Step 9: Finish up

finish up the fountain
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Direct the water by spinning stacked stones. Wedge smaller stones into the gaps to keep the structure stable. To make the arrangement permanent, turn off the water and squeeze dabsof clear silicone adhesive between the stones. Allow the adhesive to dry before you turn on the fountain again. Once the fountain flows the way you'd like it to, close the screen and camouflage the base with small stones.

Tip: Check the basin's water level regularly—especially in a heat wave—and replenish it to keep the pump constantly submerged.
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    Tools List

    • utility scissors
      Utility Scissors
      to cut screening
    • duct tape
      Duct Tape and String
      to pull the power cord through conduit
    • pvc pipe cutter
      Pipe Cutter
    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable Wrench
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Drill
      fitted with a 5 1/⁄8-inch masonry bit
    • hand saw
      Hand Saw
      to cut decking supports
    • caulk gun
      Caulk Gun

    Shopping List

    1. Pump

    Available at home or garden centers. Look for one labeled “submersible.” Pumps are rated in gallons per hour (gph), a measure of how much water they can handle and how high they can push it. Anything larger than 250 gph is overkill for a basic fountain with a [FRACTION 12]-inch pipe. We used [XLINK "http://www.pondmaster.com" "Pondmaster's"] 250-gph model 2



    2. ½-Inch Copper Pipe

    to carry the water from the pump to the top of the fountain. Buy a piece 2 feet longer than your fountain’s height.



    3. Waterproof Basin

    such as a plastic storage bin, mason’s mortar-mixing bucket, or washtub, to hold the pump and collect the water. It should be 6 inches wider than the fountain base’s diameter and 1 foot taller than the pump so that it fits all the pipe connections while still keeping the pump submerged.



    4. Stones

    or other material to make the fountain body. Choose something that stacks easily; stones should have flat faces. The copper pipe will give some support, but the materials should stand well on their own.



    5. Small Rocks

    or large aggregate, such as terra-cotta shards or tumbled glass, to cover the top of the pit. One 5-gallon bucketful should be enough.

    6. ½-inch-by-½-inch Compression Female Adapter

    to connect the pipe to the pump.



    7. ½-inch Ball Valve

    to regulate the water flow.



    8. Screen

    to protect the pump from debris. A fiberglass or aluminum window screen or grille, or anything that comes in a rigid frame, is best. Get one big enough to span the basin.



    9. Composite Decking

    such as Trex or TimberTech, to support the fountain.



    10. Drainage Gravel

    for in and under the catch basin. Get two 50-pound bags.



    11. 1-inch PVC Conduit

    to carry the pump’s power cord underground to the outlet.