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fountain ponderings

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys
I'm having some fountain related thoughts, thought I might ask for opinions.
I currently have a catit for my 2 guys. They really like having the water circulating and I enjoy not having to deal with a conventional bowl.
about a week or two ago I noticed that my fountain has started gurgling more often than usual, and the water doesn't spill over the edge of the dome the way it usually does. I've been cleaning both the filter (it's a new one this week actually) and the pump itself regularly....of course I'm cleaning the bowl too! I just think that after 2 years of use, the pump itself may be dying.
So I have some options to consider before it completely blows:

1) I could try to order the pump online from the states or the UK...shipping would probably make it just as expensive to buy a whole new unit but I wouldn't be throwing out a big hunk of plastic.

2) Buy a new catit when I find them on sale next.

3) get a different kind of fountain. I have experience with the freshflow and they're ok, was wondering about some reviews of the drinkwell though.

4) I've seen a couple people on here build their own fountain, and that's kind of appealing because it'd mean it'd be easy to replace the pump on. However, it'd have to be something low to the ground, because dynah lays on the ground when she drinks (no we don't understand why).

Any opinions?
post #2 of 13
We started with a Petmate Freshflow fountain. It lasted a couple years I think before the motor burned out. I cleaned it regularly, it just wore out.

Then we got a CatIT, and I didnt like it. Ours kept getting some kind of white foamy stuff in it a couple days after a cleaning.

Next I bought a knock-off of the Drinkwell. We had that for a year, and then we broke down and got the Drinkwell. All of the reviews say the fountain holds up for years. We are pretty happy with it. I wish I would have bought the Drinkwell in the first place. The cats love it.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
you don't find the trickle to be overly loud? it's been one of the major reasons why I havent purchased it in the past. Mind you, now I have the bubble sound of my new tank in the same room
post #4 of 13
I don't know what to tell you as far as what to do. I have the large deluxe Petmate and love it. I can't even hear it. Of course, I haven't had mine long. But my friend had the small one that wasn't deluxe and hers lasted over 4 years. She thinks it may have lasted longer if she maintained/cleaned it as per the instructions. I don't have experience with Drinkwell but I hear a lot of people really like that one as well.
post #5 of 13
I didn't find any of the fountains loud, unless they got low on water. Then the pumps get loud.
post #6 of 13
I have a Deluxe Petmate, so far so good. It's very quiet, I have it in the bedroom and can't hear it. Haven't had mine very long but heard good reviews from others who've had them for years.
post #7 of 13
If it's a FreshFlow vs. Drinkwell comparison you want, I wrote the following review and posted it on another board (minus the pictures which have been deleted and I don't have time to restore) and note that the Drinkwell comments don't pertain to the new deluxe model (which used to be Hammacher-Schlemmer)

-------------------------------

It’s important for a cat’s urinary health to drink plenty of water. A cat is sensitive to the taste of water, and fresh running water is more tasty to a cat than stale, perhaps dirty water in a dish. That’s why so many cats like to drink from faucets. So, I decided to get an electric water fountain for my cats. I was tired of refilling three water bowls four or five times a day. There are three fountains for cats available:

Cat-It by Hagen
Fresh Flow by Petmate
Drinkwell by Veterinary Ventures


The Cat-It looks like the most intriguing design, however it’s too big to fit in one of the pet trays I already have and the floor mat that’s sold as an option for it I think is incredibly ugly, so I decided to try the Fresh Flow. My cats and I liked the Fresh Flow enough to want another water fountain, one at each end of the house, and so I decided to buy a Drinkwell and compare the two.

Here is what I found.

Construction

The Drinkwell is of slightly heavier plastic contruction. Advantage: Drinkwell.

Assembly

The Drinkwell comes mostly preassembled. Advantage: Drinkwell.

Size

Both are about the same size: Fresh Flow has a footprint of about 9 x 11 and the Drinkwell about 9 x 10. Advantage: draw.

Appearance

Personal preference for the Fresh Flow.

Capacity

Both have the same standard capacity of 50 ounces. However, the Drinkwell has an optional reservoir available, doubling the capacity. Advantage: Drinkwell.

Refilling

If you can bring the water to the fountain, the Drinkwell is much easier to fill since the bowl is the reservoir. Just pour it in. The Fresh Flow has a detachable reservoir, so you can bring just the reservoir to a water source to fill it. However, it’s difficult to pick up and one must be careful not to spill. Then the cap has to be removed and replaced. With both, it’s easy to see when a refill is needed. Advantage: Drinkwell (conditional on having a pitcher).

Filter

Both units have a mesh filter with activated charcoal, similar to the filters found in fish tank filter systems. The Fresh Flow filter is a cheap flimsy design with the charcoal rattling around loose inside, which makes it harder to insert. (And the effectiveness of the charcoal problematic.) In neither case did the filter really seem to do all that much except impede the water flow. Neither manual advises to rinse the filter before use to avoid charcoal dust in the water. Advantage: Drinkwell.

Power

The Drinkwell is powered directly by 115 AC, and the cord is lightweight, so you’ll want to wrap it with duct tape against cat teeth. The Fresh Flow has an outlet-mount 12 volt transformer and an inline on-off switch. Advantage: Fresh Flow.

General Operation

Both units recirculate water from the bowl, spilling through a spout. The Drinkwell free falls onto a ramp, and the Fresh Flow runs down a spillway. Both have a flow control. The Fresh Flow is MUCH quieter. The Drinkwell not only has the sound of water running, but a rather noisy pump. The Fresh Flow’s pump is submerged, which quiets its operation, but the Drinkwell’s isn’t. Both units advise against allowing the pumps to run dry. The Drinkwell’s warranty is invalid if the pump is not cleaned. Advantage: Fresh Flow.

Cleaning

The Fresh Flow is a bugger to clean, with shaped parts and many tiny recesses. However, it comes apart and goes back together quite easily. The Drinkwell is easier to clean, but the pump is difficult to remove and insert, and there are two tiny parts that are easy to lose. Advantage: Fresh Flow.

Summary

The noise was the clincher for me, as I kept looking for a faucet that was running. After only a couple days, I retired the Drinkwell and bought another Fresh Flow. And during the time both were in use, I saw the cats drinking from the Fresh Flow more often than the Drinkwell. Advantage: Fresh Flow.

Manufacturer’s Websites

Drinkwell
Fresh Flow
post #8 of 13
I've used a Petmate for years and loved it. For reasons that aren't important I decided to try a Drinkwell. It was so noisey I stopped using it the same day I got it. The Petmate is silent if cleaned regularly.
post #9 of 13
I love my first Drinkwell SO much that I bought a second one for another room.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Filter

Both units have a mesh filter with activated charcoal, similar to the filters found in fish tank filter systems. The Fresh Flow filter is a cheap flimsy design with the charcoal rattling around loose inside, which makes it harder to insert. (And the effectiveness of the charcoal problematic.) In neither case did the filter really seem to do all that much except impede the water flow. Neither manual advises to rinse the filter before use to avoid charcoal dust in the water. Advantage: Drinkwell.
I just bought a Petmate, Freshflow and the directions did say to rinse the filter before use.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's some awesome information! Thanks! My mom only buys freshflow, and infact that's the way I got the catit, because she had bought it and decided she hated the way it fills. I will say that keeping the unit quiet is much easier with her freshflow's
Man I wish there was a more apropriate way to get a new pump...seems so unfortunate throwing out all that plastic after only a couple years.

Hopefully I'll have better luck with the freshflow!
Thanks for the opinions and help
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
I just bought a Petmate, Freshflow and the directions did say to rinse the filter before use.
Maybe they read my review. That was written about two years ago.

Vet Ventures bought the Hammacher-Schlemmer fountain and now they sell it as the Drinkwell Platinum. It's pricey, but it addresses one of my other issues and now has a submerged pump for quiet operation:

http://www.vetventures.com/platinum.asp
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
one of the concerns I have with the freshflow is that it goes pump then filter, which is why I got the catit in the first place. The new drinkwell solves that problem by catching the big guys first....but I still don't know about the running faucet sound..
I guess I have about a month to figure out what I can tolerate (and afford!)
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