An outdoor water feature not only adds aesthetic value to your home, it also enhances the curb appeal. Water features, also popularly known as fountains, are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes, making it affordable for most homeowners. But you can reap the full benefits of a water feature only if you maintain it properly. It is crucial to understand that the way you maintain your garden and pool, your fountain needs similar attention.
However, if you turn off your water fountain during the winter months or spend less time in the garden during winter, then your water feature might get neglected. Many things can go wrong with your water feature during this period. You will notice the problem only when you again turn on your fountain.
That is why we have prepared this fountain troubleshooting, repair and care guide. To begin with, here are some of the common outdoor fountain problems to troubleshoot.
Basic DIY to try
It doesn’t start even after plugging in – This is one of the most common problems. If this happens, make sure that you do the following:
- Ensure that you properly plug it in, and then switch it on.
- Check if it is broken – If your water feature is too old, it might have lived out its useful life. There is a possibility that its components have worn out.
- Check the wiring – Electrical wiring can deteriorate over time, or rodents can chew the wires.
- Make sure there is enough water – When you don’t turn on your fountain for a while, water can evaporate substantially. If this is the case, replenish the water to see if this solves the issue.
It works, but very slowly – If your water feature is not working efficiently, the first thing you need to check is the pump. Debris or leaves from the winter months can clog the pump. Check and clean the inlet valve and suction lines, if necessary.
Check the water supply – A leak in the seal or the suction lines can cause water to seep, which may slow down your fountain to a trickle. A leak can cause water pressure to fall. If this is the case, call a professional water fountain repair service.
Make sure the pump is below the water line – If your pump is not completely submerged in water, it will not work. Be sure that the pump is below the water line and filled with water.
Others problems that may happen
As mentioned earlier, it is important to know a few things about fountain maintenance and repair. Knowing how to perform basic repairs can save money both in the short and long term. Here are some of repair tips for outdoor fountains.
Chip repair in stone fountains – It is not difficult to repair a chip in your stone water fountain. You can patch it up by using a mixture of mortar or quick-drying cement or concrete. But make sure that you use the mixture as directed by the manufacturer. You can apply the mixture, smooth it with a towel, and then leave to dry according to label instructions. You can paint the patch so that it matches your fountain.
Repairing broken pieces – You can use epoxy to repair the broken pieces of your fountain. You should mix the epoxy, it to the broken piece, then hold the pieces together, and allow to dry according to label instructions.
A crack or broken piece repair in resin water fountains – It is not all that difficult to repair a crack or broken part in your resin water fountain. You can use a mixture of resin and fiberglass cloth to repair these cracks and broken pieces. Apply the mixture over the crack, smooth with a towel, and allow to dry according to label instructions.
Applying waterproof sealant on concrete fountains – If you have a concrete fountain, there could be a special waterproof sealant coating around it. The coating can wear off due to aging and normal weather conditions. You can reapply the sealant coating without any difficulty. Buy the sealant from a hardware store and spray it on the fountain. Allow to dry according to label instructions.
Preventing problems in the first place
If you own a fountain, it is crucial to know how to prevent problems in the first place. Here are some fountain support tips that will help you maintain your fountain in good condition.
Always maintain the proper water level in the fountain bowls – If you want your fountain to work smoothly, then you need to ensure that the fountain bowls are always filled to the recommended level. If you cannot monitor the water level, it is advisable to switch off your fountain.
Ensure that you change the water frequently and clean your fountain with a soft cloth – The mineral content in the water supply may cause deposition of white residue on the surface of your fountain. Fountains that don’t have a painted surface can also see mineral deposits and effervescence due to the presence of alkali content in the water. It is advisable not to use an abrasive to clean the fountain surface, as it can damage the applied finish.
Use an algaecide in the water – To prevent algae growth, especially during hot weather conditions, you should use an algaecide. Algae can damage the surface of your fountain and may also clog your pump. It is not advisable to use chlorine as an algaecide because it might damage the surface and pump of your fountain.
You should also use a mosquito repellant in your fountain to prevent it from becoming a breeding area, as mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water.
Make sure that your fountain never runs dry – If there is no water, it might burn out your pump.
Read all the instructions for proper pump operation – Carefully read – and follow – all instructions supplied with the pump.
Plug in the pump – Use only an appropriately grounded junction box with a GFI receptacle.
Check for leaks – Switch off your fountain and fill it to the brim. If there is a leak in your fountain, the water level will dip after some time. Also, the ground under the fountain should get wet if there is a leak somewhere in the fountain. But make sure that you turn off all the sprinklers near the fountain – water from the sprinkler can also wet the ground under the fountain. Also, factor in whether pets (if you have any) are quenching their thirst from the water fountain. After eliminating both these factors, you can proceed to make necessary repairs if you are able to do so, or call a professional.
If you suspect trouble, Certified Leak Detection is experienced in leak detection and repair for fountains, swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs, as well as slabs and foundations. Serving areas throughout Central Florida – including Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Kissimmee, Clermont and Winter Springs – our team is ready to answer your call. Contact us for quick, reliable service.