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When should I turn off my pond aerator for winter recreation?
ASKED BY: Syd of Jackson, WY
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When should I turn off my pond aerator for winter recreation?

Last Updated: February 21, 2024
Asked by: Syd of Jackson, WY

A: Part of the joy of having your own pond is the wintertime sports you can play on the ice, like ice skating, hockey, curling, broomball, and ice fishing. These frosty, fun activities are the main reason folks shut down pond aerators for winter, as keeping one running will create a hole in the ice, making it unstable and treacherous to tread upon.

Do you plan to turn your pond into an ice rink this year? If so, turn off your aerator pumps, pull them out, and store your aeration system before any ice forms. Shut aeration down as early as possible, because even slightly aerated ice moves, shifts, and becomes porous and unsafe for skating. Aerating just one end of the pond will destabilize the ice forming on the opposite side, making the whole surface dangerous.

Here's the winter pond aeration shutdown process we recommend for safety:

  1. Turn off your pond’s air pumps completely before ice forms. This is critical for the safety of those who will skate on the pond.
  2. Store the cabinet and compressor indoors. Your airline and diffuser plate may stay in the pond, but move the compressor indoors to keep it dry and prevent condensation and rusting.
  3. Cover the flex tube and airline ends. Doing so will prevent debris from entering and plugging up the airlines, which can damage aeration pumps.
  4. Have an emergency plan. While you're prepping your lake for ice skating fun, now's a good time to make sure you have water safety items available, like a Life Ring. If the ice breaks, a safety preserver can save someone's life.

If you're not using your pond for winter activities, keep your Airmax Aeration System operating all season long. Using your air pump for pond aeration in winter will help prevent a fish kill caused by lack of oxygen. Don't forget to move your diffuser plates out of the deepest water to provide your finned friends a safe zone. This helps prevent the super-cooling effect that happens in the chilled winter water, which could lead to a total freeze and winter fish kill.

Learn More About Winter Pond Aeration

Do you have additional questions about using an air pump for pond aeration in winter? Contact one of our friendly pond experts today, or check out these articles below:

Ice Safety
How to Create a Pond Ice Rink
Continuing Pond Aeration in Winter
Winter Water Garden Aeration Guide