A water feature is a great way to add some elegance to your garden. They look great and the trickling sound of the water is calming. However, it can be difficult to keep them clean especially with outdoor fountains that are large. To maintain the beauty of your fountain it is best to have a regular routine in place. This will save you having to do a big clean and help it remain an asset and attractive feature to your garden for many years to come.
What steps can you take to maintain your outdoor fountain?
Little and often is a good room of thumb when it philosophy when it comes to taking care of your fountain. If you do a little bit of work often then it will make a big difference to the longevity of your fountain and will stop it becoming an eyesore. Keep your fountain circulating constantly to avoid algae build-up. This will help your water stay clean and sparkling. It is also worth keeping an eye on the water levels to ensure the pump is fully submerged as this keeps it efficient and can prevent overheating. Using distilled water in your fountain is a great way to limit mineral residue in the pump and fountain. You can buy distilled water from a store like Golyath, or distill it yourself using a water distiller. Adding a couple of teaspoons of chlorine will have a similar effect. To keep your fountain running smoothly and prevent blockages that could hinder its performance, it is worth clearing out any debris such as twigs, leaves and insects. Use a net to do this a few times a week and make sure there is no stones or dirt in the pump. Debris can build up and prevent proper water circulation. You should take similar steps with ponds, submersible well pumps, aquatic planters or other water features.
Cleaning your fountain
Even if you take care of your fountain properly, eventually it will need to be cleaned. A weekly maintenance routine just makes deep cleans that much easier. Drain the water from your fountain once a month or whenever it looks dirty. Unplug the pump before you do this. Most fountains have a plug to make this easy but if yours doesn’t use a bucket to scoop out the water or siphon it using tubing. Take the pump out and submerse it in a solution that is 50% water and 50% white vinegar. This will remove any stubborn mineral stains. Leave to soak and then wipe down with a clean cloth. Take off the pump cover and remove any twigs, stones or mud from inside it. Small deposits of algae and grime can be loosened with an old tooth brush or small scrubbing brush. Rinse thoroughly and replace the cover.
Copper fountains can be cleaned with furniture polish and a soft cloth, while all other fountains can be cleaned with mild dish detergent, hot water and a hard bristled scrubbing brush. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Soak any awkward stains in baking soda. Once you are happy your outdoor fountain is clean, rinse it and wipe any detergent residue away. Replace the plug and refill with distilled water or chlorinated water. Now put your water pump back inside the fountain, plug in and you are all done.
Regular maintenance will keep your outdoor water fountain looking wonderful for many years.