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Thread: Run waterfall all winter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2

    Run waterfall all winter?

    I have checked the threads and didn't see anything specific to my area. Most of you have larger ponds and are MUCH further north. I am in Oklahoma and we rarely see temps below +25 degrees. Right now it is about +35. Quick questions as my pump has started to make a "wining" noise. Can I leave the pump/waterfall running all winter? Will the cold water harm the pump. I have a 700 gallon pond with a NPH-2000 pump. The feeder line to the falls is shallow, less than 8" so I am afraid to turn the pump off for fear it will freeeze the line.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Morris Cty, NJ
    Posts
    20
    If you turn the pump off, it WILL freeze the line! The whining noise you are hearing sounds like it might be a concern, so you may want to think twice about relying on that pump to keep your pond running through the winter.

    I personally have been running my waterfall through the winter for the last 8 years without incident, but there are some considerations you will need to adhere to:

    Make sure the edges on your stream/waterfall are high enough to account for a rise in water level due to "ice damming"

    Place a floating de-icer in front of your skimmer to keep a constant hole in the ice so that the pump is not starving for water

    Remove the skimmer net, as it tends to ice up very easily and can form a dam inside the skimmer, therefore starving the pump

    You will need to account for the ice drawing liquid water volume from your pond, so plan on topping off the pond with water 2-3 times during the winter. Be sure to keep a hose inside so that it will not freeze, then drag it out when necessary

    If you are planning on being away from home during the winter for an extended period of time this is probably not the best idea, the pond will need constant surveillance throughout the winter months, unless you have a friend that is willing to do a little "pond sitting"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2
    Neptune:
    Thanks for the information. I had already done everything you mentioned with the exception of the skimmer net. GOOD POINT, GOOD INFORMATION. I will look into a new pump to have it on standby, however, with Nursery Pro out of buisness I am a little worried about finding a pump that will properly fit in my skimmer. Once again, thanks for the information.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    335
    So, Neptune, we are to be slaves to the pond and never go south for the winter? Unfortunately, you are right-leaving home at any time of year for any extended period can lead to a pond disaster. That's why having one or ,particularly, installing one should be fully thought out. Ponds are fine for those who never leave home or who have the wherewithall to hire maintenance people. Someday, I fully expect to return home from a lengthy hiatus to find a dead pond at which point a truckload of fill dirt will cure my anxiety forever.
    Ken

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first give a pond.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Morris Cty, NJ
    Posts
    20
    When you think about it, you are essentially creating an environment to house your "pets". Would you leave your dog or cat at home without supervision for any extended period of time? I think not.

    It only seems like alot of work because they want to run the waterfall through the winter. If you were to shut it down and install a bubbler pump, aerator, de-icer, etc.. your worries would be reduced greatly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    297
    I had to shut down my waterfall this weekend. It was causing the water temperature to drop down to 33 degrees...I turned it off and rigged up a small +/- 250gph to keep the water surface rippling. The pond temp is now a toasty 43.6 degrees thanks to the submersed pond de-icer.

    My Pond - June, 2009 - Remodeling

    Adding a small "bog-like" upflow filter and
    improving the waterfall/stream.
    ---------
    The Only Difficult Questions Are Those Without Answers...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Prattville,Alabama
    Posts
    2
    What kind of submersible heater did you use and for what size area? We have between 13,000 and 14,000 gal pond. I just want to heat the area the koi and butterfly goldfish are in.
    Thanks
    Lynn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    932
    You are not suppose to be heating the water. A deicer (along with airation) is to keep a opening in the ice for the exchange of gasses from the pond with oxygen. Ther are other systems that you can use to actuakky heat and keep your water warm, I have 1 client who spent many thousands of $ to add a propane heating system to his pond, it also costs him 1,000s to run it each year. His water stays at about 58* during the cold winter months. If your pond was installed properly (at least 24" deep) the bottom of the pond will actually stay a few degrees warmer then water near the surface. This is because the bottom is warmed by the heat from the ground. This is the reason why you should not disturb the bottom of the pond during winter.
    I for one never leave waterfalls running during winter - 1 it is a maintenance issue with water loss - 2 By having the waterfall running you are also moving water at the bottom of the pond even with a pump located in a skimmer, the water from the falls is 'plunging' to move the water at the bottom.
    Just my opinion.
    Pieter van Westervelt
    2011 Pond Builder of the Year
    Premium Aquascapes
    Certified Aquascape Contractor
    Water Garden Excellence member
    NJ Landscape Contractors Association
    www.premiumaquascapes.com
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    297
    I wanted to let my waterfall run all winter as well. However, I was forced to shut it down as it was super cooling the pond water. While running the falls, the temp at the bottom of the pond was 33 degrees. A few hours after shutting down the falls the temp had rose to 35 degrees and was still rising.

    Unless you have mild winters, I would now suggest that you shut down the falls.



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