Phillip Bloom is an inventor who saw the idea of a ‘Frozen Moment’ tap while holidaying in the United States. In a shop window he saw taps gushing with water while apparently suspended in mid-air and not attached to any source of water.
The taps intrigued him but, as they were selling for more than $100 each, he decided to put his inventive skills to the test to make his own.
Geoff made the sculpture from a standard tap fitting, a small submersible pump, a piece of tubing and a large, decorative bowl).
How to make a ‘Frozen Moment’ tap
What you will need:
An Australian Standard brass garden tap, available from hardware stores throughout Australia. We used one with a 2cm (3/4″) diameter size.
Note: Although 2cm (3/4″) diameter size is available Australia-wide, the ‘standard’ size in each state varies in size. Cost: $8.
A small submersible electric water pump which pumps at between 600L and 800L per hour. Available from aquarium stores throughout Australia. Cost: about $40.
Acrylic or polycarbonate clear tube (the latter is preferred) with an outside diameter of about 2cm (3/4″), to fit tap size. Available from most leading plastic supply stores and some hardware stores (see stockists below). Cost: $4 to $8 depending on the type of plastic used. We recommend polycarbonate as being the easier to cut.
Tube stop – a small piece of plastic or silicone tube or hose which acts as a collar on the tubing to stop the tube from sliding into the pump.
Pot, vase, bowl or bottle to hide the pump and to catch and recirculate the water.
Bondcrete or sealant, available from hardware stores throughout Australia. Used to waterproof and seal the container if porous, such as a terracotta pot.
River pebbles to fill in the pot and cover the electrical cord of the pump. If the container is large, use a smaller plastic flower pot. Cut a hole in the bottom to allow the plastic tube to pass through and fill the pot with river pebbles.
What to do (see diagram):
- Cut the acrylic or polycarbonate tube to length of about 60cm (2′). The length depends on the size and height of the container.
- Drill two 6.5mm (1/4″) holes in the tube all the way through so that there are four holes at the top of the tube. Make the holes as big as possible without breaking the top of the tube.
- Insert the tube into the pump. The end of the tube with the holes goes at the top. Put the collar or stop on the bottom end of the tube to prevent the tube from sliding right down into the pump.
- Drill a larger hole in the tap, if necessary, to fit the plastic tube.
- Set the pump with tube coming out the top, in the pot or test bowl. (The test bowl is simply a bowl of water to test that the pump, tube and tap are working).
- Drill a hole in the pot or container to allow the cord to exit or simply fill the pot with river pebbles to hide the cord exiting at the top of the pot. If the cord is exposed it gives the secret away.
- Place the tap on the top end of the tube and check that the tap is turned off, otherwise the water will leak from the back of the tap. Check that the holes are not covered completely by the tap spout but that the water will exit the holes and hit the inside of the tap spout.
- Put some water in the container.
- Plug in the pump and turn it on.
The water is pumped up the clear tube and spurts out the holes at the top of the tube. This hits the inside of the tap directing the flower of water back down the outside of the clear tube, creating the illusion that the tap is running.
The acrylic or polycarbonate plastic tube can be purchased from Cadillac Plastics Australia in each state:
PO Box 145
Phone: (02) 9648 4811
PO Box 2267
Fortitude Valley 4006
Phone: (07) 3252 2322
99 Grange Road
Allenby Gardens 5009
Phone: (08) 8346 6959
PO Box 283
West Footscray 3012
Phone: (03) 9318 5100
PO Box 37
Phone: (08) 9381 5533