this will be my first winter having the waterfall. i'm curious what you all do with yours over the winter. our winter is the rainy season. we don't get snow and freezing temperatures are rare and more likely in late winter, if at all. photo is attached, fyi.
should i run the fountain all winter?
unplug it and let the rain refresh the water?
or take it down and put it in storage?
thanks for your thoughts on this.
You don't need below 32ºF temperatures to have water freeze; it depends on many factors.
Wind over the water surface lowers temperature, whether the water is in a constant moving can delay freezing and the material the water is in can affect when or if the water will freeze at or just above the freezing mark. Metal, of course, loses its temperature fast while wood hardly freezes at all. Cement loses its temperature at a slower rate than many other materials. Many birdbaths have cracked due to freezing temperatues.
Cement birdbaths can stay outside if resting on a wooden board after draining.
If your fountain is not to be enjoyed over the winter months, then its better to drain and store.
If the fountain is to be used on a regular basis....not ever shutting down, then as long as it is moving, chances are freezing wont occur...or it should warn you before much freezing occurs.
Should the water ever freeze...of course, you realize water, when it freezes, it expands and in a closed container (like tubing) can break if it expands enough.
Its always a cr*p shoot to trust weather if there is a chance of freezing temperatures during nighttime hours.
If the water is in a closed system...that is, the water that is pumped never leaves the system, anti-freeze can be mixed with it.
I'd ask a fountain expert before doing it however.
thanks loonie. you bring up some good points. i appreciate the food for thought. it probably would be best to just empty and store it. i don't know what its made of.. its faux stone, not heavy, and light weight so i can lift it myself.
Don't live in a warm climate but if I did and there was any possible chance of a problem with it , I'd probably shut it off, drain it and leave it. I have to shut mine down and put in a heater so my fish can breath.
Bana, my two cents says to leave it running all winter. I can't imagine that in Zone 10a you'll get freezing weather. It would certainly be unusual if you did. And, you should know ahead of time if its coming so that you could empty it out. I'm in zone 8B and the water in my birdbath seldom freezes. If it was moving water, I doubt that it would ever freeze. The critters need water in the winter too, and I'm sure the fountain is not just for looks. Absolutely no way, no how would any sane person put antifreeze in any water which is accessible to birds and other critters!!! That's sure death for them. I wouldn't even trust the pink antifreeze that is used to winterize motor homes and such. Huh uh, no way.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
FFG is right! Any thing/any one exposed to it could be killed or harmed! Even the supposed "safe" ones, I wouldn't put in anything animals could get into...just like FFG!
I'm also in 8b but we do get cold enough to freeze the water in my bird baths. But I still don't empty them. I just go out each morning that it was cold enough & remove the ice so the birds can get to the water.
I did have one of those little cheap solar fountains for one year...the water in that didn't freeze like FFG said due to it moving.
I'd leave it up in your climate! Think of all the critters that will visit!
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Bana - Our weather is similar to yours, but we have no waterfll. In fact, I don't think any of our neighbors do either. Do you have a garden center or nursery nearby? You could ask there. Or, I'm sure you know Sloat Garden Center. Here's the link:
You could send an emai to the "Garden Guru" and ask for an opinion.
thanks for everyone's input. don't worry.. i won't put anti-freeze in. i won't even add a hint of bleach to keep the water fungus free for fear of hurting critters or my plants when i empty it. and i do have to empty and clean it once a month or it gets nasty.
thing is there is no electrical outlet for it outdoors. i have to run the cord to a power strip inside the sliding patio door so the door is always open a crack. that might not be good during some of our nasty rainstorms. well, i have time yet to make a final decision.
ricearoni, i thought Sloat Gardens closed down. i think that was the name of one on El Camino in northern San Bruno.. maybe even into SSF that closed a few years ago. but checking with a nursery is a good idea. thanks for the suggestion ~ i'll do that down in my area.
Sloat Gardens is alive (they know my face by now!), they just don't have stores in your area. There are 3 locations in town, the others are in Marin and the East Bay, and the Garden Guru does answer questions.
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