How to Care for and Maintain Rock Water Features

December 8, 2022

Rock water features and fountains are beautiful additions to any home or business landscape, but they do require some very simple care and maintenance to keep them looking and working their best. Below are some basic guidelines for keeping your rock water feature clean and functional.

Water Pump Maintenance

If your rock water feature contains a pump, it’s crucial that you stay on top of pump maintenance. After all, these pumps are exposed to some seriously harsh conditions, and they’ll need some TLC from time to time.

  • Keep your pump completely submerged. Water feature pumps are specifically designed to operate fully under the water. Check your water feature’s water level frequently to ensure that the pump is not visible above the surface of the water.
  • Clean the pump’s solar panels if applicable. If you have a solar-powered pump, make sure that you wipe the panels clean once every week or two to ensure that they are absorbing enough energy.
  • You don’t need to turn the pump off. Water fountain pumps are designed to run constantly without a break, so there’s no need to turn it off at night. However, if you are going on a vacation or need to clean the pump, unplug the pump (if applicable) first.
  • Clean the pump regularly. Turn it off and unplug it, then wipe down the exterior with a cloth. Open the pump’s cover, and wipe down the inside, too. If there are areas you can’t reach, try using an old toothbrush or pipe cleaner.

Algae and Scale Prevention 

Algae and scale can be difficult to remove, so it’s best to prevent them wherever possible. Algae grows with the right mix of sunlight, warmth, and water movement, so it’s best to ensure that you place your water feature in the shade and clean it once every month or so with an algae-killing solution. You can find these online or make them yourself. Scale is often the result of calcium or mineral buildup, and it is very common in rock water features. You should use a safe white scale cleaning solution regularly to prevent thick deposits that are difficult or even impossible to remove. A vinegar and water solution works quite well for this.

Winterizing Your Fountain

In cold climates, it may not make sense to keep the fountain running all year. In fact, if you live in an area that is prone to below-freezing temperatures, it’s best to drain all the water from the rock feature before that first freeze of the season occurs. Water expands as it freezes, and that can lead to cracks in your rocks, pump malfunctions, and other issues that are difficult and expensive to resolve. If you are using treated rocks, an outdoor fountain cover may be employed for an additional layer of protection.

Rock water features are stunning examples of manmade beauty from natural components. If you want to keep your rock water feature looking its best, follow these care and maintenance tips. Make sure that you thoroughly clean your feature every one to three months in the warmer months, then drain the water in the winter for the best possible results.

We’ve used these same methods at HK Contractors with many of our customers, and they’ve proven to keep rock water features in working order for years. If you’ve got questions or would like to discuss a rock water feature for your project, we’re here to help!