Every time winter draws nearer this question of whether people should remove their pond pump or not gets asked a lot. It actually depends on a couple of main factors, the temperature of where you live and the aquatic life of your pond.

If the temperature drops to somewhere around 30 degrees Fahrenheit it will definitely freeze your pond water and the pump, causing massive damage. So, if you live in such circumstances, it is better to remove the pond pump for the winter.

That’s why the concern is justified. So here we will try to discuss what happens when you keep it running and when you decide not to.

What happens if you keep your pond running in winter?

Normally when people have got fish in their ponds that’s when they keep their pond pump running throughout the whole winter season. This way, their fish wouldn’t freeze to death. Besides when the surface of the pond gets frozen it traps all the toxic gasses underneath which is harmful to your fish and this might cause them to die as well.

Under such circumstances, you might think about keeping your pump running throughout the whole winter season.

Running your pump will keep your pond’s temperature warmer and also circulate oxygen-rich water from the pond’s surface. This will also help in keeping your pond water clean. This practice is not as easy as it might sound. It requires a lot of attention and maintenance.

Should You Remove Pond Pump For The Winter?

Things you must consider if you keep your pump running in winter

If you want to go ahead with it there are a few things you must keep your check on to get an effective result out of this:-

Heater or de-icer

If you’ve decided to keep your pump running during the winter, make sure you get a water heater or de-icer as well. Because if your climate is freezing, your pump will freeze as well. So a heater or de-icer will help your pump to keep circulating water and prevent your pump and fish from freezing.

Dam effect


In extremely cold conditions, your pond can be emptied due to ice formation.  Causing water to get redirected out of the pond. Also, Ice occupies more space by expanding. This process is called the Ice Dam or Dam effect.

If the water also overflows and starts flowing out of the pond with your pump running, it will accelerate the process of freezing and soon your pump will start running empty. This could damage the device badly.

Additional Read: How To Winterize Your Pond


Electricity ain’t cheap. Pumps are quite expensive to operate. It will cost you more than 100 dollars per month if you continuously keep it running.

The de-icer isn’t that cheap either. Large units of de-icer can cost around 75 dollars per month. On the other hand, aeration kits are a much cheaper alternative as they only cost you around 2 dollars every month.


If it’s a submersible pump you should raise your pump from the bottom during winter. This will help to minimize the mixing of the different water temperatures from the bottom to the top surface of your pond. This could also harm the health of your fish.

Additional Read: Where to Place Your Pond Pump

Follow pump’s nature

Some pumps are not built or designed to be used during winter. So you need to make sure which one you’ve got before you start using it in winter and also which one you need to buy before buying it. If you have an in-ground pump, surrounding soil should be enough to insulate it.

Alternatively, if you have an above-ground pump and you want to keep it running during the winter you should insulate it.

What should you do when you remove your pump in winter

Basically, when you don’t have any fish in your pond, there’s no need to keep your pump running during the winter, as simple as that. Because as we’ve mentioned before, it’s quite costly to operate a pump.

Using a De-icer or heater is a cheaper option to go for if you have fish in your pond in winter. You can also add aeration kits to it. Furthermore, it requires more of your attention during the winter period because the dam effect could cause damage to your fish.


You can already guess that I’m advocating for removing the pond pump in winter. It’s really expensive to keep it on during winter and maintain it. I believe I’ve given you enough information for you to decide should you remove pond pump for the winter or not.

And remember, If you decide to remove it, make sure it is kept in a warm place and the pump itself is dry as freezing might cause damage to it. Good luck.

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