Fountain Maintenance Archives | Estate Fountains

The type of Fountain spray ring you purchase can have a huge impact on its longevity in your climate. 

Granite Fountain Pool with Bronze Mermaid and Spray Ring This granite pool surround recirculates the water for this bronze mermaid fountain accented by a spray ring.
Granite Fountain Pool with Bronze Mermaid and Spray Ring This granite pool surround recirculates the water for this bronze mermaid fountain accented by a spray ring.

  • Since if you are in a very sunny climate, and end up buying a PVC fountain spray ring, the  damage caused by UV Rays can make your spray ring very brittle in only 2- 4 years. 
    • Vs if you are in a more northerly climate, it may take as long as 8-10 years before it  becomes brittle and falls apart with the slightest impact. 
  • Also, some manufacturers will actually coat their PVC pipe with copper colored paint, to make  it look more like a high-end version (as well as to protect the plastic from UV rays.)
    • But, we really question how long that copper paint will last in an underwater situation  where chlorine or chemicals are always working on the paint, likely causing it to flake /  chip off over time. 
  • So, from our point of view, a fountain spray ring made of stainless steel or copper is a lot better  option – for ANY climate. 
    • And here at Carved Stone Creations, we only use Copper Spray Rings with Brass Nozzles soldered into them. 
      • As after about a year of exposure to the elements / chemicals in the water, the  copper turns a pleasing silvery greyish green color – which tends to look nice in  the fountain pool. 
      • We tend to have “some” spray rings in stock in our warehouse, but the majority of  our spray rings are made to order, in exactly the diameter and number of nozzles  the customer wants for their specific fountain. 
    • FYI, almost unbelievably, we received a call years ago from a customer that said he just took over his Grandma’s estate, and wanted to get her approximately 100 year old  copper fountain spray ring working again… 
      • And all he needed was just some replacement nozzles to put into the ring.
      • As over time, the brass nozzle can sometimes get a little “eaten” by chemicals or  possibly “lost” if someone took them off to clean out a blockage in the stream of  water. 
      • Thus, we felt justified in our thought that the copper spray rings were the best  option for our customers. 

  • In terms of maintenance on a Copper Spray Ring, there are a few things you should  know about the way we design them: 
    • If you are in a climate that gets freezing weather, please ensure you disconnect the  pump from the spray ring (before the freezing weather arrives) and bring it inside to  protect the pump from the weather. 
      • While the pump is inside, take the time to clean it (inside and outside) – then  place it in a bucket of water in a warm location for the Winter season. 
      • That ensures that the pump will be ready to go in Spring – when it’s time to get  your fountain going again. 
    • Also, when the pump is disconnected, that ALSO drains the spray ring itself, to protect it  from the freezing weather as well.
    • As even just an inch of freezing water can have a hugely damaging effect (not  only on the copper spray ring itself), but also on the stone fountain too.
      • Thus, draining the water out of all parts of your fountain and centerpiece is  absolutely needed to have a fountain that will last generations. 
    • Our pump systems for spray rings typically come with a filtration sock (a large filter  that’s attached to the pumps suction port), to allow more time before you need to clean  the debris out of your pool. 
      • As if you ever notice the arcs of water coming out of your spray ring “pulsing” –  that typically means there has been a recent rain, and the water level in the pool  is causing your nozzles to be underwater for a second – and then come bursting  through the water surface in a rhythmic action. 
        • Normally, we set the height of our spray rings to have the ring just UNDER  the water surface, and then just the nozzles sticking out of the surface, to  make the spray ring less noticeable. 
        • So, to fix that pulsing action, you can just wait for natural water loss (via  splashes/ evaporation / etc) or you can drain your pool slightly. 
        • Though, normally the pvc stand pipes set inside the drain fitting in the floor of your fountain pool will be at a height level that would automatically let  extra water go down the drain as it rains.  
          • So, in that case, you might be able just to cut some height off that  drain stand pipe – keeping in mind you should really have the water as deep as possible at all times (with an autofill) in order to keep the water cooler and less apt to fill with algae quickly.  
          • So don’t cut off any more than you need to, in order to keep the nozzles sticking out of the water, but NOT the ring itself sticking out… 
    • Or, if you notice your arcs of water going lower and lower, that typically means  the pump is running out of water to push, as its filter is getting totally occluded  with debris. 
      • In that case, turn off the pump, then take the sock off the structure, turning  it inside out as you are pulling it off – to capture all the debris inside of it. 
        • Do not run the pump WITHOUT a filter sock on it, as you could suck a lot of debris into the pump, and accidentally occlude many of your nozzles in the spray ring that way. 
      • Then, turn it right side out again (outside the pool) to spray it off, and put it  back on the structure and turn your pump back on again. 
        • And hopefully you notice this issue before the pump is completely  not pushing water at all, as that can cause it to burn up and need to be replaced. 
      • Or, if there is not much for “debris” on the filter sock, it’s also possible that  the pump itself is getting filled with debris or calcium scale on the inside  (by the impeller/armature), and thus it’s another instance where you need  to clean the pump quickly before it seizes up completely. 
        • As a pump that has completely stopped pumping is very hard to bring “back” to working condition again. 
    • Lastly, during the Spring / Summer / Fall if you notice a couple nozzles are just  “spluttering” and don’t have a pleasing arc of water coming out of them…
      • Normally what I would do is set something narrow (like a long smooth nail or  narrow branch) on the edge of the pool within easy reach. 
      • Then step into the pool, and use one hand to hold the nozzle pointed away from  you (so you don’t get all wet while working), and the other hand to unscrew the  finger tight nut to take the top part of the nozzle OFF of the spray ring. 
        • After that, the water will bubble upwards from the hole left in the ring but won’t normally squirt you while you are working on the nozzle. 
      • As normally what is happening is that there is a bug or weed seed or algae or  some kind of debris stuck in the nozzle occluding its flow. 
        • So, if you aren’t squeamish about germs, you can blow the debris out of  the nozzle by pushing air through the small side, and having the debris  land OUTSIDE the pool.  
        • Or, you can poke the smooth nail through the small end of the nozzle, and  get the debris out that way. 
      • Now, putting the adjustable nozzle back ON the spray ring DOES tend to get you  a bit wet though… 
        • As if you have ever tried to attach a nozzle to a running hose of water,  you’ll know why – with water squirting everywhere temporarily until you get  it twisted on far enough.… 
      • Therefore, keeping your filter sock cleaned off periodically would help you with  not having to complete the above actions too often.

Types of Water Fountain Pumps

The two main types of fountain pumps are submersible and non-submersible. Each water fountain pump serves certain advantages depending on the application and usage. 

Submersible Pumps

The submersible fountain pumps are designed to be fully submerged underwater  and need to be in order to keep them from overheating and burning up. These fountain pumps are directly placed into the fountain, pond vault, or in a skimmer box. The submersible pumps range from fifty to ten thousand gallons per hour (GPH). Submersible water fountains are easy to install and are an economic breakthrough for small fountains or ponds. 

Pumps for small fountains can handle up to one thousand gallons of water. Submersible pumps are quiet in their work and can also drain the ponds and fountains. If you are keeping fish, plants, or other aquatic life in your fountain, you should go for the model that does not use oil because seal breakage can pose severe risks for the organisms.

Non-submersible Pumps

Non-submersible pumps are efficient in energy consumption and are a reliable option. These pumps are to be installed in a dry location near the fountain. Typically in our fountain installations, a non-submersible pump is placed in an underground vault adjacent to the fountain and used in commercial installations, or in instances, you do NOT want a pump visible in the fountain pool, for hooligans to possible mess with or break, or children to trip over in wading in the fountain. 

Non-submersible pumps are in the open and can be louder when in action. These pumps are more complicated to implement and install than a submersible pump. Both kinds of pumps need to be cleaned/maintained during the fountain season though. And the easier thing about a submersible pump is that you can visually see the pump in the pool, and therefore know when it’s starting to get covered with chalky calcium scale on the outside of the pump. (As that is indicative of what’s also likely occurring INSIDE the pump, where it matters!) So, if it’s turning white on the outside of the pump – that’s your queue to take the pump out and clean it (inside and out) before the impeller seized up inside the armature (armature being the cup that the impeller spins in to push the water.) 

How Big You Should Go

The average working life for a small fountain pump is one to three years, but the working duration can be prolonged by upkeep and proper maintenance. (Vs. many of our larger pumps last much longer with good care though. The longest-lasting so far in one of our fountains was about 9 years before the pump had to be replaced.) The secret of having a perfect outdoor or indoor fountain is water quality and pump maintenance.  

Maintenance is different for indoor and outdoor water fountain pumps, and it is common sense to take care of the element that makes your fountain beautiful and worthy. Outdoor fountain pumps need periodic cleaning because they are more likely to be clogged with debris. Therefore, sand, dirt, leaves, grass, etc., should also be wiped regularly from the fountain to keep it clean. 

Similarly, indoor water fountain pumps don’t face harsh weather conditions, but those pumps also need cleaning over time, just based on the quality of water you are filling your fountain with. Depending on the style of the fountain, you may also need to adjust the noise levels to produce the most harmonious sounds coming from the water fountains.   

Caring for Fountain Pumps

We have mentioned some guidelines for water fountain maintenance:

Make sure your outdoor submersible fountain pump is completely submerged in water.  

Keep the pump clean from buildup and debris.  

Keep the water fountain running at all times if possible.  

Use distilled water for small fountains, as it makes maintenance easier.  

Clean your fountain pump regularly.  

How to Choose a Fountain Pump

Selecting the right size pump for your fountain involves many factors apart from the design or style. The factors that need to be considered for the correct fountain pump size are listed below:

Head Height

Maximum lift and head height rating are essential factors when sizing a pump. (Essentially the listed “head height” for a particular pump means that’s the max height it’ll pump water above the pump – before the water just stops moving completely.) 

To measure the needed head height rating of the fountain, track where the fountain pump rests if its housing unit if it isn’t at the fountain base. Measure the height from where the fountain pump rests to the top where the spout or finial would be pouring water – at its highest part. This height will help you determine which specific pump would be appropriate for your fountain, based on its listed “head height.” 

Controlling Water Flow

If you want the water to fall from the fountain spout gently, the pump head height should be just a bit taller than the vertical height of the fountain. Select the pump with a max height of several feet TALLER than the fountain finial for the intense gushing of water from the fountain spout

We can also use a valve or a flow reducer at the discharge point in the spout if you want to reduce the flow to just a trickle for a relaxing and attractive sound during social gatherings. The trickle produces a delightful sound from the water fountain, which might normally sound more like rushing water in a pounding rainstorm.  

Calculating the Water

If you are not sure about the water capacity of the fountain or pond, you’ll need to figure it out. Knowing your fountain’s gallon capacity will help you choose the ideal and the best-suited fountain pump for your fountain. 

First, measure the fountain’s length then multiply by the depth and width. Once you have the cubic inches/volume, divide that number by 231 to get the number of gallons of water in your pool. Or, if you would rather start with cubic feet, then multiply that number by 7.481 to get the number of gallons in your pool.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pump 

Before purchasing any product, we consider some factors in determining the right product for our application. Below we have listed the factors to consider while purchasing a fountain pump that works best for you: 


It is the effectiveness and efficiency of the fountain pump. Flow rate is how much time a water fountain pump takes to move a certain amount of water through your fountain. The amount is usually measured in gallons per hour here in the US, or gallons per minute, if it’s a very large/powerful pump. 

Pump Quality

What matters is the brand of the water fountain pump. You need to go through necessary surveys, reviews, and research to analyze and determine the quality of the fountain pump. In our eyes, if a pump has a 3 year or 5-year warranty, you are pretty assured it’ll last quite a bit longer than the pumps that only have 90 days or 1-year warranty… (Of course, this is assuming you maintain and clean the pump as needed during the fountain season, as having a dirty pump that seizes up & stops working is never a situation the pump manufacturer will warranty.)  


Pumps are much more than the majestic gurgling beasts they appear to be. They have the potential to help you optimize your fountain in terms of its beauty, sparkle, and water quality, saving you time and energy. 

A yard water fountain can add appeal and value to any home when it looks pristine. 

With busy schedules and tight budgets, it can become less of a priority to care for the fountain. In fact, the average homeowner spends an average of $1,204 a month on home costs. If you’re looking for ways to make your fountain maintenance quick and easy, check out these tips.

Take Care of the Pump

In order to prevent serious problems with your fountain, make sure you take care of the pump.

Most people notice their pump is the first thing that accumulates buildup and debris. Since the water flows through the filter via the pump, it can accumulate the most buildup. Making it a habit to clean the pump will prevent you from having to deal with excess buildup. To tend to the pump, all you have to do is remove it from the fountain and wipe it down with a clean sponge.

If the pump has small and tough to reach areas, you might need to use a toothbrush to ensure you take care of all the buildup. Keep in mind the pump also has to be completely submerged in water. Depending on the climate and region, your fountain might drain of water faster than expected.

Make sure you pay attention to how often your fountain runs out of water, so the pump always stays submerged.

Distilled water prevents excess algae buildup and gives you more time in between cleanings. Using distilled water might not be a problem for those with small fountains, however, large fountains might not be as easy.

If you have a large fountain, and distilled water is not an option, you can use other solutions to control the algae buildup. Using Chlorine tablets, bromine, salt or algaecide will control algae in large fountains.

The Type of Water You Use

Some fountain owners notice no matter how many times they clean their fountain, it’s always covered in algae. If you’re having this problem with your fountain, start using distilled water, or water that’s been “filtered” through your homes water softener system instead.

Distilled water prevents excess algae buildup and gives you more time in between cleanings. Using distilled water might not be a problem for those with small fountains, however, large fountains might not be as easy.

If you have a large fountain, and distilled water is not an option, you can use other solutions to control the algae buildup. Using a birdbath cleanser or fountain cleanser will control algae in large fountains.

Fountain Maintenance Tips: The Bottom Line

If you follow these tips, you will never feel burdened by fountain maintenance. Remember to keep in mind the material, the water, and the pump.

Looking for a new fountain for your home? Check out our complete fountain inventory.

A yard water fountain can add appeal and value to any home when it looks pristine. 

With busy schedules and tight budgets, it can become less of a priority to care for the fountain. In fact, the average homeowner spends an average of $1,204 a month on home costs. If you’re looking for ways to make your fountain maintenance quick and easy, check out these tips.

1. Take Care of the Pump

In order to prevent serious problems with your fountain, make sure you take care of the pump. 

Most people notice their pump is the first thing that accumulates buildup and debris. Since the water flows through the filter via the pump, it can accumulate the most buildup. Making it a habit to clean the pump will prevent you from having to deal with excess buildup. To tend to the pump, all you have to do is remove it from the fountain and wipe it down with a clean sponge.

If the pump has small and tough to reach areas, you might need to use a toothbrush to ensure you take care of all the buildup. Keep in mind the pump also has to be completely submerged in water. Depending on the climate and region, your fountain might drain of water faster than expected. 

Make sure you pay attention to how often your fountain runs out of water, so the pump always stays submerged.  

2. The Type of Water You Use

Some fountain owners notice no matter how many times they clean their fountain, it’s always covered in algae. If you’re having this problem with your fountain, start using distilled water, or at least water that has been routed through your homes filtration system first, rather than well water. 

Distilled water prevents excess algae buildup and gives you more time in between cleanings. Using distilled water might not be a problem for those with small fountains, however, large fountains might not be as easy.

If you have a large fountain, and distilled water is not an option, you can use other solutions to control the algae buildup. Using compressed chlorine tabs, birdbath cleanser or fountain cleanser will control algae in large fountains.

3. Pay Attention to the Material

Some fountain owners have a harder time keeping up with the maintenance of their fountain because they don’t tailor it to the material. 

If you want to simplify your fountain cleaning routine, you have to clean it according to the type of material.  For ceramic fountains, all you have to do is take a soft cloth or sponge and clean using water and soap. Copper fountains should be cleaned using a soft-cloth and high-quality furniture cleaner.  Porous stone fountains (like marble, limestone, travertine or concrete) need gentle cleansers, soft nylon brushes and a consistent maintenance plan. Stainless steel is a more delicate material and should be cleaned using a stainless steel cleaner. In order to prevent scratches, use a soft cloth (dry) and use gentle pressure.  Or, if you are lucky enough to own a granite fountain, your cleaning tasks will be MUCH easier than any other type of fountain option.

With granite fountains ONLY, the following cleaning processes can be used:

  • For example, if you get calcium or iron stains on granite, just using a 50/50 solution of muriatic acid/water (for whitish / chalky calcium scale) or 50/50 ferrous acid / water (for orangey / reddish iron stains) will melt the stain away like magic. (Or, you could use CLR or RidORust instead.) Then, once the stain is gone, sluice liberally with water to get rid of the acid remnants…
    • Before you accomplish that cleaning with the acid though, make sure it’s a non-windy day, and you have all of your skin covered with pants / sleeves / a face mask (as it’s very pungent), etc…
    • Vs, if used those same caustic chemicals on a more porous stone (like marble, limestone, travertine, cantera or concrete), it would eat the stone AND the stain like alka seltzer in a glass.
    • Therefore, to keep a porous item clean (even in a non-freeze/thaw climate) requires more consistent maintenance, elbow grease and gentle cleansers.
  • And dirt / algae / lichen can’t grab hold too well in a non-porous item either, so therefore honed or polished granite items can look brand new for their whole lifespan of 100’s of years.
    • Please note – even if you don’t clean your granite item for many years, it’s possible to be brought back to looking brand new in just a day’s time, using the acids mentioned above…

Fountain Maintenance Tips: The Bottom Line

If you follow these tips, you will never feel burdened by fountain maintenance. Remember to keep in mind the material, the water, and the pump. 

Looking for a new fountain for your home? Check out our complete fountain inventory.

There’s no denying the appeal of large outdoor water fountains, and they are becoming extremely popular with a vast segment of this country’s general population, just because of their broad, natural appeal. Few things look more attractive in your backyard than a stately and functional large garden fountain.

Some of the best designs of large outdoor fountains can quickly become the centerpiece of the entire backyard, drawing all attention to them from visitors and neighbors, as well as from your family members. Whether you’re in the planning stages of putting in a large outdoor water fountain with LED lights, or one without any lighting at all, there are some factors you should consider before you put cash on the counter to purchase one. Some of these considerations may be deal-breakers, while others are just essential details that you have to plan for.

Fountain location

One of the first things you should consider is the location where your extra large outdoor fountain will be placed. You might be tempted to locate it in the center of your backyard, but that’s not always the best solution, and there be may be other factors about your yard which need to be considered before deciding on a final location.

One thing you should make sure of is that the fountain is not placed against any other large object because you will need complete access to the fountain, on all sides, or around the entire circular perimeter. Another factor in deciding where your large outdoor water fountain should be placed in the proximity to electrical connections. You should either place the fountain close by an existing outdoor electrical connection, or you should be prepared to run a cable from an existing outlet to whatever location you have chosen for your fountain.

Lighting options

Most people who own a large outdoor garden fountain want it to be seen and enjoyed by everyone who visits, and possibly even everyone who walks by the house. If you plan to be in your backyard on some evenings to enjoy listening to your fountain and watching it, you should bear in mind that it will get dark eventually, and you’ll need some kind of lighting option that will emphasize and highlight your beautiful outdoor fountain.

In some cases, large outdoor water fountains come with their own lighting, but you should plan on installing a light source so that you can maximize the visibility of your garden fountain. Large outdoor fountains with LED lights have become a popular choice because of the efficiency and illuminating power of LED lights. This will be a personal preference, and you may opt for something straightforward, or you may opt for colored blinking lights.

You also should consider whether you want to make your lighting a subtle solution, or if you wish to illuminate the entire backyard with something brilliant. Keep in mind that the colored lights are not nearly as bright as white lights are, so if you intend to keep it subtle, colored lights are probably your best option.

Water source

Generally, during setup, an outdoor garden fountain will be hooked up to your home water supply, which means that you’ll have a continuous source of water, as long as it’s turned on inside the household. However, you may need to install a cutoff valve, so that you can stop the flow of water to the fountain when you want to. Otherwise, it will be running continuously along with your household water supply.

An excellent place to do this is right close to the fountain itself, so that for instance, when you’re ready to go inside for the evening, it will be a simple matter to shut the water off at the fountain and cause the water to stop flowing. You’ll also need to consider some connecting hose which would be placed between your household water supply and the garden fountain.

There are ways of making this connecting hose less conspicuous if you prefer not to have the connection visible. If that’s not an issue, you can run any garden hose between the house and the outdoor fountain to keep it supplied with water at all times.

Power source

Your large outdoor garden fountain will, of course, run on electricity, and that means you need a power source to keep it operating for as often and as long as you want. Some of the most common power sources for outdoor garden fountains are solar-powered energy sources and hard-wired energy sources. Hard-wired fountains get their source of energy from an electric power supply, and for this, you will probably have to engage the services of a licensed electrician.

It will be necessary to contract with one of these specialists because it will be considered by local authorities as an addition to your home’s electrical grid when you hard-wire a garden fountain to your power supply. If you choose to go the route where you power your garden fountain by solar energy, this can be a little easier and is considerably less technical. These kinds of fountains don’t need any electrical supply, since the solar panels provide all the power required to operate your outdoor garden fountain, including sufficient force to keep the pumps running indefinitely. Some garden fountains are constructed to work correctly with one kind of power source or another, so when you’re out browsing for ‘large outdoor 

fountains near me,’ pay attention to their power sources as well. Make sure they’re a good fit for your backyard, so you won’t have to go to tremendous extra expense to install some power source to keep your beautiful outdoor garden fountain operating.

Maintenance plan

This is not one of the most commonly remembered factors related to purchasing a large outdoor water fountain, but it is one of the most important. You should have a solid plan for regular maintenance on your outdoor water fountain because it can become clogged with dirt and debris much more quickly than any indoor fountain would.

It’s pretty easy for leaves and other material to be blown into your fountain, all of which can clog the water pump, and that will obstruct smooth water flow. Make sure someone is available regularly to shut the fountain off, pull the pump out of the water, and clean it up so that there are no obstructions. All other debris and obstruction should be removed from the fountain itself. With some regular attention to your fountain, it will continue to operate smoothly and provide many hours of enjoyment.

Natural stone water fountains are just one type of outdoor garden fountains or courtyard fountains, all of which add a striking and beautiful accent to your back yard or your patio, wherever you have it installed. After having made the commitment to installing one of these beautiful outdoor stone garden fountains, you certainly want to maintain it, so as to continue to derive the benefits of everything it brings to your outdoor setup, for a great many years. Below are listed some helpful guidelines you may want to use regarding the care and maintenance of your concrete garden fountain or your natural stone water fountain.

Treat the water in your fountain

Ideally, you should treat the water which circulates in your stone garden fountain once each week, with a solution that eliminates undesirable organisms, so as to prevent the proliferation of algae and to impede the buildup of minerals in the water. With the water being sanitized in this way, it will allow the fountain to function properly and will help to maintain its beautiful appearance. The exception to this tip would be if you have fish or any other kind of animals which are living in the water, and in that case, you would have to avoid chemical treatment and remove all algae in a manual fashion.

Ensure the water level is appropriate  

With stone garden fountains, it’s important to make sure that they’re always filled up to an appropriate level with the water, and you can determine what this level is by checking the specifications made available to you at purchase time. If you no longer have the documentation for your fountain model, you should be able to find the information online. If your fountain operates with too little water in its reservoir, that can cause damage to the motor, and your fountain will probably need some major repairs at some point.

Avoid harsh abrasives

Natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous stone. Knowing the difference is critical when selecting cleaning products.

Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. Types of calcareous stone include: marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx. What may work on siliceous stone may not be suitable on calcareous surfaces.

Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces. Eventually, you will probably notice there’s a buildup of white scale around your fountain, and you can remove this fairly easily by simply using a non-abrasive cleaning agent, a soft sponge, and some water. It’s best not to use any heavy-duty cleaning chemicals unless you have an extreme case of white scale buildup because these kinds of chemicals can do serious damage to the finish of your fountain. Even the sponges you use for any cleanup should be very soft, so as to avoid scratching the surface, as you would with something like steel wool.

But, if you have a Granite Fountain (siliceous stone) – you won’t have to worry about stuff like that – since granite itself is so impermeable to chemical attack, there’s not a lot that could hurt it. (This is the same reason it’s such a good stone to use for fountains in climates that get ice or snow during winter, as the water can’t get inside the stone and cause the frost damage that tends to occur over time with those softer, more porous stones.) Therefore, if you get calcium or iron stains on granite, just using a 50/50 solution of muratic acid/water (for calcium scale) or ferrous acid / water (for iron stains) will melt the stain away like magic. (Before you start, making sure you protect your skin / eyes though – and do the cleaning on a non-windy day.) Then, you just rinse it liberally with water, and your stone will look brand new again!

Occasionally drain the fountain

Unless you have a very large fountain which contains several hundred gallons of water, it’s a good idea to drain your fountain completely at least once a month, so as to prevent the buildup of unwanted debris and materials inside pipes and inside your fountain’s pump. If you don’t occasionally drain the water, it can acquire a foul smell because the same water keeps circulating over and over again through the system, and it begins to take on an unpleasant odor. It might be a little bit of a hassle to do this, but it’s worth it in terms of retaining fresh-smelling, clear water circulating through your fountain. If you do own one of the larger models of outdoor fountains, you can treat the water to eliminate any sour or foul odors which might be emitted.

Clean components periodically

For smaller-sized fountains, it might be worth your while to clean your outdoor natural stone fountain about every three to four months, because that will contribute greatly to its long life. A ‘thorough’ cleaning means taking it apart completely, and cleaning off each one of its components so that all debris buildup is removed, and the piece is restored to close to its original condition. This will also give you the chance to inspect each of those components, to see if they are in need of repair or more extreme cleaning operations. By taking on this kind of cleaning on a regular basis, you can be pretty confident that there won’t be any sudden or unexplained breakdowns of your fountain, and that you can count on it to operate effectively for the foreseeable future. For much larger fountains, you can still clean the visible, external pieces, but you may need to call on professional help to have the internal components cleaned satisfactorily.

Don’t let pests reside in your fountain

All the things you’ve heard about mosquitoes and other varmints proliferating around areas which provide water are true – and they love to make a stone garden fountain their home if you allow that to happen. You can prevent pests from taking over your fountain by taking a few precautions which will discourage them from nesting anywhere around your outdoor fountain. Even though the water in your fountain is constantly circulating, there will be a few spots where the water is relatively calm, and these are the locations which mosquitoes and other critters will set up shop, and begin to proliferate. To eradicate mosquitoes and other pests, you can use an insecticide which is plant-friendly, and does no damage at all to any plants in your garden area, while still being brutal on mosquitoes.

Winterize your fountain

If you live in a geographic region which experiences frost, ice or snow during winter season, you should take steps to protect your fountain through that season, so it will be ready to go in the spring. The best way to approach this for very small fountains is to completely disassemble your stone fountain and place all pieces in an area which will be out of the weather, and ideally at room temperature, so as to avoid any possible cracking damage. Of course, all water would need to be drained from the fountain before taking it apart and drying off all the components. For larger/heavier fountains, you obviously can’t take them apart and place the components in a heated garage, but these models are fairly impervious to winter weather anyway, as long as they are carved of granite. If so, all you need to do is pull out the drain plugs from bowls, drain the pool, then clean the pump and then place it in a bucket of water in a heated storage space until fair weather returns.

If your fountain is rather made of a more porous stone like marble, limestone, travertine, onyx, cantera or concrete – then you have a lot more work to do – to protect your investment against freeze/thaw damage each Fall. Please work with the original manufacturer of your fountain on the actual winterization process, but it’ll invariably include things like covering the fountain so water cannot get to it, sealing it, etc. (That’s why we only recommend granite fountains to people in that kind of climate, as they are so easy to maintain, and you don’t have to worry about it falling apart from freeze/thaw damage.)

Keeping stone garden fountains functional and looking great

It doesn’t require a lot of work to maintain your outdoor natural stone fountain, and it basically only amounts to keeping the water clean and keeping components of the system clear of debris and undesirable materials. If you feel like you don’t have time to manage this kind of regular cleaning, you can definitely find a professional to manage it for you. However you choose to keep your stone garden fountain functioning at its best and looking its best, it will be well worth your while to do so, in order to continue enjoying your beautiful outdoor fountain for years to come.

How to Maintain, Care for, and Clean Your Outdoor Fountain

December 17, 2018

An outdoor fountain is a great centerpiece for any yard or garden. Water fountains also attract birds just by the sound of running water. It’s important to properly maintain your fountain for both aesthetics and health issues.

Cleaning garden fountains must be done with care and cover all aspects of the fountain. If you only clean off the surface, you’ll likely be cleaning again soon. To help get your fountain cleaned right, follow these steps outlined in our guide.

Scrubbing it Clean

The first thing you’ll want to do is go over your fountain with a textured cloth, a toothbrush, and some dish detergent. This should be routine maintenance done at least every other month, depending on surrounding trees. Tree pollen, dirt, and leaves can do a number on your fountain.

Depending on what your fountain is made out of (for example marble, travertine, limestone, Cantera, or concrete fountains), you may need to purchase special cleaner to avoid staining or damaging the surface.  (And with those porous stones, more consistent cleaning is needed, as it’ll require a lot of elbow grease to take off any milky white calcium scale or iron stains.)

On the other hand, if you have a granite fountain, cleaning/maintenance is a much easier affair, as there isn’t much that can hurt granite.  Using a solution of 50/50 muriatic acid/water will very quickly take off calcium scale, and 50/50 ferrous acid/water will take off iron stains without scrubbing.   (Or, there is a product called RidORust that does a really great job as well, if you can’t find ferrous acid.)  As long as the acid is bubbling, that means it’s still working.  If it stops bubbling but the stain is still there, spray some more acid on until the stain is gone.  Then, rinse liberally with water and your fountain will be sparkling clean again.  (Whatever you do, please make sure you wear eye protection, protect your skin, and only spray acids on your fountain on a non-windy day!)

More modern fountain designs can reduce the amount of cleaning necessary, too. Please note, sealing your fountain with a quality sealer like Miracle 511 products will make it much harder for dirt/algae to stick to your stone, which will make cleaning much easier as well.  Typically for our granite fountains we recommend Miracle 511 Impregnator Sealer, or for our marble fountains MIracle 511 Porous Plus Sealer or if you want to bring out the color in your stone the Miracle 511 Seal / Enhance sealer will really make the colors / veins much more visible.  (Essentially, the same colors that the stone turns when it’s wet, but unsealed.)

Pump Maintenance and Water Levels

Keeping a consistent water level can go a long way in maintaining your pump. The water level of your fountain should be noted every day. You will need to keep adding water to your fountain if you live in a hot and dry climate, or if your fountain pool surround does not have an autofill in it to automatically re-fill the pool.

Every month, replace all of the water with fresh water, alternating with algae cleaner (more on that below). While replacing your water, you should be cleaning the pump. Carefully remove your pump and submerge it in a vinegar solution.

Mix roughly one-part vinegar with two parts water and run it for at least 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush if needed to take off calcium scale. (Take the pump impeller out, making sure not to lose small parts, and clean out that chamber as well.)

Cleaning and Preventing Algae

Algae will ruin a fountain’s water pump and cause your water to smell, as well as clogging your auto-fill, which causes it to stay in the open position and results in your fountain pool flooding over the top of the wall. It’s important to proactively clean your water to prevent algae every month. You can buy/make a special anti-algae cleaner that will kill off all living organisms on the surface of your fountain.

Another big contributor to algae growth is location. Direct sunlight allows algae to grow faster, which could allow it to outpace your cleaning efforts. Partial or full shade is best for fountains. This will also keep water from evaporating fast.

Also, if you keep as much water in your fountain pool as possible, it keeps the water colder which inhibits the growth of algae even more.

Outdoor Fountain Maintenance

We hope this guide helps save you some time and reveals the inner beauty of your outdoor fountain. We know it can be a lot of work maintaining a garden and all of the fixtures therein. If you would like some additional help caring for your garden fountain, we have experts that can tell you what to do.

We also offer replacement parts on our website. If you forget to drain your fountain during a freeze, the pump will need to be replaced. And your fountain will likely crack, and start leaking. On our site, you’ll find pumps to keep the water clear and the fountain clean.

If you have any special requests or don’t see the part you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us.  (What

Top 7 Things to Consider When Adding a Stone Fountain to Your Yard

November 30, 2018

Are you looking to add a fountain to your yard?

Or, are you hoping to give your yard a soothing appeal or to revitalize the view? Or, are you aiming to increase your home’s sale value or if you’re doing it for the sake of keeping up with today’s garden trends? No matter your reason adding a stone fountain is a significant investment.

And as such, the investment needs to be given a lot of thought.

Poor planning may lead to your fountains depreciating sooner than you would expect. To prevent that from happening, here are seven things you should consider before you add a fountain to your property.

1. Total Cost of the Project

People that are thinking about adding decorative water fountains often are surprised by sometimes little known things which are needed to ensure you end up with a fountain that is not only within your budget, but also will last a very long time with little maintenance. (Very often, spending a little more on the front end will result in thousands of dollars of savings later on – especially if you want a fountain that will last generations, rather than only a few years.)

A fountain’s size and its overall aesthetic will depend on how much you can spend on it. So, if you’re a bit tight on the budget, please contact us, as there are many times “alternate” ways of installing the fountain to allow you to get into a fountain more economically than you ever thought!

You should also consider at least buying the parts you need from a contractor that installs fountains all the time, as they will have many years of experience in things that work, and conversely do not work well too. So, if you are a do-it-yourselfer, partnering with a professional willing to talk you through the various pitfalls will be a huge benefit. (Rather than doing google searches to learn how to install a fountain yourself, or “winging it”.)

Professional contractors know more about sturdy foundations and how to level the ground for such a project. So, unless you have sufficient knowledge about working the land, it’s best to hire professionals for the job, as unless you are installing a very small fountain – setting the very heavy parts just the one time is a lot safer, and will cause less potential problems/breakage.

Remember that there are more things you need to pay for besides the fountain and workers. Some items may go over your head when you’re budgeting your costs for a fountain: things like the water that will fill it monthly, the mechanics that will make your fountain spout water, the chemicals that keep the water clean, and other aesthetics like rocks, plants, and statuettes.

Keep these things in mind if you want to avoid going over your proposed budget.

2. Location of Your Fountain

One of the reasons you’re building a backyard fountain is to have something pleasant to view. Or, maybe you are trying to drown out nearby noises, but regardless of the reason, you’ll want to place your fountain somewhere people can see it.

Make sure you can see your fountain from a place in the house where you go to relax someplace like the den or the living room. If you want other people to see it, places like a courtyard are ideal.

Sometimes, there will be no way for you to see your fountain from your desired room. In these cases, you can replace walls with glass alternatives.

Front yard fountains are also a possibility. These types of fountains allow you to enhance your home and its facade.

Consider placing them in areas that people will see the moment they enter your home, like in front of the main door. It will leave your friends and guests in awe as soon as they step in your house.

3. The Space for Your Fountain

Your fountain will need a lot of space in your backyard. Outdoor water fountains tend to splash beyond the size of the fountain itself, particularly if you are in a windy location. So, don’t put a fountain too close to your house if the prevailing winds tend to blow towards your house, or the exterior walls of your house will be continually wet from blowing water from the fountain.

You should consider if the spot you’ll place it in can get water on demand, as many times customers say they don’t want to spend the money on trenching water to their fountain site, and adding an auto-fill… But, you have to consider “time” as well. As right now you may be willing to drag a hose over to the fountain every week, but as you grow older, it may become more of a hardship. Also, if you forget and leave the fountain on when you go on vacation (with no autofill), it’s possible for the fountain to run out of water while you are gone, and therefore likely burn up an expensive pump.

If you plan on pumping water to your fountain, it should not be far from the main water line of your neighborhood.
Also, the elevation of your fountain should not be lower than ground level. A fountain placed lower will flood if it rains too much in your area. Place it somewhere level to your house or higher instead.

You should also consider an area with little trees and shrubbery. Placing your fountain in a clear area will reduce the number of leaves and other debris from falling onto the water.

4. Your Climate

Many people overlook the temperatures where they live. For example, people who live close to the equator don’t take into account the heat. Heat often results to animals populating the fountain. These animals can pollute your fountains water. Common criminals of this case are birds.

Areas with a cold winter may cause the water to freeze. As you may know, freezing water expands, which often destroys fountains. So, depending on where you live, that has a lot to do with what kind of substrate should be used to make a fountain successful for your area. As there is nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on a fountain, only to discover you need to cover it with a huge/ugly tarp for 6 months of the year – if your climate has freeze/thaw seasons.

If that is the climate you live in, and you want to enjoy the form/shape of your fountain even in winter when the bowls are filling with snow, the ONLY option you have is either Bronze or Granite. (Other softer more porous things like marble, travertine, limestone, cantera, onyx, or concrete will take on moisture in fall, and when it freezes – will start to crack / fall apart very quickly…)

5. Methods of Powering Your Fountain

A fountain with no running water may as well be a glorified pond. Powering your fountain with electricity needs a few considerations before you build it. You need to make sure the spot you want to install it has easy and safe access to power.

You should add an electrical outlet dedicated to the fountain alone. Using other electronics in the same outlets as the fountain can overload it.

The outlet should also have a cover to prevent water from reaching it. Do this unless you plan an underground way of powering it with electricity. Doing so will help prevent your home from catching fires caused by voltage or from power outages.

An alternative way you can power fountains to have running water is through solar means. There are new ways available to use solar panels in powering fountains. They are a much cheaper and greener alternative as well.

6. Your Fountain’s Style

Some people don’t think about how their fountain will look, they only think about getting one. These people find trouble deciding when the thought of the contractors waiting for their decision pressures them. So, plan your fountain’s style ahead of time.

Traditional fountains have many statuettes as well as many other decorations engraved along their sides. These fountains give your yard an old, powerful look.

If you’re young, like 22.39% of gardeners, you may want a more modern look. You may prefer fountains made from fiberglass. These have a more futuristic appearance, but tend to not last very long. (As the fiberglass tends to get brittle over time with UV Exposure, and it’s quite lightweight, so therefore can be blown over and crack that way.)

7. Future Maintenance

Many fountains crumble or stop working after two years or so. Sometimes it’s because there hasn’t been enough maintenance done, and the pump stops working. Other times, it’s caused by owners not knowing specifically HOW to maintain their particular fountain.

For example, many times clients insist on buying a marble or limestone fountain, as they like the look of that particular stone. Or, they purchase a Cantera fountain (which is a cheap, easy to carve stone from Mexico), as it’s more economical than other fountains they were seeing online.

Honestly with softer more porous stones like that, just the chemicals you put into the water to keep the algae knocked down will slowly eat the stone itself at the same time. And also, when it comes time to clean those kinds of fountains, many cleaning products will do the same thing. So therefore maintenance becomes a very manual “elbow grease” situation, if you don’t want the cleaning products to hurt your fountain.

That is why, in 99% of the cases, we recommend granite fountains, as there really is not much you can do to hurt them, maintenance/cleaning is a breeze, and they will last 100’s of years if you don’t let water freeze in them. (In the other 1% of the cases (where the customer has an onsite groundskeeper that takes meticulous care of the fountain) – then installing a marble fountain is much more feasible.

Before you have a fountain installed, remember you’re responsible for maintaining it. Proper maintenance ensures your fountain stays in working condition. You can consider hiring a professional gardener instead. They make sure nothing clogs your fountain’s pumps as well as clean them.

Plan for Your Stone Fountain Now
So, before you install a stone fountain, take into account these seven essential things.

But it shouldn’t end here. There are more tips and tricks to master. Feel free to visit us today and read some of our other guides.

Or, if you have any questions about stone decor fountains – don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Why Are Granite Fountains Perfect For Every Season?

October 15, 2018

Outdoor fountains are perfect for  circular driveways, courtyards, entry ways, gardens and patios because the sound of water trickling down them can provide a wonderful sense of tranquility. 

Depending on their exact setting, there is an appropriate fountain material that you could implement into your cherished space. 

A fountain is something that you will treasure for years to come, so it is important to use the proper material to extend its life span as long as possible. 

While the array of fountain materials can be intimidating, we have created a guide that will allow you to choose the material that suits your fountain style best.  

The Benefits of Granite Fountains

There are plenty of material options for fountains, so why choose granite? Here are the benefits you need to know about:


A fountain is an investment you want to last for a long time. Granite nails the longevity criteria because it will last for generations with very little care. As a hard stone, granite is difficult to chip or break.

High-End Look and Value

Granite is a great way to add a touch of luxury to the inside and outside of a home. It’s known as a high-end stone on a similar level to marble. However, granite is the more durable option.

Weather-Proof (Or Close To It)

Just because someone sells an outdoor fountain made with a certain material doesn’t mean that material will stand up to the elements. Cast stone, limestone, travertine, marble, and Cantera stone are much softer, more porous stones. If left uncovered in freezing weather, these types of stones will degrade and crack over time.

Depending on how many times they freeze and thaw over the course of a season, some porous fountains will not even last a year if left outside and unprotected from the elements. Granite, on the other hand, is far more durable against changing weather. It maintains its strength over time, and it will always look brand new.

In addition, granite is not affected by caustic water or water conditioning treatments. More porous stones can start to wear away and crack simply from the solutions you need to use to keep algae from making your fountain green.

Aesthetic That Matches Any Season

Most people buy their fountains during the spring and summer. This is deceptive because almost anything will look great on a bright, sunny day. In gray winter weather though, an uncovered cast stone fountain looks downright dreary. Considering that you have to cover it with a bulky and unsightly cover or tarp to protect it from the weather, the visual look is even worse.

Unlike other stones, granite looks great in any season. It has a wonderful way of glinting in the sun, with a mischievously beautiful form that peeks in and out from under the snow as it melts.

Considering that a granite fountain never needs to be covered in winter, you can also enjoy its pleasing carved stone shape all year round. The only thing you need to remember is to drain your fountain each fall and pull all plugs out of the pool or tiers. This prevents the water from freezing inside of it over the winter because even one inch of water freezing in an enclosed space is intensely strong and can break even the hardest of materials.

Easy Maintenance

The last thing you want is a fountain that takes up all your time to maintain. Many fountain materials don’t react well to cleaning materials, which means they need quite a bit of elbow grease to keep them clean.

Granite holds its own against cleaning chemicals. You can use bleach, a solution of muriatic acid or ferrous acid, and other cleaners to maintain your fountain and help it keep its luster without scrubbing it every week.

If your fountain gets a dull look with a white scum, this comes from calcium in your water or from the chlorine treatments you use to keep the green out. You can address this by spraying on a 50/50 solution of muriatic acid and water, which takes off that scum like magic with no effort at all. Be careful to protect your skin and eyes, though, as the mixture is quite caustic. After this, just rinse the fountain liberally with water and fill it back up to see it looking brand new again.

Color Selection

Fountains aren’t one-size-fits-all. You need a style and a color that fits your home’s aesthetic. Part of the beauty of granite is that it comes in countless colors and varieties. You can have your pick of great fountains that accent your house’s appeal.

Choosing the Perfect Fountain for Your Home

A fountain is a fast way to add value to your home and create a high-end look. Of course, that’s only true if you find the right fountain to perpetuate your chosen style. Narrowing it down to granite is a great way to start.

To find the perfect granite fountains for your home, shop for fountains online in our digital store.

4 Tips For Caring For Your Fountain Water

July 12, 2017

Proper fountain maintenance doesn’t stop at the surface of your fountain. Water maintenance is just as important as caring for the fountain itself. Caring for your fountain’s water will keep your fountain looking and functioning great for many years to come. Follow the tips below to learn how to care for your fountain water.

1. Refresh Water Monthly

Fountain water should be drained and replaced every month in smaller fountains. Replacing the water helps prevent algae growth and mineral buildup.

2. Treat Water

To help prevent white scale and hard water mineral deposits, treat tap and other hard water with a mineral deposit inhibitor. You can also use distilled water in your fountain to help prevent buildup and stains. Protec and Fountec are two solutions we recommend to treat fountain water.

3. Clean Regularly

Each time you drain the fountain water, take a few minutes to clean off any beginning mineral buildup spots. Use clean water and a non-abrasive sponge or rag to wipe off any buildup. Doing this monthly can help prevent major build ups that are difficult to remove.

4. Use A Cleaning Solution

For most white scale and hard water mineral deposits, you can mix your own cleaning solution. Equal parts white vinegar and water mixed together will help remove the scale. For more hard-to-remove mineral deposits (only on a granite fountain), you can use a solution of equal parts muratic acid and water. Use a soft nylon bristle brush dipped in the solution to scrub off the stains on the surface of the fountain.

Caring for your fountain water is important to keep your fountain and fountain pump in working condition. If you are interested in learning more about fountain care, check out these blogs: