Should I keep my Lebanon, County PA waterfeature running over Winter?
Cons to Running Ponds Over Winter
1) Accompanied with Winter weather in Pennsylvania, we inevitably go through periods of freezing and periods of thawing of water. During the periods of freezing water, if you are running your waterfall, ice formations on the waterfall could divert the water outside of the pond; ultimately draining your water level. While your pump does not turn off automatically, it will continually try to pump water that is not in the skimmer box and could burn out--costing you the price of a new pump.
Worse yet: If your pump sits submerged in the pond, it will keep pumping your water until there is no water left in your pond--leaving your fish without the most vital part of their survival: water to swim in.
2) If you lose electric and/or your GFI trips, shutting off your pump--it is likely that the water in the plumbing could freeze in the interval between the electric tripping and you fixing it. This freeze of water in the pipes could crack them and cause a major leak issue the next time you get the pump running again. In order to fix cracked pipes you have to replace the entire section that is damaged which is no fun at all.
Pros to Running Ponds Over Winter
One word: ICE.
Ice formations can be one of the coolest natural occurrences to happen to your waterfeature because they happen all on their own and are never the same from freeze to freeze! Watching water freeze as it trickles is also a pretty fascinating activity as well. The ice sleeks and shines as water trickles over it and is definitely a pretty sight to be seen. But is it worth the hassle that goes into maintaining your water levels, plumbing pipes and pump health?
So we recommend to disconnect the pump, store it in a bucket of water somewhere where it won't freeze (like a garage or basement) and make sure to disconnect the check valve if one is present! Follow the steps in this blog about fall shutdown for more information to shutdown your waterfeature!
So What Now?
from November 28th, 2016 until April of 2017.