An outdoor fountain can spell the difference between a nice-looking patio and a really amazing-looking one. Not only does an outdoor fountain installation serve as a great and eye-catching centerpiece, but the continuous sound of flowing water can have a discernible relaxing, calming effect.
Of course, this can only be possible if you, the owner, regularly perform the basic maintenance procedures necessary to keep your fountain in good working condition. If you’re a newly-minted fountain owner who wants to learn the basics, or simply want to refresh your memory on proper fountain care and maintenance, then this article is definitely for you.
Cleaning Your Fountain
1. Turn the fountain off and unplug it from any power sources.
This will make it much easier for you to work, and prevent any dirt or debris dislodged by your cleaning from getting further into the fountain’s pump mechanism and piping.
2. Remove any fountain ornaments such as rocks or figurines.
Not only will removing these make it easier to work, but cleaning them separately will also remove any leftover dirt and algae that might have started to grow over them (and thus spread to your fountain).
3. Drain all the water in your fountain.
If you have an especially large fountain, you can use a motorized water pump or shop vacuum to try and suck all the water out.
4. Start cleaning your fountain pan by hand.
Using a bucket of water and a non-abrasive sponge, start scrubbing the fountain pan clean of any algae, debris or residue. Don’t use any strong detergents or cleaning fluids – a mild soap will do. And in the case of copper or metallic fountains, an occasional wipe down with a mild furniture polish should do the trick to keep it looking like new.
5. Rinse the fountain pan thoroughly and wipe it dry.
After scrubbing the pan clean, rinse it multiple times to ensure that no soap or cleaner residue remains. Then wipe everything dry with a clean rag.
6. Remove the fountain pump and prep it for cleaning.
After cleaning the outside of your fountain, it’s time to clean what makes it work – the pump. Carefully remove the pump, or at least the part that doesn’t have electronics in it, and then place it into a pan of warm soapy water.
7. Clean the pump using a toothbrush.
This is to scrape away any accumulated debris or residue outside and inside the pump. The brush is so that you can reach the nooks and crannies inside the pump, where most of the dirt should be. Remember to rinse it every now and then in the soapy water to completely wash out the debris you’ve scraped away.
8. Clean out the tubing that connects the pump to the fountain and to your water supply.
This may be difficult, especially for smaller fountains, but hard running water should clear out any algae or potential blockages easily.
9. Wipe everything dry, and then install the pump back into your fountain.
Make one last visual check to see if you missed any dirt or debris in the components of your fountain, then put it all back together after a thorough rinse and wipe down.
10.Place a few drops of algaecide into your fountain’s water to prevent algae growth.
No matter what, algae will always grow in water, especially in fountains. You can prevent this by applying a few drops of algaecide in your fountain water. Most brands are usually safe for animals, plants and birds, but not fish.
And this is how you can clean your fountain in ten easy steps. Depending on the size of your outdoor fountain, cleaning it on a monthly or bi-month basis should go a long way in keeping your fountain’s good looks and functionality intact.
Article Submitted By Community Writer