What foundation should I place under my new Henri purchase?
It is best to set your fountain or statuary on a firm, leveled surface, one that is prepared so water does not accumulate under the piece. A poured foundation is recommended for pieces that exceed 500 lbs. in weight (including water in a fountain). Be sure to check with your municipality to meet local codes and specifications. For smaller pieces, a patio or deck, paver stones or an area compacted with gravel are recommended.
Why can't I set it directly over dirt, mulch or grass?
It is important to maintain a level ground surface for fountains to maintain proper water flow. Additionally, it is important to prevent direct contact with moisture-rich surfaces which will end up being absorbed by the concrete piece. This problem will become evident in two ways:
1) Natural or stained 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 the first frost, that trapped moisture will freeze. With little room to expand, it will lead to paint peeling, concrete pitting and/or crumbling.
What care does my Henri piece require?
1) Maintain a constant water level - this will prevent the pump from burning out as water flow cools it down.
2) Prevent debris from falling into the water. - Debris can stain your piece and potentially clog the pump and inner connections.
3) At the end of the season completely dry the fountain's surfaces.You may also want to reseal your piece.
How do I care for my Henri Fountain during winter?
1) At the end of the season, clean and completely dry the fountain's surfaces
2) Store indoors or in a facility which is not exposed to freezing temperatures.
3) If it is not possible to bring indoors or is too big, place old blankets or towels inside all bowls so that condensation is absorbed & kept away from surfaces & cover with a 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 that it does not get knocked down before, during or after the placement of the fountain cover.
Can I use antifreeze or a heating or de-icing device?
No, neither! Antifreeze is harmful to anyone who drinks it and it will not prevent ice damage. A heating or de-icing device maintains the temperature above freezing. It does this to water near it. As water circulates and moves away from the device, it will freeze and cause ice damage.
What can I use to keep water clean in my fountain?
We DO NOT recommend the use of Chlorine based water treatments as this corrosive chemical makes the tubing, inner connections & pump parts brittle. It will also have an undesired bleaching effect over the finish.
What do you recommend for electrical connections?
We do not recommend the use of electrical cords. Fountains should be connected to properly grounded 110V GFCI enclosed in a suitable outdoor enclosure. Consult an electrician to properly install electrical lines so that you meet all local codes and regulations.
Why is my Henri piece developing 'Spider' cracks?
All concrete will develop spider web-like, hair-thin cracks. This is normal as they appear as a result of the expansion and contraction the cast stone goes through during ambient temperature changes.
Why is my Henri piece developing crumbling?
Based on where you are and when it was emptied, cleaned, dried and how the pieces were stored/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, it will show itself by way of cracking or fully disintegrating.
When should I start winterizing?
Winter care should take place once the weather nears 50 degrees F. (Roughly in the US - Oct/Nov; in Canada - Sept/Oct) Freezing temperatures reach as far south as Florida and the Nevada desert.
Why am I losing water?
Several possible reasons: 1. Water is lost through evaporation especially during hot temperature months 2. Pets and wildlife drink from your fountain 3. 99% of fountains splash
Things to check: 1) Disconnect power from the fountain, mark each bowl's water level. Check back every hour. If no change, let it sit overnight and check the levels again. 2) Check the installation. Take apart and reassemble per instructions. Often the lowest bowl will lose water due to the standpipe, cordseal or drain plug being improperly installed. Remove and reinstall carefully checking that there are no deformed aspects of the standpipe/cordseal that can result from improper installation. 3) Make sure the standpipe and/or the drain plug have PVC tape around the threads before installing it. Alternatively, on a dry surface, apply a thin layer of silicone, spreading and pressing with your finger so it reaches well around the standpipe's fitting and surrounding concrete. Let it dry properly. This will create an invisible coat that stops water from seeping through what seems to be a small gap between these two materials.
Does my pump require oil?
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 water. Direct drive pumps are sealed and do 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. It is VERY important that all pumps are run underwater to prevent shut-downs and start-ups that would lead to pump failure.
Why is my pump surging?
Is your pump completely submerged under water? Be sure to maintain proper water levels, otherwise the pump is suctioning air and could lead to failure. Typically one inch below the highest point in the bowl is the proper level. Are you using the original pump provided by Henri? Are there multiple plugs connected to the same electrical outlet? Voltage fluctuations can be the cause. Consult a professional electrician for additional electrical needs.