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FOUNTAIN FAQ AND BUYING GUIDE

What is Corten Steel?

Corten Steel is a high strength steel that creates its own weathering resistance. It is also referred to as Weathering Steel but the name COR-TEN™ has been a trademarked name used to generalize weathering steel. 

 

This steel alloy has been used in architecture across the globe in wet & dry environments. It eliminates the need to paint & provides great protection all on its own  

Not at all! At first glance, the rust may look alarming but rest assured your product is just fine. The weathered surface forms when the raw steel is exposed to the elements as self protection. Once it creates this surface, the material underneath is protected and structurally sound for many years to come. 

COR-TEN™ has a weather resistance 4~8 times greater than that of raw mild steel. Each of T.O.P’s COR-TEN™ Steel Products leave T.O.P’s facilities with the light weathering process in progress. The texture of the COR-TEN™ Steel may be irregular but will even out with time and continue to darken and self regulate. 

The image below shows the aging/patina process of COR-TEN™ Steel starting from left to right.

 

Surface Care, Treatment & Cleaning 

The COR-TEN™ Steel will have a “rust” layer of residue which can be powdery and stain your skin and clothes, we suggest not grabbing or sitting on the COR-TEN™ Steel. If you scuff or scratch the surface, the best thing to do is leave it alone and let the corten steel heal itself. The moisture in the air will help expedite this process. Another option is to lightly rub the surface with kitchen grade scotch bright and smooth it out. If the unit becomes wet, like after rain showers, the water can carry the corten particles down the sides, drip and stain the floor. This can be power-washed with water.

What is Copper?

It is a shiny, red metal and is used in various applications, including  T.O.P’s fire pits and other furnishings. It is a precious and soft, mailable metal that can be polished and artificially patina to create a beautiful finish. 

To begin, It is impossible to completely prevent moisture from making contact with the copper so you will always get some naturally occurring patina. First the overall color will darken a bit over time. Secondly, if water sits on the surface, it may penetrate the coating and as it evaporates, can leave slight green stains. T.O.P’s fire pits have a two coatings to help protect it against copper’s naturally forming green patina. First, we apply a patina coating which is responsible for T.O.P’s dark & rich finish on T.O.P’s copper products. Second, we finish it off with a clear coat to seal it in and slow down moisture penetration. To put it shortly, your fire pit will not turn entirely green, especially if you clean it well. and dry promptly. 

Avoid damaging the copper by avoiding the use of cleaners that contain chlorides, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or any solvents. Cleaners containing alcohol, ammonia or mineral spirits can also damage the protective layer. DO NOT use steel wool or steel brushes as particles of these carbon steel articles may stick to the surface and begin to rust. A mild soap/detergent (dish detergent) and warm water solution should be used. Use the solution to remove the dust, rinsing with fresh water and a clean microfiber cloth to avoid scuffs. Finish by drying completely. 

If you feel like your copper’s clear coating surface has worn away in certain high-contact spots (such as the tops that are commonly used as table tops) you can apply a coat of clear aerosol lacquer. Make sure to clean it of any dust, stains, markings, etc. before you do so as you will trap them under the lacquer if you don’t. 

What is Powder Coat?

First off, powder coat is not paint. It is a powder that is electro-statically applied and then heated to fuse itself to the object it is applied on. This makes it more durable 

To clean your products of normal dust and particles, you can use a mild water & detergent mix (dish soap is okay) and wipe it down with a soft cloth. Microfiber cloths will ensure you do not cause any abrasions. Be sure to dry any water droplets as they can cause water marks. 

Water marks and water stains form when water droplets sit and then evaporate on the surface of the product. This is because water has minerals, most commonly calcium and lime, and when the water evaporates, the calcium and lime is left behind leaving stubborn white rings. To prevent these stains from occurring, dry off any water before it evaporates. 

You have a couple options here. One home remedy is to mix 1 parts vinegar with 1 parts warm water and spray it to the affected surfaces. After about a minute, you can then begin to wipe them off. Leave the vinegar mix on longer for more stubborn stains. Lastly, wipe off any residue and vinegar odor with a clean damp rag. 

 

Another remedy is using a cleaner called CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover). It is safe to use on powder coat finished and can be found in most grocery store stores and home improvement stores. Only apply to affected areas and do not let it sit on the surface for more than 30 seconds as it make damage the finish. Apply on a soft cloth and wipe the affected areas. Once dry, with a clean damp rag, wipe off any residue that may be on the surface.

WHAT IS STAINLESS STEEL?

What “Stainless” Really Means 

Stainless Steel is a slightly misleading name. A more accurate description would be “Harder to Stain” Steel. The largest component of stainless steel is steel. Steel will rust. The chromium in stainless steel when exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere forms a thin invisible layer called chromium oxide and gives stainless steel its ability to resist stains and rust. If this layer is damaged, rust is formed on the surface at the point of the damage. The good news is, with a little cleaning and care the chromium oxide layer is self-healing. 

Avoid damaging the chromium oxide layer by avoiding the use of cleaners that contain chlorides (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, etc.). Cleaners containing alcohol, ammonia or mineral spirits can also damage the protective layer. DO NOT use steel wool or steel brushes as particles of these carbon steel articles may stick to the surface and begin to rust. 

 

Stainless steel and the chromium oxide layer thrive on proper cleaning. For everyday cleaning of dust, dirt and fingerprints, a mild soap/detergent (dish detergent) and warm water solution should be used. Use the solution to remove the dust, rinsing with fresh water and a clean microfiber cloth. Finish by drying completely. 

 

Removal of oxidized stains and even “surface rust” can be done by using a paste made from baking soda and water or a cleaner that contains oxalic acid, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Cleanser.

What are the main fountain categories and how are they different?

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Yes. None of our fountains present any hazard to pets or kids as they use the same water that comes out of your tap. However, you may need to add a small amount of algaecide to keep your fountain looking nice and fresh. If you do, know that most brands are safe for pets, birds, and plants. However, most are not safe for fish.

No. We know the last thing you want is a big mess! That’s why most of our indoor fountains come with adjustable water flow. This controls the rate of flow, which keeps the water inside the fountain where it belongs.

Yes. All our indoor fountains run on low amperage, standard 110 volt outlets.

 
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No. All our outdoor fountains are very simple to install. They don’t require any concrete work or gluing, which means you don’t have to worry about purchasing additional landscaping services.

Most come with schematic drawings which show the set-up in detail, and all of them have the same type of assembly: just place the pieces together, fill with water, and enjoy!

Most of our outdoor fountains are made of cast stone. This means they’re incredibly durable and are built to last a lifetime, because cast stone is even stronger than concrete.

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Yes. Most of our indoor fountains can be created in any size. This includes our artistic wall fountains, acrylic fountains, glass water walls and many more. Call or e-mail us for custom size bids.

Yes. We are happy to provide you with a bid to install any of our water features. Just call us and describe what you are looking for. We’ll work with you to put together the perfect fountain.

 
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Yes. We can provide you with a custom wall fountain. Just provide us with a high-resolution photo of any image you choose. We can render your fountain in copper and in any size. Your fully completed fountain will arrive with its own pump and will be ready to go as soon as you receive it.

Absolutely. We can use your company logo on any of our water features in the floor and wall fountain section. We can do single color or multi-color logos. We use sandblasting to etch each logo into the feature’s panel. Then, we use high-quality auto acrylic paint to render the image to perfection. The result is a beautifully branded water feature that you’ll be proud to show off to clients or customers.

Luxury Fountains for Your Home, Garden or Business