Five Good Reasons to Put Your Water Feature on a Timer

Water features, such as waterfalls, fountains and fake rivers, are great at creating pleasant white noise to drown out unwanted sounds, such as traffic, neighbors and so forth. However, there are also good reasons why you might want to put your electric water feature pump on pause with an automatic timer. You might want to turn it off to:

  1. Save Electricity. If you don’t need to run your pump 24/7, you can pause it perhaps at night or while you are at work. Not only will this save you some money but it will save on the resources used to generate electricity in your area.
  2. Enjoy the Quiet While You Have It. Our place has predictable quiet times — namely at night — so having the fountains off means I get to enjoy peaceful nights. An automatic timer turns the pumps off at dusk and on at dawn.
  3. Give Wildlife a Break. Some aquatic wildlife prefer still waters. Pacific Tree frogs (Pseudacris regilla) and Northern Red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) live in our pond and both prefer still waters, especially during their busy mating period at night. The Northern Red-legged frogs mostly communicate underwater so they will especially appreciate the quiet.
  4. Extend Your Pump Lifespan: Depending on what kind of pump you have, it may benefit from running shorter periods of time. If your pump is a sump pump meant to run intermittently, giving it a break is a good idea. Check the duty cycle.
  5. Save water. Evaporation from your pond increases when you are running splashy features. You won’t have to top off your pond as often if you can find times to turn off the pump.
Pacific Tree frog AKA Pacific Chorus frog

You may want to keep your pond running for all sorts of reasons — to run the water through a filter or prevent mosquito larvae or to have continual white noise. Intermittent pump use has still kept away mosquito larvae in our ponds although I imagine the frogs also help with that.

We use simple mechanical timers on our water features but you can also purchase programmable landscape timers that allow you to set different schedules for different days of the week. Slick!

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