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Outdoor Water Fountain ......

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Jun 27, 2020 - 12:54:44 PM
10404 posts since 1/15/2005

OK all of you handymen and women, I need some help.

I just brought home a pretty large square concrete water fountain ..... about 500 lbs. or so .... that is acid painted (or some sort of stain) to appear like it is made of very thin stacked rock. I have not bought a base yet, but am looking at 36" and 48" that also have the water reservoir built in. The base will cost more than the fountain. I think I can do all of that, although if you have had any experience or offer tips I would welcome them.

The real dilemma is powering the pump. It is going to be a while before I can get an electric line run to the fountain and I am considering a battery powered pump charged by solar. The fountain is about 4' high and I am guessing will hold about 30 gallons of water (not counting what is in the reservoir under the base). I'm not looking for a lot of pressure and we really only want to pater to bubble up and run down the sides, so not a huge volume is required.

Does anyone have any experience with a battery powered pump charged by solar? Would it be worth the wait to get the power line in? To get power I am going to have to run the line approx. 150' through my woods to avoid having to go though 20' of concrete driveway parking. If I go through the woods I'll probably put the wire in conduit (pvc or metal). How deep would you put the wire if it is in conduit?

TIA for suggestions and tips?

Jun 27, 2020 - 1:01:59 PM

55100 posts since 12/14/2005

How aboot a video?

Allegedly the 9 best units on the market

Jun 27, 2020 - 1:06:56 PM

10010 posts since 2/22/2007

John, can't help but I'm determined to have a mermaid fountain in the backyard of my next home. Listening to the sound of trickling water running down a lovely statue is a nice way to spend some quiet time.

Jun 27, 2020 - 1:55:28 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T


16743 posts since 6/5/2008

I've seen 12VDC pumps used in living room house "water features" in particularly dry climates.
Apparently RFE automotive from the junk yard.

A risk with it being so far from your house(did I read that right?)
There's nothing to see up close as a wildlife attractant.
Good solar panels are still not cheap so theft is a genuine risk.
My panels are away up the S wall of my house and really hard to get at, even with a ladder.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:15:11 PM



500 posts since 5/29/2018

If you go with a DC pump make sure it has a brushless motor. Cheap brush motors have a short life.

Some AC pumps also have brushes. Same problem.

120V pumps offer more choices and probably lower cost. Wiring becomes a problem that increases with distance. South Carolina is lightning country. 150 feet of underground wire is a good way to set your house on fire with a close lightning strike. You will need a GFI and good surge protection. By the time you get this stuff you will have more in the wiring than the pump.

Brushless DC and a small solar panel is the simplest and safest solution.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:28:41 PM



500 posts since 5/29/2018

Originally posted by banjo bill-e

John, can't help but I'm determined to have a mermaid fountain in the backyard of my next home. Listening to the sound of trickling water running down a lovely statue is a nice way to spend some quiet time.

Make sure you get your wife's approval first.  I tried to buy a water statue about twenty years ago.  My wife took one look at that thing and said "OH H**L NO!!!!"

I'm not sure if she was disgusted or jealous.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:31:54 PM

10010 posts since 2/22/2007

Wife is fine with it! We stayed at a hotel with a mermaid fountain and spent sundown with cocktails by the fountain each night. She was not jealous that I gazed at the lovely bronze body. We have been together a LONG time now!

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:46:05 PM
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10404 posts since 1/15/2005

Doug, Bill, Brian .... all thanks. I would like to go with the solar set-up if it will give me the volume of water flowing over the edge. I will certainly check on the brushless pump motor. I am familiar with lightning strikes, as I have designed may irrigation systems for golf courses over the years and lightning is a real problem. That is why on flatter golf courses hydraulic systems became quite popular ...... not so much anymore.

Brian, the fountain is close to the house, just not too close to where I would get the power from. There should not be a problem with theft.

Since my wife picked out the fountain along with my daughter, I did not get a vote, so I don't have to worry about that. I like the idea of a mermaid and I saw a scantily clad one at the shop today when I picked mine up. Maybe next time!

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