Pond & Lake
   
   

Architectural Fountains

Architectural Fountains consist of several major parts,

The Pool or Pond
A Fountain Feature (nozzle, spray ring etc.)
A Pumping system
Lighting (optional)

There are other options but the first three components are a must have to complete you fountain feature.

The Pool or Pond

 

Many people spend a great deal of time planning their fountains main feature. They look high and low for that one of a kind center piece, spray feature, or overall design of their fountain. Then they proceed to install the said feature, spending untold hours and dollars on the project. Finally after many months, or years of planning and preparation, they fill their pond and turn on their fountain.

ONLY TO DISCOVER THAT THEIR POND LEAKS!

So if there is ONE THING we want you to look at seriously is your fountains basin or pond. Because after all, If your pond doesn't hold water you don't have a fountain. We have been called many times after the fact, to fix or repair leaks in various pond applications. In general there are only three main types of pond construction.

  1. Vinyl or Rubber membrane materials.
  2. Concrete - with various water proofing methods
  3. Pre-Formed Fiberglass ponds

Vinyl and Rubber Membranes: They have come a long way over the past few years with vinyl technology, but if you have the choice EPDM rubber membrane is heaver and resists punctures more than Vinyl. Rubber can be patched and seamed together to make larger sized ponds and pools. Drains, fills, and various penetrations can be installed into these materials with the use of proper fittings. These materials are typically used for backyard water gardens, streams, waterfalls and applications where fish and plants are going to be incorporated into the design.

Concrete Pools: When you start thinking about medium sized fountain features, one of the first choices people look to, is concrete. Largely because of it's availability and wide use, especially in climates where you do not get freezing temperatures. Many times in commercial applications they will pour concrete, then put down a rubber membrane, then pour a concrete finish (or Gunite) the interior of the fountain. They are using the rubber membrane to hold the water, or make the basin waterproof. Most home owners don't know this and just use concrete. While it can hold water, be sure your installer is familiar with making things that hold water.

Pre-Formed Fiberglass ponds: Fiberglass ponds come in many sizes and shapes. Ours come with a Lifetime Warranty against cracks and leaks. They are typically free standing and self supporting. They can be put into the ground or above ground. There are no footers needed to install the fiberglass pond. Fiberglass ponds are easy for the do it yourselfer to install. With various penetrations, you can easily add drains, fills, electrical junction boxes, and other penetrations as needed.

 

Fountain Feature

Left: is a Concrete Center piece accented by a spray ring at the bottom. The installation uses a fiberglass fountain pond with a fiberglass pedestal which supports the concrete centerpiece. The biggest problem with this design is the pool should be a little larger in order to contain splash and wind load.

Center: is a modular fiberglass pool 16 feet in diameter. The fountain feature consists of fifteen aerator nozzles and is powered by three submersible pumps. The unit also has lighting for night time enjoyment. Complete with drain, automatic fills and underwater electrical junction boxes, the fountain is ready for years of reliable service.

Right: are two copper spray rings which are going different heights. It utilizes a modular fiberglass pond with drain, automatic fill and underwater electrical junction box. The fountain has lights which provide additional hours of enjoyment.

 

Pumping Systems

 

When it comes time to move the water you will require some type of pump. In general there are two choices, a dry pump or a submersible.

Dry Pump: A dry pump is typically located outside of the fountain at some remote location. It may be sitting right next to the fountain, in a pump vault, or in a distant garage or basement. The main draw backs to using a dry pump is HEAT and NOISE. If the pump is sitting next to the fountain the main factor is noise. If in a pump vault, heat, and how to get rid of it. As well as how to keep the vault from flooding during adverse conditions. If the pump is in a garage or basement again noise and heat will become an issue.

Submersible Pump: These pumps are typically cooled by the water flowing past and through them. They are virtually silent, with all of the noise being absorbed by the water and water activity (fountain feature). The biggest obstacle in using submersible pumps is where and how to get electric service to them. For that you would typically use a "Cord Seal" or an "Underwater Junction Box". The cord seal would typically be located in the side of the pool, and lead to some type of electric box. The underwater junction box would typically be located in the bottom of the pond and the conduit would also lead to the electric source.

Underwater Lighting

 

Most people consider lights and option, but we consider them a must have. Just think about it, when are you typically home? Is is light or dark? If your like most of us, you work during the day and are home in the evening. So in order for you to get any night time enjoyment out of your fountain you will need some underwater lighting. Lighting in a fountain can be expensive but well worth the additional cost. Again there are two main types of submersible lights, "Low Voltage" and "Line Voltage". Low voltage lights are usually around 20Watts and 12Volts. They will require some type of external transformer in order to operate. Line voltage lights operate on standard 120 volt household current, but again you must determine how you are going to get the power into the pond. You can use "cord seals" or an "underwater junction box"

Both of the above fountains are using line voltage lights, and underwater junction boxes.

 

 

In closing, above is a general outline of the things that you will need in order to complete your fountain project. It is by no means all inconclusive in every detail of how to make you project successful. If you require further assistance please feel free to give us a call and we can help you create your "Personal Oasis".

 

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