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Maintenance of Outdoor Water Fountains

Answers to Common Questions & Troubleshooting Issues

A water fountain is a great way to add both beauty and sound to your outdoor living space. You can find a wide variety of outdoor fountain options, including many for sale right here at Treescapes. In addition to the wonderful ambiance they can bring to an outdoor environment, what is also wonderful about water fountains is that they are quite low maintenance.

The primary maintenance you will need to take of is to make sure your water fountain is cleaned regularly, about once every 2-4 months. Cleaning your water fountain involves two components: the fountain and its pump. For thorough instructions on how to clean both your fountain and its pump, check out our step-by-step cleaning instructions.

Troubleshooting Common Water Fountain Issues

White stuff

If you are using hard water in your outdoor fountain, the white material that could be forming on your fountain is White Scale or Lime Deposits. These result from chemicals that are in hard tap water and usually occur where the water sits on the fountain. They can be difficult to remove. Try cleaning your water fountain using a solution like CLR (calcium lime remover) or a mixture of vinegar and water.

Bad odor

If you notice a bad smell coming from your water fountain, that is probably an indication of algae growth. Cleaning your fountain and pump should resolve the issue. If this problem persists, increase the frequency of how often you clean it to once every month.

Spitting water

If you see that your outdoor fountain seems to be making a spitting sound and not pumping water very well, this may mean you just don’t have enough water in it. Check to make sure the water level is high enough to cover the entire pump. Ideally, the water line is 2 inches above the top of the fountain’s pump. If adding more water doesn’t remedy the problem, check to ensure the pump is properly situated. You can use something like a sponge or soft scrubbing pad to secure to the pump to help keep it from vibrating.

If you’ve tried all the above actions and your outdoor fountain is still not operating properly, it may be dirty, clogged, or has mineral deposits. Remove the pump and clean it.

Problems with algae in water fountains

Finding algae in a water fountain is not that uncommon of an occurrence. But fortunately, it is not a problem that is hard to fix nor hard to prevent.  Keeping your fountain clean is the best way to treat and to prevent algae growth. Another way to prevent algae is to move your fountain to a shady location. Algae growth occurs when nutrients are exposed to light, so eliminating sun exposure to your fountain may greatly decrease your issues with algae growth.

Should I leave my water fountain on all the time?

Yes. Water fountain pumps are designed to run all the time. Turning them on and off frequently can wear it down and decrease the life of your pump.

Winterizing: What do I do with my outdoor fountain in the winter?

fountain3 Medium - Maintenance of Outdoor Water FountainsSince the Wichita area can expect to see temperatures dip below freezing in the winter, you do need to take steps to make sure your water fountain is cared for during our cold weather months.

If it’s small enough for you to bring inside your home or garage, drain it and move it inside before the first frost. If you can’t bring it in, empty it entirely of water and cover it. You cannot let water remain in your fountain over the winter. The wide swing of temperatures we experience in Kansas over the winter will cause the water in your fountain to freeze and thaw, expanding and contracting. This may cause your fountain to crack. Also, if your pump is left to sit in ice, it could become cracked or damaged. Draining all the water out and putting a cover on your fountain will provide great protection over the winter.

Need help? Ask the Outdoor Living Experts

Whether you’re looking to find the right outdoor fountain or have more questions on its care and maintenance, you can always contact us at Treescapes for help! Stop by our showroom anytime to see what fountain options are right for your backyard.

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