One of the best parts of owning a disappearing waterfall is the fact that they don’t need much maintenance – including in wintertime. At Splash, we design our pondless water features in such a way that you can enjoy your waterfall year-round, without worry.
Winter maintenance for a disappearing waterfall usually includes little more than clearing ice dams and debris, and occasionally adding some water with a garden hose.
Disappearing (Pondless) Waterfall Winter Checklist
- Clear dams created by snow and ice or leftover fall leaves and debris.
- Your pump can’t pump ice, so you may need to occasionally add water to make up for water that has frozen. We recommend keeping a garden hose in a protected space so that it’s not frozen when you need it.
- If you decide to turn off your waterfall, see our notes below about protecting your plumbing.
- That’s it. It really is that easy. Enjoy!
Can I Run My Disappearing Waterfall in Winter?
Many people choose to leave their waterfalls running year round. Winter waterfalls can make an amazing addition to a yard during this time of year, with beautiful icicles and snow-lined streams. Birds and other wildlife also love having a fresh water source for drinking and bathing.
You might want to turn off your disappearing waterfall for the winter if
- Winter vacation keeps you away from home for a week or two, and you won’t be around to enjoy it.
- Your garden hose is frozen, and the waterfall pump is gurgling and needs water.
How Do I Turn Off My Disappearing Waterfall in Winter?
At Splash, we design our waterfalls without a check valve. When you unplug the pump, your waterfall stops running, and the water drains out of the pipe back into the basin. This prevents frozen water from damaging your pipes. When the weather warms back up, you can simply plug the pump back in and enjoy your waterfall.
If you are going to leave the waterfall off all winter, we recommend disconnecting the threaded union inside your pump vault to ensure any leftover water laying in the pipe doesn’t cause damage in freezing weather.
If I Turn off My Waterfall, How Do I Protect My Waterfall Pump in Winter?
Your pump is protected deep down in the basin, so most people will simply leave the pump in the pump vault. If you are going to leave the waterfall off all winter, we recommend disconnecting the threaded union inside the pump vault to ensure any leftover water laying in the pipe doesn’t cause damage in freezing weather.
Most pump manufacturers recommend storing the pump in water and running it occasionally during the off season. This will reduce stress on the pump during spring startup. If you leave the pump in the vault, all you have to do is plug it in every other week for a minute or two. (If you store it in a bucket of water, it’s going to make a heck of a mess … )
Do I Need to Drain My Waterfall Basin or Put a Cover on My Waterfall in Winter?
Nope. Your waterfall liner, basin and pump vault are designed to handle freezing and thawing in the winter whether the pump is running or not.