Top 6 Best Pond Heaters & De-Icers 🥇(2019 Review) – Buyer’s Guide

In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to be discussing the best 6 pond heaters that exist in 2019.

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are a few ambiguities when people search and refer to a pond heater… And we realize that most people actually want a pond de-icer, as opposed to a device that heats the water to tropical temperatures, commonly used when keeping tropical fish (these ‘inline pond heaters‘ are very expensive to run, and hence we’re not talking about these.

Therefore in this article, we’ll be discussing pond de-icers (to help prevent the complete build-up of ice on the pond surface), and we’ll simply refer to this as either a de-icer or pond heater.

With that being said, as always, we’ll be talking in-depth about each heater that we’ve featured within the list, alongside its technical specifications, cost and who it would be most suitable for.

However, before we jump into that, let’s briefly touch on what pond heaters are and why they’re important, how they work, the cost of running them, what size you’ll need for your pond and finally, where you can get them for the highest-quality pond heaters for the most affordable price.

What are pond heaters / de-icers?

Pond heaters/de-icers are simply devices that are placed into your garden pond to help prevent the build-up of ice and gas within the pond itself. There are two types of pond de-icer, one of which is referred to as a floating pond heater/de-icer, and as the name suggests, it floats on the surface of the pond water. The second type is called a submersible pond heater/de-icer and this sits at the bottom of the pond, directly on the pond liner or plastic preformed pond.

Why are pond de-icers/heaters important?

As the seasons change, particularly from summer, autumn and finally to winter, debris from nearby trees, leaves, plants and fish waste can collect in the pond and eventually sink to the bottom. As these materials stagnate within the water, they begin to decay, releasing gasses into the water which float up to the surface and escape into the air.

However, as winter sets in and ice begins to form over the pond’s surface, it obstructs these gasses from escaping, and they accumulate to unsafe levels, which are particularly poisonous to fish.

Therefore, a pond heater plays an important role in helping prevent the development of ice over the pond surface, so that these gases can be released into the atmosphere, and your pond fish can survive through the winter period.

You may be thinking, what about if I manually disrupt the buildup of ice on the surface of the pond by using brute force, using a hammer let’s say… And if you weren’t thinking of that, then, believe me, some people have tried this! We don’t recommend using any physical contact to prevent ice forming, as the shock from hitting the ice can scare and even physically damage the fish themselves.

How do pond heaters work?

A pond heater works by producing an electrical current to a heating element internally within the device. This helps generate heat and due to the way that the heater is installed within the pond, it keeps a hole in the ice, allowing for the release of gases from the pond water.

How to install a pond heater?

We always advise that you check the instruction manual for product-specific instructions. However, the most common type of pond heater/de-icer used just floats on the pond’s surface, requiring minimal installation on your end.

However, if you have a particularly shallow pond, there are submersible pond heaters that are simply placed on the pond floor, directly on the pond liner or preformed plastic pond. You don’t need to worry about these heaters burning the pond liners, as they don’t reach particularly high temperatures, with having an internal thermostat to monitor and adjust the heat regulation.

What’s the running cost of a pond heater?

The cost of running a pond heater/de-icer is particularly low and this is because it consumes a small level of electrical current. However, the higher the wattage of unit itself, the more energy it will consume over time, hence you’ll be paying more.

What size pond heater will I require?

Since the pond de-icer/heater’s role is to just keep a small section of the pond ice-free, within reason, it doesn’t matter what size pond that you have, as most of the de-icers will thaw a 12-inch sized hole wherever it is placed. However, if you have a large pond, you may want to consider purchasing multiple de-icers.

Additionally, if there’s a large amount of water in the pond (making it harder to heat), you’re situated in a very cold northern climate where the water temperature is reaching very low levels, or the ice/snow that accumulates on the pond is thick, you may want to consider a higher wattage unit, as it will speed up the heating/de-icing process.

Where to buy high-quality pond heaters?

We’ve provided all of the recommended pond heaters/de-icers for you to choose from directly below, alongside links to the most affordable supplier, which is Amazon. Why Amazon, because you can see previous customer reviews and ratings which provide a useful and accurate overall representation as to the quality of the pond heater.

Ok, so with all that being said, let’s jump into the part that you’ve been waiting for!

Here are the best pond heaters & de-icers in 2019?

Top Pond Heaters & De-Icers

  • Laguna Power Heat De-Icer/Heater for Ponds – 15 Watts [Editor’s Recommendation] – Buy on Amazon
  • Allied API 8PB Precision Pond Heater – 40 Watts – Buy on Amazon
  • Danner Eugene Pond P 02175 Heater & De-Icer – 120 Watts – Buy on Amazon
  • Laguna Power Heat Heated De-Icer for Ponds – 500 Watts – Buy on Amazon
  • API Floating De-Icer With Guards 521G – 1500 Watts – Buy on Amazon
  • API 3 In 1 De-Icer DT15 – 1500 Watts – Buy on Amazon

Laguna PowerHeat Heated De-Icer for Ponds – 15 Watts

[Editor’s Recommendation]

Laguna Power Heat Pond Heater & De-Icer

Technical Specs:
  • 15 Wattage
  • 7 meter (22-feet) electrical cord length with grounded plug
  • High visibility LED pilot light when engaged
  • Internal thermostat to automatically shut down if overheating
  • Suitable to cope with temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Fish & Plant Safe
  • Dimensions: 7.5″ x 7.5″ x 5.2″
  • Weight: 3.93 lbs
  • Manufacturers warranty (Although no timeframe specified)
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The Laguna Power Heat de-icer & floating pond heater helps prevent icing over near the element and therefore allows harmful gases to be released from the natural pond. This unit is our Editor’s Recommendation, and there are several factors that constitute to why we’ve decided to give it this accolade.

Firstly, we were initially impressed by the level of detail (although don’t be concerned by the listing wattage mistake, it is definitely a 15 wattage heater,) and information which is provided by the manufacturer, which not only includes information on how to install it, but also reassurance that the heater de-icer is suitable for both plastic and liner ponds and is safe to use in ponds that have fish and plants in.

Additionally, we were particularly impressed with the level of positive reviews that this particular unit has, with over 136 confirmed customers leaving reviews that we’ve linked to above.

The unit’s 15-watt heating element is designed to melt any snow upon immediate contact, which means that you don’t need to worry about it not functioning… And if you’re still concerned about that, the product reviews will relieve your worries. Another nice function of this unit is there are internal safety features to prevent burn-out or electrical issues, meaning that the device will turn off to prevent any malfunction.

Overall, a fantastic pond heater/de-icer, for a wonderfully affordable price!


Allied API 8PB Precision Pond De-Icer & Breather – 40 Watts

Allied Precision API 8PB Pond Heater & De-Icer

Technical Specs:
  • 40 Wattage
  • 4.5 meter (15-feet) electrical cord length with grounded plug
  • Durable plastic construction
  • Suitable to cope with temperatures down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Fish & Plant Safe
  • Dimensions: 15.5″ x 9″ x 6″
  • Weight: 4 lbs
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The Allied Precision Industries 40 Watt floating pond heater/de-icer is another somewhat lower-powered unit, similar to the previous one featured. However, make no mistake, this unit works perfectly and would be ideal for a small/mid-sized pond, unless you’re thinking about getting multiple units and then you could equally use it them for much larger-sized ponds.

The unit itself operates on 120 volts, at a very efficient 40 watts. Therefore, the company claim that it uses “31 times less energy than 1250 watt pond de-icers”. And every 24-hours, the unit exposes 4,000 to 10,000 times more surface area of water than conventional heaters or de-icers.

Similarly to the previous unit, it works by moving water above the ice and thus removing toxic gasses from the pond during winter months.

However, one aspect that we would have liked this unit to have is an internal thermostat and in-built safety precautions to turn off the unit in case of a circuit malfunction or other issues.

Despite this slight downside, the unit has 67 reviews on Amazon, with one review, in particular, summing up why this unit is fantastic for the price:

“This product worked as advertised during the harshest winter in decades here in Centreville MD. Ice on our 2500 gallon pond was 6-8 inches deep for weeks, but the koi survived the winter with no problems. It is a little hard to clean, but a bottle brush does the trick!”

Overall, the unit has been noted to work well, and doesn’t cost a lot to use it, due to the lower wattage required for operation.


Danner Eugene Pond P 02175 Heater & De-Icer – 120 Watts

Danner Eugene Pond Heater System/De-icer

Technical Specs:
  • 120 Wattage
  • 5.5 meter (18-feet) electrical cord length with grounded plug
  • Designed for long-term, harsh cold conditions
  • Energy efficient with thermostatic control
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Dimensions: 12″ x 5″ x 12″
  • Weight: 4 lbs
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The Danner Eugene PondMaster De-icer and heater is suitable for long-term placement in ice/snow conditions. The unique doughnut-shaped design means that it can prevent ice from accumulating in its centre area, which allows for toxic gasses from the pond water to escape.

Since this unit is 120 watts, it will obviously take more power than the lower wattage models, and hence if you have a larger pond, and a larger hole that you want to create, this unit may be more suitable. Not only this, but the pond heater itself is energy-efficient and won’t damage your pond, plants or fish.

Additionally, this unit has a large 18 feet cable length, so for those who don’t have a nearby plug socket, this additional cable length may be beneficial.

However, despite having very positive reviews, this unit only has 3 reviews on Amazon at this moment in time, and therefore a larger sample size would be needed to provide a more accurate overall review of the unit.


Laguna Power Heat Heated De-Icer for Ponds – 500 Watts – Buy on Amazon

Lagune Power Heat De-Icer & Heater for pond

Technical Specs:
  • 500 Wattage
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Suitable for -20 degrees Fahrenheit and below
  • Energy efficient with thermostatic control
  • LED indicator displays when the heater is in operation
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Fish & Plant Safe
  • Dimensions: 9,5″ x 8″ x 9.5″
  • Weight: 4.34 lbs
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The Laguna Power Heat is an extremely popular de-icer / pond heater, with over 203 customer reviews on Amazon, the majority of which talk very positively about the unit.

It’s made from stainless steel, making it incredibly durable and is suitable for use in dealing with temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Due to the wattage requirement, this is more ideal for larger sized ponds, with one account of a reviewer using it in their 5000-gallon pond, and it worked perfectly. Although make no mistake, this is also perfect for a smaller sized pond, with accounts that it’s been used with great success in a 50 – 80-gallon pond.

However, if you have a small pond, we’d recommend going for a smaller wattage unit, to save on power and electricity costs. Although a large benefit of this unit is that it comes with a 22-feet cable, and so if you need the extra length, and the additional wattage, this may be the ideal pond heater for you!


API Floating De-Icer / Heater – 1500 Watts

API Floating Heater for Pond

Technical Specs:
  • 1500 Wattage
  • Cord exits from the top for additional stability
  • Internal thermostat to automatically shut down if overheating
  • Guards to protect the heated filament
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Fish & Plant Safe
  • Dimensions: 14.6″ x 5.4″ x 15″
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The API 1500 Watt floating De-Icer is a very minimalistic-looking pond heater. It comes with a guard which will need to be installed (refer to Youtube for a demonstration on how to do this upon arrival, although instructions are provided).

The unit has an internal thermostat and therefore it will only turn on once the water reaches below a certain temperature.

As for the size pond that this unit is suitable for, with being a 1500 watt unit, we’d be more inclined to use it in larger ponds, holding 500+ gallons of water, with some reviewer’s saying that it’s perfect on their 1200-1500 gallon pond.

There should be a metal cage included with the heater itself, to prevent any damage to the pond liner/plastic.

Generally, the unit has accumulated a positive overall review, which is another good reason why we have featured it within our list.

In conclusion, this unit is ideal for the pond owner who requires more wattage power for whatever reason this may be (if you have a large pond, where a thicker surface level of ice forms and a lower wattage heater would take longer to melt this ice)


API 3 In 1 De-Icer DT15 – 1500 Watts

API 3 in 1 DeIcer and Pond Heater

Technical Specs:
  • 1500 Wattage
  • Readily converts between floating, sinking or drain plug de-icier
  • Cast Aluminium base for durability with a plastic cap
  • Cord exits from the top for additional stability
  • Multiple internal thermostats for safe, optimized control
  • Suitable for both liners and preformed ponds
  • Fish & Plant Safe
  • Dimensions: 14.6″ x 5.4″ x 15″
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Three Year Warranty
Product Reviews

See all of the product reviews here: Customer Reviews

Description

The API 3-in-1 pond heater and de-icer truly is a well-thought-out unit. From a physical aspect, it has a sturdy, finned aluminum-based which spreads out to allow the unit to run cooler to the touch (ideal for ponds with fish) and in scenarios where you may have to regularly move the unit. This design also ensures that the maximum amount of heat dissipation into the water, thus preventing ice from forming.

As you can see from the unit’s reviews, it’s clearly a well-appreciated pond heater, with 70+ customer reviews, most of which say incredibly positive things.

Another great aspect of this unit is the fact that it can be converted from a floating pond heater, to a sinking de-icer by simply removing the cover and float, and turning the unit upside down to rest on the liner.

Additionally, this unit’s multiple internal thermostat sensors mean that it can effectively measure both the water temperature and the actual sensor’s temperature, to be sure that neither aspect overheats. By using multiple sensors for this, it provides further reliability and distributes the processing task.


In Conclusion

In conclusion, we realize that there are many variables that come into account when considering a pond heater, which includes the power requirement, pond shape/size, geographical location of the pond (with northern climates generally reaching lower degree temperatures) and personal preferences.

However, for most pond owners with a small/medium-sized pond, the Editor’s Recommendation Laguna Power Heat 15-Watt De-Icer/Heater [Buy on Amazon] will be sufficient.

Now, if you’re simply requiring a pond heater with more power, more versatility (being able to be used interchangeably between being a floating/drain or sinking pond heater) and a 3-year manufacturers warranty (for ease of mind) then the API 3 In 1 De-Icer DT15 1500 Wattage heater may be more suited for you [Buy on Amazon].

None-the-less, all of the pond heaters featured on this list are the best of their kind, and so making a decision to pick one that best suits your requirements is the most important aspect.