How do I Build a Fountain?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

There are different ways to build a fountain, depending on whether you want the result to be indoors or outdoors, large or small, in a confined setting or out in the open. The key parts of a fountain are a container with a water supply, a pump with an outlet, a pipe through which the water is pushed up so that it can flow back into the container and repeat the cycle, and some decoration, sculpture, or other interesting feature around or at the mouth of the pipe to give it the look and style you want. You can build from scratch, use a kit, or enhance a kit or a fountain component with your own additions.

A fountain with a lion's face.
A fountain with a lion's face.

The easiest way to build a fountain is to take a pre-made item that has some of these parts – like a waterfall made for an aquatic terrarium—many of which are pretty plain and meant to look like a rock or stack of rocks—and deck it out, reconfigure it, repaint it, embellish it, and/or contextualize it to build a fountain that works for your needs.

Another way to build a fountain is the do it yourself approach. It’s possible to build a fountain pretty much from scratch, using the fewest pre-made parts as possible and do most of the construction yourself. You can find step-by-step instructions for an approach like this, like those provided on the This Old House website, for example.

If you’re going to buy a fountain kit that has all the parts, you should know that fountains are categorized in several ways. One way is by the materials they’re made of. Fountains can be constructed of pottery, stone including slate and marble, metals including copper and stainless steel, glass, and a combination of materials. They can be categorized by where they’re installed, such as tabletop, wall, floor, outdoor fountains, and other types of fountains.

Some fountains kits are designed to work with container ponds. If you are going to install a fountain in a pond and have it provide aeration, you should make sure that the flow is sufficient and that any animals that may frequent the pond can neither be harmed by the fountain nor reach the electrical apparatus and cause damage.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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