Have you ever wondered how to prepare your Stone Forest fountain for winter weather?
Here are the steps we recommend and why:

1. Empty your reservoir | You can either let the water evaporate, pump it out with your submersible pump + hosing, or pull it out with a shop vacuum.  This process can double as cleaning in preparation for use in the spring, so that you can fill up with fresh water and it’s ready for another 3 seasons of use.
2. Disconnect and unplug your pump and put in on the shelf | Keeping your pump out of the cold weather will help to prolong it’s life.  Our submersible pumps have a 1-year warranty, with an average life span of 3-5 years, depending on how often it’s running and how you care for it.  Of course, if you have hard-wired your pump, then this isn’t an option.  You could wrap it in plastic or ziplock bags to keep it protected if it needs to stay in the reservoir.

3. Let the fountain “transform” into a piece of sculpture | Since we carve most of our fountains designs from solid blocks of granite and basalt, the stone is so dense that it can withstand freezing temperatures, and can remain uncovered as a dry piece of sculpture (unlike softer, more porous stones, ceramic, or concrete materials).
An alternate school of thought | Don’t worry, be happy!
 Our wintered Sky Mirror Fountain at our Garden Gallery with icicles galore.
If you’ve ever visited or driven by the Stone Forest Garden Gallery during the winter months, you might have noticed that we tend to run our water features year-round and they turn into beautiful “ice sculptures.”  We do get freezing temperatures and snow in Santa Fe, New Mexico because we’re located at 7,000+ ft altitude in the high desert.  If you do choose to run your fountain through the winter, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Typically, when average winter temperatures are upon us, the top few inches of the underground reservoir’s water freeze and the pump is still able to run underneath this frozen layer in the water below.  The water will then freeze in a “layer cake” effect over the stone itself, and thaw out as the sunshine emerges, and melt back into the reservoir below.  Of course, if you’re in a climate that’s so cold that the water freezes solid, then your poor pump could die a slow, painful death.

The idea is to keep an eye on the weather and your fountain’s water level, and since the ice will cause the reservoir’s water level to drop quickly, you’ll need to keep it full enough for the pump to continue to run.  As you can see in the image below, the fountain really started to build up an ice shell, and was eventually shut down because the water began to flow outside of the reservoir’s parameters, and we had a particularly cold winter that year.  In short, use your best judgement for what your fountain setup can handle.

The good news?   A replacement pump is typically about $70-$165 depending on which design you have, so if you wish to enjoy it year-round, you can!  Your pump might have to be replaced more often, but it’s a small price to pay for year-round enjoyment.
If you live in North Dakota, you might consider taking my first steps of recommendation and shut your fountain down since it might become more of a babysitting situation than you bargained for!  If you’re in Florida, it’s smooth sailing for 4 seasons of non-stop enjoyment you lucky ducks.
A Dragon Jade Fountain at a private residence in Santa Fe, NM.

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