The cold weather is here and so it is the perfect time to begin to clean your pond for winter. When temperatures drop, your pond and its contents will become less active, with the fish gradually going into a state of hibernation.

When preparing your pond for winter one of the best things you can do is to clean it before the temperatures drop significantly. The pond is at risk of freezing over and trapping unpleasant toxins in the water, suffocating the fish over time. It is a good idea to use a pond vacuum to remove this waste along with some water which can be replaced by fresh water if necessary.

How do I clean my pond for winter?

The Oase Pondovac 4 is a great piece of equipment to have to remove water and waste from your pond. The latest addition to the Oase Pondovac range, it has 20% more power than the Pondovac 3 and provides a stress-free way of removing sludge, waste, debris and rotting vegetation. The attached wheels allow you to easily maneuver the pump around your garden.

High value pipes and an extensive nozzle package help to ensure efficient waste removal.

Maintaining the Pondovac 4 isn't a difficult task either, the pond vacuum has two cylinders which can be emptied in alternating cycles. The two cylinders work non-stop to simultaneously vacuum and empty the pond of water.

Not only does the pond vacuum allow you to remove water and waste from inside the pond, but you can also use it to remove water from the surrounding paths or patios which may have become wet.

What do I do with the water that is sucked out of the pond by the Oase Pondovac 4?

The Pondovac comes with a white bag which can be used to collect waste in. This bag can be held over the pond so that the water is filtered back in, while waste is collected. Some people choose to collect the water in a bucket. Many people use the water and waste removed from the pond to fertilise their plants and flower beds, directing the hose over the soil and plants.

Is the Oase Pondovac 4 easy to set up?

The Oase Pondovac 4 is very easy to set up. Swell pond expert, Phil, kindly offered to unpack a Pondovac 4 to demonstrate what is included and how it can be used.

Once you've taken all of the equipment out of the box. Insert the intake distributor into the bayonett closure (circular opening at the front of the vac)

You can then attach the 5m suction hose into the intake distributor.

Now that you've got the suction hose sorted for water to be sucked into the vacuum, it's time to attach the 2.5m drain hose to the drain opening on the other side so that the waste and water can come back out again. When putting the Oase Pondovac 4 to use,  you can choose whether to collect the waste in a bag, bucket or whether to direct it at your flower beds so that it can act as a plant fertiliser.

The water is obviously sucked up through one tube, and once inside the pond vac the debris and waste is filtered through. Pictured below is the dirt catcher bag which can be held over the pond so that the water runs through it while the waste remains.

The Oase Pondovac 4 comes with a selection of tools to make it easier to clean your pond and remove particular types of weeds or algae. Pictured below, clockwise from left, is the thread algae tool, bristle tool and universal tool, . The Pondovac also comes with a wet suction tool and a large tool.

The motor housing (vacuum lid) can easily be removed by unlocking the container locks

Once you lift the motor housing up you'll see two tubes covered in  foam. These might look like filters, but they are in fact the pump itself. The inner pieces of these foam tubes move up and down to create a pumping action and suck out water and grime from the pond.

The engagement plates (circular ridged plates) beneath the foam filters can be removed so that the foam can slide off to be cleaned.

The inner tank (circular compartment inside the main vacuum) can be removed to make cleaning easier.

The hole you see at the bottom of the collector/main compartment is the drain valve where all the water and waste can escape through the hose.

The Oase Pondovac 4 also comes with a number of parts to make cleaning your pond even easier. A see-through attachment allows you to see what is being removed from the pond and a selection of tools can be added to the end of the attachments to offer effective cleaning.

How to clean your Pondovac 4

Pond vacuums are extremely reliable and long lasting. When problems do occur, we find that nine times out of ten it is usually the case that the vacuum actually just needs cleaning rather than replacing. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the pond vac running smoothly, as the compartments, filter and hoses are all susceptible to getting clogged up with the waste that you remove from your pond. After a good clean, it's likely that your vac will be as good as new.

Here's our step-by-step guide to cleaning your Oase Pondovac 4

1) Switch the unit off at the power switch and unplug it from the mains.

2) Remove all hoses

3) Unlock the container locks

4) Remove the motor housing (the main lid with the handle attached)

5) Flush the inner tank. This is the container that sits inside the main vacuum. The inner tank can also be removed from the main vacuum/compartment for easier cleaning.

6) Unlock the engagement plates (these sit below the foam filters, so that you can slide the foam off.

7) You can then clean the foam filters.

8) It can also be helpful to rinse the drain valve and hoses with clean water.