Ensuring A Smooth Cascade On An Indoor Fountain
The most popular indoor fountain products on the market utilize a flat panel over which water flows. This waterfall showcase is the main visual effect of the feature. The panel can be made from a variety of unique materials. Ensuring that the water flows over this surface smoothly and evenly is of primary importance to the visual appeal and serenity of your fountain.
Panel Materials On Indoor Fountains
The central panel section can be constructed from a variety of different materials. These materials include natural stones such as slate, marble and granite. The medium may also be made of glass, either clear or textured, as well as mirrors that come in bronze, silver and some other custom colors like blue, black and rose. Some of these material mediums are smooth, while others have a slightly rough surface which is a natural characteristic of the stones used. Each type of material has techniques specific to that type to ensure that the water flows over it evenly, smoothly and completely.
Techniques For Ensuring Even Water Flow On An Indoor Fountain
In most cases ensuring an indoor water flow can be done following a few simple techniques. Some people think that an uneven water flow is due to a defective waterfall, however this is rarely the case.
Troubleshooting Water Flow On Mirrored And Glass Fountains
Wall mirror or floor standing mirror and glass waterfalls will use a surface preparation solution to evenly disperse the water over the surface. This preparation will result in the water sheeting over the surface more evenly, rather then streaming over it erratically which some people don't like. Neither case will harm the fountain, the effect desired is simply one of personal preference. The liquid solution may need to be applied periodically since the coating will not last forever and may wear off over time. An excellent solution to use is called Jazz Window Prep. It is administered to the smooth material surface with a soft cloth with just enough solution to apply a thin film. Then the solution is wiped clean with a dry soft cloth and left to dry. Then fountain is then ready to operate.
Preparing The Water Distribution Ledge
Another technique of improving water flow is to pay attention to the upper water distribution ledge that channels water from the top tray down onto the stone or mirror. This ledge is a thin pliable piece of copper that should fit snugly against the stone or mirror panel. You must make sure the lip of the edge does not have gaps between it and the face material. If it does, you can bend the ledge with your hand or thumb so that it fits snugly, thereby eliminating gaps which slow or stop water flow in certain areas resulting in uneven water flow, or sometimes even slight bubbling towards the top of the waterfall.
Another thing we can do to ensure even water flow through the upper distribution unit is to clean it of unseen oil and residue. The uncoated copper used for the water ledge has a peculiar ability to pick up oils, which can result from handling the metal during production and installation. These oils stop water flow on the copper in certain spots. By scrubbing the copper ledge with a Scotch Brite® pad we thereby remove these oils and the water flows evenly over the copper surface. Never scrub the clear coated tray or mirrored surfaces because they do not pick up oils in the same manner and you would not want to scratch them or remove protective coatings.
Tips For Improving Water Flow On Stone Waterfall Fountains
The preparation of slate surfaces requires special techniques to improve water flow that are different then those used for mirrored or glass surfaces. Marble has a polished surface so we do not use this technique with marble since there will be no rough edges.
Using a chisel or small screwdriver we gently smooth or hone any protruding areas or ledges on the slate. We discover where these areas are by turning on the waterfall and looking for areas of the slate which are dry or over which water is not flowing. We can also take the Scotch Brite® pad and gently scrub the stone surface to remove high areas and clefts tat impede water flow.
Before we use this technique we need to prepare the copper distribution ledge as discussed above. We also need to wet the entire stone with a sponge or spray bottle before or after turning on the water. This wetting technique ensures that the areas without water flow are not the result of kinetic action which can occur with water. Kinetic action can cause small rivulets to form on the stone which disappear when the stone is wet manually on startup.
The spray bottle or wetting technique must be done each time the water fountain is started. The chiseling or honing method is a technique of last resort and should only be performed after all the other methods have been tried.
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