Homemade Water Curtain

Written by kimberly wylie
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Homemade Water Curtain
Water curtains mimic the vertical flow of waterfalls. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

One of the most relaxing and rejuvenating sounds is the sound of moving water. Water curtains takes the traditional primarily horizontal flow of water and alter it to create a thin sheet of vertically falling water. Used in homes, offices, restaurants and other retail establishments, the water curtain is a water feature that can be used in a variety of applications.

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Cost Benefits of a Homemade Water Curtain

Water curtains, although a beautiful addition to any space, can cost thousands of dollars to have professionally designed and installed. However, with some experience and a few simple tools, you can build a homemade water curtain for hundreds, not thousands of dollars. Many of the components are fairly inexpensive. Of course, the primary exchange for this cost savings is an increased amount of time you must devote to the design and construction.

Components Needed for Construction

There are three basic components you'll need for the construction of the water curtain. A water pump, sized for the size of your particular curtain, is needed to propel the water to the top of the curtain. A catch basin sits at the base of the curtain and collects water that has fallen from the top of the curtain. Tubing is needed to transport the water from the catch basin to the top of the curtain. Depending on the look you desire, filament for the water to travel down and solenoid valves to control individual water streams may be used.

Water Physics as They Apply to Water Curtains

One of the physical aspects of falling water you must consider when designing your water curtain is how water acts as it falls. Thanks to the acceleration of gravity, the water at the bottom of the water curtain is falling at a greater speed than the water at the top of the curtain. For this reason, a sheet of water is thinner at the bottom of a water curtain and will eventually break into droplets. For this reason, some designs incorporate filaments running from the top to the bottom of the curtain to help facilitate water adhesion and keep a continuous stream of water.

Outdoor vs Indoor Water Curtains

Water curtains are used in both outdoor and indoor applications. Although the aesthetic beauty is the same, there are different considerations for these two different locations. For outdoor water curtains, you have to consider evaporation of your water supply, especially in summer months. If you live in colder climates, your outdoor water curtain should be winterised to prevent damage from freezing water left in the system, much like a swimming pool. Indoor water curtains must ensure the catch basin is wide enough to prevent water splashes from damaging surrounding objects and flooring.

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