Creating a water-wall...any great ideas?

Old 12-09-06, 04:27 PM
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Creating a water-wall...any great ideas?

So i am creating a water wall that will put a layer of water down on the front side of alcylic plexi-glass. I will be building a wood base than it will be stained a dark stain. I am looking for any suggestions on what wood i should use to make a great base and top part.

Also...i will need to buy a pump that can handle pumping a good deal of water up about 3-5 feet. I Will be securing the actual plexiglass to the bottom and top by either the end of the base or with multiple L-shaped holders that will just be bolted through the plexi-glass. Hopefully i am not confusing.

And also i am looking to install 3mm led's into the plexi-glass so i lite the inside of the plexi-glass up. So i'd drill a few holes for the leds and put them into the plexi-glass with some sort of filling but than would that overheat the light or would that melt plexi-glass if it was touching? I think it maybe my best bet is something different? I know how to wire such lights but i believe i need a transformer. The regular ac-dc puts out 120v correct? So i'd have to buy a transformer that would put out a 12v load. What if my 3mm led's are only 3.4v...Should i research this alittle more or ask this specific question in wiring section?

Any suggestions to add to this idea? I will be making the base like i said out of wood but i will be coating it with henrys roof tar...which ive tested and with 2 coats it holds water like a charm. I could take a small drill type of tool so the edge of the plexi-glass on the side of it and do that so that you couldnt see through the side which if i ran the leds...would trap the light in the plexi-glass.
Old 12-09-06, 04:53 PM
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Not sure I understand all you are envisioning. However, LED's give little or no heat and would not a pose melting issue. Perhaps you can also try a string of xmas lights with with the small clear bulbs. I would you advise in any case that anything electric outside be GFCI protected.

As for a pump, a sump pump might serve. It will go 5ft or better easy. You could shape your base to funnel water into a sump pit (which you can buy along with the pump) then pump with the eject hose back to the top where you need it. Be sure to put a check valve in the eject hose line to keep water from dropping back down.

Lastly I would maybe put it on an appropriately rated timer for night viewing.
I'm also not knowlegeable how long a sump pump would last if running continuously. Maybe some will suggest a different or better pump system.

Of course this is not a typical plumbing forum post. Maybe others can offer ideas nonetheless. A clearer understanding would help.
Old 12-09-06, 05:02 PM
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Indoor or outdoor water wall? Google for info. There's lots of info.
Old 12-09-06, 06:34 PM
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Old 12-11-06, 04:15 AM
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How wide will it be? How many gallons will your reservoir hold? How large tubing will you be using? How many, and how large are your top emitters going to be? What you will need to figure using the answers to the above questions is the volume of water you will be moving. The led's pose little or no problem with heat, just use gfci on the line voltage.
Old 12-11-06, 08:46 AM
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I'd look into pumps used for fountains or pond-type waterfalls. They are all rated in terms of gallons per hour (gph) or gallons per minute (gpm) based on the head (height that the water will be pumped). You can do some rough testing with a sheet of plexiglass and a 1 gallon or 5 gallon bucket. Pour it down and see how much water you need for it to look right. At least that will give you a rough feeling as to whether you need 5 gpm or 50 gpm.

As for the LEDs, yes, you'll want to use a transformer (Radio Shack or similar) to reduce the 120v to 12v DC. LEDs will require a DC power source. Also you'll need to add a resistor to bring down the voltage so you don't burn out the LEDs. The formula is (Vsource - Vled)/Iled = Resistor required.
And the fact that the web has _everything_, see:
for a LED resistor calculator.
You'd probably be best off including a resistor with each LED and running 12vDC between them.

Oh, and you should be fine mounting (hot glue?) the LEDs into the plexi. One of their neat features is they stay quite cool.

And I second the idea of using a GFCI on the transformer to reduce any chance of shock.

Hope this helps!

Old 12-11-06, 09:57 PM
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Water walls put a lot of water into the air and can cause humidity problems. Also since the water can be used from the resivoir rapidly you also need some way to replace the water unless you want to do the bucket brigade trick. lighting plexiglass dosent do much for it unless there is a design etched into it. In that case the design will light up. Do some experiments with small pieces of acrlic and your LEDs. LEd will ned some series dropping resistors to limit current to them. You will need the current and voltage rating of the LED. Subtract the voltage ratinf from the power supply voltage. Divide the current into the calculated voltage to get the value of the resistor you need. You will need one resitor for each LED.

power supply ==12 volts
LED = 1.6 volts @ 20ma

12- 1.6 =10.4
10.4/.020 = 520 ohms

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