I was recently perusing the showroom of one of our local fountain depot, eavesdropping (like i always do) on some of the conversations between customers and the staff around me and I realized that there’s something missing. It seems that no one ever tells the customer what to actually expect after they’ve installed their new fountain. And we run into this on the backend when we go out on our own service calls too.
So we think it’s important to explain some items that get lost or forgotten during the sales process.
There are three important things to consider before you buy that new fountain:
1- The amount of water you will now use and possibly waste.
Most fountains, especially your standard 3 or 4 tier stand alone fountains that everyone’s so loves and adores and puts in their front yards, are horribly designed…. The tiers are just too close to each other in width. This creates a lot of splash which drains the fountains way too quickly. Its extremely rare for us to go out on a service call and see one of these fountains not gushing out water all over the place. And the main complaint we get from our clients is that they had no idea about how much water their “lil” fountain wastes and how often they have to refill it.
There are ways to minimize this and in some cases eliminate the problem, but the fixes can sometimes cost as much as the fountain itself. Installing an auto-fill valve, rewiring electrical lines, and reworking the internal plumbing of a fountain to dial in the flow is expensive when its done right.
2 – The day to day / week to week / month to month maintenance
Most fountain also do not have any type of filtration system. They’re basically water recirculation systems. What does this mean? It means that pumps can clog and burn out easily without taking the right steps and maintaining the pumps. Especially when there are trees around the fountain or when the fountains placed in a high wind area. Debris is the bane of every pumps existence and pump repairs/replacements are the main problem our clients call us with.
Couple things you can do. Using pump baggies in your fountains will help a ton!!! Like a TON!! These mesh baggies will keep a lot of the pesky items, like leaves, seeds, and small twigs out of your pump and this alone will prevent a lot of the damage. Next, keep an eye on the amount of physical debris in your fountain. Then, clean that shit out! Physically remove that crap on a regular basis. Don’t just let is sit there and accumulate. This perhaps is the main pain point for most people; The cleaning routine. And if you don’t want to or can’t, hire a good fountain company, (insert shameless plug here) like Reef Playground Inc.! if you’re in LA,CA, to do this for you 😀
3 – Lastly, there are the repair costs!
Now the fun and expensive part! WEEEEEE. Repairs on a fountain can range from a simple pump swap to a complete breakdown and rebuilding of a fountain. There are a lot of shady ass installation ppl out there. We’re not even going to call them “companies” cause honestly they have no business doing what they’re doing, who will “install” your fountain for you at a low low price of “you’re gonna have problems later on”
Electrical, for example, should neva!!!!!!! NEVA!!!! NEEVVVAAAAAAAA!!!! Be done “cheap”. The main problem we see is that electrical lines for pumps and lights are run underground without proper insulation and piping. This is “ok” as long as u never have to replace or repair those pumps or lights. So this is totally fine until you have to run new wires, but now instead of simply snaking in a new electrical cord, you have to break the whole fountain down, dig a proper tench and put in piping and rebuild the whole thing back up. Thats not going to be “cheap”. The upfront installation costs of a new fountain, in some cases, will be expensive so that the fountain doesn’t become a money pit down the line.
I hope this has put the realities of owning and caring for a fountain into perspective for anyone interested in one. So the next time you’re strolling through a fountain showroom, remember that it’s not always as easy as the salesmen make it out to be.
And as always, if you ever need help with your fountain, or need some straightforward no BS advice, contact us, we’re always happy to help 😀
-Reef Playground Inc.