Manual Vs Automatic fill Water Fountains
When choosing large water fountains, whether it be an indoor or outdoor type, you may come up against a decision on whether or not to use an automatic fill mechanism. These great supplements are very useful for large fountains that will evaporate water off at a quicker rate then smaller fountains. Large size fountains also have a much greater water capacity then small fountains and thus it will take more time and effort to maintain optimal water levels by hand.
Automatic filling of your water fountain has many benefits, some of which are:
To clarify the terminology used there can be several different options which include a manually filled fountain, a semi-automatic fill requiring manual operation and a fully automatically filled fountain using a electronic timer and solenoid. Each of these options has it's own benefits and drawbacks which need to be considered when making a decision on how to keep your fountain supplied with water.
Manually filled Water Fountains
A full manually filled option requires transportaing water to the fountain and physically filling it to the optimal level. A good deal of people prefer this option. Most people are used to adding water to smaller fountains they have owned in the past before investing in a large one, find in convienient to fill the foutnian while they water plants nearby or just don't mind the time and effort that goes into keeping a fountain full of water. They may also be unwilling to pay the extra money required to purchase an automatic fill option which costs more in most cases because of the extra parts that must be used.
Semi-Automatic Water fill Fountains With Manual Operation
Sometimes when we say we need a manually filled fountain we are actually speaking of a semi-automatic fill which requires operating a filling mechanism by hand that routes the water in from a central supply using a water line. One of the benefits of upgrading to a semi-automatic fill is that is it very inexpensive to do so. The float valve assembly sits concealed within the reservoir and a water line can be attached at any time. The timer and solenoid module that is characteristic of fully automatic fed features are not included and these are the most costly parts. Upgrading to a semi-automatic fill is always a good idea because it can remain dormant and not used. The fountain can simply operate as a full manual fill in the interim if preferred, for example if you are unable or unwilling to route a water line to the float valve assembly. However, with larger indoor fountains many people will find filling the water by hand will become tedious over time and will be happy that the internal mechanism is present so that they can then switch to using a water line.
This setup includes the float valve assembly which is installed in the reservoir trough. Once connected to a water source it will fill the trough to the proper level for operation. The water line required is a 1/4" copper water line that is fed from a water source that has a shut off valve. This option is great if you want to manually turn on the water valve weekly to fill the fountain with water. The float valve allows water to come into the trough then it shuts off at the preset level, however this options requires you to turn on and off a valve weekly to fill. This is a inexpensive option as all that is supplied is a float valve that is installed in the trough that connects to the supplied water line on the wall. The installer is required to install a water line to the fountain location and also must have a water valve installed in a mechanical room or suitable location to turn water on and off weekly. It is not recommended to leave a water line on continuously to a float valve as there is no overflow protection plumbing in place in case of float valve failure.
Fully Automatic filled Fountains
A most excellent choice in water fountain maintenance is a completely automatic water filled item. Such a set up will require a water line and also a filter system that softens the incoming water or removes hard water deposits before they can cause damage to the surfaces and working components. The main advantage to this system is that you do not have to remember to add water so you do not risk forgetting to do so which will dmaage the water pump mechanism. A drawback to getting this assembly is cost. The timer and solenoi parts are electronnic items that are costly to produce.
This assembly includes float valve assembly, copper tubing, stainless steel solenoid electronic valve, timer module (programmable), power cord and compression fittings. This option is if you want the fountain to fill with water automatically with no weekly maintenance and to have peace of mind the fountain will always have the proper amount of water for operation and the water line to the fountain will only have water pressure during the fill cycle which is two minutes daily. The rest of the day the water to the fountain is off with no chance of overflow if there is a float valve failure. You will program the timer module for times you want the fountain to fill with water. This is a safe set up for those wishing to have water lines to the fountain.
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