Disappearing Fountains & Concrete Fountain Care For the Winter

Posted by Cathy Green on

The wonderful thing about the disappearing fountains is they take minimal amount of care. This also includes the winter care. Our ceramic pottery imported from Asia is fired in the kiln and can withstand freezing temperatures without cracking the pottery. The reservoir is made of a durable material and will not break in the freezing temperatures. The main caution is to not let the water in the entire reservoir freeze and dry out the pump. If the temperature is dropping ( below 25 degrees) I will unplug the pump and allow the water to fall in the reservoir. When the temperatures warm back up plug the fountain back in add any water that might have drained from the over flow and you are back in business. And that is it.
The care for concrete fountains takes a little more effort.
Fiore Stone manufacturer states
“One of the characteristics of cured concrete is that it absorbs moisture. Water expands under freezing conditions and it is at this state that concrete is at its weakest when facing extreme cold weather elements. Please take the following precautionary suggestions to prevent damage to your decorative concrete purchase. Frost disintegration occurs when water absorbed in concrete, freezes. Snow and ice accumulate inside basins, bowls and other cavities of your fountain and during the day melts to absorb into the concrete.
Although our concrete mix is designed to have cold weather flexibility, in many cases the rock aggregate near the surface does not. And so, when temperatures drop, there could be a potential for cured concrete to chip, pit and in some cases even crack.
NEVER add Anti-freeze as a preventive measure to frost disintegration. Anti-freeze is a harmful product to humans, animals and wild life. PLEASE DO NOT USE ANTI-FREEZE in your fountain. It is recommended that any decorative cast-stone item is protected from the frost disintegration. Any cast- stone items that can be brought indoors should be stored indoors. Some products are too heavy to be moved and we suggest that they are covered with a moisture barrier. In doing so, we recommend that on the outer edges and lower portions moisture absorbent materials - such as blankets or towels are placed to absorb any condensation that may occur during the transition from day to night.
Concrete that is dry will not be harmed (in any way) by any natural temperature change no matter how drastic. Basins, pumps, pedestals, shells, pots, planters, urns, birdbaths other concrete components left outside and properly covered and prepared will survive any winter season as long as they do not stand in water. Pump removal is not recommended unless the plug or pipe that allows the power cords to move through components is the only available drain for water or condensation to escape the properly covered item(s).”
I have discovered the removal of drain plugs will keep water from pooling and freezing. And turn over bowels that do not have drain plugs or cover with the fountain covers.