How to Build an Indoor Waterfall (Wall Fountain)

Water in nature brings us so much peace.  Gurgling, falling, splashing…the sounds are so divine.  The indoor fountain brings a tiny bit of that peace into our living rooms and gardens.  And it is so easy to make.

In this post I am describing what is called a wall fountain, where water is held in a pretty container and raised to a height through a pipe, from where it is dropped to create a waterfall.  To avoid an ugly splash of water, and have a more gentler drop, you can use decorative cups, so that water falls in steps until it returns again to the previously mentioned container.  What you can notice here is that you don’t need a continuous water supply, but only electricity.  The same water is circulated repeatedly by the pump.

I have tried my best to make a project that looks tough as simple and easy to follow and repeat.  And if you want me to explain anything more, do let me know.   (Procedure Courtesy: Bharath Rawal http://www.bharatrawal.com/)

Here are the first three components.

  • At the heart of a fountain is a small miniature submersible water pump, the kind that is used in an aquarium for oxygenation of water. This is often called a fountain head, in order to avoid confusing it with bigger water pumps often seen at homes. It is available at a cost of about 250 rupees at your local aquarium shop.

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    Fountain Head
  • The humble garden pipe –  This can go upto one feet and can be purchased from any hardware store. The important point is that the size must be such that it goes into the pump.

 

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Garden Pipe
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L-pipe

 

 

  • Let not this L-pipe scare you.  Check out your hardware store or the aquarium for the same.  Again, this must be just the right size to snuggle nicely into the mouth of your garden pipe.

Before I get to the rest of the components,  below is a crudish diagram on how this first part works.  Its drawn on the back side of some really bad watercolor painting, so its smudgy and dirty, so do excuse that. The instructions refer to the diagram below.

  1. The pump is submerged into the container of water.
  2. The garden pipe is attached to the mouth of the pump.
  3. The L-pipe is attached on to the mouth of the garden pipe.
  4. Now hold this pipe at a height as shown in this diagram and connect your pump to a plug point.  You’ll see the water spouting out and voila, there is a cute little waterfall already.  This is the basic funda (as we Indians love to call it) of a wall fountain. Now all we need to do is find some way to perch this pipe up like this. Because when you get friends over and want to show off your fountain, holding a pipe up like this is not fun and nobody will believe you are a wall fountain anyway.

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  • The Wall (not really)

You don’t want anyone to see all that ugly piping.  You want to pretend that water spouts out of something cute, like the mouth of a fish in this case or a flower or a leaf petal.  This is where the Wall comes in.  I mean, we are going to use some kind of water-proof board here instead of a wall, as very few of us want to or can afford to drill holes and change the plumbing in our actual walls to make a fountain, although if you want to, the principles are kind of the same.

But the idea is you have two holes on the wall (I mean, board).  If you are standing in front of the below picture of the board/wall now, you will now see the mouth of the L-pipe from the top.  The L-pipe here ensures a nice strong thrust of water. The rest of the pipe is behind the board, and then finally the pipe comes out through the second hole below, where it is connected to the fountain motor that is floating peacefully in the water.  No, we aren’t going to hide that motor.

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You can imagine your final output looking something like the video below.  This poor fish has an L-pipe stuffed into his mouth.

I know that fountain looks a bit challenging.  But if you minus the heavy artwork (that I struggled through and created with much help at Bharath Sir’s class), the concept is kind of simple and cool and you can replace it all with simpler non hand-made components.

Now for the rest of the items.

  • Two PVC Fiber Boards that are 8mm in thickness – These are used as a base for your art work and is the ‘wall’ in this project.  It is a water proof light-weight material that can be purchased in places that sells Acrylic sheets. What is great about this material is how easily it can be cut with a simple exacto knife. We used two such boards and hid the piping between that. The boards were separating by  M-seal and small rectangular blocks of Fiber Board.  You can use simple Feviquick and M-seal to attach these blocks to the boards.
  • A pretty container.  A nice rectangle container is ideal for this project.  The idea is to fit the space between the twin boards into container as shown below.  Then you can neatly snuggle and hide your whole L-pipe installation between these boards.

 

Leak Proofing (Important Step)

  • Since we made our own containers using PVC Fiber Boards, we sealed the joints using Car Patch that can be found in Car repair stores. It is a green guey liquid that has a tiny tub of hardener with it.  The ratio was 100 to 2.  And it serves to prevent leakage.
  • You can also use Silicon Sealant, a common product used in home repair, to seal leaky tiles and aquariums.
  • And of course, there is good old M-seal.  Seal any joints with that to prevent leaks.

 

Texturing (Good Step to have) – If you want your wall/board to have some character, this step should help. Texturing is a process of getting nice textures or humps and rolls on your wall.  You can use Fevicol Marine with Chalk Powder to obtain a putty-like consistency.
Water Proofing (Good to have) –  Use Enamel-based Oil Paints

Stronger Water-Proofing (Please Ignore this step) – This is a sludgy risky affair that Bharath sir was not very keen on.

  1. Polyester Resin
  2. Cobalt
  3. Hardener
  4. Chalk Powder
  • Mix one and two and stir evenly until it turns pink (100:2)
  • Add Chalk powder to increase viscosity, and make it thick as paint.
  • Now add 1 part hardener (1 cap). Mix evenly.
  • Apply with brush in five minutes.

Next, read how I ended up in this class at My Artsy Dreams.

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