There’s no doubt that an outdoor garden fountain is beautiful to look at and listen to. However, because of the water constantly running through it, your fountain is susceptible to algae, calcium, lime and mineral buildup. That’s why regular care and maintenance is necessary to keep your fountain looking beautiful in the warm months. Even indoor fountains need care, so don’t skimp on this process.
Keep your Outdoor Fountain Running Smoothly
If you own a fountain, you probably have noticed a slimy green buildup over time. That’s algae growth and it’s a natural process that occurs in damp environments. Through a regular cleaning schedule, you can keep this algae growth at bay to keep up the aesthetics of your outdoor fountain. First off, check the water level often, adding more water as necessary. The pump should be completely submerged in water at all times so it doesn’t burn out. Use distilled water to cut down on the amount of mineral buildup. Once a week or as needed, scoop out any twigs, insects and leaves with a small net and inspect the pump for any clogs. When you notice the fountain looking a little dirty, it’s time to drain it and wash it. Remove the dirty water by using a wet-dry vac, then wiping it down with a cloth. Next, it’s time to put in a little elbow grease by scrubbing the sides with a brush to get the algae and deep-set dirt off. Once you’ve got the fountain going again with fresh water, add a clarifier to guard against algae growth, plus a scale and stain remover. With summer comes the highest prevalence of algae, so it’s a good idea to add an algaecide tablet twice a month. Don’t use chlorine if you can help it, especially in small decorative fountains, because the pumps can’t handle it. If you have no choice because of excessive algae, try just a quarter cup of bleach, running the pump for a full once-through.
What About Indoor Fountains?
If you’ve got an indoor tabletop fountain to add ambiance to your living room, you probably know that algae can invade that too. Decorative rocks and stones will develop a slimy layer and odor if not maintained regularly. To curb this, add just a teaspoon of bleach to the water. That doesn’t mean you can let the same old water recirculate for weeks on end. You still need to refresh the water once a week or so. You don’t have the benefit of rain water to replenish the stock like you do with an outdoor fountain, so keep bacteria at bay by draining out the water with a cup. Using a mixture of vinegar and water, scrub the slime off the interior of the fountain, hand wash the pump with warm water and soap, and soak the decorative stones in the kitchen sink. Hook up the fountain, add a fresh supply of water and the rocks, and you’re done.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to maintain your fountain, but this small commitment will pay off big time in terms of aesthetics and smooth operation.