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outdoor fountain project

updated thu 31 jul 97


Ed Kraft on fri 4 jul 97

I make both indoor and outdoor fountains. I am located next to the Canadian
border. As I type this I am overlooking the San Juan Islands and all that
marine air that determines our climate.
It does freeze here, sometimes for several straight weeks, and the water
surface can freeze 2-3" deep. My fountains rest on a base 1" below the water
surface. The force of the expanding ice would crack the base, so I recommend
the fountains be removed during the winter months.

I do have some suggestions for you to consider.
1. Remove the fountain during the winter months, if possible.
2. Design your fountain so that it doesn't trap any water, for that will
certainly lead to problems in the winter.
3. Water to the fountain could be turned off, and the fountain could be
placed on a base above the water surface.
4. If the pond is small enough you could place a stock tank heater in it.
I've successfully kept a small pond (@150 gal.) from freezing using this
5. I fire to ^ 4-5 and the clay ( which I use) is vitrified at this temp.
this keeps my garden art from absorbing moisture, thus not freezing and
causing damage. A complete glaze covering will help. Any bare spots,
including crazing, will allow water into a porous body. You have probably seen
terra cotta flower pots that have frozen and broken during the winter months
because they are so porous.

Besides making fountains I also design and install landscape ponds. I've
pulled commercially made fountains and turned off fountains as a general
policy. Remember you can't count on continual running water to keep the pond
from freezing, since electricity can go out especially during the winter.
I hope this info gives you some help. Let me know how things turn out.

Ed Kraft