DIY Indoor Waterfall?

Ok, I've been lurking for awhile but I have a question that I've been posting to other forums too, collecting ideas, so I thought I'd throw it in here too. I wasn't sure where to post it but I hope this is Ok. My wife and I recently went on a home tour and one of the homes had an indoor waterfall. Now my wife is really on a kick to have one of our own. Here's the kind of thing she's looking at - 'Bluworld of Water' (http://shop.bluworldusa.com/All-Fountains/products/29 /). Now you'll notice that these thing are quite expensive. I know she doesn't really expect me to go out and buy one, she knows how cheap I am, but I would love to get her one for our anniversary. So, what I'm thinking is, how hard could it be to make one of these? I'm looking for suggestion and ideas, any opinions and ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Neil
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radiotom


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Wow - They are pricey!! I would look at some very closely to see how they are built, what size pump they use, etc. Cellphone cameras are very usefull for doing that. From what I have sem, the top tube has a series of tiny holes to distribute the water evenly. But, I am not sure if they use regular tap water or some special concoction.
Good luck and let us know what you do, it's always good to learn something new, and maybe useful<G>.
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radiotom wrote:

I don't think it would be all that hard. IF you are able to do metal work, that is; if not, I don't think it would be terribly expensive to have the metal work done by a shop.
Basically, you would need...
1. A watertight pan to hold the water
2. A non-rusting frame attached to the pan to hold the panel
3. A submersible pump
4. Probably a filter.
The hard part is figuring out what you want. Vertical panel or inclined? Glass? Metal? Smooth or maybe with angled troughs so the water will run down to the next below it.
You need a pan big enough for stability (especially if you have a cat :)
You need a way to get the panel out of the frame without wrecking everything
You need room in the frame for tubing. Small, flexible plastic tubing such as that used for aquarium accessories might be good.
A way to drain it could be useful
Gotta be able to clean it.
Might need to add some chlorine to the water. _________________
The above aren't necessarily suggestions, just sort of thinking out load.
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dadiOH wrote:

You know what I was thinking is to start with the panel from an old bath/shower door. You'd have tempered glass for safety, and it'd be rated for water duty right off the bat.
Jon
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I think mike made a pretty good list of what could go wrong. In spite of that-- I still think water is cool. I built an outdoor 'pond' with a little waterfall a few years ago & it is well the little amount of effort to keep it going.
For indoors, though, I'll bet you could get a lot of advice on an aquarium group/forum.
Jim
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On 1/28/2012 1:38 PM, radiotom wrote:

Electrician buddy of mine spent countless hours creating a water feature on the patio with 1/2'ed whiskey barrels, stone work, exotic plantings, etc. That was several years back and he just hasn't had the heart to tear it back out, though it hasn't run since about two weeks after he completed it. The constant sound of the pumps and the splashing water drove them nuts, so they turned it all off.
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Commercial ones are extremely expensive. I wanted a wall fountain (not free standing) for a new house a few years ago. Something about 30x72 would run $2000 or more. Ended up building one myself that turned out quite well, but it wasn't easy the first time. Now that I've made all the mistakes, it would be much easier to do another one!
http://www.mewsgirl.com/fountain.jpg
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On 1/28/2012 10:22 PM, Robert Neville wrote:

Looks nice. What was the major expense?
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Thank you - there was no one expensive item. All together, I probably put in $300 worth of materials, including the pump and lighting.
Building it up was pretty complex and probably just a little overkill. Started with 1/2" plywood with 1/4" hardiboard on top, then used epoxy thinset to set the tile. Used some 2x3 galvanized roofing drip strip painted brown to set the side edges.
The top and bottom boxes are just basic white wood. Started out with 1/8" plexiglass with the seams set in silicone caulk in the bottom, but couldn't get it water tight. A seamless black bin bag works just fine. The pump is a magnetic fountain pump. The trick is to get one rated for the lift and volume of water.
Built a PVC T shaped distributor pipe at the top with smaller to larger holes drilled out to keep the flow the same across. Had a sheet metal shop bend a couple of pieces of metal to hold the pipe and provide a sloped shelf for the water to follow.
It works fine, but the killer is the weight. When you add up the tile, hardiboard and plywood, you're probably talking 150 pounds. I had the sheet metal shop build me a bracket for the wall and back of the fountain. It takes two guys to lift it. If I did it again I'd just do a French cleat, but that wouldn't change the weight.
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On 1/28/2012 11:38 AM, radiotom wrote:

consequences and the "new" wears off rapidly.
Do you really want/need the increased humidity. Not very useful if you have to turn it off to keep the mold down or the windows from dripping in winter.
Who's gonna clean it when it fogs up with bacteria?
What's it cost to replace the floor where it leaks.
Do you put something in it to keep bacteria/mold from growing? What happens when the dog drinks it?
Is the cat gonna pee in it?
You might find that the sound makes you want to pee all the time.
I'd bet some googling would find you a screen saver that put the waterfall on the "big screen" and made some gurgling sounds. Or a fireplace in winter.
If I were intent on building something, I'd start with a recording of a waterfall, some lights, a fan and some plastic wrap that fluttered over a picture of a waterfall. You can buy such an item already made. I see 'em all the time at garage sales after the "new" wore off.
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On 1/28/2012 3:30 PM, mike wrote:

Assuming there are no fish a little chlorine and PR10000 would take care of critters. I'd keep an eye on PH too.

That would be my concern particularly with wood or carpet.

Prostate problems?

I have an aquarium and the sound of the protein skimmer can be annoying. I'd think this thing would be about as exciting as a aquarium. Fun for a couple of months then: "What was I thinking?" Craigslist time.

Or like mentioned above. Chinese knock offs.
You might be able to build one out of scraps. Make some plans and take them to a metal shop.
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On 1/28/2012 2:38 PM, radiotom wrote:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/hospital-fountain-linked-to-legionnaires-outbreak/2012/01/10/gIQAyLwEpP_story.html?tid=sm_btn_tw
An outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Wisconsin has been linked to a decorative water wall in a hospital lobby, according to a study published Tuesday that suggested the popular architectural feature can pose dangers in a health-care setting, especially for people with weakened immune systems.
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On 1/28/2012 2:38 PM, radiotom wrote:

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