Step-by-Step Guide on How to Install a Fountain

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Home Improvement

Adding a fountain to your home or garden can bring a sense of peace and beauty to your space. With a little effort and research, you can have a stunning fountain without breaking the bank.

Nothing beats the calming sound of flowing water from a fountain. Whether it’s big or small, indoors or outdoors, it adds elegance and tranquility to any environment. Additionally, it is an affordable home improvement option.

Installing a fountain can be as simple or complex as you want. You can opt for a kit that has all the necessary components, but with less flexibility in design. Alternatively, you can create your own fountain with the different materials available, including those in your backyard.

Before you start, you need to understand what you’re getting into. Different fountains work best in different locations, such as tables, walls, floors, patios, and gardens. You can’t make a table strong enough to support a floor fountain, nor will a table fountain look great on the floor. Therefore, choose a fountain that suits your space’s scale and coordinates with your decor.

When choosing the location for your fountain, ensure that there is a power source nearby. While some outdoor fountains have solar panels, others need to be within reach of electricity. Also, outdoor fountains need seasonal maintenance, so choose an accessible spot.

This article provides detailed information on different types of fountains and the tools and plans you need before you start the installation process.

Types of Fountains

Tabletop fountains are the smallest and self-contained. They are ideal for small spaces such as offices and studio apartments. Ensure that there is some protection for the table surface to prevent water damage and scratches. You also need to check whether the table is stable enough to hold a bowl full of water.

Floor fountains are freestanding and often “statement” pieces designed for indoor or outdoor use. As they are bigger and heavier than tabletop fountains, ensure that the floor can support their weight when filled with water.

Wall fountains are mounted on walls and require careful consideration of the walls’ strength and ability to hold the fountain’s weight. You also need to prevent water damage. If you can resolve these issues, a wall fountain can add a dramatic cascading effect to your home or garden.

In the world of gardening, fountains come in various styles ranging from classical to modern. Some fountains may include statues and other decorations. Installing a garden fountain may require excavation, and you can either choose a ready-made fountain or create a connected series of pools using the garden’s natural topography. When selecting a fountain, consider the landscaping and the maintenance demands, especially if there are overhanging trees or shrubs that may shed leaves and clog the pump.

Fountains can either work like a waterfall or use a spray jet to send an arc of water into the air. If you choose a spray jet fountain, carefully aim the jet and make sure the surroundings are appropriate to prevent damage from fine mist and extra evaporation.

Most fountains have a reservoir and a basin, and assembling them involves connection to a series of other basins and feeding a tube or pipe between the reservoir and the top basin. The fountain has one or two motor-driven pumps, which are submerged in water, and a filter box to keep out debris. You need to install the pump and connect it to a power source before filling the fountain and turning on the pump. Adjust the pumping rate to avoid splashing or a lack of circulation.

When installing a wall fountain, consider having an electrician install an outlet and switch on the wall behind the fountain to prevent a hanging cord from ruining the visual effect.

A plastic liner may be necessary for an outdoor fountain. If the fountain requires digging or excavation, it must be treated like a pond and the water must be contained and managed. Once the fountain is installed in the ground, it can be difficult to relocate it, so the installation must be planned carefully, taking into account details such as light and shadow, animal life, sun exposure, soil composition and settling, and vegetation.

When it comes to water, most fountains do not need to be connected to a water pipe. The same water circulates through the fountain, but you will need to replace what is lost to evaporation. Using regular tap water may cause mineral buildup on the pump over time, so it’s best to use distilled water.

The tools required to install a fountain depend on the type of fountain being installed. For a tabletop fountain kit, a box cutter and a pitcher are all that’s needed. For other types of fountains, additional equipment may be necessary, including felt or cork pads, a saw, crimp for connecting wires, a stud finder, screwdrivers, a power drill, a socket wrench, a level, a tape measure, a hammer, a shovel, gardening gloves, and a strong friend to help with the heavy components.

To install a fountain, you may need various screws, nuts, and bolts. If you are deviating from the manufacturer’s setup, you may need extra. You will also need wire nuts and other connectors, gravel, stone or cement cinderblocks to stabilize an outdoor fountain, water-growing plants to add to the basin, rubber, PVC or bamboo tubing, ornamental rocks to line the reservoir basin, an ornament to conceal the pump, a stone plinth to raise the ornament to water level, electrical silicon, a wooden post to elevate the solar panel to increase sun exposure, and epoxy or sealer to waterproof the basin. It is important to be aware of the potential dangers of electricity and water when installing a fountain. Children and pets may also be drawn to fountains, so precautions should be taken to prevent drowning hazards. To learn more about fountains, check out the related HowStuffWorks articles and sources provided.


1. What are the basic requirements for installing a fountain?

Before installing a fountain, you need to ensure that you have a power source nearby. You also need to have a sturdy base to place the fountain on and a water source to fill it up. Additionally, you may need to prepare the installation area by leveling the ground or creating a concrete foundation.

2. What tools do I need to install a fountain?

The tools you need to install a fountain will depend on the type of fountain you are installing. Generally, you will need a shovel, a level, a tape measure, pliers, a screwdriver, and a socket wrench. You may also need a masonry drill bit and a saw for cutting pipes.

3. What are the different types of fountains I can install?

There are several types of fountains that you can install, including wall-mounted fountains, freestanding fountains, and tabletop fountains. You can also choose from a variety of materials, such as stone, ceramic, and metal. The type of fountain you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the space you have available.

4. How do I choose the right location for my fountain?

When choosing a location for your fountain, you should consider factors such as sunlight, wind, and foot traffic. You should also ensure that the area has a flat surface for the fountain to sit on and that there are no underground pipes or cables that could be damaged during the installation process.

5. How do I connect the fountain to a power source?

To connect your fountain to a power source, you will need to run an electrical cord from the fountain to an outdoor electrical outlet. Alternatively, you can hire an electrician to install a dedicated electrical circuit for your fountain.

6. How do I maintain my fountain?

To maintain your fountain, you should regularly clean it to prevent algae growth and mineral buildup. You can also add a water treatment solution to keep the water clear and free of bacteria. Additionally, you should check the fountain’s pump and filter regularly to ensure that they are working properly.

7. How long does it take to install a fountain?

The time it takes to install a fountain will depend on the complexity of the installation and the type of fountain you are installing. Generally, a simple tabletop fountain can be installed in less than an hour, while a larger freestanding fountain may take several days to install.

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