Ceramic Water Fountain Care Guide

What is Proper Garden Fountain Maintenance?

You Don’t Need to be a Professional to Care for Your Outdoor Water Feature.

Water features can add enduring beauty to almost any space. The soothing sounds can enrich your surroundings and improve your quality of life. If you own or are considering a water feature, you will want to know how to perform garden fountain maintenance. For example, what tools and products will make your life easier?

 Custom Fountain Installation

Fortunately, our water fountains are easy to care for when compared to other water features. Following the steps listed below will ensure you use the right products and reduce your time maintaining your water feature. You will also save money caring for your fountain without hiring a professional service.

When Should I Clean My Fountain?

The frequency of fountain cleaning is dependent on the location of your water feature. If your water fountain is in a dry, dusty area, or an area with lots of sunlight, the water won’t stay clear forever. Moreover, trees over fountains drop leaves and debris. The leaves and debris can aid algae growth and create sediment on the bottom of your fountain. Water quality also comes into play. If your water supply to your fountain comes from a well or groundwater then cleaning will be more frequent. Some common intervals for fountain cleaning are:

  • Every 3 months: if you follow the preventative measures under “How Do You Maintain a Fountain.”
  • Every 2 months: if your fountain is in a shaded, damp area with softer water. 
  • Once every month: if your fountain is in a dusty, dry area with lots of sunlight and hard water.

A deep clean should only be needed, at most, once a year for the majority of features. Deep cleaning entails draining and cleaning the reservoir and giving the pump a good scrub. This measure is usually only taken if there is a noticeable change in fountain performance. 

How Do You Maintain a Fountain?

The best route for fountain maintenance is preventative. Meaning you will want to add some products to your fountain’s water supply to make your life easier. The supplies you will need and the frequency of use are as follows:

  • Chlorine Tablets: From point of purchase add small chunks of a chlorine tablet to your fountain and reservoir. Use a couple of marble-sized chunks for the fountain and slightly larger ones for the reservoir. You should only have to add the tablets to your fountain once a month at most. Twice in hotter months. When following these steps, the water in your fountain will be crystal clear. Simply keep an eye on the chunks in your fountain. Once they are fully dissolved then add a couple more to the reservoir and fountain. 
  • Pool Shock: This product is used only in small amounts to maintain your water feature. Only use half a tablespoon, dropped into the opening of the fountain, one to three times a month. Use this product three times a month in sunny, warmer weather, and once a month for shaded fountains. Your water feature will run like new all year long when you start a pool shock regiment.
  • Bio-friendly Algaecide: We suggest using bio-friendly algaecides if you are deeply concerned about the environment. Following the steps above, chlorine levels in your fountain won’t be harmful to humans or pets. Nonetheless, if you are concerned about chemicals and wildlife, add eco-friendly algaecide to your fountain at least once a month.

How Do You Clean the Inside of a Custom Fountain?

When following the preventative steps you will only need to deep clean your fountain twice a year at most. Our custom fountains are made with durable Vietnamese ceramics so they are easy to clean. 

  • First, drain the fountain. This is a good moment to clean the pump if needed - see the steps below on cleaning your fountain pump. 
  • After the fountain is drained, use a sponge and soapy water or pressure washer to clean out the inside of the fountain. Vinegar will help remove algae and other debris. 
  • Finally, refill your water feature and place some chlorine tablet chunks in the reservoir and fountain. 

How Do You Drain a Custom Fountain from Ten Thousand Pots?

Draining a fountain from our store is extremely easy. First, you will want to turn off the pump. Once you have turned off the pump, create a siphon with a garden hose. Wikihow has a great visual guide on how to create a siphon. Alternatively, you can disconnect your water pump from your fountain and have the hose set on a spot to drain. After the majority of the water is drained, you can clean up the excess with a towel or rag. Finally, your fountain is ready for cleaning or winter storage. 

What Steps Do You Take to Winterize a Fountain?

Our pots are frost-resistant and won’t require extensive care during the winter months. To care for our fountains in the winter, simply drain the pot, not the reservoir. Because the reservoir sits in the ground it won’t freeze over and break. After draining the pot completely, cover it with a tarp. Tie the tarp down so it won’t blow away. This will keep debris out of the fountain. The last but possibly most important step is to store the pump indoors. If you are worried about a freeze then follow these steps and your fountain will be ready for the spring.

Will Vinegar Kill Algae in Fountains?

The short answer is yes. However, bio-friendly algaecides, pool shock, and chlorine tablets will make your life much easier. In addition, your garden feature won’t have the pungent smell of vinegar when using these products. Although vinegar is great for cleaning your fountain once drained, it is best to use pool products or algaecide instead.

How Do You Clean Your Outdoor Water Fountain Pump?

If you have taken care of your fountain’s water then you shouldn’t have to clean your pump more than once a year. On the occasion that you do need to clean your pump, the process is simple and doesn’t take long. 

Unplug your water fountain pump. Do not run your pump during the cleaning process. Running the pump while not fully submerged can burn out the motor. Additionally, our water pumps are only suited for freshwater and saltwater. 

The tools you will need to clean out your pump are:

  1. Latex, nylon, or rubber gloves
  2. Flathead screwdriver 
  3. Soft bristle brush or sponge
  4. Clear distilled vinegar 
  5. Tupperware container large enough to hold the pump
  6. Two towels: one for drying and one for holding small pieces

To clean your pump:

  1. Unplug your pump and dry it off with a towel.
  2. Release the bottom carriage - either by loosening the screws at the base, or releasing the plastic tabs. Once the plastic bottom has been removed, the pump comes apart easily.
  3. Remove and clean off the smaller components; a magnetic cylinder with a propeller and a small plastic drive shaft (attached to the propeller). Place the smaller pieces on a towel for safekeeping.
  4. Clean the pump and cartridge. Use a soft brush or sponge and equal parts vinegar and water. 
  5. Rinse all the pieces in the Tupperware container and re-assemble. 
  6. Make sure to dry off the plug before re-installing the pump.

Interested in an Easy to Care for Fountain?

Want to add functional artwork to your garden scape? Looking for a conversation piece that will add soothing sounds to your backyard? For years, we have built custom fountains for landscapers, homeowners, and businesses alike. 

At Ten Thousand Pots, we create some of the most beautiful and long-lasting fountains on the market. Water features from our store are easy to maintain and come with excellent customer service from our support staff. Shop online or give our store a call at (512) 584-8889 to find out how to enhance your environment with a custom fountain.