How to Build a DIY Stone Fountain
Stone fountains make a wonderful focal point or conversation piece for your patio landscaping. Here's how to build your very own stone fountain.
Before You Begin
Installation of rock fountains begins by excavating for the preformed pond liner, but excavation begins by establishing a safe power source for your pump (unless you already have one). Have a certified electrician install a GFCI outlet on your outer house wall, near where the rock fountain will be. In addition, you should also call the Call Before You Dig phone number to ensure there are no utility cables where you'll be excavating.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Carpenter's level
- Back brace
- Metal grate
- Preformed pond liner
- Tubing for the pump
- River rock
- Other assorted rock
- The stone fountain piece, itself
Trace the Pond Liner
Flip the preformed pond liner upside down on the ground and trace around it so that you'll know exactly how big a circle to dig out.
Excavate the Pit
How deep should you dig? Use the depth of the preformed pond liner as a guideline. Do not worry over being off slightly, since sand can be used later to make any alterations deemed necessary.
Insert the Pond Liner
Insert the preformed pond liner. The top rim of the preformed pond liner should stand about an inch above ground level. Don't worry about it showing; you'll be concealing it with rocks eventually.
Level the Pond Liner
Check that the preformed pond liner is level, using a carpenter's level. If it is not, take out the preformed pond liner and make the necessary adjustments by moving the sand around (or adding or removing sand).
Install the Metal Grate
Stone fountains must have a hole at the bottom, where you insert the pump's tubing. But the stone fountain, for that reason, needs to be elevated off the pond's bottom (so that you have access to this hole). The solution is to use a metal grate that will support the stone fountain. The tubing needs to be able to move freely underneath both the stone fountain and the metal grate. A number of different kinds of metal grates would work here. Some might run across the top of the pond liner; unless very sturdy, this type might need to be supported by cinder blocks placed in the pond.
Install the Fountain Pump
Place the fountain pump (with its tubing attached) on the bottom of the pond liner, and place the grate over it. The grate shouldn't cover the entire surface of the pond; there should be room to slip your hand underneath the grate both at the front and the back.
Place the Stone Fountain
Enlisting the help of several others, carefully place the stone fountain on the grate. You should not do this alone, as the granite piece can be especially heavy.
Thread the Tubing
Thread the tubing through the grate and on up through the granite piece's bottom hole.
Place the Granite on the Grate
Position the stone fountain in the approximate center of the grate. Now reach under the grate to check for the hole at the bottom of the granite piece. If the grate is blocking the hole at all, move the stone fountain slightly until you have clear access to the hole.
Plumbing the Rock Fountain
Reach down under the grate and locate the free end of the tubing. Thread the tubing through the grate and up into the hole at the bottom of the rock fountain. Guide the tubing the rest of the way through the rock fountain, until it reaches the top hole (in the picture I have the tubing sticking out even further, just to make it easier for you to see it; I pushed it back down some prior to moving on to the next step).
Fill the Pond with Water
With the plumbing in place, it's time to fill the pond liner with water and turn the pump on, just to verify that everything is in order before proceeding. As the picture shows, the fountain jet isn't high. In this case, the fountain jet is meant to remind one of a bubbling spring.
Conceal the Grate With Rocks
While the stone fountain will be perfectly functional at this point, it needs some finishing touches for decorative purposes. People generally don't want the grate to show, because it isn't especially attractive. The idea is to hide the grate and make it look like the stone fountain is rising out of the ground.
Add the Final Touches
The polished river rock serves as an accent at the base of the stone fountain, but it would also serve a practical purpose if you are using a more powerful pump. Having smaller, rounded rocks in that spot would mean less splashing and, consequently, less water loss. The cascading water would gently strike the polished river rock and ease back down into the reservoir of the pond liner underneath the fountain.