How to Build an Outdoor Garden Water Fountain

Medium modern white house with gray roof, a garden and a DIY water fountain.

If you want to bring a gorgeous touch to your garden, consider adding a water fountain, as it can introduce movement in your garden.

A water fountain can heighten your gardens sense of tranquility and allows your to bring aquatic plants into your garden, or bright splashes of color if you decide to put fish in your fountain. It will not only add the relaxing sound of running water to your garden but will also give you that professional, straight-from-a-magazine-cover look. In order to build a fountain, you will have to plan it out and learn the basic steps to create a unique, custom-made water fountain.


Medium modern white house with gray roof, a garden and a DIY water fountain.
Medium modern white house with gray roof, a garden and a DIY water fountain.

You should start by deciding where you want to place your water fountain and how big you want it to be, following by how you want it to look in your garden, as these decisions will all influence what materials you will need. You should keep in mind that your fountain will be made of three main pieces: a water reservoir, a water pump, and a design feature. You should keep in mind that the location of your water fountain requires an easy access to an electrical outlet or the ability to run an unobstructed extension cord to power the pump. When it comes to style, it’s recommended to choose something that will fit great into your existing landscape. You should also consider the area’s size as it will determine how large your fountain can be. It’s advisable to think about the easy access to your fountain in order to handle leaks that your water feature may have.

Keep in mind that water fountains tend to be heavy, so you should remember that once you install it, your fountain will be very hard to move. You should determine how you are going to power your water fountain, so it’s recommended to figure out where you will run the line that will bring power to the water pump. You can also install a solar-powered fountain as these are easier to install and are eco-friendly. Keep in mind, though, that these fountains have to work in a sunny area for the solar powers to efficiently power the water pump. If you choose this option, remember to place your fountain in full sun to make sure it gets full and direct sunlight to keep your water fountain running.Remember that solar powered water pumps are not a great option if you want to put fish in your water fountain, as it won’t run at night. This will cause the oxygen level to drop and your fish could suffocate.

Consider incorporating an overflow mechanism to your water fountain if you live in a wet climate and want to keep fish in your fountain. It’s recommended to purchase a fountain with an overflow mechanism, as it will keep your fish alive when it rains because your fountain could overflow and the fish could fill out.

Prepare your fountains parts

Contemporary garden with a DIY flower planter water fountain
Contemporary garden with a DIY flower planter water fountain

First, you should gather all the supplies needed:

  • Water pump – you can buy it from most home improvement or landscape supply stores. You should keep in mind to choose a pump with enough mower to push the water up to the fountainhead. Keep in mind that it may vary based on your design, so you ought to consult your choice with a professional before purchasing. The pump is what will propel the water into the air, and it makes it an essential part of your water fountain. You can you an electric or solar powered pump. Keep in mind that the larger your fountain, the more power it will require, so you should determine which pump to buy, considering how many gallons of water each one can move. You can purchase tubes or pipes with the pump, as they are usually supplied with it, but consider buying these separately, as those supplies with the water pump may not be enough for your requirements.
  • Pipes and tubing – these will deliver the water from the reservoir to the fountainhead. As mentioned before, you can purchase water pump along with tubing, but if you need something specific for your water fountain, it’s advisable to purchase it separately. One of the easiest choice to work with is rubber tubing.
  • A reservoir – this can be any type of water-tight container. You can choose a plastic tub or even plastic sheeting lining your reservoir hole if building underground. If you build above the ground, it’s recommended to make the reservoir part of the fountain design.
  • Design features – you should determine your design as these elements will depend on it. You can add river stones or a sculpted fountainhead.

Purchasing your water fountain

Fountains come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and materials, and the one you buy will depend on your personal tastes and the size of the area you plan to put your water fountain in. One of the most popular choice for garden fountains are frost-proof ceramic vessels. Another option is to dig a pond or add a big ceramic basin with a stream of water that shoots up from the middle. Don’t forget to prepare your water supply, and keep in mind not to use freshly-poured tap water for fish or aquatic plants. It’s recommended to use rainwater or leave some tap water to stand for 48 hours for to allow the chemical level to fall. You can have some aquatic plants waiting for when the water feature is installed.

Assemble your fountain parts

Outdoor DIY concrete garden water fountain
Outdoor DIY concrete garden water fountain

When setting up the water fountain, you must assemble it according to the directions that come with it. Many time, you will have to run the power line up to the fountain.If you are building below the ground, you should dig a hole that will fit the water reservoir snugly. Keep in mind to leave 2 inches of drainage gravel beneath the reservoir. If you want to hide the power cord, it’s recommended to dig a separate trench out from the reservoir hole. Don’t forget to fit the pump in the reservoir before adding water and make sure all power connections and tubing fit and function properly. Add your design elements, keeping in mind that water pump should be accessible for repair, adjustment, and cleaning. Make sure your pump works before you install it. In order to do that, fill a bucket or container with water and test the pump by running the water through it. In order to attach your pump to the water fountain, raise it as high as you would like your water to go. Make sure that the water pump is on the level surface and it cannot be moved by a heavy flow of water. You can hide the mechanism with behind the decorative river rocks, keep in mind though not to bury it too deeply for having easy access for maintenance and cleaning. Another option is choosing to leave an opening or door, or make your fountain easy to disassemble. Fill your fountain with clean water to completely submerge the water pump and keep it like it while in operation when water will be cycling through the upper part of your water fountain.

You should determine where your power line will run as you can run it to the area where you want to place your water fountain, or set up your solar power pump. Don’t forget to read the directions that come with the mechanism, because each solar power pump or power line is different.

Once your fountain is filled and the power line is set up, you can switch on the pump and adjust the water flow. You can now arrange the fountain’s design elements making sure the water returns to the reservoir. You can also adjust the look and sound of the water fountain by tweaking the angle of the fountainhead and any obstacles in the path of the water flow. Keep in mind to regularly check the lever of water, especially when it’s summer because hot air may cause your water to evaporate.

You can tailor the water fountain to your fish, but first, determine the kind of fish you want and check what sort of environment they require surviving. Keep in mind how much oxygen in the water they need and the kind of food you should purchase. Check how much space each fish needs and what hiding spaces they prefer. Don’t forget to hide any rough spots or visible mechanisms with design features such as plants or stones.

Now you can enjoy your new outdoor garden water fountain. It will not only bring movement to your landscape but also heighten your gardens sense of tranquility.

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