Caterina Outdoor Water Fountain in Basin
Dimensions: 55"H x 82"W x 82"D
Weight: 1934 lbs
Ideally, a fountain will be maintained so algae never has the opportunity to grow and take over. But, what if you just moved into a house where the previous owners left behind a gorgeous old tiered fountain? Do you call someone to come haul it away because it has a blanket of algae? Believe it or not, it may look like a lost cause, but you can have that fountain looking new again, with a little effort. Fair enough, the scenario does not have to be this extreme. Maybe you just neglected your outdoor water feature because you were busy and now it has become an eyesore. Whatever the case it, it is easily remedied.
Read Maintenance Instructions
If you have the manufacturer's maintenance instructions, it is important that you take the time to read them. Some building materials may react unfavorably to certain cleaning products. Using a cleaner specifically for fountains is a good way to avoid this. Also, pumps can require disassembling to be done a specific way. If you're not sure how to take anything apart for cleaning, consult your manual.
Empty and Rinse
The first thing you need to do is unplug the fountain and remove the pump. Then, you need to empty any water out that is currently in it. Before you start scrubbing, grab the hose and give it a good rinse. Quite often, the water pressure will remove, or at least loosen some of the slime. Drain again. A shop vac will also make your life a lot easier.
Cleaning the Fountain
In most cases, a mild dish detergent and warm water will remove the algae. Just use a sponge and scrub away at it. Never use an abrasive cleaning tool. Even stone or other durable materials can be dulled and scratched by steel wool or hard brushes.
If you have a heavy buildup of algae, you may be tempted to reach for the bleach, but that is not recommended. White distilled vinegar works just as well and it is much gentler. Pour some in a spray bottle and squirt it on tough stains and allow it to sit a few minutes before scrubbing. You can also add some vinegar to your soapy water for heavy duty cleaning power.
Holes that water flows through and carved details will need attention too. An old toothbrush can help with detail work while a pipe cleaner will get into those clogged holes and clean them allowing water to flow through as it should.
Clean the Pump
The pump is the heart-and-soul of your fountain. Algae buildup can compromise function, which means your water and feature will need cleanings more often. Any tubing that can be disconnected should be soaked in vinegar. In most cases, after soaking you will be able to push algae through with a stream of water.