Keeping your fountain pumps going

The fountain in the front yard is now going on its 5 season

The fountain in the front yard is now going on its 5 season

This fountain was one of my best buys on a trip to Home Depot about 5 years ago. It was on clearance for $25 with a regular price of $99. I love finding deals like this. As my good friend Cathy says -“Renee you just step in it”; and that I do! My whole life I have always walked in on deals and every day in my home and gardens I am reminded on how blessed I truly am.

Thomas loved drinking from the fountains

Thomas loved drinking from the fountains

Hand pump fountain in the back yard

Hand pump fountain in the back yard

This fountain is the favorite of the birds. They take a bath in the top part and enjoy themselves happily singing to each other while each wait their turn. I hope this year to snap some pictures of the frolicking feathered friends. This fountain also serves as a drinking fountain for my fur babies-dogs and cats while they follow me in the yard watching me work. Thomas, my son’s cat ,lived to be 21; and he only drank from the fountains and ponds during the summer and in winter he wanted the running water in the bathroom sink. He had to have the water moving and would even use his paw in the water bowl to make the water move as he drank.

Fountains and ponds in my gardens serve dual purposes and I have to remember that they are not just for my enjoyment but the source of water for many feathered and furred friends.

Cleaning your pond pump at the end of the season (or even the beginning of the season) is a must for the life of your pump. As a matter of fact, this pump was not running properly at the end of the season so I figured it was dying. But after cleaning it, it has run now for 3 days with no problems!

 

 

Many pumps will have a housing that comes off

Many pumps will have a housing that comes off

Pop off the housing

Pop off the housing

You may see this-this is where you will find dirt & stuff

You may see this-this is where you will find dirt & stuff

Take a pair of pliers and turn counter clockwise to twist this piece out

Take a pair of pliers and turn counter clockwise to twist this piece out

closer view

closer view

Now you can see the wheel which may come out when you pull on it

Now you can see the wheel which may come out when you pull on it

 

These pumps are made to run 24/7 throughout the season and in some areas this means well into November before any freeze happens. This pump is now on its 5th season and it runs from April-November (this year I am a little late). Not always do you get a pump to last thing long but with regular maintenance and keeping it running through the season you should get a few years out of it. Do not set pond pumps on timers to turn off and on-this includes fountains you may have in the home or on the deck. These pumps are made to run all day and all night without being turned off! If you are worried about electricity costs, let me assure you that these pumps will not increase your electric bill that much. I have 3 pumps running and noticed no real increase on my electric bill (and I am a penny pincher!)

 

Gently pull the wheel out and clean it

Gently pull the wheel out and clean it

Toothbrush comes in handy for jobs like this

Toothbrush comes in handy for jobs like this

 

the cover you took off may also come apart

the cover you took off may also come apart

Scrub the inside with a toothbrush and rinse thoroughly

Scrub the inside with a toothbrush and rinse thoroughly

 

the cover you took off may also come apart

the cover you took off may also come apart

We looked it over and discovered it pushed out

We looked it over and discovered it pushed out

Pushed through with the thumb. You may have one that screws off. If it does not come off, just clean it really well

Pushed through with the thumb. You may have one that screws off. If it does not come off, just clean it really well

Put the pump back together the way you took it apart and see if it works

Put the pump back together the way you took it apart and see if it works

Occasionally throughout the season you will also have to clean out your pumps if debris gets sucked into your pumps or filters. On this particular pump there is no filter so about once a month I have to clean the pump and tubing out. This pump runs in a fountain where the birds love to take a bath so it gets filled with debris and yuck. Plus I have to fill it up with a 5 gallon bucket every day because it splashed out. This is a design flaw because the pump is on the lowest setting and could not go any lower because it could not push the water up the 2 1/2 feet. Despite this, I love to hear the water running and watching the visitors.

I want to give you a piece of advice if you have a pump that stopped working or is not working properly…

take it apart and clean it. What have you got to lose? I have found that cleaning them usually solves the problem because the algae and gunk gets stuck in the fins of the pump and cause it to slow down or quit.

Enjoy your fountains for years to come and if you are thinking about building a water feature, pond, or fountain remember that you may not be the only one enjoying it!

Happy gardening!

Be creative and live life your way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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