Hypertufa Water Fountain Project
"Bowls of Life"
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- Preparing Your Work Surface
- Supply List
- The Mold
- The Pedestal and Cup
- The Pump Housing
- Curing and Finishing
- Assembling Your Fountain
- Using and Fine-Tuning Your Fountain
- Safety Tips
Step 7 - Using Your Fountain
Now that you have your fountain assembled, fill the base full of water up to about an 1" below the top of the bowl. Now fill the middle bowl so that the water just touches the bottom of the top bowl and then add a little water to the top bowl. Now plug in your pump. Have a towel handy in case it comes out too fast, but if you have the right pump and pre-determined the setting, you should be OK. You may find that you need to adjust the pump after it has been assembled. If so, you will have to take the fountain apart in order to adjust the pump setting. That is why I have an hour listed for set-up as it can take you a few tries to get the fountain working to your liking.
Step 8 - Fine-tuning your Fountain
The water should cascade over all sides of the top bowl and over the middle bowl into the bottom bowl without splashing too much. If the splashing bothers you, you will need to turn the pump down slightly, or place it in an area where the splashing water is not a problem. You really should have minimal splashing so as not to have to fill the fountain too often.
If adjusting the pump does not solve your splashing problem or if the water does not flow evenly along all sides of the bowls, your bowls or pedestals may not be level or smooth. Don't worry, slight imperfections can be corrected by using a metal file and sanding down the edges until they are level. You may also want to sand the edges slightly to give it more of a natural look, or just to help the water flow over the edge of the bowls with less force. This should also help to reduce any splashing. Rinse your bowls thoroughly after sanding so that the dust does not get into the water and clog your pump.
Step 9 - Maintenance
Your fountain will require little maintenance. You will need to add water from time to time. If the water feels slimy, empty the fountain, take it apart and scrub the bowls with a stiff bristled brush. A cap full of bleach in your cleaning water may be needed if you have heavy algae build-up. There are also products you can buy for fountains to help keep your water clean, just make sure it is safe for wildlife if there is a chance an animal or even a child will drink from the fountain, but these chemicals really aren't necessary.
If you live in an area that gets freezing temperatures, and your fountain is outside, you will need to drain and disassemble your fountain and put it inside for the winter.
If your pump suddenly stops working, check your pump instructions for how-to instructions on taking it apart and cleaning the pump. If it still doesn't work, it's probably time for a new pump.
Step 10 - Safety Tips
Check your pump instructions for details, but I prefer to turn my pump off at night or anytime I am away from the fountain for more than a couple of hours. I wouldn't want the fountain to go dry for some reason and burn out the pump, which could potentially start a fire, plus there is no need to waste electricity if there is no one there to enjoy it. Always use an outdoor rated extension cord, if needed, and properly grounded outlets. Consult an electrician if you have any other questions.
Always check to make sure your fountain is filled with water before turning it on. You will need to add water periodically to account for evaporation and splashing.
I hope you found these instructions helpful and easy to follow. If I make another fountain, I will be sure to take pictures of each step, but in the meantime, I hope the pictures I have provided will be helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail.