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|Custom Floating Water Walls|
The often referred to as the 'floating water wall' is a unique design that incorporates all the aesthetics of a self-contained water feature without showing the usual tray and framing components. These custom waterfalls are aptly named 'floating' due to their method of installation, rather then the mechanics involved in their construction. In fact, these designs are made with the same components as standard water walls and function in the same manner.
The particular aesthetics of a floating feature make them appealing in suitable locations. This appeal is particularly apparent in modern contemporary architecture that frequently makes use of minimalist designs. Minimalist design attempts to create a streamlined, pure and open feeling by using no more decorative accents, furniture and embellishment then absolutely necessary. Minimalism also puts stronger focus on the accents that are used. Since there are fewer of them such furnishings become imbued with more importance with regard to affecting the ambiance of the overall space. Minimalist and ultra-modern design also takes this philosophy further and makes use of pure, neutral and less chaotic and challenging color schemes to provide a space with a type of peaceful sterility. We see a lot of cool colors like whites, Stainless Steel, pastels, blues and creams. To increase the perception of overall space glass water walls are used to enable light to pass through and to provide unobstructed views of the area. Water falling over glass is especially conductive to a feeling of purity and simplicity that complements exceptionally well the overall goal of minimalist design.
The installation of the floating type water walls takes much more skill then installing a standard water wall, whether it be of the wall mounted or floor standing variety. In order to produce the floating effect, the upper apparatus and reservoir at the bottom must be hidden from view. This concealment of everything but the glass panel and falling water is what creates the floating illusion with water traveling down a transparent glass surface with nothing appearing to support it. This sense of amazement of water falling of it's own accord is the primary appeal of these water features.
During installation a recess must be made in both the ceiling and floor in order to house the necessary upper water distribution apparatus as well as the lower water tank. The water reservoir at the bottom will contain the water supply for the water wall and the pump which circulates the water through the system. After the recesses are built in the ceiling and floor a cover is made which will conceal the cavity and leave only a thin slit wide enough for the glass panel to pass through. This will create the illusion of the water coming directly from the wall and disappearing into the floor. The effect achieved is the magical illusion of water flowing in mid-air without anything to support it. While the upper and lower mechanisms can be concealed in this manner without to much trouble, there also needs to be flexible tubing or rigid piping which will carry the water from the lower reservoir up to the top of the waterfall. This re-circulation is what enables the water to continually flow in a system over the glass surface. The tubing installation can be tricky since the tubing must be hidden from view so as to not ruin the illusion effect. The installation technique is to route the tubing or pipe through the floor and up either a nearby cabinet or wall and over to the top of the waterfall above the ceiling. Commonly, an auto-fill is used whereby a waterline from the building is tapped to connect to the reservoir and an overflow drain is added to the reservoir as well as a safety precaution against malfunction or error in setting the auto-fill timer solenoid. A timer solenoid is used with the water line which will enable the water wall to be always ready with a sufficient supply of fresh water. The water is on a drip system and will refill the reservoir at specific intervals specified by a customer. The amount of water needed will vary depending on how often the waterfall is run and how large the waterfall surface is, these being the main determining factors of how much water will evaporate off over time. The filling process must therefore be vetted by programming the timer minimally to start and then gradually increasing the time until the optimum water level is achieved at all times. Caution must be exercised against overfilling because the water level will increased a good extent when the feature is turned off and the water usually caught up in circulation flows down into the reservoir.
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