Shorter days and chilly nights point to that time of year... winter. Although winter has a few low points, it also affords many bonuses. Things such as good books in front of crackling fires, family game nights, hot cocoa, snowflakes lazily falling through the air, and of course my personal favorite... Christmas!
Before any of this can happen though, we have to prepare our homes for the freezing temps. Of the different things that we need to winterize, our garden fountains are one of the most crucial. If you fail to winterize your water feature, water could freeze inside the pump. The result is that it will crack and damage the vital parts that make the machine operate correctly. If you damage the pump, it may have to be replaced. Fountains that have concrete or cast stone parts are also at a higher risk of cracking.
Follow these 10 quick and easy steps:
Unplug the pump from the electrical source. Trace cord back through landscaping to fountain
Carefully scrape back the stone that covers the top of the aquabasin and locate one of the removable grates. ***Illustrated at the right is a picture of an aquabasin that is similar to the one that you have located directly under your fountain. (Note: two of the sides have grates that can be removed for access to area below. This area houses the pump and other plumbing).
Remove the grate to expose the pump below.
Lift pump out of the aquabasin
Locate the hose clamp near the top of the pump.
With a regular screwdriver, loosen the hose clamp.
Carefully disconnect the pump from the flexable hose.
Replace hose into aquabasin and place grate back over the opening.
Recover the grate with stone.
Store the pump in a safe and dry location (garages and basements work best).
*** If you have a fountain that could potentially hold water through the winter (such as an urn or large piece of pottery), you may want to remove it or cover it with either a fountain cover, or wrap it with a tarp and secure the tarp so it does not blow away.***
It's that simple! Stay tuned for tips in the spring to ready your water feature for another year of enjoyment.
If you have a waterfall, please click the link below to find out how to winterize it.