How to Install a Water Pump for a Fountain

The sound of a bubbling fountain improves the setting of any space. It builds sound, motion and refracts light to create a soothing atmosphere. Although there are oodles of fountains in various sizes, shapes and scenes, building your own opens you to a vast array of design possibilities as either stand-alone features or as part of a larger garden design that can attract wildlife, butterflies and birds.

Water pump
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How to Install a Water Pump for a Fountain

Design the Fountain

Consider the space before putting your design plans on paper. Use your imagination not only for the design but for the materials you intend to use. The floor of the fountain should be big enough to hold the pump and deep enough to hold enough water to keep the fountain pump submerged for long periods of time while the unit is in use. A fine wire mesh over the pump can keep out debris that can fall into the reservoir, particularly if it is open to the elements. Preformed pieces can be used to complete your design. Ceramic pots can be cut to accommodate the water fountain as well. Concrete can be mixed and poured into molds to create one-of-a-kind fountains.

Pump Particulars

The pump is the base and heart of your fountain so it needs to be chosen wisely. The larger the fountain, the bigger pump it will need to carry the water up, over, in and around your design. For smaller, stand-alone water fountain fixtures, a small pump can push 50 gallons of water easily through a modest fountain. If the pump is too small, the water won't move at the rate you need it to bubble and break over the steps, ball or waterfall. If you have designed a fountain that will also travel to a waterfall, a larger submersible pump should be used and paired with an in-ground filter. A good rule of thumb is to have a submersible fountain pump that has enough power to circulate at least half of the total volume of water that the fountain can hold within one hour. A koi pond pump setup kit can be bought online to eliminate any doubts you may have about a pump and live animals.

Submersible Fountain Pump Installation

Installing a water fountain pump isn't difficult once the tubing and fountain shape or premade plastic or resin form are all in place. Pond pump installation should only take a few minutes if all of the pieces are in place. Place the pump with the water outtake pipe facing upward. The pump should be on a level surface so that it can function at its full potential. Secure the tubing that winds through the fountain to the water outtake pipe. Nest the pump deep into the reservoir. It should be well covered with water. Pull the cord over the lip of the reservoir or through the opening designed for the electrical plug. Connect it to a grounded power source, and you should hear the soothing sounds of a well-working fountain immediately. If you have bought a kit, check the water fountain installation instructions to troubleshoot any problems with the pump.


Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.