How to Clean an Outdoor Fountain
Keeping your fountain clean is an important part of prolonging the beauty of your fountain. You should give careful thought to where you want to place your fountain as placement can create different cleaning needs.
Placing a fountain under a tree can create problems with leaves, debris and pollen falling into the water. Leaves and debris can be drawn into the pump causing the water flow to decrease and the pump to work harder. To ensure long life of the pump, you want to make sure that the water inlet is free of debris by checking the pump frequently and removing any leaves or other debris from the water. Failure to do so can result in early pump breakdown. Pollen can cause discoloration of the water and staining of the fountain surface. However, placing a fountain in an open area with bright sunlight can create its own challenges.
Algae can form quickly in a fountain that is exposed to the bright sunlight.
These challenges, however, should not deter garden lovers from owning a fountain of their own. Keeping a fountain clean is quick and easy and can be done as part your regular yard maintenance.
Removing debris from the pump can be achieved easily by accessing the pump through the pump cover access door. Carefully pull the pump out through the door to allow two handed access. If your fountain has a disc that covers the pump inside the well, simply lift the disc off of the well to gain access to the pump. Remove any debris that has gathered around the water inlet. You may even use a garden hose to carefully rinse debris away. If your fountain is located under trees and there is a lot of debris getting into the pump, you may cover your pump with the foot of a pair of panty hose and secure it with a releasable zip tie or a small hose clamp. The panty hose will collect the debris and prevent it from entering the pump.
The best way to keep your water clean is to keep it circulating. Water left standing still can become stagnant, full of algae and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Should your water become very dirty, the best way to clean it is to empty the water out and refill with fresh water.
It is very important to note that bleach and algaecides can be harmful to the finish of the fountain as well as the pump itself. Therefore, it is not recommended to use either of these products to clean the fountain. Begin cleaning the fountain by carefully draining the dirty water out with a siphon or shop vac. Once the water is removed, using a hose run water over the basins and bowls of the fountains to remove any loose debris. Using a sponge or a very soft cleaning brush, you can brush away the remaining debris and dirt. Give the bowls and basins another rinse and then you can then refill your fountain.
It is important to note that there is a natural weathering process that happens with all cast stone ornamentation, including fountains. This process can add to the natural beauty of the piece as it ages over time. Other environmental factors such as hard water and acid rain can alter the look of the piece over time, but once again this can enhance the beauty of the piece through natural aging.
By maintaining your fountain, you will not only prolong the beauty, but the functionality of your fountain. For additional water clarity, these are many fountain cleaners that can be added to the water. It is important that you first check with the manufacturer of these cleaners to ensure they will not affect the integrity of the fountain and finish.