Everyone loves water! Fountains and water features can be soothing and relaxing or fun and playful. Some are naturalistic, copying the style of a natural stream, while others are architectural, using clean lines and geometric shapes to create interest. The versatility of water features means they can be designed to fit any home or landscape. Bubbling rocks water fountains are one of the simplest water features to install, yet they have a wide range of options and can be as elegant as much larger water installations.
Below the Ground
If you are thinking about a bubbling rocks feature for your yard, you will want to know what is most important for installation and how to avoid common problems. As with many other landscape projects, most of the money you invest in bubbling rocks will be hidden from view. The parts that are most important to the operation and functioning of fountains and water features are below ground.
The Reservoir and Pump
The recirculating water for your bubbling rocks comes from an underground reservoir. It can be made from a rigid plastic container or a flexible pond liner. A recirculating water pump will draw water from the reservoir and pump it up through the rock or rocks. The reservoir and pump need to be correctly sized. If the water source is too small, it will have to be refilled frequently; if it runs dry, the pump may burn out.
The pump also needs to be an adequate size. If it is underpowered, it will not be able to move the water effectively. An overpowered pump may send water gushing like a fire hydrant! Most pumps have variable speeds so overspray can be quickly corrected, but this illustrates the importance of using the right equipment for the size and scale of your water feature. It is best to consult with a professional landscape company that is experienced with bubbling rocks.
Tubing and Electricity
A plastic tube carries water from the reservoir up through your rock. The tubing also needs to be properly sized. Larger is not necessarily better; the larger the tube, the more power needed to pump water. The same amount of energy moves water faster through a small tube.
Your bubbling rocks fountain will need an electrical source. If it is right next to the house, you may be able to use an existing outlet. If it is any distance away from the house or there is not a convenient outlet, you will need an electrician to install the underground wiring. It is important that this be done safely and according to code.
It is not uncommon to make mistakes with any of these underground, unseen components – the reservoir, electrical power, water pump or tubing. Using a landscaping company that specializes in fountains and water features will take the worry out of the construction process.
The Final Steps
The actual bubbling rock is the easiest part of the project, though some types of rock cannot handle the drilling process. Your landscape supplier will know what rocks are safe to use. An artistic eye is all it takes to create a pleasing arrangement of rocks and plants that blends in with the rest of your landscape.
With the underground portions of your bubbling rocks safely and properly installed, it will operate with a minimum of maintenance. Bubbling rocks water features can fit in a small space if necessary, but they will always have a large impact. Make sure the mechanical and electrical water feature components are installed correctly, and you will have years of enjoyment from your bubbling rocks.