Q: I occasionally have power outages during the snowfall. Will it cause a problem for my aeration system?
Pete – Traverse City, MI
A: Power outages during heavy snowfall or ice storms aren’t uncommon – and when they happen, your aeration system will need some attention. Here’s what we recommend to prevent problems from occurring:
- Relieve Air Pressure: Built-up air pressure in the air compressor could potentially stop the aerator from turning back on when the power is restored, so it’s important to get rid of that pressure via the release valve.
- Check for Moisture, Condensation: If the power is out for an extended period of time, keep an eye on the cabinet for moisture and condensation. It could indicate reduced air flow, and all that wetness could freeze if temperatures are low enough.
- Clear Off Snow: To allow for proper air flow and to minimize moisture from melting snow around the unit, shovel or dust accumulating snow from around the cabinet.
- Melt Ice Blockages: Long power outages could cause your diffuser’s air lines to freeze. To melt them and open the air flow back up, pour 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol through each line (or the line you believe is blocked or frozen).
As for your fish, they should be just fine if your aerator shuts down for a few hours. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water, so they’ll have plenty of oxygen during short-term interruptions.
Pond Talk: How do you protect your aeration system from frigid temperatures?