Help! It's Winter and My Water Feature Has Stopped Running!
It's Winter and My Water Feature Has Stopped Running!
When your water feature stops running it can be a cause for concern but even more if it's in the winter. Here are some tips on what you should do:
- Make sure it doesn't simply need water. This is most often the case. If it does need water, why? Is there ice making water leak out? Do a little investigating. (And remember -- you will lose more water in winter from ice forming and from dry winter air!)
- Check that it's not the outlet or circuit. We recommend that you not run a pump and a deicer on the same circuit unless those are the only things on that circuit.
- If you determine it is your pump, it may have stopped working or it may be clogged. To determine which it is, you will have to unplug the pump and remove it from your water feature. Once it's out of the water, you can plug it back it in to determine if it's operating at all. If it seems to try to run, unplug it and see if there are any obstacles, algae, leaves, etc. clogging the impeller. If not, it may be time for a new pump. If you decide to wait until spring to replace it and you have fish, make sure you have a deicer to keep an opening in the ice so your fish can receive oxygen and toxic gasses can escape. (It's possible that you may not be able to remove your pump because the cord is frozen underground. You may have to wait until a thaw to get the pump out. If your pump isn't operating, you may be tempted to cut the cord. Don't do this if the pump is under warranty -- a cut, torn, or damaged cord voids the warranty!)
- When the temperature is in the teens you probably aren't crazy about putting your hands in the water to remove your pump. However, leaving the pump connected and not operating could cause costly repairs in the spring. Many water features are installed with a check valve close to the pump which will keep water in your pipes as long as the pump is connected. Water freezing in those pipes could cause them to split or break. It's imperative that your pump be disconnected from your features plumbing to prevent this situation.