Fountain Design Process & Guidelines
For your convenience, 1 cu. ft. of water - 62.4 lbs.
(28.3 Kgs.) and 7.48 U.S. Gallons (28.3 Liters) -
1 Meter = 3.28 Ft.
|Step 1 : Determine the effect
||Step 5 : Define and locate
plumbing for pump and filter systems; locate sensors,
lights and junction boxes to be in the pool
||Consider the size of the effect in
relation to the size of the pool, the site and surroundings.
Most fountain pools are 18" deep, so be sure
to provide a sufficient volume of water to produce
the effect satisfactory.
||Pumping systems often need antivortex
plates for inlet lines, shut-off and flow control
valves, and strainers. Filter systems include antivortex
plates, inlet fittings, skimmers and vacuum fittings.
The electrical systems normally include underwater
junction boxes, low water cut-off sensors, water
make-up and wind sensors, times and lighting fixtures.
|Step 2 : Define size, shape
& depth of your pool
||Step 6 : Determine your lighting
|This planning should involve such
factors as the pool configuration most suitable
for the site, as well as pool location and orientation,
the materials you wish to use, the available water
||Lighting may provide overall pool lighting, illuminate
key elements and create visual contrast between
elements. Underwater units should be located about
2" below the water surface, and may up-light
jets, spray rings, cascades, etc. Flood lights accent
above-water elements or provide safe area illumination.
|Step 3 : Choose the proper
pump and piping
||Step 7 : Define the controls
||The nature of the effect, the elevations, piping
distances, fittings and valves will determine the
size of the pump required. Large fountains normally
use centrifugal turbines or flooded end pumps, while
less expensive, easier to install submersible pumps
are specified for smaller effects.
||Controls may include such elements as timers for
pumping, lighting and filtering operations, as well
as motor starters for the pump, water make-up, low
water cut-offs and various valves. Weigh the merits
of both electro-mechanical and micro-processor controls
in this respect.
pressure, 2.3 ft of head is equal to one PSI; 1
Meter of head to 1.4 PSI. Piping Size: If
100' of pipe is required to reach pool center, 100
GPM requires a 3" pipe; 200 GPM a 4" pipe;
and 300 GPM, a 6" pipe. (For flow of 5 FPS).
A 3" pipe provides a flow of 5 FPS maximum,
4" or larger pipe, 10 FPS maximum. Gravity
Return Piping is usually sized for flow
of 2 FPS or less. Sizing is critical, and unusually
long runs or changes in elevation must also be considered.
Return Piping : 3" diameter
or less; 5 FPS. 4" or more, 7 FPS maximum.
Gravity Drains and Overflows : 5
||Step 8 : Consolidating &
locating the equipment
||Simple fountains with submersible
pumps require a small panel mounted in any suitable
location. Larger water effects, pumps, timers, microprocessor
controls, electrical panels, fuses, filtration and
water conditioning elements and other controls are
consolidated and installed in a small building or
vault, or on a fenced pad. Local building codes
govern location, ventilation, access, etc.
basic fountain design is settled, systems to produce and
maintain the display must be worked out. These systems
include: 1. The Pumping Systems,
with the jets or water diffusion plates to create
the effect; plus the pump water inlet and the required
valves and plumbing. 2. The Filtration System,
to keep the water invitingly clean with
a re circulating pump, skimmer, vacuum lines, valves
and plumbing. (Here elements to provide chemical
water treatment are often included). 3.
The Electrical Systems, with sensors to
maintain water levels and shut down electrical equipment
when water levels are inadequate. Sensors can also
shut down or reduce the size of water effects in
high winds. Mechanical or microprocessor controls,
timers, motor starters, contractors and underwater
lighting units are also included.
|Step 4 : Choose your filters
||Water clarity and condition is important in all
fountains, and most of them use a small recirculating
pump and sand filters, with skimmers or floor drains
returning with water to the filters. This action
can be independent of the water effect. A high rate
sand filter area for each 1000 cubic feet of pool
area, is normally
| recommended for larger fountains,
with the filter supplied by an independent pump.
For filters 30" in dia. or less, this is usually
included. Many smaller fountain rely upon the pump
filter screen for water clarity, and are simply
drained when necessary. When chemical addition is
desirable, metering pumps with hypochlorite systems
may be used. A reliable pool service to monitor
and maintain water clarity and chemistry is often
the simplest answer to water treatment concerns.
The size of a pool or reservoir and the
size of its water effect are interrelated. The pool
must contain a sufficient volume of water to meet the
requirements of the effect, and be large enough to contain
the splash or wave action it produces. This splash pattern
will be approximately as wide as its height, so the
pool's minimum diameter should be twice the height of
the effect. In addition, jets, fountains and waterfalls
require that both flow rates and pressures be adequate
to produce the visual effect desired.
Waterfalls have unique flow requirements. A weir depth
of 1/4" requires a flow of 10 GPM per linear foot
of weir. A depth of 1/2" need 20 GPM; and a depth
of 3/4" , 30 GPM. The total height of a weir should
not exceed the distance from its base to the pool's