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FAQs - Got questions about Fountains?

Got questions about Fountains? Here is our list of FAQs (Frequently asked questions) answering your questions

Thinking about investing in a water feature for your home or office?  What should you know before making a decision?  Here are commonly asked questions and answers from our customers.

Table of Contents


Fountain Basics

I can’t find my installation instructions. Where can I get another copy?
Replacement installation instructions can be requested from your fountain manufacturer.  

How much maintenance will my water fountain require?
Water features are surprisingly easy to care for, but they do need some regular maintenance. This involves keeping an eye on the water level and adding water if needed; establishing a regular cleaning schedule; and maintaining the pump in good working order.   

How much electricity do water fountains use?
They use about the same amount of electricity as a small lamp. You should notice little or no change in your electric bill after installing your fountain.

What type of electrical outlet do I need for my water feature?
Both indoor and outdoor fountains plug into a standard GFCI outlet. 

How long is the average pump electrical cord?
Most pump cords are about 6 feet long. For larger fountains, the pump cord will be long enough to clear the width of the basin plus some extra. If you’re using an extension cord outside, you need to be sure it’s safe for outdoor use.

Do I need special plumbing?
No – all fountains are self-contained, and the water recirculates within the body of the fountain itself.

What kind of water should I use?
Use distilled water whenever possible to fill your fountain and maintain the water level.  If this is not available, try to use filtered water. Tap water contains minerals that can build up on your fountain, requiring more frequent cleaning, and cause your pump to overwork. 

How much water should I have in my fountain?
The correct water level will depend on your fountain size and type, as well as the evaporation rate. At a minimum, you should have enough water in your fountain to cover the pump. This is designed to work totally submerged in water. You should not run the pump for an extended period without proper water flow and cover.

How often will I need to add water to my fountain?
Moving water is a natural humidifier and evaporates faster than standing water. During the first few days and weeks of operating your fountain, monitor the water level to see how fast the water evaporates. This should help you determine how often to add water.

How often do I need to clean my water fountain?
It’s a good idea to establish a regular cleaning schedule for your fountain to keep it looking pristine and preserve your investment. A light cleaning is recommended once or twice a week and a thorough cleaning once a month. Use mild liquid soap and a damp sponge or soft cloth. For detailed instructions, see Tips on how to maintain your water feature” on our website.

How can I prevent algae build up?
Algae grows more quickly in bright sunlight. So, you may want to consider that when deciding where to place your fountain. Regular cleaning and changing the water every month also will help to prevent algae growth. A number of fountain care products are available that may be added to the water to inhibit algae build up. Read the directions carefully to make sure they are safe for kids and pets.  

Can I use chlorine to keep the water clean?
Use of chlorine is not recommended and will void most fountain warranties. Chlorine can corrode concrete, damage the pump and alter the color of the fountain. Instead, use an algaecide to safely remove algae from your fountain. Algaecides are safe for fountains and animals that may drink from them fountain and will not void any warranties.

My fountain has a foul odor. What should I do?
If your fountain hasn’t been turned on for a while and the water has been standing still, it will start to smell bad due to the growth of bacteria. To resolve this, simply replace the water. If the water cannot be removed, use a fountain cleaner as instructed in your user manual and run the fountain.

Should I leave my water fountain on all the time?
Yes – water fountain pumps are designed to run 24x7. You don’t need to turn your water feature off before bed or when you leave for work. Turning the power on and off actually is harder on the pump and may cause the pump motor to wear faster.  

How can I know how much sound my fountain will make?
That depends on the fountain size and type. The more times water interacts with the fountain design features, such as splashing from one basin to another, the more sound it will make.

If you are looking for an indoor fountain, you may want to choose a style where the water clings to the surface of the design feature, and drains into a basin. This will make a softer sound and reduce splashing.

Why is my fountain splashing?
If the pump is not fully submerged in water, it will take in air, and this may cause splashing. Make sure there is enough water in the fountain and that the pump is completely under water. Adjusting the flow rate on the pump also may help to resolve this issue.

Why is my fountain foaming?
Your fountain just needs more water. When there is not enough water in the fountain, the water may look soapy or milky. As the fountain fills with more water, the color of the water will clear up.

Why aren’t my fountain lights working?
This could be from a bulb failure or transformer failure. Contact your fountain manufacturer for a list of Certified Parts Dealers.  

Where can I get replacement parts?
Contact your fountain manufacturer for a list of Certified Parts Dealers.

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Indoor Fountains      


Where do I place the outlet for my wall hung water feature?
Place the outlet in the center of the area where you want to position your water feature. To make it easy to turn the water feature on and off, you may want to wire the outlet to a light switch.

What type of electrical outlet do I need for my water feature? 
Your indoor fountain uses a standard outlet. If you are installing the outlet behind your water feature, we recommend that you not install a GFIC protected outlet. This will be very difficult to reset if it flips. 

What hardware do I need to install my wall hung water feature?
Each water feature ships with all the hardware needed to install it on a wood-studded sheet rock wall. If you have a metal studded, stone or tile wall, you will need to purchase the right screws and anchors for the wall at a hardware store.

I can’t find my installation instructions. Where can I get another copy?
Installation instructions may be requested from your fountain manufacturer.

What kind of water should I use?
Use distilled water whenever possible to fill your fountain and maintain the water level. If this is not available, try to use filtered water. Tap water contains minerals that can build up on your fountain, requiring more frequent cleaning, and cause your pump to overwork. 

How do I fill my water fountain?
To fill your water feature, begin by turning it off. Look for the fill line in the tray. Do not fill above that line.

There is algae growing in my tray. How can I prevent this?
If your water feature is in bright sunlight, algae will grow more quickly. So, you may want consider that when you decide where to place your fountain. Regular cleaning and changing the water every month also will help to reduce algae growth. A number of fountain care products are available that may be added to the fountain water to inhibit algae growth. Read the directions carefully to make sure they are safe for kids and pets.

How do I position the pump in my tray?
Make sure the water outlet from your pump goes as straight as possible up the back of your water feature. This will improve the water flow to the top. For the tube to go up the back of larger water features, you will need to turn the pump so the filter screen and the edge of the pump make a “v” shape along the back of the tray. This will put the spout for the water as close as possible to the back.

You still may need to tip the pump slightly for the spout to go behind the water surface. Be sure you trimmed the hose about 2” so it is not too long and bends behind the water surface. Bends will slow your water flow and may cause dry spots.

My water surface has dry spots on it.  How can I fix that?
If you have a lot of water on one side and the other is dry, the water distribution unit may not be level. Use a level to confirm that the water distribution unit is flat. If one side is lower than the other, use the small metal shim that comes with some water features or any other thin metal or plastic piece to raise the low side until it is level. If this does not resolve the issue, contact your manufacturer for assistance.

The lights are not working on my water feature, but the waterfall is working. What’s wrong?
Here are some things to check:

  • Most water features come with a 4-way pull chain. This allows you to run just the lights, just the pump, both the lights and the pump, or turn everything off. Try pulling the chain to determine which setting is on.
  • Most water features also come with a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust the lights. Check the dimmer switch with different settings of the pull chain. You may also want to try different light bulbs in your water feature to verify that the lights are working.
  • If your water feature does not have a pull chain and a dimmer switch, it comes with a rocker switch on the top, center. This turns everything on and off.

When I turn on my water feature, only the lights come on, but the pump does not. How can I fix this?
If there is no sound from the pump when you turn on your water feature, there are couple of things you should check. (See above.) If the pump still does not come on, contact your manufacturer for assistance.

Neither my lights no my pump will turn on my water feature. How can I fix that?
Be sure your breaker has not flipped and needs to be reset. Your water feature uses a standard outlet. We recommend that you don’t plug your water feature into a GFIC protected outlet located behind your water feature. The reset button on the outlet will be very difficult to reset if it flips.

The water on my glass/mirror water feature runs in a “v” shape. How do I get it to run to the edges?

Glass has very little surface tension. If untreated, the water will cling to itself and not run evenly on the glass. You need to add surface tension to the glass for the water to run evenly. Some manufacturers include a bottle of mirror prep and instructions on how to apply it.  For help, go to your fountain manufacturer’s website and contact Customer Support.

My halogen light bulbs have burned out. How do I replace them?
Bulbs for water features typically can be purchased almost anywhere that sells light bulbs. Check your user manual for instructions on how to replace the bulbs.

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Outdoor Fountains   

What type of electrical plug do I need? 

Both indoor and outdoor water features plug into a standard outlet. 

How long is the average pump electrical cord?
Most pump cords are about 6 feet long. For larger fountains, the pump cord will be long  enough to clear the width of the basin plus some extra. If you’re using an extension cord outside, you need to be sure it’s safe for outdoor use.

Do I need special plumbing?
No – all fountains are self-contained, and the water recirculates within the body of the fountain itself.

How often will I need to fill my water fountain?
Moving water is a natural humidifier and evaporates faster than standing water. During the first few days and weeks of operating your fountain, keep an eye on the water level to see how fast the water evaporates. This should help you determine how often to add water.

How can I know how much sound my fountain will make?
This depends on the fountain size and type. The more times water interacts with the fountain design features, such as splashing from one basin to another, the more sound it will make.

What kind of water should I use in my water feature?
Use distilled water whenever possible to fill and maintain the level of your outdoor water feature. If this is not available, try to use filtered water. Tap water contains minerals that can build up on your fountain, requiring more frequent cleaning, and cause your pump to overwork. 

How do I clean my outdoor fountain?
For best results, outdoor fountains should be cleaned once a week. Less frequent cleaning can result in dirt and grime build-up that is harder to clean and can affect the appearance and functionality of your fountain.

Check your fountain on a regular basis and remove any yard debris, such as leaves, grass and twigs, that can block the water flow. If your fountain gets a lot of direct sunlight, you may want to use an algaecide to prevent algae build up in the water.

Several times a year, take a soft sponge and clean the fountain basin and change out the water. For detailed instructions on how to care for your outdoor water fountain, see Tips on how to maintain your water feature” on our website.

How do I refill my fountain?
If possible, fill your outdoor fountain to the specified level with distilled water. If this is not possible, try to use filtered water. Tap water contains minerals that can create corrosive spotting, requiring more frequent fountain cleaning. Tap water minerals also can cause your pump to overwork. 


How can I prevent my outdoor fountain from fading and/or peeling?
Outdoor fountains typically are coated with a UV protective finish. However, to lengthen the life of your fountain and protect it from fading or peeling, you can recoat it every 6 to 12 months with an acrylic sealer suitable for fountains. Check with your manufacturer for a Certified Parts Dealer and application instructions.

How should my fountain be winterized?
Unplug and drain your fountain completely. If your fountain and pump are small and light enough, store them inside. If not, securely cover the fountain with a tarp or waterproof cover. The pump should be disconnected from the tubing at the back of the fountain and stored indoors to prevent water from freezing inside the pump motor. For detailed instructions, see How to maintain your pump” on our website.

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Fountain Pumps 

My pump is making a loud noise. How can I fix that?

Make sure your water is at the right level. It needs to cover the pump completely but not go above the fill line. If the water is low and the pump is taking in air, it will make a loud noise and your pump could burn out. Simply add water to the right level, and the noise will stop.

How long is the average pump electrical cord?
Most pump cords are about 6 feet long. For larger fountains, the pump cord will be long enough to clear the width of the basin plus some extra. If you’re using an extension cord outside, you need to be sure it’s safe for outdoor use.

Should I use a pump filtration bag?
You do not need to use a filtration bag, but it will prolong the life of your pump. The filter bag helps keep debris from getting caught in the pump.

Where can I get replacement pump filters and parts?
 
Contact your fountain manufacturer for a list of Certified Parts Dealers.

How do I change the impeller?
Check your water feature manual for instructions on how to change the pump impeller.

How do I change the UV light on the clarifier?
See your user manual for specific replacement instructions.

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Lighting

How do I replace my water feature light bulbs?

Replacement bulbs can be purchased from a Certified Parts Dealer. See your user manual for specific replacement instructions. Contact your manufacturer for more information.

Why has my light stopped working?
This could be the result of either a bulb failure or a transformer failure. Replacement bulbs can be purchased from a Certified Parts Dealer. Contact your manufacturer for more information.

 

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