Posted in home-hacking

Home Hacker Project: Battery Powered Water Fountain

Howdy!  Welcome to the first weekly electronics tutorial — I’m going to be aiming to do this out front of my house every Friday for students walking home from Donegal Intermediate School or folks visiting our Little Free Library to check out!

Parts for today’s build:

  • Small Water Pump — from Amazon, $12.99 for 5
  • 6 inch length of ¼ inch inner diameter tubing
  • Some variety of power supply — I’m using a rechargeable 18650 Lithium Ion battery as that’s what I’ve got lying around, but you could just as easily use 3 AA batteries in a holder like this one from Amazon that costs $7.99 for 4
  • Hot glue gun
  • A small container you’ve pulled from your recycling bin
  • Water (food dye optional for fun coloring)
  • A plastic baggie (to hold your batteries and wires to keep them nice and dry)

First thing we’re going to do is to take our container that will become our fountain, and punch a small hole in the side of it, just above the bottom.  This will be what we’re going to feed our wires from the pump out of, so that the pump can be submerged!

Next, we’re going to attach the small length of tubing to the pump (this is what’s going to squirt water up in the air), and use our hot glue gun to attach the base of the pump to the inside base of our container.  Thread the wires through the hole we made in the container (or just let them drape over the side if you’d rather), and attach them to the wires from our power supply.  No switches today!

Add water, and see it pump!  It’ll run for a while until your batteries die off, then you’ll need to recharge or replace them.  In future projects, we’ll learn to integrate cheap solar panels into our projects so they can keep running indefinitely!

Curious how water pumps work?  It’s kinda like a fan in your home!  A motor spins a propeller that then gets forced out and up a hose!

Neat, huh?