Do I need to protect my pumps this winter?


Do I need to protect my pumps this winter?


It’s safe to say that the winter frost is rolling in currently, all around the UK. The great car de-icing has begun, and many people have spotted the rise in winter fog and frost scattered across the landscape.  Winter can be a difficult time for many homeowners across the UK – especially depending on location and how cold it gets.

Some may experience pipe bursting/freezing and others may need to cover their pond up this winter to protect the fish they carefully look after during the rest of the year.  Hopefully this post today will help clarify any notions or concerns you have regarding wintertime and protecting your pumps.  Pumps of all shapes and sizes are temperature dependent, I’ll be breaking down this post’s content to find the sections that are relevant to you. If you have any further questions or a very particular use case; then it’s definitely worth getting in contact with our team at 01633 244777 or





There are a variety of reasons you should and shouldn’t run your pond pump during the winter – Let’s Discuss

Keeping water circulating: 

    • If you have aquatic life in your pond, it may be wise to keep the water moving to help prevent the pond from sitting still and freezing over.  This helps prevent harm to some forms of aquatic life that have a low tolerance to the cold or icy conditions. You may also find that your pond has special linings or material that may get damaged by ice buildup over time.

Specialist aquatic life:

    • If you have fish, turtles, koi, etc. Then it may be essential to run both a pump and a heating solution to keep the temperature right for these creatures to survive during potentially harsh winter conditions.

Gas Build up: 

    • Both plants and animals can release forms of toxic gases that in high concentrations may be harmful to your creatures or plant life in the pond. Having a pump on during winter will allow gaps in the ice to allow for gas to escape safely from the pond.



Natural icicles hanging on the pipe, the concept of winter


You may not always wish to keep a pump on during the winter for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • If you do not keep fish or other animals in your pond and wish to keep maintenance to a minimum during the winter months.
  • It’s no mystery that pumps use electricity & the bill tends to be higher during the winter months, shutting it down during this time would save on money if not needed.
  • Having to keep an eye on weather reports – always check the specification operating temperatures on your pond pump. Some pumps are not rated to go below 0 degrees Celsius and turning them off during this time will help prevent damage to the pump during these conditions.



  • Make sure to keep an eye on your pond during the winter months. You’re looking for a build-up of ice from flowing water (If running a pump), this can make a dam that diverts water out of the pond.  This can be prevented by melting the build-up with de-chlorinated warm water onto it.
  • A pump will be considered outside, even if it’s in outbuildings due to how cold it can get in such buildings e.g. a barn. Make sure you check on the pumps operating temperatures to make sure they don’t exceed set range.


Borehole Pumps

There are a few considerations to take in mind when using a borehole pump during the winter:

  • Groundwater levels and making sure the pump stays submerged.
  • A lot of configuration depends on your setup and how deep you have your borehole pump underground. What you will tend to find is that it doesn’t get cold enough in the UK to deep freeze water underground more than a few feet down at any one point and that it doesn’t often stay cold enough to keep it frozen either during this time; but it’s better to be safe and prepared during these times.
  • If you are not using your water source during winter, you should tightly seal it to prevent polluted surface water from flowing in drinking water sources. When snow melts, especially in large volumes there may be a large amount of water run off that can be contaminated with dirty water, or it may contain solid particles that may end up in pumped water – potentially damaging a pump.
  • If your pump is only a small distance down in a well or other reserve, it may be necessary to insulate pump components or other accessories. Please refer to the operating manual for pump temperature tolerances or speak to our team at 01633 244777 or email at


Pipe infrastructure:

  • Potential freezing, leaks, blockages and bursting with sharp drops in water pressure, will potentially be an issue with your setup during the cold period.
  • So, you should make sure that your pipes and water interfaces are well insulated and protected from the elements – Especially if they are above ground, but keep in mind that all components may be susceptible to freezing temperatures, so it’s better to insulate everything that needs it to prevent future issues.
  • You should periodically run your taps, even at a trickle. Flowing water will help reduce the risk of freezing and prevent potential pressure build up, which could lead to pipes leaking or bursting in the worst case. Water used during this time would be minimal wastage, compared to all the time and money you would save not repairing a damaged system.

In conclusion

Yes, you should definitely protect your pumps if they are going to be exposed to conditions outside of their temperature range. This is especially true if the pipe infrastructure that they are connected to is prone to clogs, freezing, breaking or other forms of environmental damage.  In regards to pond pumps, making an informed choice on if you want to keep water moving to prevent freezing, buildup of toxic gases or for other reasons. This will be highly dependent on your setup and if you have any aquatic life.

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