Indoor Water Features - Your Ultimate Guide
Posted on 29 May 2018
Table of Contents
What Is an Indoor Water Feature?
Benefits of An Indoor Water Feature
Things You Should Know Before Purchasing
Types of An Indoor Water Feature
General Maintenance Tips
Delivery and Installation
What Is an Indoor Water Feature?
Having a water feature on your property can provide a good ambiance to your entire house as the trickling water creates a soothing and calming atmosphere. But while a water fountain in your front lawn is at the mercy of the weather elements and it may only be available at certain times of the year; an indoor water feature isn’t. This is especially true if you live in a place with harsh winter seasons.
An indoor water feature is akin to an outdoor water fountain, in a way that it circulates water in a controlled and contained manner for purely decorative purposes. The design of indoor water feature varies from classic to modern or simple to downright elaborate. They are either mounted on the wall or placed on the tabletop depending on your preferences.
Indoor water features are made from resin, concrete, fiberglass, and stone. The price of the indoor water feature depends on several factors such as the size, material used, and design. For instance, an indoor water feature made from resin is cheaper compare to those made of stone.
Mechanisms of Indoor Water Features
Contrary to common belief, indoor water features are not complicated to understand or even maintain in terms of its mechanism. It self-recirculates water thus it works in a straightforward manner.
Within a fountain is a reservoir usually found at the base. The reservoir contains water that will be re-circulated all over the water feature. Submerged on the base is the water pump. It is the mechanism that allows the water movement by pumping the water from the reservoir to the top of the water feature to create the effect of cascading water. The pump should be powerful enough to re-circulate water and create that cascading effect. For instance, a medium-sized indoor water fountain needs a pump that has the capacity to pump 100 to 200 gallons per hour.
Although powered by electricity, the pump is designed to operate safely in water as the pump’s motor is watertight. The pump features an impeller that contains a small wheel with several vanes or blades that drives the water up the tubing to the head of the water feature. Once the water falls from the head of the water feature, it cascades down to a flat surface before being collected back in the reservoir. This cycle repeats continuously allowing the water fountain to recycle the water over and over again.
Installing Water Features in Your House
Installing a water feature in your home is one of the most relaxing and satisfying decisions you can ever make in your life. However, before you install the water feature, careful planning should be done particularly on where you want to place the fixture.
Remember that indoor water features are a bit heavy especially those that are made of concrete and stone; thus, making it dangerous and a waste of money to put them directly on sheetrock or on a flimsy surface. The most important part of the process is to find the appropriate wall stud where you can hang the frame of the water feature. Moreover, wall features that weigh more than 30 pounds need to be hanged using brackets; while smaller and lighter water features can be hanged using the hanging sets that come with them. Further, situate the water feature in a place where it will not be disturbed by movement especially if it is a small water feature that can easily be knocked over.
Although installing them does not require any special plumbing requirements, you may need to seek help from an electrician when installing one for aesthetic purposes. This is especially true if you want to hide the cord and outlet away from view or if you want the outlet to be wired to a light switch.
Once the indoor water feature is secured to the wall, the next step that you need to do is fill the base or reservoir with water. Make sure that the water you use is free of any solids or organisms. It is also best to use distilled water as it prevents mineral deposits from caking all over your fountain.
Benefits of An Indoor Water Feature
There are many benefits of bringing nature inside your house. If indoor plants are passé for you, then why not bring a water element into your house via an indoor water feature? There is something about the gentle sound of trickling water that helps improve the mood of many. Below are the benefits of installing a water feature in your house.
The sound of softly trickling water has a relaxing and calming effect on the body. Thus, it is not only a perfect fixture for homes but also in office buildings where people experience a lot of stress. The sound of the moving water can also block out the noise and help people concentrate. This is the reason why this particular fixture is perfect for places such as hospitals, office lobbies, and dentist offices as it can help reduce anxiety in people.
Release Negative Ions
Negative ions are abundant everywhere in nature. The trees release them and even the stream. Inside homes, negative ions are depleted due to the presence of many electric gadgets. Moving water can generate negative ions. Having your room filled with negative ions can have certain health benefits. Negative ions help increase the flow of oxygen to the brain resulting in more focus, decreased drowsiness, and better mental state. Moreover, some studies suggest that negative ions protect against the germs in the air thus reducing symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems.
Negative ions can also increase the levels of serotonin, a chemical that enhances mood. People with high levels of serotonin are often happy and have better mental states than those who have depleted serotonin.
Indoor water walls can help increase humidity. The moving water from this fixture is especially beneficial in a low humidity room by increasing the humidity levels. This is helpful especially in places where the temperature is constantly controlled by central heating or air conditioning. Using the air conditioner often causes the room air to become very dry and frequently people begin to have dry and cracked skin causing discomfort.
Better Interior Design
Incorporating natural elements into a space using water features can improve your space’s interior design. The best thing about this particular fixture is that it can blend well with different types of interiors so whether your house has a rustic or modern design, there are water features that will fit your theme. Moreover, adding this type of water element adds tranquility and spirituality to your space.
Indoor water features are also integral to Feng shui or geomancy, which uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their environment. According to these beliefs, water fountains are the best way to bring positive energy into homes.
Things You Should Know Before Purchasing
Buying a water feature for your home–whether for your home or office–is one of the best fixtures that you can install in your home. The right water feature will not only serve as the centerpiece of your house, it will also make everyone in your house feel relaxed. So, while finding the right indoor water feature is crucial, there are other things that you need to consider before making your purchase.
Placement of The Water Feature
Make sure that you consider the placement of the fountain before buying one. Determining the location of the fountain allows you to plan the shape, size, and style of the fountain that is suited to that particular space. There is a diverse type of indoor water features that you can choose from to give your home that special touch that not only your family will enjoy but even your guests.
Material of The Water Feature
Indoor water features are made of different materials. Thus before buying one, make sure that you consider the type of material used to make the water feature. The material used to make the water feature also influences the integrity, design, cost, life expectancy, and weight of the water feature. Get to know the types of materials used to fabricate indoor water features.
- Natural Stone: Stone is one of the most common materials used to make an indoor waterfall. The benefit of using an indoor water feature made from stone is that it has a longer life expectancy and can withstand all kinds of elements. They also look very rustic and natural. The only disadvantage is that, since made from stone, it can be heavy. Make sure to install it on a sturdy concrete wall.
- Concrete: Water features made from concrete comes with this textured and rustic look, making it a perfect fixture for spaces that have both rustic and modern industrial interiors. Since it is made of concrete, it lasts a long time. But just like cast stone, it is often heavy and requires professionals to properly install it on a wall.
- Fiberglass: Indoor water features made from fiberglass may not be as durable as those made from cast stone, but they are lighter and can come with a wide variety of finishes. They are perfect for spaces with many wall hangings as they are lightweight.
- Ceramic: Ceramic indoor water features often come with a unique glazed look thus giving them a very beautiful finish. They are made by forging the ceramic elements in a 1,000-degree oven. Ceramic water features are often used to create tabletop water features. Wall-mounted water features made from ceramic are also available, but they are usually small.
- Resin: A resin water feature is made from a special lightweight material making it very easy to install on any space. Another benefit of the indoor water feature made from resin is that it is very affordable. In fact, a water feature made from resin is the most affordable in the market.
Water Feature Manufacturers
Another thing that you need to consider before buying an indoor water feature is the manufacturer or brand. It is only logical to stick to reliable brands when buying a water feature for your home or commercial space. If you buy from reliable brands, it usually comes with a warranty that will cover the normal wear and tear of the product.
The beauty of the cascading water largely depends on the efficacy of the pump used in the water feature. You don’t only need a quality pump, but you also need the right pump to release a soft cascade of water. If you use an inappropriate pump, you might experience some problems. With the right pressure, you don’t get an unexpected splashes from the water feature that can eventually lead to floor damage as well as water damage to furniture near the fixture.
If you opt to buy a large wall fountain, they can be extremely heavy. So before buying one, make sure that the company you’re buying the fixture from offers delivery service. That way, you don’t have to stress yourself with unloading a heavy fixture of a truck. Companies that provide delivery services can ensure that they will deliver your indoor water fixture safely.
Different indoor water features are assembled differently. This means that while some water feature can be assembled by yourself, there are those–particularly ones with complex designs–that require specialists to set them up. Most fountains are self-explanatory while some require special installation requirements. Make sure that you determine whether you need help installing the fixture or not. This is especially true if you are planning to purchase water features that come with larger pieces that come with parts that are too heavy to be moved. By determining the assembly requirements of your water feature, you will be able to plan ahead by looking for someone who can help you during the installation process.
Another thing to consider before purchasing an indoor water feature is your maintenance needs. All indoor water features require some sort of maintenance over time. They require monthly cleaning in order to keep them functioning at their best. Ensure that you get an indoor water feature that has maintenance needs that you can keep up with, financially and effort-wise.
Types of An Indoor Water Feature
There are appropriate types of water features for every place in your house or office space. Choosing the right indoor water feature can be tough but not impossible as long as you know the details of the different varieties of the fixture. Thus, this chapter discusses the types of water features that you can install in your house.
As the name implies, wall fountains are mounted on walls creating a beautiful water flow. It makes a striking statement and this particular fixture is perfect for locations that have limited space as they don’t take up your functional space. All there is to it is to mount it on the wall and enjoy the tranquil ambiance it provides. The thing is, placing the fountain on the wall frees up a lot of valuable space in your area. So instead of putting your usual wall décor, you can opt for a wall fountain instead. And since it is mounted to the wall, it is harder for children as well as pets to have access to it.
Floor Fountains and Water Walls
This type of water feature creates a beautiful cascading effect as it extends from the floor to almost the ceiling, creating a dramatic waterfall effect. Because of this, it is accessible to pets. In fact, pets love to drink out of this water feature. The waterfall effect is really captivating, and it can provide not only a calming effect but also adds aesthetically to your house or office. Although this particular fountain looks very sophisticated, it is generally easy to install. Unlike the wall fountains, this particular fixture is not bolted to the walls—thus, it can be easily moved from one place to another. It is a great way to decorate a narrow barren area in your home or office.
Tabletop fountains are usually smaller than wall and floor fountains. They are often set on top of a table, thus its name. As they are small, they are also more affordable compared to the other two water features helping you to still enjoy the benefits of a water fountain without going broke. They are also very easy and quick to set up and does not need complicated assembly requirements. You can do it by yourself. It also makes great housewarming gifts for friends and family as they are very portable. Lastly, they come in a lot of styles and designs so choosing the one that suits the interior of your house is easy and enjoyable.
General Maintenance Tips
A new water feature looks very pristine and beautiful. But didn’t you know that you can maintain its new look with proper and regular maintenance? Thus, this chapter will focus on how to maintain your indoor water feature so that it will work well and look new for you to enjoy for a long, long time.
Common Problems with Water Features
While it is very lovely to look at water features in your house tend to lose its luster, as it is exposed to moisture all the time. Moreover, the efficacy of any indoor water feature relies on how you clean and maintain the fixture. Over time, you might encounter some problems with your fountain. Below are some problems that you might encounter and helpful tips to deal or avoid it.
- Calcium deposits: Calcium deposits will become noticeable as white streaks on anything that it comes in contact with. The buildup of calcium depends on how much mineral is present in the water that you are using for the fountain. While you might think that only hard water contains minerals, even tap water contains a certain amount. Thus, it is easier for you to clean your water feature if you use filtered or distilled water. If you don’t have access to either filtered or distilled water, you can check with your local water board to learn about the mineral content of your tap water.
- Algae growth: Over time, small green microorganisms called algae can grow in the moist and watery parts of your water feature. Not only will this make your water feature look unsightly, but it also poses threats to your family and pets especially if they [pets] have the habit of drinking on water fountains. A capful of bleach added to your water easily eradicates growth of algae—but some sources say bleach is too harsh a chemical. Another option would be pond additives for algae control.
- Oxidation: If your water feature comes with a metal finish such as copper, it can oxidize over time thus creating a bluish-green sheen called verdigris. How quickly the verdigris form depends on the water that you use or how you maintain your water feature.
Basic Water Feature Maintenance Guide
When it comes to taking care of your indoor water feature, there are two things that you need to check periodically, and these include the level and quality of your water. By doing so, you will prevent issues concerning the mechanisms of this fixture. Make sure that you do maintenance every 7 or 10 days to reduce problems from arising.
Maintaining Water Level and Quality
As indoor water features are natural humidifiers, it is natural that its water level will decrease over time as evaporation still takes place indoors. The amount of water that evaporates from your water feature depends on how dry the air inside your house is. So, ensure that you add a small amount of water daily to maintain the specific level that your water feature requires.
If you have a large water feature installed, it can hold 6 gallons of water that need to be changed every 3 or 4 weeks. A smaller water feature has smaller water requirements. It is important to maintain the right water level as the pump needs to be submerged at all times. If not, the pump will easily overheat, and it can malfunction rendering your fountain useless.
Replacing the water in your indoor water feature is important as it prevents algae from blooming and giving your indoor fountain a ghastly shade of green. Make sure that you use distilled water as it is cleaner than tap water and does not create mineral buildup. Because tap water contains mineral like calcium and other metals, it leads to the deposit of crystals that is evident as white crusty streaks on areas where water has evaporated.
While it is important to use distilled water, what if you are unable to use one? Fortunately, there are additive solutions that you can use to maintain the proper pH balance in your water wall. One of such product is Protec. It is a solution that contains organo-phosphonates that protect your fountain wall from calcium mineral buildup as well as metallic stains caused by oxidation. It will remove existing mineral deposits and stains on your water feature.
Aside from protecting your water wall, it can also help prevent pump damage caused by mineral buildup. All you need is to put a drop of the solution per gallon that you put inside your water feature’s reservoir. As it clears the fountain from calcium deposit, this solution is also safe for cats, dogs, birds, and plants so there is no need to worry in case you find them drinking in your indoor fountain.
Maintaining the Fountain Pump
Most of the pumps used with indoor water features are the submersible types. It is crucial that you maintain your water pump so that the water feature will run for many years to come. There are easy and routine steps that you need to take when maintaining the pump of your indoor water featureto avoid problems in the future and they are:
- Never let the pump run dry: The most important rule for any submersible pump is to never let it run dry. The water in the reservoir is supposed to cool the pump as well as maintain the right operating temperature. In fact, a dry pump is the cause of 90% of pump failures. Make sure that the water does not evaporate below the inlet of the pump otherwise, it will heat up and malfunction.
- Allow it to run continuously: The fountain will perform its best if you allow it to run continuously. But should you need to turn it off because you are going away, make sure that you follow the right procedure before starting it. Make sure that you read the pump’s manual regarding on how to restart the pump.
- Make sure that the inlet is free of any debris: The inlet draws in water that is pumped up the fountain or water feature and released to create a cascading flow. Make sure that the inlet is free from small debris that can be sucked by the pump. The presence of debris can cause blockage in the pump lines that can affect the flow of water. In most cases, the submersible pump often comes with a flow valve that you can turn clockwise or counterclockwise, so you can adjust the flow to prevent debris from getting sucked in.
Maintaining the water pump is essential so that there is a steady flow of water into the fixture. But if your water pump stops working, do the necessary troubleshooting before replacing a part.
To troubleshoot the water feature, check the inlet in order to find out if there is any debris that prevents water from flowing. Then, check if the pump has power and that it does not have any electrical problems. You can also read the pump manual as it comes with a troubleshooting guide that you can follow to check whether the pump is working fine or not. If you have ruled out all the possibilities, then that’s the time to buy a new pump that is compatible with your water feature.
Maintaining the Panel of Your Water Feature
The panel refers to the surface of the water feature where the water flows through. It is vital to point out that maintenance procedures largely depend on the type of materials used to create the wall panel. Thus, below are maintenance tips for water feature panels made from different materials.
- Panels made with slate or stone sheet: one of the issues that people often have with water features made from slate is the mineral buildup on the surface. While using distilled water can reduce the likelihood of mineral deposition, you can also use a Calcium Lime Rust Remover to completely remove traces of mineral buildup. Use a soft bristled brush as excessive brushing can cause the exterior of the panel from chipping.
- Panels made with pebbles: Water features made from pebbles are not only prone to calcium deposits, but also to algae buildup. The clean the pebbles, use a soft brush and gently brush the panel clean. Pay extra attention to the spaces in between the pebbles to remove the algae buildup. Do not use bleach or any harsh chemicals to clean the pebbles as it is very harsh.
- Panels made with glass or mirror: Calcium deposits on a glass or mirror panel can look very unsightly. The best way to clean it is to remove the mineral deposits using a mixture of vinegar and water. Dry the panel first using a clean cloth and apply a thin coat of vinegar mixture and brush gently using a soft bristled brush. Wipe the panel clean with a clean cloth. Make sure that you clean the panel at least once a week to keep it looking perfect.
- Panels made with marble: You can use a mixture of white vinegar and water to clean the surface of the marble. And just like slate or stone sheet, make sure that you don’t use a hard brush as it can scratch the surface of the stone.
Maintaining the Lighting and Electrical Features
All indoor water features come with electrical features as well as lighting components. The electrical components of the indoor water feature make it look magical and calming. It is therefore important that you also maintain these components to maintain the beauty of the water feature.
- Underwater lights: Water features use underwater lights to create that beautiful effect on the water. Most water features use a 12-volt bulb with a smaller wattage. Although small, the bulbs can get hot thus it is important that you wear gloves when handling them. Moreover, drain the reservoir first before replacing the lights. Further, read the manual on how to replace the underwater lights for safety purposes.
- Standard lights: Standard lights provide illumination to the entire wall feature. They usually come in 50 to 75-watt bulbs thus they provide more lighting than the latter. When changing the bulbs, give them enough time to cool as they can be very hot to touch.
Always wear a pair of gloves for safety reasons. Remember: Unplug the water feature before replacing the bulbs. Moreover, ensure that the standard light do not get splashed by water to avoid malfunction and possible electrocution. If water splashes on to the bulb, turn down the water flow and reposition the light where it is safe.
Other Maintenance Tips to Follow
Aside from the basic maintenance tips shared above, there are also other things that you need to do to keep your indoor water feature in the best condition. Aside from the pump, wall panels, lighting, and water quality, there are other things that you need to consider when it comes to maintaining your indoor water feature.
Most indoor water feature comes with a drain that allows you to remove old water from the reservoir. Drain the water completely on a weekly basis to remove debris and other impurities. It will also deter the growth of algae as well as prevent the water from having a foul smell. If it does not come with a drain valve, you can use a long hose and do a manual siphoning technique to remove the water out. Once drained, you can clean the components of the water feature that are submerged in water. These include the trough tray, polished rocks, and foam pads to name a few.
Buying pre-fabricated indoor water fountains can give any space a beautiful accent. But didn’t you know that you can add your very own personal touch by opting to customize your indoor water feature? This is especially true if you have a business that you want to promote. Using the indoor water feature as part of the branding of your business is a very good idea.
There are many ways to customize your indoor water feature. You can customize the size, style, and design to fit any space where you want to put it. By customization, you will be able to make sure that it will stand out. But if you are looking for a way to maximize the potential of your indoor water fountain, adding your business logo is a great idea to promote your business as well as unleash your creativity. The thing is that there is something really special when you design your own water fountain. There is no limit to what you can do to customize your indoor water fountain.
But before you decide to create your own customized indoor water feature, there are several things that you should do in order to put your plans into something tangible. Below are the steps on what you need to do before hiring someone to create your water fountain.
- Determine your needs: Before planning to customize your indoor water feature, make sure that you determine your needs. Do you need a big water feature or a small one? What about the design? These are some of the things that you need to consider before planning to make your custom fountain. By determining your needs, you will be able to know what your indoor water feature needs—thematerials,placement, size, design, and so on.
- Seek someone to make your customized water feature: Seek a reliable craftsman to make your customized water feature into a reality. This is especially true if you want a big indoor water feature. However, there are pre-fabricated water features that you can use and modify to meet your needs.
- Ask for a quotation: If you have decided to hire a professional to customize your water feature, do due diligence and ask as many craftsmen whether they can do the job for you or not. It is also important to ask for a quote so that you can determine how much you need to spend to make your customized water feature.
- Production of your customized water fountain: Once you have talked to a professional who will make the customized water fountain, make sure that you work with them closely so that your designs will become realized. It is also crucial for you to be updated on the status and delivery of the finished water fountain.
Delivery and Installation
Installation of an indoor water feature can be done through very simple steps. The size, as well as the weight, of your water feature can influence the installation process. It is true that a larger water feature can require several people to carry the parts as well as install them completely in your home. This chapter will discuss the delivery and installation so that you can set your mind at ease when setting up your water fountain from start to finish.
Once you are done ordering your water fountain, you need to wait and prepare forits delivery. Larger indoor water fountains are delivered via delivery services thus it requires you to be present to receive the item once delivered to your home. While some companies have their own delivery services, there are some that rely on LTL carriers. When buying an indoor water feature, ask the manufacturer if there is a charge for the delivery or not.
When you receive your water feature, make sure that it gets to be inspected first for any damages that may have occurred during the shipment. Make sure to inspect the delivered feature before you sign the bill of landing.
The indoor water feature comes with a setup instruction. It is crucial to read the setup manual before installing the water fountain. Get to know the parts and where they go before you install the water feature.
For smaller water features, you can do the installation by yourself whereas you can hire a contractor or a handyman for larger production models. On the other hand, for large customized water features, some companies send their own installers on site to install the fixture.
Remember that indoor water fountains require upkeep thus depending on the intensity of use, the parts of the indoor water feature such as the hose, seal, and pumps need to be serviced regularly to ensure that they work efficiently and will last for a long time.
We hope that you have learned a lot from this guide on Indoor Water Feature. And don’t forget, for any of your Indoor fountain needs don’t hesitate to reach out to Luxe Water Walls .