“That’s pretty cool,” I remember saying to myself as I checked out a Facebook ad for a solar-powered bird bath fountain back in April. I thought my wife would enjoy it so I ordered one for an anniversary present. Our Anniversary is mid-May, so I thought I was pretty safe timewise. Twenty bucks is a lot to spend, but she’s a good wife.
What I didn’t understand, though, was that the fountain had to come from somewhere on the other side of China and it didn’t get here until late July. It is pretty cool, though, and we put it into our birdbath which is a 16-inch clay saucer on a pedestal.
The fountain worked well. It is solar powered without a backup battery and so when the sun goes behind the cloud, it stops working. It is kind of fun to watch it sputter to a stop and then haltingly start back up as the cloud passes.
Another thing I like is that the fountain floats, which means it will always be level. There was a small problem though, in that it floated to the side of the birdbath and sprayed water out of the saucer. We shimmed it to the center with rocks. It worked well but the bird bath was just a bit too small, so we went looking for a replacement. We went to several nurseries but the good stuff was gone for the season and what was on hand was rather expensive. I had to do some thinking.
I went to the hardware store where a nice lady offered to help me find what I needed.
“Kin ah hep you?” she asked.
“I need a drain basin for a water heater,” I said.
She looked at me with a blank stare. My language skills needed a bit of fine tuning for this situation.
I tried again, “I need a thingy to catch water under a hot water heater.”
And that did it.
This was just what I needed. It was 25 inches in diameter, so I felt sure it would work. I took it home and used spray paint to make a “sky camouflage” pattern on it.
There’s a drain hole on the side of the basin that I had to adapt to my needs, so I glued on a piece of 1” pvc pipe and capped it off. I think it might be easier to get the hardware store people to give me a threaded adapter and a small faucet. Anyway, I installed the adaptor so that the basin wouldn’t leak. It was easy.
Things were looking good. The tray was a bit flimsy on the stand, so I looked around and found a piece of 18” square plywood to go under it. Just right. I started adding the rocks that I knew I would need and then I found a nice container, cut a stick from a pear tree, and added pea gravel to make a perch for the birdies.
I added water, put the floating fountain in the center of the rock configuration, and waited for the clouds to go away. The sun came out and it worked perfectly. We like it.