A pump is very useful for a fountain process. To maintain fountain water, it requires some type of tubing to carry the flow.
- The pump will be submerged in the fountain’s basin (or any other container where it pulls the water). Once turned on, the pump uses an electric propeller, called an impeller, to pull water into its own shell. The impeller thrusts the water into the pump’s exit point, where it is still forced vertically throughout the fountain’s tubing.
- When the water reaches the fountainhead it’s expelled. Based upon the strength of the pump (measured in gallons per hour, or GPH), the water will spray out of the fountainhead, drop away from fountain or cascade down the side of the sculpture – in which it’s usually accumulated in the container to be recycled.
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Maintaining your pump running smoothly is rather simple:
- Check the manufacturer’s advice for instructions on how best to open the outer casing and maintain the impeller clean. This is generally held in place by a simple plastic knob or twist. Bits of debris or chunks of calcium deposition can jam the impeller, causing it to stop.
- Assess the filter. The pump will have some kind of filter to keep leaves or stalks from being pulled into the engine. Keep this very clear and, if possible, situate the pump so that there is less chance for foreign particles to be pulled in.
- Many fountain owners are going to build another barrier, in addition to the pump’s intake or around the whole pump – with a material like cheesecloth or muslin – to keep particles from getting into the impeller.
Make sure the pump remains submerged. Fountains humidify the air. Their cyclic performance makes for economical use of water, but because the whole operation revolves around water flowing from the fountainhead, some amount will evaporate.
The fastest way to ruin a pump would be to operate it dry, and because many fountains (especially the indoor variety) do not have leaves and twigs to be worried about, maintaining the water level right is the easiest way to guarantee the pump runs correctly.