Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fountain Progress

Here is the current state of the fountain. I have it installed in the pool, with the central fixture glued in place. The flow straighteners and the first level of distribution to them is in place. In this picture, I'm holding the original prototype for the fountain. It was going to be a piece of cake, I promised.

One other note: the inside diameter of the dam wall will be 6 feet 11 inches. The tub looks a little small in this picture. It doesn't seem small in real life, I think the distortion is because I'm slightly in front of the tub and Martha is shooting with a 35mm (wide angle) lens.
Here is my SolidWorks model of the same thing. It's not quite right, in that the rotation of the wooden fixture in the middle is off, and the risers which feed the upper cross pipes are not all in place in the physical object.

Ryan and Wes from work stopped by on Saturday to help with the lift. I had built half the fountain in the garage, which was around 250 pounds of stiff, delicate stuff that had to be hauled out to the back yard and levelled. Having an extra pair of critical eyes was very helpful.
Here's the next step (next weekend). I'm going to add the risers for the usual jets that a hot tub has. In this case, there are two kinds: one that comes from the main pool pump, which has enough pressure to pick up bubbles through a venturi, and the other that comes from the fountain pumps, which I don't think will have enough pressure for the venturis (so, no bubbles).
After that, the risers all get tied together at the bottom with a set of three manifolds. The main pool pump drives into the outer one when I want to backflush the flow straighteners. The same pump drives into the center one when I want bubble jets in the spa. The fountain pumps drive into the inner one to whatever extent is necessary to trim the fountains to the right amount of flow.
Finally, before I can do any of the plumbing for the spa drains and major hookups, the fixture has to be sawed out. Here is what it will look like then.

The guys at work are calling it my nuclear reactor.

Thanks, Ryan and Wes!


  1. I've been thinking of it as your rocket engine :-)

    Just as your Photoflow stuff seemed to pave the way to doing cameras, I wonder if 5 years from now you'll be doing injector design for some rocket company.

    Either way, a cool project. I'm glad it's finally coming together for you.

  2. Iain - I can't wait to stop by and see this project : )


  3. I'm hoping to turn the thing on at the beginning of June. It'll probably be another month or two after that before we have the patio finished.