Will my pond breather fail in extreme cold?

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by Kaniff, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Kaniff

    Kaniff

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    Hello everyone,
    The current temperature outside with the windchill is -38C. I can see that the tube in my pond breather is starting to fill with water, im worried that the ice will freeze under the breather tube and then just start pumping all the water out. Has anyone had an issue with this? What happens when the ice gets thicker that the tube is long?...Im also worried that the pond will just freeze completely solid. The temps will be warmer by Monday so I just need to get through this weekend, anyone have any tips on stopping a raised pond from freezing solid?
    Im so worried, I have had my koi for years in my indoor pond, I would be devastated if they all died in their first winter outside. Im home all weekend so im willing to do whatever I need to. Any advice would be much appreciated. -38.JPG view from my kitchen..JPG
     
    Kaniff, Feb 13, 2016
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  2. Kaniff

    Faebinder

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    Need more info like size and depth of the pond. Is it like he picture showing, above ground pond? What's the freeze line? Do you have it covered?
     
    Faebinder, Feb 13, 2016
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  3. Kaniff

    morewater President, Raccoon Haters International

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    From Newmarket.

    If you're worried, go boil yourself a kettle of water and pour it on the ice around the breather. Keep doing it until you've melted your way through the ice.

    Most likely is that hole in the ice is only the diameter of the heating wire, which limits the flow of water back down below the ice. Next year, put a couple of zip-ties around the breather tube to hold the heating cable taut against the breather tube.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about, but do the kettle thing to put your mind at rest. You'll see what I mean after you've done it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    morewater, Feb 13, 2016
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    MitchM, teeemkay and cas like this.
  4. Kaniff

    Kaniff

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    Its 4' deep. 2' above ground & 2' below. 12'x8'. Its not covered. Its the same pond as the pics.
     
    Kaniff, Feb 13, 2016
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  5. Kaniff

    Kaniff

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    Thanks, I just poured few kettles of water on the breather open a hole around it.
     
    Kaniff, Feb 13, 2016
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  6. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    do you have a back up pond heater ,sorry but for the price I do not trust those things .I saw a few really bad reviews on them
     
    sissy, Feb 13, 2016
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  7. Kaniff

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    I think you'll be ok. This is my second winter with a breather, so I am no expert, but I am in zone 5 and mine made it through last years bitter cold stretch just fine, and doing great in this one too. We aren't as cold this year but we did have -25°F windchills this morning and hasn't gotten much warmer all day.

    Sometimes my tube fills a little with water too, but nothing has ever happened. Eventually I'll look out and see that it's lowered back down. I also wondered why it does that, but it's never caused me any problems, and has never overflowed.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Feb 13, 2016
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  8. Kaniff

    Tula

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    There are several members here, that use the Pond Breather in very cold climates, and have no problems. I'm using one this winter, but also have a floating de-icer and an aerator going. Hope this cold snap passes quickly!
     
    Tula, Feb 13, 2016
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  9. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    Here they are saying by tuesday the warmer weather returns so hoping every one will be getting it also .Can't complain though because the winter has been really mild .
     
    sissy, Feb 14, 2016
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  10. Kaniff

    teeemkay

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    I agree with the suggestion about freeing up some of the ice around it with hot water. Also, we use one of those high-watt de-icers and they work very well keeping a hole open in the ice even in the worst winter conditions. The drawback, of course, is that they use a lot of electricity, so I use them only when absolutely necessary.
     
    teeemkay, Feb 14, 2016
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  11. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    I wonder how long that plastic will last with out cracking under extreme conditions and what will happen when or if it cracks .
     
    sissy, Feb 14, 2016
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  12. Kaniff

    morewater President, Raccoon Haters International

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    The plastic won't crack, Sissy. There's no reason for it to crack, it's a hollow tube, open at both ends.
     
    morewater, Feb 14, 2016
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  13. Kaniff

    Tula

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    Sadly, that is what happened to mine in the winter of 2015, multiple cracks. I was refunded my money , as they said it was defective. I've had no problems with my new one this winter.
     
    Tula, Feb 14, 2016
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  14. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    I wondered about plastic as it fails over time from cold and wonder how they have made this plastic strong enough that it will last several winters .
     
    sissy, Feb 14, 2016
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  15. Kaniff

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    My two are doing fine, no cracks, no clogs, no issues, just working away keeping my fish happy. This is the second winter with them. Last winter was the tough one, pond ice around 18 inches thick. This winter, not sure how thick. No where close to 18 inches.
     
    addy1, Feb 15, 2016
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  16. Kaniff

    MitchM

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    My pond breathers have worked fine at -40c with -52 windchill and 2 feet of ice.
    Your pond, Kaniff, may not be deep enough for your climate.
    Nylon zipties like morewater suggested, will help the tube stay clear of ice.

    Floating stock tank heaters do not work for extreme cold. I tried a 1500w on my pond and the ice still formed a dome over top of it.
     
    MitchM, Feb 15, 2016
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  17. Kaniff

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I am toooo cheap (thrifty) to run heaters. The fish do fine with the breather or a tiny pump keeping a hole in the ice. The big pond has both the 1000 gallon tank has just a breather. The small pump is in a home depot bucket stuffed with some filter material to keep it clean. The hole has stayed open all winter, varies in size depending on the cold hit. Around 200 gallons per hour or less. Can't remember what I put in.
     
    addy1, Feb 15, 2016
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  18. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    Colleen uses pond heaters and she has never had a problem keeping a hole open .
     
    sissy, Feb 15, 2016
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  19. Kaniff

    MitchM

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    Colleen's pond is in a location protected from the wind.
     
    MitchM, Feb 15, 2016
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    morewater likes this.
  20. Kaniff

    sissy sissy

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    Could be a factor and glad I live down here .The worst storms we get come up from NC as the ones that come across the mountain get cut down by them .
     
    sissy, Feb 15, 2016
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