Two of the biggest complaints among fountain owners are white scale and hard water mineral deposits. Fountain white scale and mineral deposits can be very hard to clean and can cause damage to your fountain over time. Preventing these buildups is certainly the best option, and learning how to do this properly can greatly extend the life of your fountain.
The first thing that you should know is that buildup will occur in your pump before it is ever seen in the fountain. This means that proper pump cleaning is essential to preventing buildup. Fountain chemicals placed in the fountain itself can help, but the pump will need to be cleaned. Removing the back of the pump and cleaning the small holes with a toothbrush and water pressure will provide a great deal of benefit. If possible, cleaning the tubing that connects the pump will also help eliminate a great deal of buildup.
Fountain white scale can also be prevented further by proper fountain maintenance. Once per month, you should turn off your fountain and drain the water. For large fountains, a wet dry vacuum will allow you to do this easily. Once the water has been removed, fountain chemicals and water should be use to clean the entire fountain. This includes any rocks or other items that are decorative parts of the fountain. Algae, minerals, and white scale can build up on any part of the fountain, and taking the time to carefully scrub the entire pan and all adornments is imperative.
Choosing the right chemicals for your fountain will help ensure that you are doing all you can to remove existing buildup as well as to prevent future buildup. No matter what chemicals you use, however, your fountain should be cleaned once a month or at a minimum once every two months. The size of your fountain and the rate at which buildup occurs should dictate how often the fountain is cleaned.
Always keep in mind that the more time you spend properly maintaining your fountain, the longer it will last. New pumps can be expensive, and long term buildup is all but impossible to remove. Preventative maintenance takes only a short amount of time and needs to be done rather infrequently. By cleaning all parts of your fountain and pump as directed and using the necessary chemicals to eliminate buildup, your fountain can have a long life and will offer benefit to your home, garden, or yard for many years to come.