What are the different metal finishes?

At Fountain Metalworks we have four finishes that we use on our water features. 

Powder Coated is a finish that is basically a powdered paint that is baked onto the stainless steel water feature and is very durable. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures.

Stainless Steel as a finish is typically brushed or given some kind of pattern or design in the stainless. While it is durable and resist rust, it does pick up fingerprints and smudges very easy and requires maintenance depending on how many people touch the stainless. 

Corten is a steel specifically designed to rust. It is corrosive resistant and is commonly referred to as “weathering steel”. Keep in mind Corten is not used for the water basin however we can build a Corten cover that goes over the stainless steel to provide a matching rusted look for the top water feature structure and lower basin. 

Copper is also used as a finish with out water features. It has a natural patina that occurs over time or a chemical patina can be added for the desired look. Copper is a soft material and is prone to scratches if in a high traffic area. 

How easy are the water features to install?

We like to consider the water features we build, “Plug & Play”. You receive it, you fill it and plug it in. It truly can be that simple, however keep in mind, you do need access to 110v electric (a standard GFCI outlet) and a water source. If you want the water basin below ground, then you will need to dig a hole as deep as the water basin (typically 12″ deep). You will need to run power and water to the location of the water feature. On the larger water features, you may want to pour a concrete slab for the water basin to sit on. In this case, we can weld on concrete anchor plates that allow you to secure the water basin to the concrete. This is helpful for commercial projects or areas with high winds. For more detail on how to install the water feature send an email to info@fountainmetalworks.com and we can send you the “How to install” PDF. 

Do I need to connect the water feature to a water source? Or can I just fill it manually?

Connecting to a dedicated water source is not necessary for the water feature to operate. However, by having a dedicated water connection, you guarantee that the proper water level will be maintained at all times.

Located inside the water basin, we install what’s called a float valve. A “float” which is typically a hollow plastic box or ball is connected to a brass rod. The brass rod is connected to a valve that can open or close depending on the position of the float. The float rest or floats on the surface of the water and as the water level drops, so does the float.

Once the float reaches a specific level the valve is opened and water begins to fill the water basin. Once the water has reached it’s correct level, the valve is turned off. 

If you choose to fill water manually, I would suggest setting alerts or reminders.

If the water level falls below the level that allows the pump to operate efficiently, there is a greater risk of  overheating the pump causing damage to the pump or causing it to stop working. 

How do you ship the water feature?

Most of our water features are shipped via LTL Freight. Before we ship your water feature, we test it to ensure everything is working as it should. We then build a wooden crate to protect the water feature from damage. Through our shipping broker, we look for a reasonably priced carrier that we know we can rely on to transport the water feature. When it arrives and depending on the size of the water feature, you may need a forklift to unload it from the truck or if it’s under 84″ you may be able to utilize the liftgate on the truck. We go over these details in the ordering process. We do have options for shipping on a truck with a forklift if you don’t have access to one. When the water feature exceeds the dimensions what’s allowed by the carriers, we ship via “hot shot” trailers. These are typically independent drivers with long flatbed trailers. We have even been know to deliver the water feature ourselves where it is the last option. 

What happens if it’s damaged when it arrives? Is there a warranty?

When we ship out your water features, we do so via LTL Freight. When the shipment is set up, it is insured by a third party insurance company.

Before we ship your water feature, we will go over what to expect when it arrives. During that process, we explain that if for some reason it arrives damaged, we ask that you take pictures of the damage and contact us immediately.

If the driver asks you to sign a delivery document, we ask that you write on the document, “received damaged” and please keep a copy that you can send us. At this point, we will deal directly with the insurance company. However, we will also work directly with you solve the issue as quickly as possible so you can continue to move forward with your project. 

With regards to warranty, Fountain Metalworks provides a limited warranty for the structure, basin and plumbing for one year. The fountain pump and any lighting if applicable has a one year limited warranty provided by the manufacturer. Keep in mind, if you have any issues before or after the warranty we are available by email or phone to help resolve any issues that may arise. 

Are the water features maintenance free?

The simple answer is no. If you would like to enjoy your water feature for many years, there is some level of maintenance required. 

How you maintain your water feature depends on many factors. The water feature location, annual climate, how often it’s used, type of water being used. Basically, it comes down to clean water. Keep your water clean and clear and this will prevent algae build-up which can cause array of issues with the surface of the water feature and the pump. If you have hard water, you will need to wipe down the water feature with soap and water when the calcium starts to build up on the surface. Using a soft water system can help reduce this problem. If your winters are more harsh, you may need to winterize your water feature by draining it. Making sure there is no water in the plumbing that could freeze. Nature is beautiful but can also be harsh on water features over time, by taking a few steps to maintain your water feature on a regular basis, you’ll ensure it’s longevity.