When it comes to our pond aerators, a really common question often pops up, and it's a good one to ask.
"Do I really need a protective cover over my aeration pump?"
The short answer is usually, yes. But there may be some exceptions.
When you look at the pond aeration offerings as a whole, and this includes pretty much all brands, and sizes of systems, the vast majority will use pumps that require some type of protection from the elements.
Whether we're talking about rocking pistons, rotary vane, or linear compressors, all of them can be damaged or affected by water and heavy dust or debris.
For smaller ponds that use the linear or diaphragm based compressors like the Aquascape Pond Air series, or the Airmax Koi Air's, the best way to protect them is with something like a faux rock cover. This retains an attractive appeal for landscapes, but keeps the pump dry and allows for a bit of air ventilation too.
One exception that doesn't require a cover in the small pond offerings is the Aquascape Pro 60 aerator. This particular model has a weather proof protective case over the pump, so you could forgo the rock cover, however it does provide a bit of added protection and curb appeal.
As we go up to larger systems that use rocking piston or rotary vane compressors, most of these will come with some type of cabinet included in the kits. The cabinets may be made of steel, or a composite material, but all of them (at least those that we carry) include cooling fans and are lockable. Most importantly they keep the pump dry and relatively cool.
In the case of the Easy Pro Sentinels and Kasco brands, they do include a no-cabinet option which can save a bit of money up front. For people that have an existing shed or outbuilding near the pond, this can prove to be a viable option to consider.
Some people may choose this option with the idea of building their own cover or cabinet and that can work alright, however it's very important to provide good cross ventilation in diy covers to avoid overheating of the compressors.
Regardless of what system you may need for your pond, the chances are good that you'll need to consider some type of protection for your pond aeration pump. Keeping the pump dry, and as clean as possible will help to extend the working life and performance of the system, and allow you and your pond to benefit from a good quality pond aerator for many years to come.