Understanding How Wall Fountains Work

Understanding How Wall Fountains Work
There are many misconceptions about water fountains, especially indoor wall fountains. Some people think that they’re a waste of water and that they continuously pull fresh water from the owner’s water supply just to look pretty. Other popular misconceptions include that they must involve some horrifically fancy and complicated plumbing just to work, and that the slightest issue or clog might get them leaking all over the place. These are all fiction, however, and to help dispel these popular myths we’ve put together this short article explaining just how indoor wall fountains work.

Simpler than it looks

Despite the fact that it’s obviously more compact and designed to work indoors, a wall fountain is actually much less complex than its bigger and more ornate outdoor counterparts.

Not only does it rely on a smaller and more compact motorized pump/impeller setup to get water flowing, but it also forgoes any sort of plumbing whatsoever. Instead, it pulls its water from a small and hidden water reservoir hidden at the base of the wall fountain installation. This reservoir needs to be filled with water prior to switching the fountain on, or the owner risks damaging the pump.

Outdoor water fountains also project the water upward into the air. On the other hand, a wall fountain’s usual design involves the fountain head cascading water down a stylized surface.

How it works

So how does a wall fountain work, exactly? As stated earlier, the water reservoir at the base of the installation is filled with water up to a specified point. The small fountain pump, which is submerged inside the reservoir, is then switched on. The activated pump pulls water from the reservoir and forces it up the tubing, which runs up the back of the wall fountain and connects to the hidden fountain head. Water then flows from the fountain head and cascades down the stylized surface of the wall fountain, gathering at the reservoir at the base. From there the cycle begins anew, over and over again until either the pump is turned off or enough water is lost that the pump cannot adequately pull from the reservoir.

As we can see, the water involved in the operation of the wall fountain is not pulled from any fresh water supply, but rather from the reservoir – which is conveniently at the base of the fountain and functions as its catch basin as well. This means that the water originally put into the reservoir before the pump was turned on is constantly reused. Does this mean that the water reservoir doesn’t need to be refilled at all? Actually, it does. Despite the water basically being looped through the tubing by the motor and the reservoir, there is a gradual loss of water due to evaporation. This process takes a while to happen, and this is the reason that indoor wall fountains serve as a great air humidifier/purifier as well.


Now that we know how just how simple an indoor wall fountain actually is in terms of how it works, we can also see how easy it is to maintain.

Maintaining an indoor wall fountain is much easier than its bigger and flashier outdoor counterparts. For one, it’s stored indoors – which means that it’s not constantly exposed to the elements, thus reducing wear and tear. Any dirt and debris that can naturally accumulate from outside elements (such as animal feces or falling leaves) are non-issues for indoor wall fountains as well.

Maintenance of an indoor wall fountain therefore involves the simple and easy task of a weekly-to-biweekly refill of the water reservoir, as well as total water drainage and wipe down with either vinegar or water clarifier every six months. In the eventuality that the fountain pump does wear out, it’s easy enough to replace, and quite affordable too (less or around US$50, depending on the size required). All one has to do is to remove the pump from the tubing and the reservoir, and then install the new one in its place.

Final thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, an indoor wall fountain isn’t all that complex, nor is it that hard to maintain. In fact, it’s one of the simplest and yet fanciest indoor decorations that you can have installed in your home, requiring only the slightest bit of work on your part to ensure its proper working order.