Add a Spray Ring to your Estate Fountain for lots of Fountain Sparkle in the Sunlight plus Additional Fountain Sound!

missouri fountain

Adding a copper spray ring to your fountain is a relatively easy thing to accomplish, even if it’s years after your fountain was originally installed.

Sometimes the decision to add a spray ring later is made for the following reasons:

  • There wasn’t enough initial budget for the project to supply it when the main fountain was being installed.
  • If there has been a change at your estate – for example maybe there are a lot more annoying traffic noises in the area which you would like to muffle with the sound of your fountain.
  • Maybe you installed a relatively quiet fountain, with just a few rivulets of water coming off the central bowls and then hitting the pool below, and you would now like to make the fountain more of a welcoming statement piece at the front of your residence.
  • Or, maybe you just want to add a bit of PIZZAZ to the fountain you have now, as fountain spray rings tend to cause a lot of sparkle on sunny days?

Normally the spray ring can be made to fit right over the top of the centerpiece in your fountain.

  • And then all you have to do is connect it to a pump (large enough to pump the arcs of water to the height you would like).
  • Then, connect the pump to the power source (temporarily) and turn on the pump.
  • Once it’s running for that initial time, you’ll likely have to wade into the pool to adjust each of the nozzle directions by hand (and then tighten down the nut to finger tight)
  •  This is to make sure the arcs of water are all shooting the correct direction, and all arcs are equidistant apart where they are landing in the central bowl.

Before you purchase and install a fountain spray ring, there are a few things you should know first (when designing it) – as we have learned the following things over our years of making them for customers:

  • First you should think about how TALL you want the arcs of water going in your fountain.
  • Many times, people will have the arcs of water land in the bottom bowl of a tiered centerpiece, and in that way – it causes a huge influx of water to pour off that bottom bowl – which contributes to the much louder fountain noise
    • Or, some customers want the arcs of water to shoot up WAY taller than that…
    • It’s all a matter of preference.
  • Or, maybe there isn’t a centerpiece planned to be in your fountain at all?
  • Here is a pretty spectacular fountain in a granite pool surround, with (40) 3/8” adjustable fountain nozzles and a central 1.5” NPT Frothy Serac Nozzle. (It loses a lot of water with how tall that central column shoots, but it looking amazing anyway!)
  • Vs. a more sedate spray ring option in a much smaller fountain.
    Or, if you have a fairly large pool area, you could install an OUTWARDS facing copper spray ring, and in that way – you can save some money on the cost of the copper spray ring itself, and get a similar look.
  • But, that will only work if the arcs of water will come down in a location far enough away from the exterior wall of your pool area, that it won’t cause constant water loss from water splashing right outside of your pool.
  • Since as far as water is falling VERTICALLY is how far its going to splash HORIZONTALLY, so you’ll need to know that information to measure your pool surround – to make sure it’s large enough, vs how tall you intend to shoot the arcs of water.
Of course, there ARE pros/cons to how far up in the air you shoot those arcs of water though.
  • We have learned that for example – in an 8’ diameter spray ring, if you shoot the water up higher than 4’ tall, it creates a higher angle to the water that makes it easier for the Wind to push the arcs out of alignment – which would possibly cause some water loss or slip/fall hazards, with water landing outside of the pool area.
  • Also, if you are losing chlorinated water outside of your pool, it tends to kill nearby foliage/flowers / bushes that may be sensitive to the chemicals in the water.
  • Or, if it’s unavoidable (that sometimes you are losing water because of strong wind pushing on the fountain), then plant hard leaved foliage around the fountain (IE Irises are a good option) – as they won’t be nearly as affected by chlorine issues.
  • Vs. if you had something like roses planted around the fountain – they will start to look very bad very quickly with all the brown spots on the leaves from chlorine damage.
  • So, normally we recommend shooting the water no higher than the radius of the spray ring.
  • And if you are in a very windy location, having the arcs of water at an even lower angle than that would make them even more resistant to wind misdirection.
  • Next, you should consider the actual nozzles that will be installed / soldered into the spray ring:

    • We have noticed that 3/8” NPT and larger fountain nozzles seem make your fountain pool fairly resistant to water loss caused by gusts of wind (misdirection.)

  • Vs. using smaller nozzles (like ¼” or 1/8” NPT nozzles) make it VERY easy for gusts of wind to throw the arcs of water around, which could cause your fountain to run dry very quickly – if it’s a windy day..
  • And typically the bad thing about that would be….
  • Normally fountain pumps are water-cooled, so if you have the pump running with hardly any water in the pool, sooner or later it’ll seize up the pump, and you’ll have to buy a new one to get your fountain running again
  • Of course, the size of the nozzles also has a large impact on the cost of the spray ring as well, if you are installing 60 – 100 nozzles in the ring.
  • Thus, why sometimes you could accidentally be comparing apples to oranges when doing price checks between manufacturers.
  • Because not only does it matter how many nozzles are shown (IE how many times someone had to drill / solder a nozzle into the ring…)
  • But, even if you are looking at a similar diameter spray ring, with a similar number of nozzles – sometime they aren’t a similar size nozzle at all….

Also, using “adjustable” fountain nozzles is a very good idea…
• And that way, if for example something is a little bit out of level (legs on the ring, floor of fountain, exact location the nozzles was soldered into the ring)
• If you have adjustable nozzles – it won’t matter at all – because you’d be able to adjust the location of where the arcs of water are landing.
• Vs. if you have nozzles that are NOT adjustable, it’ll be much harder to get the arcs of water looking all symmetrical.

FYI, an adjustable nozzle comes in 3 pieces, the actual “nozzle”, the nut that it moves around in and then the seat that actually screws into the spray ring.
• You cannot just use only 1 or 2 of the pieces, they are a SET needed to make the nozzle work correctly, and the thread pattern of the bottom part ONLY goes with that specific nut.

In terms of the pump needed to run your fountain:
  • You can either leave it as a 2-pump system – with one pump to run the centerpiece and then a separate pump for the spray ring.
  • And that way, if it’s really windy, or if you temporarily want a much quieter fountain for some reason (maybe during a wedding ceremony) – you can turn off the spray ring and just run the centerpiece alone for now.
  • Or, you can get a large enough pump to run the spray ring AND the centerpiece at the same time, and connect the water hoses from the centerpiece and the spray ring to the pump with a manifold that has valve handles on it.
  • Then, with those 2 valves, you can control the height of the spray ring water vs how fast the centerpiece water is going.
Of course, the size of the pump (or number of pumps) needed to run your fountain spray ring is affected by the following things:

And lastly, the type of spray ring you purchase can have a huge impact on its longevity in your climate.

  • Since if you are in a very sunny climate, and end up buying a PVC fountain spray ring, the damage caused by UV Rays can make your spray ring very brittle in only 2- 4 years.
    • Vs if you are in a more northerly climate, it may take as long as 8-10 years before it becomes brittle and falls apart with the slightest impact.
    • Though consistent freezing weather can have a huge impact on PVC pipe as well, making the pipe crack very easily, even if there is NOT water in it
  • Also, some manufacturers will actually coat their PVC pipe with copper colored paint, to make it look more like a high-end version (as well as to protect the plastic from UV rays.)
    • But, we really question how long that copper paint will last in an underwater situation where chlorine or chemicals are always working on the paint, likely causing it to flake / chip off over time.
  • So, from our point of view, a fountain spray ring made of stainless steel or copper is a lot better option – for ANY climate.
    • And here at Carved Stone Creations, we only use Copper Spray Rings with Brass Nozzles soldered into them.
      • As after about a year of exposure to the elements / chemicals in the water, the copper turns a pleasing silvery grayish green color – which tends to look nice in the fountain pool.
    • We tend to have “some” spray rings in stock in our warehouse, but the majority of our spray rings are made to order, in exactly the diameter and number of nozzles the customer wants for their specific fountain.

FYI, almost unbelievably, we received a call years ago from a customer that said he just took over his Grandma’s estate, and wanted to get her approximately 100 year old copper fountain spray ring working again…

  • And all he needed was just some replacement nozzles to put into the ring.
  • As over time, the brass nozzle can sometimes get a little “eaten” by chemicals or possibly “lost” if someone took them off to clean out a blockage in the stream of water.
  • Thus, we felt justified in our thought that the copper spray rings were the best option for our customers.

In terms of maintenance on a Copper Spray Ring, there are a few things you should know about the way we design them:

  • If you are in a climate that gets freezing weather, please ensure you disconnect the pump from the spray ring (before the freezing weather arrives) and bring it inside to protect the pump from the weather.
    • While the pump is inside, take the time to clean it (inside and outside) – then place it in a bucket of water in a warm location for the Winter season.
    • That ensures that the pump will be ready to go in Spring – when it’s time to get your fountain going again.
  • Also, when the pump is disconnected, that ALSO drains the spray ring itself, to protect it from the freezing weather as well
    • As even just an inch of freezing water can have a hugely damaging effect (not only on the copper spray ring itself), but also on the stone fountain too.
    • Thus, draining the water out of all parts of your fountain and centerpiece is absolutely needed to have a fountain that will last generations.
  • Our pump systems for spray rings typically come with a filtration sock (a large filter that’s attached to the pumps suction port), to allow more time before you need to clean the debris out of your pool.
    • If you ever notice the arcs of water coming out of your spray ring “pulsing” – that typically means there has been a recent rain, and the water level in the pool is causing your nozzles to be underwater for a second – and then come bursting through the water surface in a rhythmic action.
    • Normally, we set the height of our spray rings to have the ring just UNDER the water surface, and then just the nozzles sticking out of the surface, to make the spray ring less noticeable.
    • So, to fix that pulsing action, you can just wait for natural water loss (via splashes/ evaporation / etc) or you can drain your pool slightly.
    • Though, normally the pvc stand pipes set inside the drain fitting in the floor of your fountain pool will be at a height level that would automatically let extra water go down the drain as it rains.
      • So, in that case, you might be able just to cut some height off that drain stand pipe – keeping in mind you should really have the water as deep as possible at all times (with an autofill) in order to keep the water cooler and less apt to fill with algae quickly.
      • So don’t cut off any more than you need to, in order to keep the nozzles sticking out of the water, but NOT the ring itself sticking out…
  • Or, if you notice your arcs of water going lower and lower, that typically means the pump is running out of water to push, as its filter is getting totally occluded with debris.
    • In that case, turn off the pump, then take the sock off the structure, turning it inside out as you are pulling it off – to capture all the debris inside of it.
      • Do not run the pump WITHOUT a filter sock on it, as you could suck a lot of debris into the pump, and accidentally occlude many of your nozzles in the spray ring that way.
  • Then, turn it right side out again (outside the pool) to spray it off, and put it back on the structure and turn your pump back on again.
    • And hopefully you notice this issue before the pump is completely not pushing water at all, as that can cause it to burn up and need to be replaced.
  • Or, if there is not much for “debris” on the filter sock, it’s also possible that the pump itself is getting filled with debris or calcium scale on the inside (by the impeller/armature), and thus it’s another instance where you need to clean the pump quickly before it seizes up completely.
    • As a pump that has completely stopped pumping is very hard to bring “back” to working condition again.
  • Lastly, during the Spring / Summer / Fall if you notice a couple nozzles are just “spluttering” and don’t have a pleasing arc of water coming out of them…
    • Normally what I would do is set something narrow (like a long smooth nail or narrow branch) on the edge of the pool within easy reach.
    • Then step into the pool, and use one hand to hold the nozzle pointed away from you (so you don’t get all wet while working), and the other hand to unscrew the finger tight nut to take the top part of the nozzle OFF of the spray ring.
      • After that, the water will bubble upwards from the hole left in the ring but won’t normally squirt you while you are working on the nozzle.
  • As normally what is happening is that there is a bug or weed seed or algae or some kind of debris stuck in the nozzle occluding its flow.
    • So, if you aren’t squeamish about germs, you can blow the debris out of the nozzle by pushing air through the small side, and having the debris land OUTSIDE the pool.
    • Or, you can poke the smooth nail through the small end of the nozzle, and get the debris out that way.
  • Now, putting the adjustable nozzle back ON the spray ring DOES tend to get you a bit wet though…
    • As if you have ever tried to attach a nozzle to a running hose of water, you’ll know why – with water squirting everywhere temporarily until you get it twisted on far enough.…
  • Therefore, keeping your filter sock cleaned off periodically would help you with not having to complete the above actions too often.