31 March 2020
With the Easter break closing in and social distancing in full swing, the typical Easter getaway is not a possibility. Instead, why not look for a home improvement project?
We have a ripper of an idea for the garden. A stunning water feature!
Don’t panic, it’s not as hard as it sounds. There’s no need to dig a huge hole and fill it with fish and water lilies (though the end result sounds nice). Instead, think a little smaller. What you need is a weekend project that still allows for a relaxing beer at the end of the day.
A decorative water fountain is simple to create. If you use mains power it will need to be very close to the house (unless you want to dig a trench and lay cable), but if the sound of water out in the garden is more your thing it’s battery power to the rescue.
What you need
- Decorative pot or container to hold the water (you could even seal a garden pot with quick-dry cement and use that)
- 12 V submersible pump
- Fountain kit, or a small piece of rubber tubing and a length of plastic tube
- Liquid water sealant
- Deep cycle battery
- Solar panel
The wattage of your pump determines the power that can be used to create your fountain: do you want a bubble, a flow, or water projected into the air? The size of the pump predicts what you’ll be able to achieve, so don’t just cross your fingers: ask your supplier for advice.
Once you’ve got your pump, work out where your solar panel will be installed. You need direct sunlight for best results, so often this means the panel should be mounted on the roof. The distance between the solar panel and the battery determines the gauge of cable that’s needed, so make sure you’re armed with that information.
Go to your local Battery World store. A Batteryologist will help you select the right battery, solar panel/s, cable, and regulator for the job, and will help you understand how they all fit together.
Start by determining where you want the water feature to live, and make sure all your parts are ready. No point carrying it once it’s finished, right?
- Seal the inside of the pot with the liquid water sealant. This works for ceramic, terracotta, or wood pots. While this is drying, an afternoon nap sounds great.
- Find an old brick, rock, or similar stand to elevate the pump inside the pot, making sure it sits under where the water line will be. Set the pump on the stand and drape the power lead over the lip of the pot. This will be hidden at the back of the pot.
- Attach the fountain kit (or rubber and plastic tubing) to the pump.
- Install the solar panel. Connect the regulator and then connect it to the battery with your cable. Plug in the pump.
- Fill the pot with water, switch on the power, and watch your water feature come to life.
Your water feature is probably gorgeous as is, but in the garden it will look a bit bare without plants. A taller plant at the rear – to hide the power lead and form a backdrop – and some lovely ground cover, a few rocks, and perhaps some flowers nearby and you’re done.
Your local Battery World store can help with advice on the materials you’ll need for your project. It’s very simple, but every backyard is different so expert advice is the key to ensuring your project works properly, first time.
Cheaper than a holiday, and you’ll have something to brag about when your friends can come over again.
Happy Easter from all at Battery World.