Winterizing Your Fountain
Generally speaking, we refer to a fountain as a feature with running water and no fish or plants. While, some fountains may have plants in them, it is rare. Water runs over the top of the feature, into a basin and recalculates back to the top and repeats. We have two primary types of fountains: Cast-stone Fountains or Disappearing Fountains.
Both types of fountains seem to be safe with temperatures as low as 32 degrees.
Extreme and rapid changes in temperature affect all cast-stone adversely. It has an adherent tendency to expand and contract with climatic conditions. Your cast-stone features have been designed with weather in mind. The cast-stone mix contains fibers and additives which enhance the elastic qualities of the cast-stone. Occasionally, normal, surface shrinkage cracks may sometimes appear, but your feature will not crack due to weather if these simple rules are followed:
Do not allow water to collect and freeze in the bowls or shells
Do not allow water to collect or freeze in birdbaths, saucers or planters.
Do not allow statuary to sit in a pool of ice.
Cast-stone fountains should be turned off and drained when temperatures go below 32 degrees to avoid breakage due to the expansion of water caused by it forming into ice. As an extra precaution, towels or kitty litter can be place in the “bowls” of the fountain to absorb excess moisture.
All of the Asian pottery sold at HCWG is glazed and kiln-fired. This process is very weather hardy. However, in extremely cold weather conditions it is recommended that you drain the pottery of water. This can be done by unplugging the pump and removing the “standpipe”. To do this, simply unscrew it from the bulkhead attached to the bottom of the pottery. This will allow the water to drain into box-kit below. Place a towel on the bottom-inside of pottery to absorb excess moisture. Wait for freeze to pass, remove towel, then replace standpipe, refill pottery with water, refill box-kit with water and plug-in the pump.
By following these simple and sensible precautions during the winter season, you will protect your fountains for years of beauty and enjoyment.