A site dedicated to sharing general care of mute swans

Submersible Pump for Open Water in Winter

November 23rd, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Submersible Pump for Open Water in Winter


There are various ways to keep a “WINTER WAKE” for your Waterfowl.
A Submersible Pump in a Tub may be Effective in your Water Environment.

Click to Enlarge Images 

Swans Winter Care

*****Submersible Pump


Winter Water Wake..
Keeping Water Moving and Mixing to Prevent Freezing.

Every Water Environment is different.
Some Ponds have Open Water Areas all Year Round.
Even in the Coldest Weather. These are Lucky Folks.

For Ponds that will Naturally Freeze during Winter Months,
the Addition of some type of DeIcing Equipment is Necessary.

Waterfowl in Liquid Water are Safer from Predators and the Winter Cold.

Swans Frozen Pond

*****Winter Wake for Swans
When there is a Chill in the Air.. It is TIME to Plan for Winter.

Fall Colors

This Topic Page is about our Experience During the Winter of 2015-2016.

Fall Frost

          “Jack Frost” Visits the Pond.

In Pennsylvania we might need DeIcing by mid-November.
At least for some Nights when the Temperatures drop below Freezing.

Pond Temp

The last several Winters have had some VERY Cold Periods.

Swans Frozen Pond
We have our Swans on a Lovely Pond that will Naturally Freeze over during the Winter. Swans Lovely Pond
We need to be sure our Swans have a SAFE Place to stay in their Pond.

Swans Feeder
And Open Water by their Feeder, so they can continue to Eat while in the Water.

Swans in Fall
We used a Circulating Air-O-Lator in Past Winters.
The Circulating Aeration Systems are OUT in the Deeper Areas of the Pond..

Air-O-Lator Frozen
If the Fan Motor STOPs Working, we have found they are TOO Difficult to Service when the Pond is COLD and Frozen.

Frozen Air-O-Lator

This Winter (2015-2016) we are Going to Use a
Submersible Pump in a Large Vinyl Tub.

Submersible Pump for Pond

This Set-Up will be in the Shallow Area of the Pond by the Dock.

Submersible Pump In Pond

If this works the way we plan, Open Water will extend way out into the Pond.

For Using a Submersible Pump In the Pond for the Winter.

Submersible Pump In Pond

There are Different Brands of Submersible Pumps.
Different Stores – Different Prices…  Check Reviews.

Submersible Pump

I Found a Country Line Submersible Pump.
Country Line Submersible Pump   (NOT Sump Pump)

Submersible Pump

Country Line Submersible Pump was Available at Tractor Supply.


We needed to have Electric Service Close to the Pond.

Electric by Pond

The Pump Safety Information Discourages using Extension Cords.
We arranged for Electrical Lines to be run underground by an Electrical Contractor.

Electric by Pond

They Installed an Outside WaterProof Outlet Cover Box.

Taymac MM7440C Weatherproof Double Outlet Cover
Outdoor Receptacle Protector, 4-3/4 Inches Deep, Clear.

The way the Covered Electric Box came (with Four-Outlets)
it is not Large enough for the ThermoCube to fit inside properly.
The ThermoCube Strip would stick out the Side..

Electric by Pond

The Electrician ordered a different Outlet for inside.
We will only have a two Plug Outlet centered in the Box.

Electric by Pond

Ours is Modified for a GFCI Outlet.
The GFCI will protect the Swans from any Errant Current into the Water if there is a Crack in the Pump’s Electric Cord.

Submersible Pump Electric

Being Outside near Water.. the Dew, Fog and Rain will cause Dampness,
and the GFCI may “Trip”..

THERMOCube Outlet
A Good Reason for the LED Light as an Indicator
> > > to see if the Electric is Turned ON.
Not all “Cute” Night Light Fit in the Covered Electric Box..
If you need to use Extension Cords – Run this through PVC Conduit.
Winter Wake for Swans
Be SURE your Cords are Safe for OutDoor Use.

Electric Cables
A Submersible Pump (NOT a SUMP Pump).
Cost about $90.00. Total for all Equipment about $200.00
We bought One Extra Submersible Pump as a “Quick Change Spare”..

Submersible Pump

Submersible Pump

Debris Screen
The Submersible Pump NEEDs to be in a LARGE Flat Bottom TUB…
It CAN NOT sit on the Bottom of the Pond.

Submersible Pump for Pond
We are not going to put Holes in the Tub AS LONG AS the
Water Flow into the Tub is OK..
I want to Prevent as much Silt from entering the Pump as possible.

Submersible Pump for Pond
The Pump Filter Screen will NEED to be Cleaned of Debris if it Collects any Leaves/Twigs/Dirt.
The Open Water Area will become Smaller if the Intake Screen becomes Clogged.
Pull the Pump-Tub Up and Clean the Intake Screen. “Brushes.”

Cleaning Brushes
Try to put any Cords or Cables in Polyvinyl Conduit (cheap)..
to protect these from Animals/Birds (Swans) Chewing Holes in the Cords.

Submersible Pump

*****FLEX CORD Conduit
Submersible Pump

The Swans will Pick and Chew at Rope, Cords, Electric Cables, etc.

Cable Conduit Clamps

From Past Experiences, I know our Swans will Chew any Type of Rope/Line/Cord we put in their Pond.

Swans Chewing Ropes
The Muck Bucket Tub will sit on the Bottom of the Pond in at least 24 Inches of Water.   A Cheap Muck Bucket BROKE in a few Days.
A GOOD Heavy Duty Muck Tub is worth the Extra Expense.

Submersible Pump
The Weight of the Pump is Sufficient to keep the Tub down on the Bottom..

I want some Extra Support around the Tub, so it will not Collapse when we pull it in to Clean the Intake Screen.


We are going to use a Stainless Steel Chain through a length of Vinyl Tubing thread through Holes in the “Muck Bucket Tub” Rim to attach our Set-up to the Dock.

We pulled the Tub UP several time and the Hose Covered Chain did Support the Tub as the Water Drained OUT.

I was hoping to Thread the Stainless Chain through an Old Section of Hose.. Nope ! ! The Chain is too Big….  So, I had to Slit the Hose for now..

Once I decide if this is a good way to Support the Tub…
I might get some PVC/Vinyl Tubing large enough to Thread the Chain through.
We might Adjust the Chain Connections after we use it a bit.

We are going to Watch for ANYTHING that might be a Tangle Hazard,
And modify where needed…
The Water level is only 24 inches in front of this Dock..
We plan to start using the Submersible Pump without the Extension Hose.

Winter Wake for Swans
Our Swan Friend at the “Country Music Pond”..
just lets their Pump Run without a Hose attached.
His Set-up is about 5 feet down.. off their Dock..
Impressive Results.

Winter Wake for Swans
It keeps about 1/4 to 1/3 Acre of their Pond Free of Ice.

So we will see how much Benefit we get without the Hose.

Submersible Pump
If we put the Hose on and Run it out into the Pond, the Dock Area might not get enough Circulation to Prevent Freezing.

Swans Submersible Pump
We are going to… Try This, Try That. Work in Progress.

If our Open Water Area is not as Large as we hope it will be, we might use a length of Garden Hose running out 5 to 8 feet toward the Main Pond Body. We will be doing some Trials to get this to Work, Cutting the Hose until it Works the way we want.

We will use the Female End of a Hose Repair Kit on the Hose to Attach to the Pump Discharge.

Submersible Pump Hose

The Force of the Water Discharge is apparently Strong..
A Garden Hose might Float and Whip around.
To Weight the Hose (If we use this ??? ) and to keep the Hose from “Whipping” around, I Purchased a 10 Foot Length of Stainless Electrical Pipe.. Not very Heavy.. $6.50

Metal Electric Conduit

We had the Pipe Cut into several Sections:
(1) 4 Foot, (1) 3 Foot, (2) 1- 1/2 Foot Pieces.

Metal Electric Conduit

We will thread the Pipe Sections as Needed on the Hose and use the Male End of the Hose Repair Kit as a Stop to keep the Pipe Sections on.

Submersible Pump Hose
To Extend the Water Flow out into the Pond, it might work better with Plumbing PVC Pipes.. with some gentle angles to Direct the Water Flow out toward the Open Pond.

Our Pond Friend knows how to Heat and Bend these PVC Pipes..
I KNOW Nothing about Plumbing, so here I am a Blank Slate.
IF this is used, I will add images.

The “Thermo Cube Outlet”.. Is Temperature Sensitive..
Model TC-3 Turns the Electric ON at 35 Degrees..
and OFF at 45 Degrees..   The Pump will only Work when Needed.

Check Frequently that the Thermo Cube is Working.
They are NOT Dependable.

Thermo Cube By Farm Innovator:
I Purchased on OnLine..
Also, Found the ThermoCube at our local Home Depot.
These may be available at other Hardware Supply Stores,
Animal Feed Suppliers – Like Tractor Supply.  ?? Check.

THERMOCube Outlet

Plugging in a LED Nightlight will let us know from a Distance when the Electric is ON or if the GFCI NEEDs to be Re-Set.          Optional.
We will know the ThermoCube is Working if the Light is ON.

Submersible Pump
Some Winters are Mild and DeIcing may not be Needed.
Some Winters are LONG and COLD, DeIcing is Needed.
We are Ready to see how this Set-Up Works.

We put our Set-Up in the Pond in Late October.
Turned it ON and WATCHED…
The Swans STARTED to Alarm ! !     >>> Something NEW in THEIR POND..Swans Alarming

Swans Alarming
But, they did come over to see what was in THEIR Pond.
Since we were there, they Quickly Realized there was no Danger.

Swans Submersible Pump

The Pump will be Turned ON for a Few Minutes a Day, while Feeding the Swans. This way they will become Familiar with the Pump Noise and Water Current Near their Feed Station.

Swans Submersible Pump

*****Swans Submersible Pump

Observing the Ripples move across the Pond, it looks like a Nice Size
Area will remain Ice-Free.

Swans Submersible Pump
Min-Max Thermometer with Magnet.

High-Low Thermometer
Our Local Weather Station Forecasts the Average High and Low
Temperature for the Day in our General Area.  The Temperature by a Rural Pond at Night may be several Degrees different.

It is nice to get an Idea when the Submersible Pump will be needed.

High-Low Thermometer

We placed a Min-Max Thermometer on the Shady Side of a Sturdy Post.
The Electric Supply to the Pump can remain OFF until the Pond has
a Potential of Ice Forming.
Min-Max High-Low Thermo

*****************************************************Winter Wake for Swans


Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

Mid-January 2016
It is Finally becoming Frigid at Night.  Days are Colder also.
The Pump is Running 24/7 now.

Winter DeIcing Pond

We are NOT Sure we can depend on the ThermoCube to Turn ON.
Winter DeIcing PondThe Pond Water is Ice-Free approximately 80-90 Feet out to the
Island.  Colder Winter Weeks are due during the Remainder of January and February.

Winter DeIcing Pond

After Eight Winters Caring for Swans, I am still AMAZED how well
they do in the ICY-Open Water.

Winter is Getting into the COLD Months…  It is Mid-January.

UpDates will Follow……    Fingers Crossed.


A WINTER DIARY of Ponds Using Submersible Pumps..

Images are from 2014 – 2015 – 2016    Two Swan Ponds.Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump
Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump   This is the Deep End of the Pond.
Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpAbove the Open Water Area is Shrinking…
                     TIME TO CLEAN the PUMP.

Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

MID-MARCH Snow and Ice Linger…
Warmer Days are Coming. Winter Wake for Swans


UPDATE  March 2016

We got our Swans through the Winter..
Reasonable Open Water as long as the Pump was Clean and Running..

But, this Submersible Pump Set-up was MORE WORK for Everyone then we expected.

Every Pond is different..
Our Friends at the “Country Music Pond” Only Needed to Clean their Pump  Occasionally during the Four Winter Months..Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans

Their Dock and Pump are at the Opposite End of the Pond from the Water In-Flow.

There was ONE Frigid Night the Young Males PULLED the Electric Plug OUT of the Socket.  Their Pond was Totally Frozen by Morning.  Only Once.
Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans
Our Submersible Pump Set-up is in Shallow Water by the Dock-Feeder.
This is the Location where several Fields Drain into the Pond.
  Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans
The Rain and Snow-Melt carried lots of Silt, Twigs, Leaves, etc. into the Pond close to the Tub-Pump. The Debris Floated into the Tub and Collected on the Pump Debris Screen.  All this Junk NEEDED to be Cleaned FREQUENTLY.
Not much Fun on Cold Winter Days.

WE are going to look into a Different Type of DeIcing for the Pond Next Winter.   It was Worth a Try…  We Learned what Did NOT Work Well.  Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans

This is a Exit Drainage Flow Stream at a Golf Course..
Easy to See it would have LOTs of Debris if Flowing into the Pond.

Hopefully, you will get the idea.. It is Try This – Try That.
Get to Know “The Ins and Outs” of your Water Environment..

Pond Fall Leaf

Swan Pond Ice

Winter Begins

Cygnets Winter Pond

Swan Biting Ice

Pond Ice

Submersible Pump

Submersible Pump

Swans Icy Morning Bath

Swans Icy Morning Bath

Cygnets Winter Wake

Cygnets Winter Wake

Cygnets Winter Wake

Winter on the Swans Pond

Winter on the Swans Pond

Winter on the Swans Pond

Spring Pond Plants


This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger                    >>>  UpDated     MARCH 2021

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