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|Becoming Familiar With Wall Fountain Maintenance|
Familiarity with the maintenance tasks involved with a wall fountain will enable you to care for your waterfall easily and effectively. Regular maintenance is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your waterfall functions smoothly and has a long life span.
Many people are initially captivated by the beauty of their wall water feature and do not want to fiddle with it once it has been installed on the wall. It may have taken several hours to unpack, go through instructions and mount a waterfall successfully on the wall. The prospect of changing the water, wiping down metal surfaces and scrubbing the stone seems a remote requirement that is put off to sometime in the future.
Common Maintenance Tasks For Wall Fountains
The most common and important fountain cleaning tasks should be performed at least every six months and more frequently for certain tasks like adding water.
Keeping a self-circulating system full of water is most likely the most demanding and time intensive task for the majority of owners. This is true for most people since the vast majority of wall fountains are sold as self-contained and re-circulating products that do not have automatic water fills attached to them.
Keeping the fountain reservoir full is a tricky endeavor for indoor waterfall novices. Just like watering a plant, you need to develop a sense of when more water is required. This ability to know when to add water cannot always be learned through written instruction or conveyed verbally. The amount of water needed will vary depending on many factors that will be different for each installation. These varying factors will include the climate, how often the fountain is run and the exact amount of water you used on the last occasion. However, there are guidelines that one can follow that make things easier when approaching this important maintenance task.
Upon first filling the waterfall reservoir be sure to never fill it over the fill line indicated on the inside of the reservoir tray. Overfilling the sculpture with water causes the moisture to seep up the tray lining. This will cause water to leak out the tray lining or down the wall. If overfilling occurs this water seepage can remain present and cause apparent leaking even after the water level in the reservoir is subsequently reduced below the fill line.
In addition to not overfilling the wall feature, be aware that there are other routes to the water becoming to high which are not as obvious. For example, if you fill the water while the fountain is running it will take more water then it can hold while off. This is because a good deal of water is caught up in circulation during operation. If the waterfall is filled while running and it is later switched off the reservoir will likely overflow as the water rushes into the lower reservoir and the level proceeds over the fill line. This will cause what appears to be a leaking or defective tray to most consumers, as noted above. You should always add water when the feature is turned off.
If the 'leaky tray' phenomena discussed above does occur it is in all probability due to excess fill levels. Although possible, it is highly unlikely the reservoir will develop a leak on its own. There is a molded plastic liner in many of the wall fountain models that is machined in, quite durable, not prone to corrosion over time and water tight. If you discover a possible leak you should remove the reservoir, turn it upside down and dry it over night. In the morning you fill the reservoir while it is still off the wall and check for leaks. It will be apparent where any leaking water is coming from using this procedure. The absence of leaks in this procedure will indicate that the problem is not a defective reservoir.
During the first week or so run the fountain as often as you desire. Check the water level daily to get a feel for how much water is being lost due to evaporation. Let the water level get as low as possible, but never lower then the top of the submerged water pump, before adding water. This is an excellent way to determine how often you will need to add water and how much water you will need to keep on hand to fill it. Distilled water is always recommended
Wiping Down The Reservoir and Metal Frame
A wipe down of the inner parts of the waterfall is suggested every 3 months, or more often as needed. Over time, debris, sludge and other particles that are pulled from the air due to coming into contact with the moving water will eventually accumulate at the bottom of the reservoir and along inner surfaces. A water feature acts as a type of air filter in a way, catching dust and particles that float through the air. These accumulations can be easily removed by removing the reservoir from the wall, draining the water and wiping clean the inner surfaces with a cloth or towel.
Wiping down the exterior outer metal parts of the fountain should be done regularly as needed. A soft cloth coated with a mild cleaner like windex works well for this purpose. Even though copper and Stainless Steel parts are either clear coated or resistant to staining, wiping water which has sprayed or fallen on these surfaces will keep the finish looking new and unspotted. It will also enable you to look for where patterns occur and adjust the fountain accordingly to eliminate the wet areas, for example by adjusting the splash guard and pebbles, honing high areas on the stone or adjusting the water distribution unit.
Cleaning The Stone
Periodic cleaning of the stone section is brought to a minimum is distilled water is used. If you have been using tap water mineral deposits will have formed on the stone which can be removed using a stiff brush and a diluted solution of CLR (Calcium Lime Remover) if needed. Sometimes, due to the natural characteristics of slate some sediment may become loose when continually exposed to water flow. This sediment will also be wiped away when you wipe down the inner sections of the reservoir as discussed above. A scotch brite pad can be used to gently scrub the stone to remove loose sediment, This scrubbing will also remove any potential algae that has developed on the stone surface. Algae can sometimes occur if the waterfall is often exposed to sunlight.
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