If you’ve ever lived near a highway or a college frat house, you know exactly how hard it can be to deal with constant noise. Maybe you’ve even tried to drown that nose out with music or a colony of domestic cicadas. The best way I’ve found to deal with this problem is a nice, loud waterfall.
The best way to make your water feature louder is to increase the speed of the pump. Many pumps designed for water features have settings where you can choose the speed at which they work. If yours does not, a plumber can probably replace it with one that can.
If that sounds like a hassle, there are plenty of other ways to increase the volume of your water feature that could make for a great day project.
1. Increase The Pump Speed
The faster the pump goes the louder it will be. The pump itself will make more noise, but the nice trickle sound of the water will also be louder as the pump uses more water quicker.
This is probably the easiest thing to change on your fountain or waterfall since most pumps come with a little dial that lets you change the speed whenever you want. Just crank that baby all the way up and let the water flow!
2. Add Metal Features
Fair warning: metal features will change the sound that your feature makes. Be sure to take that into account before you add them. That being said, deciding to use a little bit of metal opens up a whole world of new decorations you could use in your fountain or waterfall.
Any piece of metal from old used tin cans to pennies (if you have enough of them) could be used for this purpose.
You can easily find interesting metal objects at antique shops or second-hand stores. Experiment with lots of different things to find out what sounds you like, and who knows! You may even find a new treasure.
Just remember that anything made of iron or copper will rust over time with exposure to water, so if something is important to you and you don’t want it covered in rust don’t put it in the fountain. Make sure to take care of the things you put in your water feature if the feature has fish in it, as the corrosion of different materials may negatively impact their health.
3. Add Rocks
Not only can rocks add some aesthetic flair to your water feature, but whether your fountain is inside or out they can boost the sound of your water feature.
Whether you’re using full-sized rocks for a backyard waterfall or fish tank pebbles for your indoor fountain, rocks are a great choice for some quality sound.
4. Keep The Water Level Low
This is something to be careful about since keeping the water level too low can end up damaging the pump. If the water level is too low, it can cause the pump to intake air as well as water, and this can eventually cause your pump to overheat. It’s a good idea to keep the water level at least half an inch higher than the intake of the pump.
That being said, the lower the water level is, the more noise your fountain will make. It’s just like when a bathtub is filling up with water: It’s loudest when it’s just started to fill up and quietest when it’s full.
5. Wind Chimes
This is a great choice especially if you have a waterfall. The movement of cool water will produce a significant breeze nearby, and this will usually be enough to make your wind chimes sing. It’s definitely a good idea to consider getting chimes to hang up near your water feature.
If you’re a follower of Feng Shui, that can add an extra dimension to your chime placement, as many followers of that discipline use chimes to open up areas where energy tends to stick up.
6. Increase The Height Of The Fixture
The taller your fixture is, the farther the water will need to fall. The farther the waterfalls, the faster it will be going when it hits whatever you have on at the base of the fountain/waterfall. The faster it goes, the higher the impact. The higher the impact, the more noise it will make.
This is a surefire way to make any water feature involving falling water louder. It can also produce that some kind of natural noise that you may hear near a waterfall in the middle of a creek or small river, or a miniature version of the stately sound that can be heard near large public fountains.
This is a great way to add sound to your feature without changing the quality of the sound.
7. Get A Bigger Pump
Maybe you turned the speed all the way up on your pump, but it’s still too quiet for you. In that case, it may be a good investment to just buy a bigger pump and have a plumber install it.
Some small pumps can struggle to push water through at a sufficient speed to get the kind of noise that you may be looking for. This is because pumps are limited in their capacity for speed by the amount of water they can hold at any given time.
A larger pump will have a larger chamber for holding water, and therefore be able to pump faster.
Just be sure that the person installing the new pump knows what they’re doing. Unless you feel comfortable changing it yourself, just hire someone to do it for you.
8. Put Your Feature In A Corner
This will only really work if your water feature is already inside. Obviously, putting your fountain in the corner of your backyard will do nothing to make it louder. However, moving a fountain indoors can have a big acoustic effect.
When a fountain is sitting in the middle of a room, the sound will spread across the room equally in all directions. this makes it seem like the fountain is making less noise, since the sound will decrease quickly as it reaches the edges of the room.
If the fountain is in the corner, on the other hand, about half of the sound will be bouncing off the walls to either side of it.
This will give the effect of making the fountain seem twice as loud as it is, all of the sounds will be radiating out in one concerted direction. This is a simple but effective trick for any indoor water installation.