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Pond Fountain and Aerator Frequently Asked Questions

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HP vs VOLUME

Q: Should I base my choice solely on Horse Power?

A: No, Depending on what part of the world pumps are manufactured in, advertisements of the horsepower rating can favor one pump over another. Horsepower never equates to performance with pumps, as each pump is built for a specific purpose, some may produce higher volumes but little pressure, and those that deliver higher pressure may not produce as much volume. Our rule of thumb is to look at the Wattage of the pump and the GPH rating the manufacturer gives the pump, these numbers should provide a better basis for comparison. Most Horsepower to Watts conversions will find 750watts = 1hp.

FOUNTAIN VS AERATOR

Q: Do I want a Fountain or an Aerator?

A: Aeration is the process of adding oxygen to your water. Aerating stagnant water is essential to the health of a pond. Aeration occurs naturally through the help of wind, rain, splashing and photosynthesis of aquatic plants. While fountains and aerators will both aerate, they do so at different rates. Floating aerators typically use a propeller with little restriction to move high volumes of water, thus delivering more oxygen transfer. Fountains generally utilize an impeller style pump which moves less water but builds more pressure creating larger displays which are aesthetically appealing. Display aerators fall in between the two. Air diffusers (bottom aeration systems, bubbler aerators) aerate by forcing air through a diffuser membrane.The bubbles rise from the bottom of the pond taking oxygen depleted water to the surface to mix with oxygen rich water. Air diffusers can be used all year long to add beneficial aeration to your pond and will keep an opening in the pond during the winter for water fowl and other wildlife.

 

 

 

 High Volume Aerator

 Air Diffuser

Fountain  

 Display Aerator


WARRANTY

Q: Should I purchase a fountain with a longer warranty?

A: When considering which fountain to purchase, keep cost-vs-warranty in mind. For example, compare the cost of replacing a motor/pump on each unit you are looking at. Often times, a fountain with a 3-5 year warranty will have a much higher purchase price up front. Consider this; can you replace the pump on a similar less expensive fountain multiple times and still be money ahead? The pump/motor is the most expensive replacement part you will buy. Remember, manufacturer warranties always have loopholes, few warranties are unconditional. Clogging, extreme water conditions, debris, mineral/salt content and cord damage will void most warranties.

INSTALLATION

Q: What is involved in the installation of a floating fountain / aerator?

A: First, you should have power available near your pond. This power supply must have ground fault interruption. It is not recommended get an extra long cord on your fountain and run it to a power source that is far from the pond. You will not want to bury the fountain’s cord in case you need to remove the fountain in the winter or return it for service. Leaving the cord on the ground usually results in a damaged cord. Have an outlet or power source near the pond’s edge and order a power cord long enough to go from that source to the area in the pond where you want the fountain.
Most complete fountains and aerators require very little assembly. After assembling the unit and placing it in the water, you will use your anchor line to pull the fountain to its desired location in the pond. You can anchor the unit to the bottom of the pond with a concrete block (or other weighted object) or tie the unit off the side of the pond using a stake. Remember, when anchoring to the bottom, you will need a boat or some way to access your fountain from the water.


WINTER USE

Q: Should I remove my Fountain in the winter?

A: You do not want to run your fountain / surface aerator in freezing conditions and allow ice to build up on top of it. In some cases, the pump can be allowed to remain in the water and freeze over. It is imperative that the power supply be turned off so that the unit cannot come on while ice may be present in the top end of the unit and remove the nozzle to allow for expansion. Allowing a unit to come on with ice in it can cause serious damage.
For most people, winter is a good excuse to remove the fountain, clean it and check for any necessary maintenance.
Winter storage requirements vary depending on the pump. Always thoroughly clean the pump before storing.

RHP 4000 (Leader Pump): If leaving pump in the water, disconnect power supply. If removing pump, store in an area safe from freezing.

RHP 10000 (T Series Pump): Manufacturer recommends: Remove the pump from the pond, clean it, store pump in bucket of water to prevent seals from drying out and protect the pump from freezing. Run pump once a week in the bucket to keep seals from sticking. At the start of next season, the manufacturer recommends manually rotating the impeller with a small screwdriver before installing in pond.

4” Stainless Steel Motors (RHP Industrial Series / Vortex Aerator) Remove unit and store motor in an area above 32 degrees. These water cooled motors retain a small amount of fluid inside which can expand and cause damage if it is allowed to freeze.

Kasco Recommendations: In regions where there is significant freezing in the wintertime, the aerators should be pulled from the water to protect them from the expansion pressure of the ice.
In many areas aerators will keep some amount of ice open through the winter, but a surface aerator is not the most effective way to accomplish this. The unit should be removed from the float ring and installed below the surface in the deeper, warmer water. Please call us for recommendations *Kasco units only*(715) 262-4488. Storage over winter is best in a location that is out of the sun and cool, but above 32°F.

CARE/MAINTENANCE

Q: What kind of maintenance should I expect?

A: The most important part of maintaining a fountain or aerator is to keep the intake clear of obstruction. Weeds, leaves, algae, fishing line, and plastic bags can get drawn into the intake and cause the pump motor to overheat. It is recommended that you periodically check the pump for blockage and buildup. Excessive minerals in the water can build up in/on the pump and is very abrasive to seals and bearings. Build up on the stainless motor housing make it harder for the motor to dissipate heat and will eventually cause the motor to overheat. It is strongly recommended that you remove the fountain at least once a season and flush it with clean water.Some ponds will require that you clean your pump more often than others. Remove the float and nozzle and place the pump upside down (pump up, pipe pointing down) in a trash can or other large container full of clean tap water. Fill water level above the pump. Run the pump to flush out build up and debris. Do not allow pump to spin and twist power cord. Do not allow water level to drop and let pump run dry. If water becomes dirty with flushed out debris, repeat this process until water remains clean.

(Overheated pumps with clogged intake / mineral buildup)

Recommended Maintenance on KASCO units only:
Kasco recommends changing the seals and oil on their units every three years, and the zinc anode when it gets to half its original size.

PROBLEMS TO EXPECT / AVOID

Q: Are there certain problems I should watch for?

Here are a few of the common issues we have seen over the years:
* Muskrats will chew on power cords. This will trip the GFCI. If your GFCI trips, it is recommended that you remove the fountain from the water immediately and inspect the cord for damage. Nicks, cuts or chews through the jacket can allow water to get into the top end of the pump motor and cause irreparable damage.

* Placing the GFCI plug/adapter on the ground will allow moisture to get inside the GFCI and will cause it to malfunction.
* Using a long or undersized extension cord can cause voltage drops and will effect pump operation.
* Placing a fountain or aerator in a pond full of weeds / algae will most likely result in clogs and / or overheating of the pump.
* Connecting to an improper power source may ruin your equipment (connecting 115 volt pump to 230 volts or connecting 12v lights to 115v power)

COST TO OPERATE

Q: How much will a fountain or aerator cost to operate?

A: Use the following formula to figure cost:
AMPS x VOLTS = X
Divide X by 1000
Multiply this number by KWH (cost per KWH on your electric bill)
This is the cost to operate for one hour.

230 VOLT or 115 VOLT

Q: Is there an advantage to 230 or 115 volts?

A: The main advantage to 230 volts is that it allows you to use longer power cord lengths with smaller gauge wire. In the case of our Vortex 1/2HP Aerator (available in both 115v and 230v) performance and cost to operate are exactly the same for 230v and 115v (AMP x VOLTS= Watts).

Our FAQ Page is currently being updated. Please check back soon for more questions and answers.

The Fountain Guys, Ltd.
14888 Centerburg Rd.
Sunbury, Ohio 43074
1-888-965-9655

 

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