Waterfall Water Flow & Maintenance Guide
Download Guide (Reservoir System)
Download Guide (Pipe w/ Holes System)
Generally, the Water will not simply "sheet down" your waterfall perfectly at startup. Dry spots are normal and generally some "tweaking" is required on all waterfalls whether big or small.
Water tends to grab some natural surfaces such as slate or stone easier than glass or mirror...You have to help the water "grab." Water is attracted to Water...Help a dry spot get wet and the other water around it will "grab" it.
1 Make sure your interior waterfall is level both vertically and horizontally to have proper even flow. Use a small level to determine this and correct if necessary.
2 At startup: To help the water "grab" & fill in dry spots...There is a "lip" up top where the water overflows over a lip and down the face....Gently move your finger horizontally back and forth on the lip above the dry area and watch the water begin to "grab" and fill in the dry areas....While running you can use your hand, sponge or scotchbrite pad or even a spray bottle to get the dry area's wet, thus helping the water "grab" and fill in. Once you have excellent coverage, it will stay that way until your turn off the water feature & restart. So, allow waterfall to run continuously when possible...it preserves the flow, minimizes scale & algae buildup and is better for the pump. ** Trick for floor fountains/waterwalls only with glass or mirror face/tower: Grab one side of either main upright with your hand. Try to shake the water wall/ floor fountain causing a slight vibration. This action will cause the water to disperse and cover and dry areas on the glass/mirror.
3 WDS: (water distribution system)
Reservoir Type System:
Use a wet rag to clearn out the upper reservoir and any debris.
Pipe w/ Holes System:
Many of the waterfeatures use a pipe (pvc) with holes in combination with a upper reservoir with a Mesh Pad to form a WDS (water distribution system). Scale buildup and debris can begin to restrict the holes in the upper pvc pipe, causing decreased waterflow and possible "spitting." Use vinegar/water with your finger, tooth brush, scotchbrite pad, etc. to clean the holes of scale or other debris. There is some "play" up there and the pvc is flexible, allowing you to twist and pull the pvc pipe out to clean more thoroughly. Make sure the holes are facing straight down or at slight angle towards the back of reservoir when re-installing.
Otherwise, clean while in place. There is also a mesh pad in the upper reservoir
that helps to stablize/disperse the water. This pad can get clogged with debris, thus
restricting water flow which could cause dry spots, spitting, etc. Pull entire pad out, take outside, shake & hose off thoroughly any dirt, debris, etc. and re-install. Prior to re-installing pad, wipe out the upper reservoir. Also, make sure the mesh pad is re-installed to go completely to both ends of upper reservoir.
4 Water Distribution System Face & Lip: the lip is the top of the WDS where the
water overflows and the face is the vertical part of the lip that connects to the upper
tower, which could be glass, mirror, slate, stone, tile, etc...The lip/face should be
thoroughly “scrubbed” with a green scotch brite pad during installation. This helps
remove any oils or debris which can interfere with water flowing over the top and down
onto the stone, glass, etc. Scrubbing the lip/face also, causes "friction", which helps the water "grab" and sheet down the entire tower.
5 Water Reservoir: Is there enough water in the to cover the pump? Ideally, you may fill up to 1-2” below the top of the water reservoir. Low water levels will reduce water flow, cause instability, hissing, spitting, etc. Fill your water reservoir daily if necessary.
6 Pump: Pump Flow Control Valve: if your pump has an adjustable valve on the side of the pump, or you have attached a flow control valve, make sure it is open and not restricted. If pump has a filter, remove filter cap from pump and rinse free of debris. Also, a pump can loose performance if debris, hair, etc. becomes lodged in the impeller. Once you have access to the impeller, you should be able to freely move the impeller. Pull impeller out, clean out any debris, rinse & blow out impeller area with your mouth & re-assemble.
7 Vinyl Hose (connects pump to top of fountain): remove any “kinks” in the hose. ** most of our waterfalls incorporate pvc pipe, not flexible vinyl hose.
For example purposes, view this video to see some of the "tricks of the trade" to get proper water flow. (The feature in video, doesn't necessarily use the system used in other waterfalls so, not all steps will apply):
http://www.22inchfalls.info/ (Step 11)
A well maintained fountain is a beautiful, excellent flowing...happy fountain! 95% of all
fountain "issues" is due to improper installation and/or lack of maintenance. We maintain our cars, homes, significant others, pets, etc...yet, some think they don't need to maintain their water feature! There are many factors that affect the amount of maintenance; local water quality to you, type of materials used in your water feature, location of your fountain- indoors or outside, purified water & uv systems incorporated or not, chemicals used or not....etc.
There are (2) main enemies of fountains: scale/calcium buildup & algae...Almost all
manufacturers recommend using distilled water Why? No minerals in distilled water...
no minerals = no scale/calcium buildup...Depending on the particular evaporation rate of
your waterfall in its unique environment, buying distilled water can become quite expensive. So, if you purchased the water purification filter system (only offered with custom water features or the "higher" end production features), then this will greatly reduce scale. Other water filtration technologies such as RO- Reverse Osmosis, DI- de-ionization & Water Softening Systems strip water of minerals as well, is comparable to distilled water and will greatly reduce any scale/calcium buildup, so use it if you have access to it. UV-Lighting Systems, also offered with custom water features or the higher end production features, clarify & sterilize the water killing all living organisms including algae. Notice how "stale" water becomes slimy like in a pond (algae)? That's why running your water feature continuously or as much as possible is soo much healthier for your fountain...It's alive when running! It's better for your pump and scale & algae inhibited greatly. Anything is better than your tap water!
If your only choice is tap water, then use some inexpensive solutions such as Fountec & Protec. Fountec-anti algae, Protec- anti scale...Just add a few drops periodically & the solutions will help tremendously. Follow directions on bottle (based on water capacity in your fountain)
You can purchase Fountec/Protec solutions online:
You may also use a small amount of bleach (a few drops to 1 ounce) and up to (1) cup of peroxide in your fountain as well to help treat the water.
NO WATER FEATURE IS MAINTENANCE FREE! YOU CAN ONLY REDUCE MAINTENANCE! Whether you have all the "bells & whistles" including water purification system, uv-lighting or using purified water and water treatment solutions, you still need to service your fountain periodically...At minimum 4-5 times a year, at best...once a month or more.
1 Turn off fountain
2 Suck out all the water in water reservoir with a shop vac, extra pump with hose
3 Wipe down the inside of your reservoir. A 50/50 dilution of non-harsh white vinegar & water works well. Take this time to service your pump as well (Take pump out to your sink if possible)...If it has a filter, clean it. Clean any scale/calcuim deposits on pump or impeller. Check the impeller & impeller housing, clean out any debris, pull impeller out and "blow" into impeller shaft & rinse pump thoroughly.
4 If Stainless, Glass or Mirror: Clean with glass cleaner. You can use your finger, scotchbrite pad, or brush w/ vinegar & water to clean a natural features such as slate, stone, etc. ** If scale/calcium buildup is quite difficult and vinegar/water doesn't seam to be effective, you can use a stronger/harsher solution such as Lime Away, CLR, which can be purchase practically anywhere (hardware store, grocery store). Especially, when using the harsher solutions, rinse your water feature thoroughly, multiple times if necessary and suck out water.
5 Scale/Calcium deposits and debris can begin to clog/restrict the holes in pvc pipe and the mesh pad fibers in the upper WDS (Water Distribution System). This can restrict flow, cause dry spots & potential spitting. You can leave pvc pipe w/ holes in place or twist and pull out to clean. Use your fingers, toothbrush or scotchbrite pad w/ vinegar & water to clean the holes & pull out any debris. There is also a mesh pad in the upper reservoir that helps to stablize/disperse the water. This pad can get clogged with debris, thus restricting water flow which could cause dry spots, spitting, etc. Pull entire pad out, take outside, shake & hose off thoroughly any dirt, debris, etc. and re-install.Prior to re-installing pad, wipe out the upper reservoir. Also, make sure the mesh pad is re-installed to go completely to both ends of upper reservoir.
6 At this point, your waterfall should be completely clean! Refill with fresh clean purified water. If tap water, add Protec/Fountec (follow directions) or small amount of bleach (a few drops to an ounce) and up to a cup of peroxide.
7 Turn on, allow water flow to stabilize, adjust pump if necessary, "tweak" to get water to sheet w/ excellent coverage if necessary (see Water Flow Guide Above), sit back, smile and enjoy!