Garden Fountain–Construction

basalt fountain

A basalt column fountain installed in the back yard.

Conceptually, a fountain installation is not a difficult project. A waterproof basin houses a pump which recirculates water through a vessel. As is often the case, execution proved more difficult than the concept might suggest. It was easy enough to source the basalt column, and Morrison Gravel drilled it. Both Home Depot and Lowes minimal pond departments had pumps and plumbing, but a small basin and support proved more elusive. After much searching, I found a basin much like this one for a price that was too good to refuse. Following the suggestions I read in Amazon reviews, I cut ABS pipe to length to provide a support column for basalt and caulked the seam of the basin lid to seal it. I then dug a hole for the basin, set the pipe in place, covered the basin, placed the pump inside, and plumbed the column. Some decorative stone covered the basin lid, and after plugging the pump in, I had a working fountain.

It proved too good to be true. Despite the support of the ABS coumn, the mass of the stone distorted the basin lid enough to break the caulk seal, and the fountain pumped dry in a couple of hours. So: remove decorative stone, roll the basalt off the basin, pop the basin lid, empty the basin, apply flashing left over from another project to the lid, replace lid, roll basalt back in to place, reconnect pump, fill basin, and plug in pump. Wait. Wait. Wait. Verify leaks have stopped. Replace decorative stone and enjoy.

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