Guest Author - D. J. Herda
Depending upon the design of your fountain, installation can take anywhere from mere minutes to a day or more, even with professional help. Hereís whatís involved.
Wall Fountain Installation
To install a wall fountain, the wall must be sturdy enough to hold the fountain, its basin, and the water that it will contain. Some wooden walls may not be strong enough, but most stucco and brick walls are. If youíre in doubt, check with a local contractor or a stone mason regarding the wallís stability. You may need to include a decorative T-block fitted to the wall as a bracket to support the fountain's basin.
If the plumbing is to be installed through the wall, you will need to drill holes with a power drill. Use a special masonry bit for stone walls. Drill one hole up high (usually just below eye level) for the water outlet and another hole lower for the water line that will attach to the bowl. Insert piping through each hole and join the lines behind the wall with two elbow joints and a length of flexible tubing.
If you can't install the fountain through a wall, youíll have to attach it to the surface by chiseling a channel into the surface or, if thatís not possible, setting the water line flush against the wall. To hide the exposed line, cover it with vines or other plants.
To attach the fountain to the wall, use mortar and wall plugs. After thatís done, connect the pumpó-if it's not built inó-to the intake line and plug it into a GFI outlet.
Freestanding Fountain Installation
Most freestanding fountains come pre-plumbed and are ready to go. Just place the fountain on a level surface, using sand, soil, bits of stone, or wooden wedges as necessary. Then fill the fountain and plug it into a GFI outlet.
Statuary Fountain Installation
Most statuary fountains are designed specifically for either in- or out-of-pond use. Some can be used in both locations. Place your statuary fountain where itís intended to go, and plug it into a GFI outlet.
For a small out-of-pond fountain, use small stones for the base on the edge of the pool or stream. Larger out-of-pond fountains will require a more substantial base, such as a perfectly level stone or concrete pad. With either fountain, place the pump in the pond in order to re-circulate water through a flexible hose. You'll need to disguise the hose and the electrical cord with wood chips, plants, or soil.
To position your out-of-pond fountain properly, first test the fountain by hooking up the pump and plugging it in. The spray will vary with the design of the fountain but is usually adjustable. Experiment with both the placement of the fountain and the power of the water flow until you get the effect youíre looking for. Most out-of-pond fountains look best when set asymmetrically to one side of the water feature.
In-pond fountains are often larger than out-of-pond models, which means they require a solid foundation on which to be seated. Set small fountains weighing under 30 pounds on a stack of bricks. For larger fountains, you can build a suitable base from concrete, or install a pre-cast concrete pedestal for the foundation. If you're building your own base, be sure to allow a core for any piping that will be connected to the pump (most larger fountains are run by an external pump).
For fountains weighing more than 100 pounds, always use concrete footings. Pour at least 6 inches of reinforced concrete in the ground beneath the fountain before installing the pond underlayment and liner. Then build or install the pedestal on the footing.