It is best that is set on a firm, leveled surface, one that is prepared so water does not accumulate under the piece. A poured foundation (check with your municipality to meet local codes & specifications) is specially recommended for pieces that exceed 500 pounds in weight (including the water in fountains). For smaller pieces, a patio deck, paver stones or an area set with compacted gravel are some other recommended alternatives.
It is important to maintain a leveled ground surface, especially for fountains for their proper water flow. Most important is to prevent direct contact with moisture-rich surfaces which will end up being absorbed by the new Henri piece. Two problems become evident:
1. Natural or stained cast stone pieces will show different colors around those wet areas. The source of moisture will carry with it a number of minerals that will affect the finish.
2. With a first frost, trapped moisture will freeze. With little room to expand, it will lead to paint peeling, as well as concrete pitting and/or crumbling.
Henri Studio does not recommend the use of extension cords. Fountains should be connected to properly grounded 110V GFCI, with an outdoor-rated enclosure. Consult your certified electrician for proper electrical lines or extensions that meet local codes and regulations.
All concrete will develop spider web-like, hair-thin cracks. This is normal, and they appear as a result of the expansion and contraction the cast stone goes through during ambient temperature changes.
Based on where you are and when it was emptied of water, cleaned, dried and how the pieces were stored or covered, ice damage is very likely the culprit. Water penetrates the porous structure of concrete. It requires time and temperature for this moisture to be released. If this is not done before the first frost, damage will show itself by cracking or disintegrating.
While the combination of sun, pollen or dust and water will inevitably result in some algae formation in your fountain, birdbath or spouting statue, we at Stonecasters believe that simply adding one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water every week or so will allow you to maintain clear and sparkling water throughout most of the season. With no impact to human, plant or wildlife, we believe this is a safe and economical alternative to many harsh and/or expensive chemicals out there. You can experiment with a bit more, a bit less, or a bit more often. We have found that this general guideline has worked in our Henri cast stone fountains and Brass Baron pond statues:
1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide per 1 gallon of water per week.
We do not recommend the use of chlorine based water treatments as this corrosive chemical makes the tubing, inner connections and pump parts brittle. It will also have an undesired bleaching effect on the finish.
Fountains that are finished in the relic stain finish release mineral salts which add a hint of color to the water, most often green. This is very normal as both cast stone and stain continue to react for several days after shipping, delivering a vibrant unique stain look. Simply allow the water to run for a couple of hours, rinse and repeat. This process should only take two to four rinse cycles. You can also wait a bit longer and let the natural evaporate and splash cycles and replenishment work its way through the system.
Several possible reasons:
A) Water is lost through evaporation, especially high during the summer months.
B) Pets/wildlife are drinking from it.
C) Splashing (99 percent of fountains splash).
None of these? Disconnect power from the fountain. Mark each bowl's water level. Check back every hour. If there is no change, let it sit overnight. Does it still leak?
D1) The connection is installed incorrectly. When water flows it is finding its way out. Take apart and reassemble as per instructions. Who installed the fountain? The dealer is most often "the expert".
D2) Most often the lowest bowl could be losing water due to the standpipe, cord-seal or drain plug being improperly installed. Remove and reinstall, carefully checking that there are no deformed aspects of the standpipe/cord-seal (likely resulting from improper installation). Make sure the stand pipe and/or the drain plug have PVC tape around the threads before installing it.
On a dry surface, apply a thin layer of silicone, spreading and pressing with your finger so it reaches well-around the stand pipe's fitting and surrounding concrete. Let it dry and you should be good to go. This will create an invisible coating that stops water from seeping through what seems to be a small gap between these two materials (concrete/PVC or plastic fitting).
E) Check for cracks on the bowl – most often as a result of dropping the bowl or improper winter care.
You can, but not right away. A freshly produced and finished fountain continues to cure, and in this process, will release minerals into the water that are not the best for an aquatic living environment. After a few months, perhaps a full year, of continuous use, it should be OK.
Do note that some fish require a set ph level. Some creatures could be very sensitive to turbulence, such as the fountain's spills creating too much water movement. It is best to consult your pet professional for a successful experience.
Maintain a proper water level so the pump does not run dry. Wet-dry transitions not only increase the calcium build-up, they severely affect the rubber seal's integrity. In addition, direct-drive pumps can be in danger of burning out.
Ensure there is no debris obstructing the water flow. This can also lead to pump failure.
Use lime remover to remove lime build-up. Most water carries within it many minerals that build up on the pump's surface as the water evaporates.
End of season – prior to first frost:
Again, use lime remover to remove lime build-up.
If it's not possible to bring the piece indoors, ensure the pump is completely dry and covered by an old blanket or towel. This will absorb moisture that could otherwise freeze and damage the pump's parts.
View this helpful video as guidance.
No. There is no need for ANY kind of oil. Magnetic-driven pumps, also known as MAG-drive pumps, have a spinning magnet that floats in mid-"air" (the water). DIRECT-drive pumps are sealed and contain a lubricant, which is only accessible by the manufacturer, unless you break the pump case. Most pumps today have a thermostat that shuts them down before overheating, preventing a possible leak. This safety mechanism is also part of larger mag-drive pumps. It is VERY important that all pumps are run underwater to prevent shut-downs and start-ups that would lead to a pump failure.
Is the pump completely submerged under water? Be sure to maintain proper water levels. Typically one inch below the highest point in the bowl is the proper level. Otherwise, the pump suctions air, which could lead to failure.
Is the original pump provided in the Henri connections the pump that is attached? Overpowering or "rigging" the fountain with a different pump could be the cause.
Are there multiple plugs connected to the same electrical outlet? Voltage fluctuations could be the cause. Consult a professional electrician for additional electrical needs.
At the end of the season, clean and completely dry the fountain's surfaces.
Store indoors or in a facility which is not exposed to freezing temperatures.
If it is not possible to bring indoors or is too large, place old blankets or towels inside all bowls, so that condensation is absorbed and kept away from the surface, and cover with a FC22 Henri fountain cover. Ensure the cover is straight and taunt, giving no chance for water or snow to pool on the fountain cover, and that the base is standing on a properly drained area so water or snow does not pool around it. You may need to take the fountain's top down and place it in the lower bowl, so it does not get knocked down before, during or after the placement of the fountain cover.
Ensure that you place a minimum of one-third of the cavity with gravel, this must be below – and not mixed with – the soil. This will ensure proper drainage.
So long as there are no areas where snow or water could pool, the planter can be left outdoors.
Statuary and other garden decor
At the end of the season, clean and completely dry the statue's surfaces.
So long as there are no areas where snow or water could pool, the statue can be left outdoors.
Store indoors or in a facility which is not exposed to freezing temperatures.
If is not possible to bring indoors or is too large, you can use a FC22 Henri fountain cover. Simply ensure the cover is straight and taunt, giving no chance for water or snow to pool on the cover. Ensure that the cover is straight and taunt, giving no chance for water or snow to pool on the fountain cover, and that the base is standing on a properly drained area so water or snow does not pool around it.
Winter care should take place once the weather nears 50 degrees F/10 degrees C. (In the US, October and November, in Canada, September and October). Freezing temperatures can reach as far south as Florida and the Nevada desert.
Neither! Antifreeze is harmful to anyone (or anything) that drinks it and it will not prevent ice damage! A heating or de-icing device maintains the temperature above freezing (32 degrees). It does this to water near it as well. All water away from this device is subject to re-freezing and will cause ice damage!
Before (or after) purchase:
Check with your home insurance company for coverage.
Take photos from multiple angles, including the receipt. These will help in case of an insurance claim, and will also help in recognizing the model and finish.
Before trouble arrives:
Turn off and disconnect water and power supplies.
It is best to bring it under cover protection (garage, basement, shed, etc..). If this is not possible, dismantle, bundle and tie down securely to the ground.
CAUTION – A tarp could act as a sail, which could do more harm than good.
Bring pump, tubing, lights and all other accessories indoors.
How is the fountain being cleaned? How often and what chemicals are being used? Harsh chemicals such as CLR or TSP have a negative effect on the finish! This practice voids the warranty.
Similarly, chemicals such as chlorine, bleach tablets, etc. also have a negative effect on the finish AND internal connections! This practice also voids the warranty.
Henri Studio finishes vary widely, ranging from the simple monotones to rich and deep multi-tones. Some of these finishes require a multitude of applications of various colors that require the use of industrial solvents. Other finishes follow a unique technique which cannot be disclosed – a family recipe – only finishes suitable for dealer or consumer use are available.
The relic stain finishes are achieved through a process of staining the stone. As such, the stain spreads and is absorbed very quickly. Additionally, there is a reaction between the relic stain and the concrete's elements (cement, sand, gravel, and moisture) which give you emerging shades of colors that are unique to that piece. These two variables beautifully deliver an unpredictable coloration. Basically, a one of a kind piece with the character of an old world heirloom. Weather and time will soften the tones of the relic finishes.
Quite simply, the monthly application of a our WX12 Sealer, or paste wax, will provide polishing and protection. Do this more often if the piece is set outdoors.
Stonecasters is not responsible for the effects of using cleaning or restoration products on our Brass Baron products as they were designed to age and weather gracefully. However, we do recognize that some consumers cautiously employ methods such as in the following: