Water Fountain Using Reclaimed Materials




About: just somebody who likes to do stuff outdoors. I enjoy trading ideas and coming up with things that make life easier.

I had this project sitting in the back burner for the past couple of years. Had I known then what I know now, I would have done this when the thought first came to mind. This project only took me about an hour to do, even though as of this moment, I know it isn't 100% complete. I will continue to add and tweak over the next week or so, and update as I do.

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Step 1: The Pump

I'm not exactly sure how old of a pump this is, but it did belong to my grand parents, and was used at their house until around the 1950's. it stood in the front almost where I have it now. I have only heard stories about how people from the community would stop by each day and fill their jugs, claiming it was the best tasting water they ever had! since then, it has been standing proud in the back yard over top of the pit well enjoying its golden years.. until now. I had to remove the spout in order to get a tube run from the bottom, and I wasn't really crazy about the idea of removing rusty bolts fearing of snapping them. I sprayed them with a little penetrating oil and then put a 3/4" open end wrench, a little elbow grease, and in my amazement, they turned! I sprayed again, waited to let the penetrating oil do it's job, and then after a minute or so, proceeded to remove them with no problems. The gasket pretty much just crumbled when I removed the spout, but since I wasn't going to use it as a pitcher pump, I didn't bother to replace it.

Step 2: Plumbing

it too longer to remove the spout than to run the tubing up through the bottom and into the spout. I just did a reversal from the previous step, tightened the nuts onto the bolts and was ready to take it for a test drive.

Step 3: Testing the Waters

I had a pump for a pond that I had in the backyard a few years ago. It was too much to maintain, so I filled it in and kept the pump in the shed. I could only assume that since it worked when I removed it, there should be no reason it wouldn't work now. I got this tub from my pile of scrap, filled it with some water, and plugged in the pump, and voila!.. the water was flowing, it was a great moment!

Step 4: Location

Now that I had a fountain I needed to find a place to put it. At first I was going to place it in the yard, but then I thought about having to run electricity out to it, and decided that it wouldn't be very practical. Then I decided that I would place it near it's original location, so I did!. Now I need to come up with a way to box in the bottom surrounding. I was going to take apart some pallets and use the boards, but I forgot to charge the battery on my reciprocating saw, and had to think of some other idea.

Step 5: Back to the Brickyard

I decided to go with re-claimed bricks from the chimney we tore down. These are sort of the bottom of the barrel ones, not very ideal for every project as some have some old mortar on them, and if you try and clean them up, they will break, and other have soot on them, but I'll make them work. I place the old tub and just eye-balled everything as I laid the bricks around stacked two high. I then placed  a few broken bricks in the voids on each side of the tub to be used as filler.

Step 6: I Wanna Rock

I filled in the rest with rocks of different sizes that I had in a pile near the woods. I would like to add more smaller ones when I find them to fill in some of the cracks, but for now I'll leave it as it is.

Step 7: Oasis

The thought of cleaning up the pump and giving it a new red paint job crossed my mind, but I decided I wanted to go with the more rustic look. the metal tub adds to that, and the old bricks seem to kind of bring it all together. I plan on adding some type of water plant, not sure of what to get, suggestions would be welcomed. I would also like to get some type of vine to hide the tubing and wire. So this project isn't complete as far as some minor details are concerned, but for now it's enjoyable to sit on the dining room table over dinner, and listen to the sound of running water. The old pump is flowing again, and I'm sure if my grandparents were here today, they would enjoy it as well. I will update as I make changes and or improvements. All re-claimed materials, no out of pocket cost, simple to do, minimal time invested.  Cheers!

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    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It's wonderful that you could take an object that belonged to your Grandparents and put it to use for a different purpose like this.

    1 reply

    This is great! Looks outstanding. I have two suggestions. Run your water hose and electric cord through the bottom of the tub and seal the hole with silicone.
    Something to think about is putting a wash board under your sprout. But it looks good as is.

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm in the process of finding a washboard, I'm thinking it would be easier than cutting a hole in the tub. Both great suggestions though, and I appreciate them very much!