Solar fountains come in many shapes and sizes, and prices range considerably, no matter what you paid, you want to protect your investment. There are a couple of methods for protecting your fountain during freezing weather.
The best protection for solar fountains during the winter is to drain, dismantle, and store them. Or if they are light enough to move, store the entire fountain in one piece. When stored they should be drained completely, allowed to dry, and stored covered in a cool, dry area. It’s important to remove the pump during storage. Pumps will last longer if they are stored in water. The pump can be dipped in vinegar prior to storage to remove any hard water deposits left from tap water.
Insulating and covering the fountain are another option. Before covering a fountain it should be drained and allowed to dry completely. If water absorbed by the material making up the fountain freezes and expands it can damage the fountain. To cover it you should find some thick fabric, rope, and waterproof plastic that can withstand winter elements.
Keep any parts easily removed, including the pump and nozzle head, inside. If the solar panel can be removed you may also want to store it inside. If the fountain can be easily turned over to store upside down, consider storing it inside. Cover the fountain tightly with the insulating material; tie it onto the fountain securely. Repeat the process with the plastic. Even small cracks can ruin the fountain for future use.
If the climate is relatively mild, with just a few instances of freezing temperatures it may be possible to just allow it to run. Running water does not freeze easily which is why sinks are left dripping when pipes are on an outside wall when the temperature is expected to get very cold. Covering solar fountains during nights when freezing lows are expected may be the best option, even if the fountain is allowed to run during the warmer days.
Some companies and manufacturers make insulating covers designed specifically for the fountains for this purpose. If these are available the fit is generally better, but using materials easily found at any hardware or fabric store is usually cost effective and not difficult to do.
Solar fountains can provide many years of enjoyment when maintained, stored, and cleaned properly.