Water fountains are attractive features to add to a garden or landscape because they add sound and movement to the space. Water rising in the air in a sunny location reflects the sun and produces a pleasing display of light. Take advantage of the numerous possibilities for fountain styles and designs to make your garden more formal or more whimsical. Large or small, fountains work just as well as part of an overall design scheme as they do as a stand-alone feature.
Measure the height and width of your fountain's reservoir. Make note of the overall shape of the container to reflect places where the container is more or less narrow and shallow.
Measure how much water your fountain's reservoir holds by referring to the manufacturer's specifications, calculating the volume based on its dimensions or by filling it with a known quantity of water.
Select a submersible water fountain that holds sufficient power to circulate at least one half of the total volume of water through the fountain one time each hour. Refer to the pump manufacturer's specifications with respect to the number of gallons per hour (gph) the pump circulates.
Estimate the maximum height to which you want the water to reach. Base your estimation on the spot the water needs to reach within a sculpture before it tumbles out or the height you want to achieve for a spray-type display. Choose a pump that promises to deliver sufficient vertical lift.
Reject any fountain and pump combination where the water does not fully cover the pump at all times. Take into account that a certain amount of water will be unavailable to do the job of covering the pump because that water is in the air while the pump is in operation. Allow for overflow, splashing out and evaporation as additional means by which water will be lost from the reservoir.
Position the pump with the water outlet facing upward on a level surface within the fountain basin.
Choose tubing that matches the diameter of the pump's water outlet. Secure the tubing to the pump according to the pump manufacturer's instructions.
Place the pump far enough down in the center of the basin so that the water covers it, but not so far below the surface of the water that the majority of the pump's energy is consumed with the task of getting the water to the surface, leaving little for projecting the water above the surface.
Orient the wire for the electrical cord toward the back of the fountain or camouflage it with decorative elements and connect it to a properly grounded power source.