It's almost winter and it's time to protect the fountains in the garden. Instead of having a blue tarp or heavyweight trash bag covering the fountain to keep it from filling with rain and then freezing I wanted a solution that lets me enjoy looking at the fountain all year. I also don't have to worry about rain getting into the bowl through a hole in a cover. Filling the bowl with foam doesn't allow rain water to accumulate in the bowl, and if any does get in and freeze the foam absorbs the expansion of the ice so the fountain won't crack.
Step 1: Materials
For this you'll only need a few things:
1. Spray foam insulation. One can fills a little over a cubic foot, so for this small bowl I only needed one can.
2. Aluminum foil.
3. Hack saw (just for the blade. Any fine toothed blade can work).
4. Rubber hose.
Step 2: Drain the Fountain and the Pump
Some fountains have drain plugs, but if it doesn't like this one, you can drain it by tilting it or siphon with a small hose. This fountain is very heavy so I used a hose. I'll leave the pump under the top cover so I made sure to tie the cord up to keep the pump elevated off the bottom.
Step 3: Line the Bowl With Aluminum Foil
Using the aluminum foil line the entire bowl with sheets of it and make sure it runs over the edges. This will keep the foam from sticking to the bowl. It's important to make sure there are no holes or tears in the foil and that there are no gaps. I'm not worried about the chamber that holds the pump. Very little water can get past the foam that I'm not concerned about freezing in there.
Step 4: Fill With the Foam
This is the fun part! Make sure to follow the instructions and any safety precautions of whatever brand foam you decide to use. I slowly filled the bowl with the foam being careful not to let any get between the sheets of foil. It expands significantly so it will creep through if you go too quickly. Don't fill it all the way, since it will expand and bulge out of the bowl.
Step 5: Let It Dry
Walk away. After a day you can cut the top off with the hack saw blade to make it flush with the top if you want. For this one I'm leaving it the way it is. Once it's completely cured (after 24 hours) I may tear the foil away that hangs over the edge. The foam can be painted to look like water, or the like lion's bowl is filled with intestines (for a halloween prop). In the spring it's easy to pop the foam out and it can be kept for future use.