Terra Cotta Fountain How To
Want to enjoy a nice fountain, but don’t want to spend $300 – $400 on a clay fountain. and don’t want a cheaper plastic one either.
This fountain costs about $100 to make and takes about 2 – 3 hours to complete.
All pots are standard terra cotta gardening/planting pots available at Lowe’s, HomeDepot, any gardening supply store.
1 – 18″ Standard pot – this is the base
1 – 14.5″ Azalea pot (azalea pots are shorter than what is considered a standard pot)
1 – 10.5″ Azalea pot
1 – 8″ Azalea pot
3 – 8″ Standard pots
Pump, I used a 264 GPH pump with a 4.6 Ft max head lift and 1/2″ discharge port, Purchased from Harbor Freight. Item # 68395
4 feet of clear vinyl tubing
3 feet of AllThread
8 nuts, 8 fender washer, and 8 neoprene washers
1 can of clay pot sealer
1 tube of silcone caulk/sealer
1.0 cubic feet of small round river rock (Lowe’s had in .5 CU FT bags)
Drill with 1/2″ masonry bit
Angle Grinder with masonry wheel
Step 2: Soak pots in water, and seal bottom pot
Soak the bottom of the pots in water for a few minutes.
While they are soaking, using silicone caulk, seal the hole in the bottom pot.
Step 3: Drill holes in pot
using masonry bit, slowly and carefully drill hole in bottom of pots. Hole should be about 1/2 distance between center hole and wall of pot.
For the bottom two pots, the 8″ and 10″ azalea pots, make sure the holes match up. Place one pot upside down on the other. The smaller pot will become the cover for the pump. Once these two are drilled, Take the 8″ pot and place it upside down on work surface. Using Silicone caulk, place an ample amount on base of pot and then place the 10″ pot right side up on smaller pot, being sure to line up holes and center pots. Allow this dry completely. (4-8 hours depending on sealer used.
Once silicone is set and pots are glued together. Begin assembling pots on all thread, start with two bottom pots. Use neoprene washers under each fender washer,
Starting at bottom on all thread, it should be nut, fender washer, neoprene washer, inside of 8″ pot, then 10″ pot, neoprene washer, fender washer and nut. Be very careful tightening this connection down as you can easily over stress the clay pots and break on. I broke the 10″ pot and had to start over. When the connection is done and sturdy. continue with the 3 8″ standard pots rotating them about 60-90 degrees each and setting the edge of the base on the edge of the lip of the pot below it. Again. fasten with nut, fender washer, neoprene washer, pot, neoprene washer, fender washer, nut. NOTE: I had to grind some of the fender washers down to fit in pot.
Step 4: Continue assembly
Continue assembly, cutting all thread so that is approximately 2-3 inches below rim of top pot.
Using the clay pot sealer, spray the inside and outside of the 5 assembled pots. Spray only the inside of the base pot, the 14″ pot. Allow to dry.
Once dry, using angle grinder with masonry wheel. create several notches in rim on 8″ pot that is the bottom and upside pot. Make one large enough that power cord from the pump will fit in it. Cut the rest of the notches about every 2 inches around the lip or rim, making them about 1/2 ” deep, this will allow the water to flow back into the pump.
Step 5: Run tubing up through pots
Run the vinyl tubing up through the drain hole of the pots. Securing one end on the discharge outlet of pump and make sure pump fits up under the 8″ base pot.
Once tubing is through all the pots, trim tubing so that it is about even with the allthread and secure to allthread with a zip tie. Close zip tie until it is just tight enough to hold tube, but not restricting any flow.
Silicone around the tube in the bottom of each pot, and allow it to dry
At this point you will need to do a water test to look for any drips around tubing or allthread. If tubing is leaking, then apply more silicone, if allthread is leaking, carefully tighten nut.
Step 6: Fill pots with small round river rock
starting at bottom, fill pots until full with round river rock.