Re-Create It! Glowing Copper Bowls

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You asked so, here it is! A step-by-step guide to installing the Copper Bowls from the front of the 2020 catalog!

What You’ll Need

Re-Create It!

Here are the steps and approximate times, except for the excavation, which only the contractor will know for sure, as digging times always depend on soil conditions.

Step 1

The Eco-Blox reservoir measures three blocks side-by-side, plus one block and a vault set in the opposite direction, (3×16”) = 48” x 44” (28”+16”). Excavate reservoir at least 18” larger than needed, with vertical sides, to allow for easy backfilling, at least 66” x 62” x 24” deep. The Eco-Blox are a little less than 18” in height, but you’ll want the reservoir about 6” deeper to allow room for gravel to hide the plumbing.

Step 2

Grade the soil surrounding the reservoir to create a sloped shelf 2’ wide all the way around, from grade to 6” deep at the edge of the reservoir, the same height as the Eco-Blox. The inward-sloping shelf will return all the splash back into the reservoir. Tamp the shelf, then level and tamp the bottom of the reservoir, adding sand or screenings if necessary. (15-20 min)

Step 3

Install 12’x25’ geotextile Underlayment in excavation, 15’x20’ EPDM Liner over geotextile and the other 12’x25’ geotextile Underlayment over liner to protect against abrasion, recommended but, not shown. (5-10 min)

Step 4

Drill 2” hole in discharge panel at top center of pump vault on flat, perforated side, with the center of hole at 19.5” from bottom of vault. Connect pump to elbow with approximately 11.5” flex pipe. Install close nipple into other end of elbow. Place pump in vault ensuring that elbow aligns with discharge hole in vault. (5 min)

Step 5

Drill 7/8” hole at Auto Fill indent in vault on side most convenient to plumb to water supply or sprinkler zone and install Auto Fill with one of the three included adapters for either ½” rigid, ½” funny pipe or ¾” Garden Hose Thread (GHT). (5 min)

Step 6

Set 4 Eco-Blox and Pump Vault on tamped level floor of reservoir. Vault will sit higher than Eco-Blox. Fold Underlayment and EPDM Liner up around reservoir covering top. Backfill evenly all around in 6” lifts so blocks do not shift while stepping fill in to tamp firmly all the way around. With tamped fill to top of Eco-Blox and shelf, unfold Liner and Underlayment and spread over shelf as a splash skirt. Begin filling reservoir. (15-20 min)

Step 7

Mount elbows and male adapters to bowls with silicone or Teflon tape, with the elbows into the center inlets. Alignment doesn’t matter for 36” bowl, but elbow in center inlet of 30” spillway bowl should point to 9 o’clock with spillway at 12 o’clock. Pull Light cords through male adapters from the inside out. Install Cord Seal Fittings around cords following instructions. (5-10 min)

Step 8

Install male adapters to valve with silicone or Teflon tape so valve can be easily replaced if ever damaged.

Step 9

Center 36” bowl on Eco-Rise and set them onto Eco-Blox adjusting to allow bowl to overflow into Eco-Blox while still allowing access to Vault lid. Second photo shows approximate plumbing layout, but you only need one valve, to divert flow up to the higher bowl, and the photo shows slip-by-slip valves instead of the recommended threaded valve, in case it needs replacing. Connect side-outlet of tee to valve assembly with close nipple. Rotate bowl to align elbow with cutouts in Eco-Rise and with valve, and connect valve to elbow at bottom of bowl with pipe sitting in cutouts of Eco-Rise. (5 min) Check water level in reservoir!

Step 10

Place 30” Bowl on Pedestal and set to overhang 36” Bowl. Connect through-outlet of tee to elbow at bottom of Bowl. Raise Pedestal on two 2x8x16 solid blocks to provide pipe clearance. Connect a length of pipe to supply side of tee of sufficient length to enter approximately 4” into vault through discharge hole. Use rubber coupling to attach to discharge pipe coming off pump (10-15 min)

Step 11

Plug Pump into Variable Speed Control (VSC) and VSC into an outlet. With VSC at 10 (full power), adjust flow between Bowls with valve, then set VSC to desired level. (5 min)

Step 12

Connect lights to InfiColor Smart Module using dielectric grease. Make Sure Plugs Are Properly Aligned! Do Not Use Adapters! Adapters are unnecessary unless substituting older SOL lights or an older, non-InfiColor module. Download free InfiColor App available in the App Store or Google Play and connect to Smart Module following included instructions. (5-10 min)

Step 13

Add soil under splash skirt to ensure all water returns to reservoir. Cut excess liner and underlayment if necessary (be careful not to cut away too much!). Cover exposed liner and plumbing with gravel of choice. (10-15 min)

To put the hour-and-a-half to two hour installation time suggested into perspective (not including the excavation time, because you never know how long that will take until you start digging), Kendahl and I installed everything you see on the cover into an already-excavated hole in less than two hours including photography.

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

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