Fire & Water Bowls

Fire & Water Bowls at Fireside Expressions

What's a "scupper bowl?"

A scupper is a type waterspout. These bowls feature a scupper at the top to allow water to flow from the basin.

Do these bowls include water pumps?

No. They are designed to be connected to an existing plumbing system. For example, if your swimming pool recycles water you can use one of these bowls to supplement the existing pump jets. 

Other than looks, is there any advantage to adding a water scupper bowl to my pool/fountain/pond?

Yes! Flow is an essential part of any water feature. When water flows into water air is mixed in. This helps to prevent stagnant water and to stop algae from building up. In a pond with fish it will help to keep them healthy with extra oxygen in the water.

Should I install a concrete, copper, or steel bowl?

While that's really up to personal preference, there are several differences between these materials that you should know:

Concrete is heavy and sturdy, making it a great solid water feature. However, concrete bowls either need to be sealed or to have a spillway (a hose and spout that sets inside the scupper) installed for water.

Copper is lightweight, but still sturdy. While initially shiny and bright, it will develop a green-colored patina when it's been exposed to the elements, similar to the Statue of Liberty.

Stainless steel is as lightweight as copper, but will not corrode or develop a patina coloration under normal conditions. However, it will corrode quite quickly in saltwater, so if you're near the ocean or sea consider copper instead.

Is the concrete waterproof?

Concrete isn't watertight, so it will need to be sealed to prevent maintenance issues. We suggest sealing with asphalt emulsion if you plan on filling the bowl with water. This coats the inside of the bowl with a layer of asphalt-based material that gives it the ability to hold water. If you're going to use it as a planter or a fire bowl with a gas fire ring, but still want the water effect you can use a spillway kit, which is a copper spout that sits inside the bowl's scupper and has water connected through a tube.

Why do some concrete bowls offer a copper insert for the scupper?

The copper scupper insert in some of the concrete bowls adds a decorative touch, but also helps to protect the concrete scupper from the erosion caused by the constant flow of water.

How does "fire-on-water" work?

There are two basic types of fire and water features:

Fire and Water


Some of our water bowls have fire pans or fire pots built in. These features are usually known as "fire and water" or "fire-water" pots, but they don't actually mix the fire with the water. Concrete bowls can usually be equipped with a spillway unit allowing them to be used as planters or fire bowls with water.

Fire on Water

(with submersible gas manifold)

Some of our scupper bowls can be equipped with submersible gas manifolds for a "fire-on-water" effect. The fire-on-water gas manifold is a stainless steel device with aerating tips that you install in the bowl before adding water. After installation, you will fill the bowl with water and then turn on the gas. This will cause the gas or propane to float to the top of the water in the form of bubbles. When you ignite the bubbles it causes the fire to burn just above the water for a spectacular effect. 

Can every bowl be equipped with "fire-on-water?"

Unfortunately, no. The submersible manifolds require a certain amount of clearance and the tapered nature of our bowl bottoms don't always allow this. The manifolds also need to be covered with at least 1" of water. This means that only the larger, deeper bowls can be equipped with this effect.

Can I equip a match-lit fire/water bowl with an electronic ignition system?

Electronic ignition systems (like the AWEIS, Mini-AWEIS, SUBEIS, and AFOW) add bulk to the burners, so some bowls aren't deep enough to add them. Most match-lit copper and stainless steel bowls with built-in fire pans simply don't have the room for the electronics or for the pipe.

Last updated on January 31st 2018.