This is a question I get a lot, and the answer is no. You want to leave your UV sterilizer on 24 hours a day for it to keep your pond crystal clear.
UV Sterilizers work by killing off bacteria and algae in the water that easily passes through your filter because of their small size. However, just because the water flows into your sterilizer doesn’t mean everything is immediately killed. It requires a constant cycle, which will clarify the water over time. It all depends on the flow of water, the size of the sterilizer, the bulb’s age, and many other factors.
If you were to turn it off, it would only take about 3 or 4 days for the water to turn green again. Similarly, when you turn it back on, it could take a few days to clear up the water again.
Since we are talking about UV’s, another popular question that I get is this one: “is it okay to put the UV on a timer?” The answer to that one is the same, no. It must remain on 24 hours a day if you want to see any benefits from its use.
The only time you should turn your UV off is when you are adding a biological additive (like Microbe-Lift PL) to treat your pond. In that case, turn the UV off for 24 hours so that the beneficial bacteria have a chance to do their job.
Some final suggestions on UV’s I would like to leave you with: (1) always keep the quartz sleeve clean; (2) use a fresh UV lamp each season or as directed by the manufacturer; and (3) make sure your o-rings and gaskets are lubricated!
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