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Fountain Foundations
Fountains In The Garden - Foundations And Electrical Supply

The beauty of using fountains in the garden is well known. The relaxing and rejuvenating effect of these additions has been established and has stood the test of time. Throughout history water has been used in outdoor areas to uplift the spirit, irrigate crops, provide an unusual and vibrant visual display and promote contemplation and spiritual reflection, to name just a few. Consideration of a couple preliminary factors will ensure that a beautiful fountain will be at peace in your garden and provide all the benefits you expect.

Supporting A Fountain In The Garden With A Solid Foundation

A solid foundation, while not obvious to casual observers, is one of the most essential considerations for a garden fountain. This supporting structure is what prevents the fountain from sinking into the ground over time as the soil is exposed to weather conditions like rain, wind and the force of gravity. If a fountain does not have a solid foundation the soil will eventually give way and cause the parts to lean to one side. If any section of a water feature becomes off level it will interfere with the delicate water flow over the various rims and surfaces. This interference could effect how the water flow appears and cause it to flow in an unbalanced fashion. For example, more water would flow off one side then another.

Techniques For Foundation Construction

We have established that a secure foundation is an essential aspect of any garden fountain. It remains to discuss what foundation techniques are available and how to implement them. The most secure foundation is a concrete pad. A concrete pad will support the weight of any size fountain. A concrete pad may require a conduit or hole in order to conceal the electrical cords that are necessary for the water pump and lighting accessories. Building a concrete pad requires some skill in order to mix and pour the concrete and also to contain it within a frame for curing. Concrete pads are best left to those who are handy or professional landscapers and contractors.

A further technique which should not be overlooked for foundations is the gravel and sand base method. This method uses several inches of sand as a support base over which is placed a layer of gravel. The sand is an excellent medium that supports the overlying gravel structure and prevents it from sinking into the soil below. The gravel and sand is also great at distributing the weight of the fountain over a large area so that it is less prone to sinking into the ground.

Supplying Electrical Power To Your Garden Fountain

Providing electrical power to your garden fountain is required in order for the fountain to operate. Electricity is what runs the water pump that circulates water through the sculpture and produces the exciting downward cascade of water we all know so well. Although some solar powered pumps are on the market, they tend to only be available to run small novelty size fountains, as solar pumps seldom able to generate enough power to operate large fountains effectively.

Lighting a fountain increases in great measure the enjoyment we get from them as darkness falls. If not solar powered, the lights will require an electrical power source in proximity to the feature. We should consider proximity of an electrical source when deciding where to place a fountain. We should also consider if we shall require extension cords to reach the electrical source and also how we may endeavor to conceal such cords for optimum aesthetic appeal. Most large pumps come with a 12' cord.

Summary and Conclusion

Attention to foundation and electrical supply considerations are two of the most important things to consider during the addition of a garden fountain. The importance of these two factors lies in their ability to enable effective fountain operation. Without an adequate foundation a fountain would sink into the ground and become off level, interfering with water flow. Without an electrical source nearby there would be no way to operate the water pump so necessary to fountain operation and no way to power the lights so the cascade can be enjoyed at night. Apart from these two primary considerations there are many more factors to consider such as aesthetic appeal, style and color which we will discuss in further articles.

 

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