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Installing Your Fountain

Generally, the following discussion relates to fountains designed for indoor locations. (Outdoor fountains have added concerns relating to electrical safety, exposure to freezing temperatures, debris getting in the water, etc.) Also, this discussion does not address the special mounting requirements for wall-mounted fountains. For wall-mounted models, follow the hanging instructions supplied with the fountain.

Fountains are typically easy to set up.

Assemble the Fountain
Usually, assembling a fountain involves simply putting together a base reservoir, fountainhead, pump, tubing, and any additional decorative material. Read and follow all instructions that come with your fountain.

The reservoir container or pool usually serves as the base of the fountain. Set the pump in the bottom of the reservoir container and secure it. Most pumps have suction cups on the bottom which help hold the pump in place, if the inner surface of the container is smooth. (The suction cups also act as sound insulators between the pump and the reservoir.)

Look for the adjustment dial on your pump and examine how it operates. Probably you will need to use it later. Itís easier to get familiar with it now, before itís covered by water and perhaps by other fountain components.

If you add any rocks or shells, thoroughly rinse any debris off of them first.

Add Water
Add water to the base - the reservoir container - of your fountain up to about one-half inch to one inch below the top edge (follow manufacturer's instructions). In any case, be sure there is enough water to completely submerge the pump.

Because most, if not all, of the fountains and waterfalls listed on FountainFinder are self-contained and recirculate the water, you do not need to attach them to any plumbing fixtures. As water evaporates over time, simply use a cup, jug, bucket, or similar container to pour more water into the fountain.

Using regular tap water is fine, but mineral deposits may reduce the performance of your pump over time. So itís preferable to use distilled or reverse osmosis water. Also consider adding to the water a product called Protec. This popular additive prevents white scale deposits and mineral stains. (Note: Do not use Protec if fish are in the water.)

Plug in and Adjust the Pump
Two safety rules. First, never run the pump unless it is submerged in water. Second, take your hands out of the water and make sure the plug and your hands are dry before plugging the cord in to the electrical outlet. (Only use a properly grounded outlet. See "Safety Thoughts" in "Where to Set Your Fountain.")

When you plug in the pump, the water will begin flowing. Probably you will need to adjust the rate of flow to achieve a desired visual and audible effect and possibly to control splashing. You want the water to flow strongly enough to create a nice effect, but not so strong that water splashes out of the container. Look for the adjustment dial on your pump and adjust the setting as needed. (See "Keeping Water Where It Belongs" for more ideas on controlling splashing.)

Note: A pump has a motor, and no motor is silent. A slight humming sound is natural.

Consider Surroundings
Small potted plants, bonsai arrangements, stones, shells, and statuary can be used to create a beautiful, natural setting with your fountain as a centerpiece. Remember that plants need adequate natural light. Check to be sure that leaves do not hang into the fountain and divert the water flow onto your table or floor. Also, be aware that decomposing leaves in the water can clog your pump.

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