No matter what kind of fountain you have in your backyard, your are still bound to be envious of your neighbors water fountain if you don’t know a few secrets of maintaining and installing a fountain.
One of the most important things about installing a fountain in any area is ensuring that it has a proper base to sit upon. Cast stone fountains cannot be placed directly on dirt. The weight of a cast stone fountain can cause it to sink over time if you simply place it within the garden. It is always best to install the proper base first such as gravel or brick pavers or even concrete. This allows a solid place for your fountain to stand for many many years. Placing the proper base under for your fountain is also very important because a fountain cannot flow properly if it is not leveled during installation. Just like hanging a picture, your fountain will look “off”, if it is not leveled at installation time. It is important that when you are installing a fountain that has multiple tiers, that you check to make sure each tier is leveled. If it isn’t leveled, water will not flow from tier to tier properly. The best way to do this is by taking a standard level, and placing it across each bowl in the tier to make sure it is level. In the event that it is not level, you can easily use plastic shims, which are often provided by the manufacturer of your cast stone fountain, underneath the pedestals between tiers to keep the fountain level. These shims will easily be hidden by the water within the bowl, and no one will ever know your secret!
The next secret to creating the perfect visually appearing fountain is clear silicone. Yes, you heard us right, clear silicone. You may be thinking, wait, the stuff I use in my bathroom? Yes! Think of it this way, you often use silicone in a shower or tube to ensure that water does not seem behind tubs or shower walls and cause mold. Therefore, clear silicone is designed to repel and redirect water. This can easily be used in a cast stone fountain to create perfect water flow. Many different manufacturers actually use silicone to create the perfect flow of water at trade shows and the like. If you have a tiered fountain, that despite being level you can’t seem to get to flow the way you want, simple use your finger, along with a dab of clear silicone to create small teardrop like spots of clear silicone on the edges your tiers or any part of the fountain that you want water to avoid. By using this technique, you are able to direct water flow exactly where you want it. We do advise that you be very careful with the clear silicone on your cast stone fountain, a little bit will go a long way. It is also very important to make sure the area you are applying the silicone is dry before placement and also has the proper amount of time to dry before turning the water feature back on.
The last secret is the pump. Manufacturers include a pump that they feel provides the correct water flow for a specific fountain. Many of these pumps are adjustable. This means that you can control the amount of water that is getting pushed through the fountain. If your fountain is quiet, but you want it a bit louder, it may be helpful to simple make sure that the pump dial is turned all the way up for maximum flow. If a pump doesn’t seem to be providing the desired water flow, it is always possible to replace your pump with a new pump that has a greater gallons per hour. If you are looking for a new pump, it is always important to make sure that the size of the pump will still fit within your pump housing. Simply measure your old pump first, to ensure proper dimensions are found in the new pump. It is also important to remember that if you do replace your included pump with a stronger pump, you may experience excessive splashing causing your fountain to run dry and the pump to burn out or causing a slippery surface around your fountain which will not be good. So before you switch to a larger pump, make sure that you won’t be causing unwanted splashing as most manufacturers do include the pump they feel provides the water experience they had desired to see.
Owning a fountain is a wonderful experience and a few tips from the trade can help make any fountain the perfect visual appearance.
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team