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Avatar for roadstir
Oct 6, 2017 8:08 PM CST

I recently acquired a beautiful cast bronze garden fountain and need some help setting it up. Originally, there were 4 children dancing around the edge of the basin, but all that remains of them are their feet. LOL I'll grind off the remnants sometime in the future.

Anyway, as you can see from the 3rd photo, there are two large (almost 1", maybe 7/8") pipes in the base. One is the basin overflow and the other is the supply, obviously. My questions are-

1. What kinds of pump will I need to push water through the 18 nozzles in photo# 1?
2. Is there some kind of reservoir that the pump sits in?
3. How to hook any pump up to such large pipes? Most of the fountains I've had in the past had very small outlets. maybe a 1/4"?

This is a beautiful fountain and I'd really like to get it running properly.

Thank you all for your help,

Thumb of 2017-10-07/roadstir/f0561d
Thumb of 2017-10-07/roadstir/9106cc
Thumb of 2017-10-07/roadstir/18ccab
Oct 16, 2017 4:40 PM CST
Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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It's really hard to judge from the pictures, but I would guess you're going to need in the 600gph range to push enough water through that fountain to spray into the air, but not so much that it overshoots the relatively small catch basin. There are calculations you can do if you know all of the exact outlet diameters, but I would probably repurpose some of my backup pumps and try different things until I found the effect I was looking for.

You could theoretically use a pump with an inlet connection between the two pipes and then make sure there is always plenty of water in the basin whenever the pump is running. In this case you're going to want a smaller pump that won't be as likely to lose water to wind and splashing, and you'll probably want to look for one of the more expensive, less efficient pumps that can run dry without burning itself out. On the other hand, if you are able to set up a reservoir underneath, you won't have to fill the fountain as often, can use any of the common pumps available, and won't have to worry as much about your plumbing leaking (since it will be caught by the reservoir, rather than draining the upper basin until it runs dry).

The metal pipe is harder to hook to than some things, but shouldn't be an issue if you take a close up photo, and some exact inner and outer dimensions down to a hardware store. They're used to providing solutions for connecting to old metal plumbing. You'll definitely want to square off the cut end and clean it up so it's not pinched and corroded, possibly with a hacksaw and sandpaper. I can't tell what the pipe is made of from the picture, or the size we're talking about, so it's hard to point you in any particular direction, but I'm not a plumber, either. I like to use flexible hose around my pumps because it makes it so much easier to service them.

In a pinch, you could probably find a flexible hose with an inner diameter slightly smaller than the outer diameter of your metal pipe and press fit it around it (after cleaning and unpinching). A hose clamp and a bit of silicone (easy to remove but prone to leaking if it doesn't adhere well to the metal) or just epoxy (rated for metal and plastic, practically impervious to leaking, and fully permanent--very difficult to get off in the future) will keep it from leaking.
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