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Thread: to shut down or not to shut down?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    119

    to shut down or not to shut down?

    That is the question...
    I live in Charlotte, NC where typically it won't get cold enough to freeze my pond, but we do get ice storms that can cause power outages. My pond is between 1000-1500 gallons (I plan to meter it in the spring after cleaning and refilling) and I have a submersible pump with an external filter that discharges into a small "pond" area and then over the 2 falls back into the pond. Should I plan to shut the system off this winter? What if I go out of town over Christmas and we get an ice storm that shuts off power and the water in my tubing freezes...will is blow the pump when the power comes back on?
    I had planned to just leave the pond running and cleaning out the filter like I have done all summer, but I hadn't thought about all this other stuff yet.
    What kinds of things would I have to consider if I were to shut it down? and is it worth that where I live? Am I just being too cautious because this is my first winter?
    Any help or advise is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    539
    I don't know how cold it gets where you live but I think if the temperature does not stay below freezing for at least a day the water lines underground will not freeze. If the water keeps running they will not freeze.
    Last edited by LJS; 10-30-2009 at 12:52 PM.

    Orland Pk IL
    Zone 5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wyomissing, PA
    Posts
    11
    Here in PA we keep some of our ponds running all winter. If you have the regular flex PVC for your tubing, there is no need to fear it freezing. Do you have fish? If so, you got to keep some water movement for them - either the stream running or a small bubbler pump.
    Stanley Sensenig, CAC
    Signature Pond & Patio
    Wyomissing, PA 19610
    www.signaturepondandpatio.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    653
    I'm not sure what zone you're in. I'm in 6b, and we get some ice storms, occasional dips below freezing, and in December 2007 we had that terrible ice storm that left us without power for 8 days. I had left my pond running that year (as I do every year), and once power came back on, everything started up again with no problem. No freezing in the tubing because the tubing was buried about 6 inches down, below the freeze line in our area. Air temperatures were in the 20's (F), but the pond water never got any ice on it, not even around the edges.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    119
    I am in zone 7. I do have the flex pvc pipe from the pump to the filter and I do have fish. Sounds like I should just keep it running. chances are there shouldn't be any problems. The air hardly gets below 35 here so even if we do get an ice storm that shuts off power, I'm sure there won't be much freezing before it kicks back on. Thanks everyone for your perspectives and experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    114
    Let it rip...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    119
    So this past week, the weather has been unusually cold. It dropped my water temperature from 72 to 60 degrees in one week. This weekend I went out and solved my "hypercooling" problem by moving the pump out of the deepest section of the pond and it now sits under my bridge (which is half of the pond length closer to the waterfalls) and is 16" higher than the deepest section of the pond. This should help the deep section stay warmer, but I've heard rumors that we are supposed to have a very cold winter here with a lot more snow than usual (usual is close to 0). I planned to keep the waterfalls running through the winter (2500gph), with the pump in its new location. Should I think of building a "tote box heater"? Anyone else on the eastern coast in zone 7 that can share their plans for this winter? Would it be better for me to shut off the waterfalls and just run my small skimmer pump? This is my first winter so I don't know what to expect for this area and want to be prepared so I don't lose my fish. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    O'Fallon, Missouri
    Posts
    427
    I guess a lot depends on your local geographic/weather history, but this is what I do here in Missouri...

    October...pond netting goes on for leaf prevention, main pump stays in.

    Just before Thanksgiving...Main pump comes out, small "bubbler pump" gets put in on the pond floor, along with a floating de-icer from Pondmaster.

    Take a nicely needed break through the depths of winter, being sure to just "check" things about once a week (checking for bubbler pump filter clogs, general check on the fish (even though they are in slo-mow, don't want one to die and stay there undetected), water level, etc.

    Sometime in April, the net comes off.....time to anticipate the new season!

    I don't want my system running full-tilt during winter, as the fear of ice-daming and pump burnout is too real.

    But, that's just me.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    6
    Alicat,

    I believe your fish will be fine this winter to run your pond/pump as is 24/7. We could have a colder winter. However, I do not do anything different in the winter vs. summer as the winters are so mild here.

    If your fish are in 2' of water, your pump circulating water will help release any potential gas buildup on the bottom and provide oxygenation for the fish. If we get any ice or snow, take pictures because it will not be here for long.

    David
    David Weekley, Master Pond Builder, CAC
    WaterScapes Pro - Charlotte Pond Company
    http://www.waterscapespro.com



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