Introduction: Simple Inexpensive Float Valve Automatically Keeps Your Garden Fountain Filled

We have a garden fountain that loses water to the wind and sun, requiring frequent and lengthy re-filling from a nearby garden hose. I found an inexpensive plastic float valve and rigged it with drip irrigation hardware to keep the fountain filled automatically. Works great!

Total cost was about twenty bucks at Home Depot plus the eight-dollar valve from Amazon.


Float Valve:

3/4" to 1/2" brass adapter - from valve to hose compression fitting

3/4" to 1/4" hose compression fittings (2)

1/4" drip irrigation tubing

3/4" Pressure reducer (to 25 lbs.)

3/4" Y-splitter with control valve

Two items not shown in the photo:

Teflon plumber's tape wrapped around the plastic float valve threads going into the brass adapter

Aluminum bracket to mount the valve to the fountain pedestal (visible in the photo)

The float arm is adjustable to set your desired water level.

The Y-splitter has a control valve to turn off the water supply when necessary. I used a splitter to keep the garden hose connected for other uses.

Step 1: Float Valve Preparation

Obtain or make an L-bracket for mounting the float valve. (I used an aluminum bracket)
Make a hole in the bracket for the valve threads to fit through. (I drilled and filed a hole to size needed)

Mount the float valve on the L bracket - push threads through hole and secure with valve's washer and nut

Wrap the plastic threads of the float valve with two turns of Teflon plumber's tape.

Step 2: Step 2 - Adapter From Float to Tubing Nozzle

Thread the brass adapter on to the valve threads and tighten securely.

Step 3: Step 3 - Tubing Nozzle to Adapter and Tubing

Thread a hose compression adapter on to the brass adapter and tighten securely.

Insert the end of the 1/4 tubing into the compression adapter about 1/4 deep by pushing while twisting.

Step 4: Step 4 - Tubing

Determine thelength of tubing needed to reach from your fountain to your water faucet or source.

Allow some extra length and cut the tubing.

Thread the other hose compression adapter on to the pressure reducer and tighten securely.

Insert the end of the tubing into the compression adapter about 1/4 deep by pushing while twisting.

Step 5: Step 5 - Pressure Reducer

Thread the pressure reducer on to the Y-splitter and tighten securely.

Step 6: Step 6 - Y-splitter With Valves

Thread the pressure reducer on to the Y-splitter and tighten securely.

Turn the control valves on the Y-splitter off (perpendicular to the water tubes).

Attach the Y-splitter to your water source and tighten securely.

Step 7: Final Steps

Slowly turn on the water faucet, watch for leaks between the faucet and the Y-splitter and tighten as needed.

When no leaks, place the float valve in the fountain basin.

Slowly open the Y-splitter valve to the pressure reducer and watch for leaks. Water should flow from the float valve.

Lift up the float to close the valve; this should stop the water flowing out of the valve.

With the float valve held closed, check for leaks. Tighten all parts until no leaks anywhere.

Turn off the Y-splitter valve or the faucet.

Mount the L-bracket on to the fountain. (I drilled holes in the bracket and mounted it with brass screws)

Bracket mounting location depends on the size and shape of your fountain. The float is adjustable so with some trial and error you can figure out where to best mount the float and adjust the angles. I mounted the bracket with one screw at the top first so I could pivot the bracket and adjust the float angle. When everything works and your water level is set, secure the bracket with another screw.

I used a Y-splitter but you can get a single garden hose shut-off valve or just screw the pressure adapter on to your garden hose faucet and use the faucet to turn the water on or off. I hope you find this useful and enjoy your automatically self-filling fountain!