to use to accomplish this protection and depending on the type and size of fountain you have, you may find one more suitable to your needs than another.  Here are some steps to consider:

Drain Your Fountain

OK, so this one isn't rocket science but you would be surprised by how many times freezing weather has caught an unsuspecting fountain owner off guard.  Draining your fountain is the first step to preventing freezing water from damaging your fountains components and it is by far the most important step of the entire process. 

Remove Your Pump

Removing your water pump is the next step in the autumn preparation process.  This will require some simple tools and shouldn't take longer than 10 - 20 minutes to complete.  Store your pump in a warm dry place away from moisture. 

While you have your pump out be sure to inspect it for any damage.  Change any filters that may be dirty and fully drain the pump.  Wipe your water pump down and allow it to dry completely before placing it in safe storage.  Remember, your water pump is one of the most expensive parts of a water feature, so be delicate while handling it and never place it anywhere it has potential to be knocked to the ground.  One hard fall is all it takes to do your water pump in permanently.

Move Your Fountain Indoors

If your fountain is movable, you should consider bringing it inside.  A shed or garage can make the perfect storage spot for a water fountain seeking refuge from the freezing weather.  Be sure to consult your fountains owner manual before moving it to be sure that you are aware of all the pieces and how they are connected before moving the unit.  You don’t want to move your fountain to have a piece fall and result in damage.

Water Fountain Cover

Water Fountain Covers

At a certain size, a fountain can be considered permanent.  These unmovable fountains require some form of protection to prevent them from filling with debris and rains. Fountain covers are a great option as they allow you to protect your investment when moving it is not a reasonable option. 

Fountain covers come in a variety of sizes and styles.  Be sure to measure your water fountain before you choose your cover.  You don’t want to order a cover that is too small or too large for your water feature. 

Wrap Your Fountain

You may find that it is more cost effective to wrap your water fountain.  This can be accomplished through different strategies but the most popular are to place blankets or other absorbent materials in the basin of your fountains and then cover the entire fountain with a tarp.  This isn't as customized as other options but it can get the job done in non-severe situations.

Longwood Arabesque Garden Water Fountain

Longwood Arabesque Garden Water Fountain

Lift the Basin

Lastly, you should consider lifting the base of your fountain from the ground.   The cool fall months can turn to freezing weather quickly and a basin sitting in a pool of water while this occurs is sure to receive some damage.

Autumn Water Fountain Prepping - Final Thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of the responsibilities that fountain ownership entails, you can set a schedule to keep your investment safe by following the tips in this guide.  Owning a water fountain is a privilege and you will benefit greatly from keeping your water feature in pristine condition.

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  • Catherine Sibi