Outdoor Fountain Care & Repair: Maintenance of Garden Fountains

We have compiled your frequently asked questions about outdoor fountain care!  We think you will find some helpful tips dbl-oblique-with-ball-2.jpgabout outdoor fountain maintenance.

How do I clean my outdoor water fountain?
Keeping an outdoor fountain clean is a bit more of a challenge than an indoor model. Inside, a fountain is subjected mostly to dust and fingerprints, but an outdoor fountain is open to the wind, leaves, dirt, animals, rain and snow, depending on your geographical climate.

To clean the pump thoroughly, take it right out and wipe any debris or build-up from it with a cloth. Open the cover and wipe down the inside of the pump as well. Any hard-to-reach areas can be cleaned out with an old toothbrush. Just a few minutes of pump maintenance will keep your fountain running smoothly, and beautifully, for a long time to come.  You can use fountain cleaning and care products to prolong the build up and algae as well.

When buying a outdoor water fountains, make sure it’s been made specifically for that purpose. You want to make sure the fountain is up to the wear and tear of climate conditions. After particularly windy or rainy days, check the fountain for leaves that may have blown into the base. Shut the fountain off and remove the pump for inspection as well. It’s possible that the pump is getting clogged with debris. Keeping that pump clear and free of leaves, dirt, and anything else that might get stuck in it is important for its longevity.

Should I clean my outdoor water fountain every day?

main-wb-cfe-98557-01.jpgFountain Care care takes a little more effort than the traditional in-home fountain. Besides the natural weather elements, there are also birds to consider. They’re beautiful and they add a lot to the atmosphere of an outdoor water fountain, but they make an unsanitary mess. For this reason, if you’ve chosen a garden fountain that will also double as a bird bath, it’s important to monitor the water and change it often.

Worried about the health and safety of the wild flocks that gather around your garden fountain? If you’re choosing all natural cleansing products, you have nothing to worry about. When shopping for outdoor fountain care products and cleansers, read the bottle to be sure they’re safe to use wherever there’s a risk that wildlife, pets, or children will come into contact with it.

For the best results, and to make sure the birds keep visiting the outdoor water fountain on a regular basis, take the time to empty the water out of the fountain’s reservoir daily or at least every other day. Simply empty the water, brush the reservoir with a stiff brush, rinse, and add fresh water. Of course, not everyone has the time to do this everyday. If water is going to be sitting stagnant in the water fountain for any length of time, add algae removal or inhibitors to keep the water fresh and clean.

How do I prevent and remove algae from my garden fountain?
With a couple drops of algaecide, you can prevent or eliminate algae from ever inhabiting your fountain.

Does where I place my outdoor water fountain have anything to do with how easy it will be to maintain?
In addition to regular fountain cleaning, there are a few things you can do to ensure your outdoor water fountain doesn’t suffer undue stress or wear and tear from the elements. The trick to finding the perfect spot for your outdoor water fountain is locating a spot that’s visible (there’s no sense hiding the water fountain behind overgrown shrubs), but not in the way of heavy foot traffic. If the water fountain is installed in a particularly dry, dusty area, you’ll be spending more time keeping it clean.

Perhaps you don’t have a backyard or a cottage, but plan on setting up your outdoor fountain on your patio. For people who live in cities and lack their own personal garden space, creating an oasis on the patio is a great idea. Soft pillows, plants, and outdoor water fountains can go a long way in absorbing noise pollution. Unfortunately, the fountain won’t be able to deflect pollution.

No matter where you install your outdoor water fountain, it’s important to keep an eye on it periodically and keep it away from areas where it could become damaged. If you live in a busy neighborhood, make sure your fountain isn’t in the direct path of flying objects such as rogue baseballs, for example.
What's the most important thing to know in order to keep my fountain working properly for a long time?
Fountain pumps are the heart and soul of any indoor or outdoor water fountain. It doesn’t matter what the water fountains are made of, what size they are, or how much they cost. Submersible pumps are what make them tick, or, more accurately, flow. 

The secret to keeping your fountain in perfect working condition is in the pump. There’s no big secrecy around it. It’s really just a matter of common sense and basic know-how. 

Indoor fountain pumps have somewhat different maintenance needs than their outdoor  counterparts. For example, outdoor fountain pumps are more susceptible to becoming clogged with debris blown into the fountain by Mother Nature herself. They need to be taken right out of the fountain and periodically cleaned. That means that all debris (dirt, sand, leaves, grass, etc) should we wiped out of the fountain regularly. Indoor fountain pumps aren’t exposed to harsh weather conditions, but may need to be adjusted or calibrated slightly (depending on the style of fountain) to adjust the noise level and make the most of the harmonious water sounds coming from the fountain. 

It should be noted that indoor and outdoor water fountains are virtually maintenance free leaving minimal work on fountain pumps. However, the small amount of work required should be done to keep the fountain working effectively.
How can I add to the look and feel of my outdoor fountain?
Part of outdoor fountain care includes pump maintenance, but also involves making sure you’re well stocked on supplies, accessories, and garden décor to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor fountain.
Garden fountain parts generally include the outdoor water fountain itself, the pump, perhaps a mirror, and tiers that are either built together as one part, or assembled separately. Once your garden fountain is up and running, the majority of maintenance is going to come from stocking up on supplies, keeping the water clean, and making sure the pump isn’t clogged with debris.
Garden fountain accessories include any types of water filters, water purifiers, fountain misters, glass cleaner, fountain lights, wireless remote control, and stones (colored or natural). Keeping the fountain water clean and clear may take a little practice and adjustment. Different water and environmental conditions will affect the right amount of water treatment to use.
In addition to that beautiful garden fountain, think about the type of frame you want surrounding it. Will the outdoor fountain be nestled snuggly amid flowering bushes and vines, or will it complement a walkway? Will the outdoor fountain be a wall fountain hung from the side of the home, or used in a commercial setting in the middle of a paved parking lot? Once the location for the outdoor fountain has been determined, start adding accessories (where appropriate) to finish the look. For example, a hand painted welcome sign and a gently flowing water fountain adds traditional class to the look of your property.

Will my outdoor fountain blow over in heavy winds?

You can seal the top of the outdoor water fountain to the basin if you have heavy winds in your area. You can use the sealant, Silicone II, which is sold at Lowes or Home Depot.
Step 1) Level your fountain first. 
Step 2) Silicone the bottom of the top piece by tipping the fountain gently, and then filling all the openings with silicone when you set the fountain down. Silicone II acts as an adhesive and has been proven to hold 800 lbs of water.

What do I do if I have a leak in my fountain? 
If the base leaks without a visible crack, please let the fountain sit for one week and the crack will appear white. This is to test that a crack exists. Always keep water in outdoor water fountains ¾ full as it does evaporate! A pin hole leak can be covered up with Clear Silicone II on the inside of the piece.  (This applies to fiberglass or stone fountains)

What is this white residue on my fountain and how do I get rid of it?
This is called white scale, it is a calcium buildup that develops from hard water.   A simple solution: 1) Try to remove it by using white vinegar (rubbing gently) and running the fountain afterwards to see the white wash away. Water carries molecules and can wash away the free deposits.  There are also some great fountain care products to help prevent this.  A product such as White Scale Control or Fountain Cleanser will help keep your water clean.

Winter Care - What do I do with my outdoor fountain to prepare for cold winter months?
During winter months, before the temperature hits freezing, drain your outdoor water fountain; unplug the pump (store pump in heated area) and cover the fountain. The fountain itself will not freeze as most outdoor fountains contain fiberglass that withstands the cold.  You don't want to have water left in your fountain when it freezes as it could expand and contract causing it to crack.  For more detail see Winterizing Outdoor Water Fountains.

How do I repair chips in the stone of my Trevi Fountain?
To repair minor chips and scrapes, please use Trevi’s patch and color kit. If you did not receive a kit, please contact Trevi.

How do I insert the rubber plug on the Stone Trevi Fountains?
When inserting the black rubber plug, please fill it up with plumbers putty for a secure fit.

Water seems to be repelling off my fountain, what can I do?
If the water is repelling off the fountain, it is the sealer. You can remove it by wiping the sealant off with a damp terry cloth towel.  (This tip applies to cast stone outdoor fountains that have a sealant or stain such as the Trevi and Henri Studios garden fountains)

Why aren't the lights in my outdoor fountain working anymore?
Once your new outdoor water fountain has been installed in the garden, it’s easy to forget about the necessity of keeping the water clean and clear. This is especially true if you happen to live in an area that boasts a mild and easy climate. In the midst of a rain and wind storm, hail and snow storm, or any other natural weather phenomena, you might pause and remember that your outdoor water fountain is going to need some tender loving care. Otherwise, life takes over and you may not think about it all that often.

If your outdoor fountain has built-in water fountain lighting, you’ll soon wonder what’s happening when the lights begin to dim. If the water is green and murky, the built in lighting isn’t going to be able to shine through. Isn’t that why you bought that particular outdoor fountain in the first place? Having built-in water fountain lighting may have been the final selling factor when you were out shopping for outdoor water fountains. Why let the water become so cloudy that you can’t enjoy some of the fountain’s best features?

Use specially designed water fountain cleaning supplies and products to keep your fountain looking as beautiful as when you first brought it home.

You will find more general fountain answers in our Fountain Care and Maintenance section and view entire Tips and Advice Center for some great fountain tips! 

Author: , Net Health Shops, LLC