An indoor or outdoor garden fountain is a great addition to any home, and will add a touch of tranquility and design. Before installing one, however, you need to consider some safety issues.
The biggest consideration to take when working with a garden fountain is the electrical setup. The water pump runs on electricity, so you'll need to have the proper electrical outlets and hookups. No matter what type of fountain you have, you have the combination of both water and electricity. You should always take care when mixing the two, in order to protect yourself, and your home, from any potential damage caused by the two coming into contact.
Install GFCI Outlets
Before putting water into the fountain and plugging the pump in, ensure that you've installed Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GCFI) outlets. The GFCI outlet will cause the pump to shut off and the electricity in the line to shut off in the event that there's a short in the pump. Without this protection, a person who touches the water when there is an electrical short present can be seriously injured.
Bury Electrical Wiring
Install the wiring for your garden fountain underground, rather than running exension cords above ground. Run the wiring through a metal conduit and bury it at least 12 inches underground.
Install On Own Circuit
When dealing with electricity it is better to be safe than sorry. Instead of hooking an outdoor garden fountain into an existing outlet, or running extension cords through your yard, connect the fountain to its own circuit. By having its own circuit, you will know when there is a problem with the fountain or with the wires themselves.
Some garden fountains can be hung on a wall. These fountains are smaller in stature, but can be quite heavy. Before attaching a wall fountain, make sure the wall is reinforced and can handle the weight of the fountain and the water. If not, then the fountain can fall off the wall, and quite possibly land on someone standing near it.
When positioning your garden fountain in the perfect spot in your garden, make sure it has a solid base of sand and cement pavers. Because of their design, some fountains can topple easily when a strong wind blows or something knocks into it. A level, solid base will keep it stable.
Small children and small pets love playing around a fountain. This can be a problem if the child can climb up onto the fountain. Sometimes, the fountain is thought of as a small swimming pool. The child can be hurt if they fall into or out of it. Small pets can get stuck on the inside workings of the fountain and be injured. Set up a small, decorative fence around the fountain to help deter children and pets from playing or drinking in the fountain.
Always Keep Safety in Mind
When placing a new garden fountain into your landscaping, always keep safety in mind. Electricity, children and weight are all things to think about when setting up any kind of water fountain or water feature.