How To Install a Water Feature

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Our guide for How To Install a Water Feature contains the key steps and required products, helping our customers to highlight their Welsh Slate Water Features products in both modern and traditional garden designs or landscaping projects.


What Do I Need To Install A Water Feature?

Reservoir

The Reservoir acts as a big bucket to store the water and catch the falling water when in use. This has to be a larger circumference than the base of the water feature in order to collect and re-circulate the water. This is a very sturdy and stable design. The cut away on the lid is an access hatch incase the pump needs to be removed. The holes in the lid allow the water to filter through. The large hole in the centre is for the hose to travel through.

Hose

The hose is connected to the top of the pump via a Jubilee clip (below). This fits up through the cored out hole in the slate to just near the top. Cutting the hose just short of the top will create a nice bubble flow and keep the plastic hose out of sight.

Pump

The pump is key as this pushes the water up through the slate water feature (such as a stone monolith or stack pyramid). Different size pumps are required based on the height of the slate. They normally come with a regulator so you can alter the flow of water to your preferred power output. As a guide, we normally recommend a 2000lph pump for a feature up to 1 metre in height.

Jubilee Clip

Simple clip which gets tightened around the hose and attached to the top of the pump clamping the two together.


10 Step Water Feature Install

1) Dig out hole

Simply flip the reservoir upside down and mark around the edge with spray or make small incisions with the spade. The depth depends on the reservoir chosen, but is normally around 300-350mm deep.Place the reservoir inside and make sure the lip finished flush or just below the surface. This will ensure the plastic cover is hidden when finished. This is the hardest part !

2) Ensure base is level

The base doesn’t have to be millimetre perfect but it does help to be fairly level so no water is lost unnecessarily. Remove any large stones that may be in the way and interfere. If it’s quite stoney and chalky remove more than required and then build back up with clean soil or sand.

3) Add builders sand to help create level base

This is the easiest way to create a nice level base is to use builders sand. You can then adjust the reservoir nicely into place. For larger heavier pieces over 250kg then the reservoir manufacturers recommend using concrete back filled in between the stabilising points.  

4) Insert Reservoir & Pump

Once you’re happy with the levels you can then insert the reservoir and pump. The pump will sit in one of the gaps and normally has suction feet on so it will remain fixed to the base. Screw on the appropriate sized fitment to the top of the pump. Feed the cable out the top of the pump. These normally come with 10 metres of cabling.

5) Attach hose to top of pump using Jubilee clip

 Drop the clip over the pump nozzle then attach the hose. This should eb a tight fit and will require the hose being twisted over the nozzle to fit on properly. Ensure there’s about a 20mm covering of the hose over the nozzle. Lift up jubilee clip and tighten around the hose, sandwiching it against the nozzle.

6) Place lid on top, feeding hose through centre of reservoir lid

Place the lid on top so that the cut out is over the pump. Feed the hose up through the central hole in the plastic lid. The smaller holes are present for drainage. Place the cut out part over the top of the pump and slot onto the lid. This is the hatch for the pump if you need to remove it in the future. This saves you having to move the water feature !

7) Place feature centrally over reservoir, with cored out hole parallel to central hole in reservoir lid

This will depend on the exact feature. If it’s a heavy piece then you will need assistance to carry this out. If it’s the pyramid design then it’s slightly easier as you can place the slate on top and feed hose through easily.

8) Feed hose up through slate feature

Feed the hose up through the cored out hole in the monolith or slate stack pyramid. Pull the hose right through and then cut it just short of the top. This will create a nice bubble flow at the top.

9) Fill reservoir with water

You’re nearly there. Simply run a hose pipe into the reservoir, turn on the tap and fill up just below the top edge of the reservoir, so it doesn’t overflow.

10) Switch on pump

We recommend you consult with a certified electrician to power your pump. Normally this will be to an external weatherproof socket with an RCD built in. Switch on the pump and you should have water flowing out the top. The flow should be straight forward with a monolith style water feature. If it’s a pyramid style water feature you may need to move and adjust the slate to get the fall and flow of water even. Click here for our Guide to Building a Slate Stack Pyramid water feature.


Reservoir Packs

We stock two types of accessory packs for use with our water features. Both large and small reservoir packs include a reservoir, pump, hose and clip. These packs are ONLY available to buy with these Welsh Slate Water Features products:

Reservoir Pack | Welsh Slate Water Features

Water Feature Install FAQ

HOW BIG DO I NEED TO DIG THE HOLE?

The size depends on the reservoir used. I recommend a FINIA 1000 which is 1 metre diameter and approx 350mm high. Turn the reservoir upside down and lie flat on the ground. Mark out with a shovel piercing the ground. Remove the reservoir and dig out 350mm x 1metre. Depending on the weight of the feature, you can either use building sand to create a level base, or for heavier pieces I recommend a concrete base.

DO I NEED TO REMOVE THE FEATURE IF THE PUMP FAILS?

No. The reservoir is a clever design with a removable hatch. This allows the pump to be accessed without having to remove the natural stone feature.

DO I NEED A CONSTANT FLOW OF WATER TO THE RESERVOIR?

No. The reservoir should collect and recirculate the water. Water may be lost to splashing and evaporation so level should regularly be checked. The pump should never run dry. Simply top up the reservoir with a bucket of water or hose.

HOW DO I BUILD A STONE PYRAMID?

It’s simple and easy to create a natural stone pyramid in any garden design with our bespoke base plates. Read more in our How To Build A Stone Pyramid guide with quick install video.

HOW IS THE PUMP POWERED?

The pumps normally require mains electric. However please consult with a certified electrician for installation. Normally should be connected via an RCD. Pumps normally come with 10 x metres of cable so take this into consideration when installing electrics and situating your water feature.

IS THERE A RISK OF THE SLATE FREEZING / SPLITTING IN THE WINTER?

Welsh Slate is a very durable material. It can withstand fluctuations in temperature and remains constant.

DOES THE WATER FEATURE REQUIRE REGULAR MAINTENANCE?

This depends on how much the water feature is used. If not used water may become stagnant. But once pump is on again, this should soon clear up. Keep an eye on water levels and make sure the pump never runs dry. See pump manufacturers warranty.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A SOLAR PUMP?

No. I have failed to find a suitable strong enough solar pump. These may work for a small plastic fountain about 100mm high, but I certainly would not recommend using on any Welsh Slate Water Features garden products.

WHAT SINGLE TIP WOULD YOU GIVE WHEN INSTALLING A WATER FEATURE?

If you’re installing electric power for the pump, then consider adding additional capacity / outlet for lighting. A simple inexpensive set of weatherproof lights can transform your slate water feature at night for very little additional expense.


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