When you purchase a water feature, the last thing that you want is for it to sit in the yard without any maintenance. Keeping water features clean and maintained can help you to ensure that your investment looks pleasing to the eye for years to come. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on keeping the water features clean, but it is necessary to either maintain the water features yourself or hire someone to keep them up. If you choose to take care of them yourself, remember these simple steps.
Step One: Turn off the water pump
Turning off the water pump can be done in one of two ways, depending on the pump. If the pump is hardwired, you will need to turn it off at the power source. This can be done by turning off the breaker that controls the flow of electricity to the pump. If it isn’t hardwired, there should be a switch on the pump that you can turn to the ‘Off’ position. Once you have the water pump turned off, you can remove it and clean it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for the pump.
Step Two: Empty the water feature
Emptying the water feature can be done using the drain spout if one is available. Some water features won’t have the drain plug. In that case, you can either tip the water feature to get the water out or you can use something to dip the water out. Use a towel to soak up any water remaining at the bottom of the fountain or feature.
Step Three: Spray and scrub the surface
Put a few drops of dishwashing detergent in a bucket and fill the bucket with warm water. Use a scrub brush to scrub off the inside and outside of the water feature. Don’t use a metal scrubber, as metal can damage some water features. If your water feature has small crevices, use a toothbrush to clean those areas. Don’t forget to clean the outside of the water feature.
Step Four: Soak stubborn stains
You might notice some stubborn stains that can’t be removed with dishwashing liquid and a scrub brush. Those might have to be soaked. You can use either vinegar or bleach to treat these stains. Mix either vinegar or bleach at a ratio of one part bleach or vinegar to four parts water. Make sure that you check this solution on an inconspicuous area of the water feature before soaking any stains. If the water feature can handle the solution, let it soak for up to 15 minutes. You can cover it with a large tarpaulin or trash bag if you are worried about wildlife getting into the water.
Step Five: Scrub the stains
Put rubber gloves and protective goggles on and scrub the stubborn stains with a scrubber brush. Focus on the stubborn stains. You can use a plastic mesh dish scrubber if you need some extra scrubbing power. Again, don’t use any metal scrubbers since they can harm the fountain.
Step Six: Empty the fountain and rinse
Once you get the stains scrubbed as much as possible, it is time to empty the fountain. When it is all drained, rinse the water feature. You will have to rinse it multiple times if you had to use the bleach or vinegar to clean it. In that case, you will have to rinse the feature, drain it, and begin to rinse it again. You are done rinsing the water feature when it doesn’t smell like bleach or vinegar.
Step Seven: Allow the water feature to dry
When you have finished rinsing the water feature, allow it to dry before you do anything else. The amount of time that it takes to dry depends on the weather in your area. As the water feature dries, any residue that is left on the water feature from the cleaning solutions will evaporate. If you have a sphere fountain, you must make sure that the water at the bottom of the sphere is dry before you move forward. Generally, if you clean the water feature in the morning, it will be ready to refill in the afternoon.
Step Eight: Replace the water pump
Once the water feature is dry, you can replace the water pump. Make sure that you replace it by following the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t turn the pump on yet because it can burn out if there isn’t any water to flow through it.
Step Nine: Refill the water feature and turn on the pump
After the water pump is re-installed, begin to fill up the water feature with clean water. If you have a hard-line water source, you can simply turn that water source back on. If you use a hose or bucket to fill the water feature, fill it in that manner. Make sure that it is completely full before you turn on the water pump.
Step Ten: Drop in a mosquito repellent tablet
Placing a mosquito repellent tablet in the water feature will help to ensure that it doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These tablets are usually good for one month, so you might consider putting the tablet in on the first of the month so that it is easy to remember when to drop the new tablet in each month.