A concrete drinking fountain is an excellent addition to a yard with a pool or a play area, or to a ball field. It gives everyone an easy way to get a drink, and it resists damage by storms, kids and lawn equipment. The concrete protects the piping and your fountain nozzle and sink. It is probably the cheapest and longest lasting outdoor drinking fountain you can build.
Step 1: Install a vertical pipe
Install a length of vertical pipe from your outdoor water pipe. This pipe should be about 3 feet high. It can be “tapped” into an outdoor water pipe, or connected to the closest water pipe from a nearby shed or utility building. In some cases, you may need to lay an underground water pipe from a utility building to build your concrete fountain.
Step 2: Install a nozzle
Install a nozzle or temporary shut-off on the pipe to allow for the installation of the drinking fountain nozzle and sink bowl. Buy a temporary shut off valve, slide it onto the pipe then solder it into place. Turn the shut-off valve to “off.”
Step 3: Build a concrete mold
Buy or build a concrete mold for your fountain body. Molds are available at hardware or home supply stores. Or, build a quick one by cutting a large width of plastic pipe to the length you want. The pipe should be at least 1 foot in diameter.
Step 4: Place the mold
Place the mold over the upright water pipe to ensure it is the right height. There should be about two inches of pipe above the top of the form.
Step 5: Dry fit the nozzle and sink
Dry fit your drinking fountain nozzle and sink assembly to the vertical pipe. Then attach the fountain assembly to the water pipe, using plumber’s solder and adhesive. The attachments you will need will vary depending on the size of your water pipe, and type of fountain you have bought, so check the documentation that comes with your fountain for information on the fittings.
Step 6: Fill the mold with concrete
Fill your concrete drinking fountain mold with wet concrete, and allow it to sit for at least eight hours. Check the concrete to ensure it is dry, then remove the mold using a rotating saw. Use typical home builder’s concrete for the fountain.
Step 7: Apply additional cement if necessary
Apply more cement around and under the drinking fountain bowl, as needed. Using partially dry concrete, you can form a dome shape, or any other shape you would like your fountain to have.
This project will take some skill so prepare yourself for a challenge and expect two or three attempts to get it right. Plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to make mistakes and your concrete drinking fountain will be a great project.