How to Use a Pond De-Icer

By Barry Solomon , last updated December 21, 2011

If you have a pond on your property and you live in a climate where winter brings snow and ice, then you will need to use a pond de-icer to keep the ecosystem of your pond alive and functioning. A pond de-icer is designed to keep a hole in the ice to allow the escape of toxic gases caused by the breakdown of organic waste products and the replenishing of the pond with precious oxygen.

There are several types of pond de-icers, all of which can do the job. For medium to large size ponds, an Ice Chaser is a good choice. It floats on the surface of your pond and maintains a large opening due to its high wattage. It has enough power to melt through several inches of ice and will keep even a heavily stocked pond alive and vibrant. It is expensive to run as its 1250 watts running day and night will use over seventy-five dollars a month in electricity. It does require frequent cleaning and it may trip your circuit breaker off. And it will not work with standard extension cords.

The next choice is the Thermo Pond, a floating doughnut shaped unit that works on 100 watts of power and can handle small to medium sized ponds with average stocking. It will only use about six dollars of electricity a month. And its plastic housing does not require cleaning to avoid corrosion. It won't melt through thick ice and its plastic cover is subject to breaking or leakage.

Perfect Climate is a 300 watt unit that will run submerged and can keep a small pond completely free of ice. It won't melt through thick existing ice and uses about eighteen dollars a month of electricity. The Pond Saucer and Tetra De-icer are small units that can adequately handle smaller ponds.

You should install your de-icer in the fall before ice forms on your pond. If ice has already formed, use an ice auger to make a hole. Place the unit at the edge of the pond and plug it in to its power source. Place it near the deepest area close to an edge. Inspect it frequently to make sure the wire is not fraying.

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