Learning the steps in the water fountain cleaning guide can help you to keep your water features looking and working great.  Water fountains require regular service and cleaning. As a responsible fountain owner, you need to implement a scheduled maintenance strategy to ensure your fountain doesn't prematurely burn out.  Unfortunately, lack of maintenance is the number one reason that water fountains go bad.  Cleaning and caring for your water fountain is critically important if you plan on enjoying your investment for years to come.  

Lorelei Outdoor Fountain in Valencia Pool

Lorelei Outdoor Fountain in Valencia Pool

Water fountains can be constructed from a myriad of different items. Be sure to check your owner’s manual if you are unsure of what your fountain is made from so you don't accidentally damage your investment.  White scale and algae can build up on fountains in as little as couple weeks and these harmful items can cause your pump to burn out or your basin to become unsightly.  

Water Fountain Cleaning Guide - How Often Do I Need to Clean My Fountain?

An unkempt water fountain can be a real eye sore and stagnant water can be a health hazard, especially in environments with heavy mosquitos.  You should clean your fountain at least once every two months but it is recommended a monthly cleaning schedule be established.  Depending on the size of your water fountain you may need to increase or decrease these scheduled cleanings.  Larger fountains can go a couple months without a full cleaning but any algae should be removed immediately to prevent pump burnouts.  Smaller water features need to be cleaned more often as they have less water to dilute the algae and other harmful substances.  Avoid these and other common headaches by using the easy to follow steps listed below.

Rebecca Outdoor Fountain In Toscana Pool

Rebecca Outdoor Fountain In Toscana Pool

How to Clean Your Water Fountain

  1. You will need to turn your water fountain off and unplug it from the power source before you start cleaning.  In larger fountains, this may mean you need to turn the fountain off from the breaker.  This is a very important step and a failure to do this can result in serious injuries such as electrocution or burns.  You don't want to be handling a pump that is operating.  

  1. Remove all items from the basin of your water fountain including stones and other decorative items.  These items can be cleaned separately to ensure they are not building up algae.

  1. Remove the pump from your water fountain.  This is going to give you the greatest access to while cleaning and allow you to inspect for any algae or other harmful substances that may threaten the life expectancy of your water fountain's pump.  

  1. Empty the water out of your fountain.  You may find it easier to use a shop vac or small pump for indoor water fountains that do not have large basins.  Larger water fountains can require a sump pump to clear quickly.  It is important that you inspect your fountain thoroughly to ensure you have removed all of the water from the pump, basin, and lines.

  1. Be sure that you are not using any harmful chemicals to clean your water fountain.  Water fountains are built from a wide array of materials and because of this, you may need to consult your owner’s manual to ensure you are using safe cleaning materials.  In most cases, a mild dish soap can be used without worry of damaging your unit.  Once you have thoroughly cleaned and wiped down your water fountain, you will need to dry it completely.  Do not leave water sitting anywhere on your fountain.  If water feature includes other materials such as steel or copper, you may need to invest in some polish to get these decorative items looking their best.

  1. Scrub any algae completely away from your fountain.  This is the hardest step as it may take some serious elbow grease if you haven't cleaned your water fountain in a while.  Don't fret as you almost ready to start enjoying your clean water feature again.  Be sure to focus on areas of concern such as the inlets and tier basins.

  1. Rinse your water fountain off to remove any cleaning solutions or soap.  You want to take your time and get everything off of your water fountain.  Soap can be harmful to the pump, causing it to work harder and eventually burn out.  Don't make this mistake by thoroughly cleaning and drying your water fountain prior to reinstalling your pump.

Pump Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your pump is as important as cleaning the rest of your fountain.  Since your pump is the only moving part of your fountain, it is imperative that it be clear of debris and algae buildup.  Follow these steps to keep your pump operating efficiently:

  • Open Your Pump and Clean the Propeller
  • Use a Tooth Brush to Insure all Ports and Vents are Clear
  • Clean the Pump Tubing

Removing White Scale

White scale is a serious pain to remove and like all ailments, prevention is the best strategy to follow.  When dealing with white scale problems you should consider using distilled water.  Perhaps your tap water is filled with too many contaminants such as high levels of calcium that can build up quickly.  Manufacturers have taken notice to this and below are some helpful products to consider:

  • CLR - Calcium Lime Remover

Protec Fountain Cleaner

Algae Removal

Algae are another common issue encountered by the average water fountain owner. Anywhere you have water and light, algae are sure to follow.  Algae is much easier to remove than white scale and there are a number of helpful products you should consider investing in if you have an algae problem.  Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Fountain Fresh
  • Fountain Cleanser
  • Fountec Algaecide

Water Fountain Cleaning Guide - Final Thoughts

Aurelia Garden Fountain

A water fountain can be the perfect addition to your home or garden just be sure to keep up on your maintenance so you can enjoy your water feature for many years to come.  Follow the steps in this guide to keep your fountains looking and running great.