Winter Storage and Maintenance For Your Fountain

Winterizing Your Fountain

Freezing water expands and can cause cracks to form in concrete and other materials.  Before the first frost you should winterize your fountain to protect it. 

First, remove all of the water from the fountain shells and any parts of the fountain that will hold water. A wet vacuum or similar vacuum works well for removing the water completely.  If your fountain has drain plugs, remove the drain plugs to drain the water. Collect the drain plugs and place in a plastic bag. Leave the bag in the fountain so you can find them next spring. You will need to insert the drain plugs in the spring when you start up your fountain.  The pump can remain in the fountain.  

This is a perfect time to clean your fountain.  Remove the drain plugs. Let the water drain, remove the leaves and any other debris by hand. Squirt the debris/mud that accumulates in the shells of the fountain with your garden hose.  Never use harsh cleaners/chemicals or stiff brushes as they will harm the finish. While the shells of the fountain are still damp use a mild soap and a sponge to clean any dirt that may have accumulated during use. Rinse with clean water and wipe the remaining water with a sponge until all the water is removed.  

Second, if your fountain has a copper fountain ring, disconnect the copper ring and store indoors. There is water in the copper ring so be careful not to get wet when you remove. These copper rings are highly sensitive to winter weather and the elements. The spray heads are very fragile. Always handle a copper fountain ring with extreme care. 

Third, if you have the Massarelli’s EZ fountain lighting system installed in your fountain carefully remove the string of LED lights and the transformer and store indoors for the winter. The jumper wires that are run inside the fountain can be left in the fountain.

Finally, it is time to place the cover over the fountain. Be sure the fountain is dry before you cover it. Massarelli’s has fountain covers available in four sizes. Contact your Massarelli’s dealer for pricing and availability.

Center the cover on the fountain. Carefully tighten the drawstring so that the cover opening is smaller than the bottom shell of the fountain. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. Grab the cover from the top and lift the cover up until the cover opening touches the bottom of the shell. While holding the cover above the fountain with one hand, grab the cover with your other hand just above the top piece of the fountain. At this point, you will tie off the cover with a piece of rope.  Doing this will custom fit the cover to your fountain. After your fountain is covered DO NOT allow water to re-enter the fountain, DO NOT allow water, snow or ice to collect on top of the cover. Through the winter check your fountain to make sure the cover is secure and water or ice has not collected on the fountain cover. You want to keep you fountain free of water, ice and condensation. Please note that Massarelli’s is not responsible for damage to our products due to freezing temperatures or seasonal weather conditions.  

If you have more specific questions about winterizing your Massarelli’s fountain, please do not hesitate to contact us at technical@massarelli.com.

Fountain Maintenance While Operating Your Fountain

Always operate your fountain with the pump fully submersed in water.  Do not let your pump run dry.  Low water levels in your fountain may cause pump burnout.  Check your fountain’s water level frequently.  You may need to add water to your fountain every day or every week, depending on the fountain, to maintain levels and to keep the water from stagnating.  To make it easier to maintain water levels in your fountain, Massarelli’s offers a fountain fill kits (#CF802 AUTOMATIC FOUNTAIN FILL KIT), which will automatically keep your fountain filled with water.  A simple float valve monitors your water levels and trickles in water as needed.  The kit supplies all the parts you will need.  Contact your local Massarelli’s dealer for pricing and availability. 

Keep your fountain clean.  Massarelli’s recommends weekly cleaning.  Remove leaves and debris that may enter the fountain.  To control the growth of algae DO NOT use a chlorine-based product as they can damage the finish on the fountain.  Use a water clarifier and algaecide.  You can also use products that contain natural enzymes which safely break down organic contaminates.  Natural enzymes are not a chemical and may take longer to work.  Such cleaners can be purchased from your local garden center or swimming pool supply store.  Before adding any cleaner product in your fountain, always start with fresh clean water.

Aquatic plants and fish are not recommended in your fountain.  Plant roots will clog the pump and most ornamental fountains are not deep enough to support fish.  

Urn and Planter Maintenance

Urns and planters should not hold water. Water should drain through the drain holes that are in all of Massarelli’s urns and planters.  Keep the drain holes open.  When water does not drain, it may kill your plants and/or cause cracks in your planter.  To encourage proper drainage, we recommend the following.  First, place a piece of weed barrier inside the planting cavity completely covering the bottom of the urn or planter. Second, place a layer of stone on top of the weed barrier; the size of the stone should be larger than the diameter of the drain hole, about 1/3 of the depth of the planting cavity of the urn or planter.  Third, completely cover the stone layer with another piece of weed barrier.  Next fill the urn or planter with the soil of your choice to the desired height.  Finally, plant your flowers. 

During winter weather raise the urn or planter off the ground using two wood strips.  This will prevent the urn or planter from freezing to the ground.  Be careful not to block the drain holes.

Bird Bath Winter Maintenance

If a bird bath is left outdoors when the temperature drops below freezing, ice can form inside the birdbath, which may damage the finish and/or possibly crack the birdbath. To prevent ice damage, you should consider storing your birdbath indoors (garage or shed).  If you leave your birdbath outdoors during winter weather, turn the top over so water will not collect in it.  Do not allow the pedestal to sit in a pool of ice or freeze to the ground.  Massarelli's does not recommend the use of any type of heating or de-icing device for our bird baths.  During winter weather raise the birdbath off the ground using two wood strips.  This will prevent the birdbath from freezing to the ground. 

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