With the spring season just around the corner, several people get the urge to do some maintenance and upgrading to their front lawn and backyard. Aside from landscaping, it is important to inspect the fountain pump in your rock fountain, garden fountain, or whatever type of outdoor water fountains you have. If you have a small pond somewhere, it may be time to clean it.
The winter season was crazy with all the storms and heavy snow. Spring season is a brand new day, with birds chirping in the morning and green lawns sparkling as it gets hit by the sun. Everything feels sweeter with the spring season. With that said, there are a few things you may want to upgrade, like installing a birdbath or changing your electric-powered fountains with solar-powered fountains. If you are going in this direction, you may also need to upgrade your fountain pump to a solar water pump, so check on that before fully committing.
In this article, we will be discussing in detail a few of the best solar fountain pumps and solar pond pumps.
Benefits of a Solar Powered Pump
Using a solar-powered pump has its benefits to your outdoor fountain, pond, or birdbath. Here are some of the reasons why it is beneficial to use a solar-powered pump than any other type of water pump.
Solar panels are all for saving money in the long run. Sure, the upfront cost of switching or upgrading to solar power is expensive, but you will save more money long term. Aside from the upfront cost, you will only have to pay for the equipment using the power generated by the solar panels.
For the ponds, fountains, and other equipment essential to making things run, you can get these as a bundle containing the solar panel and the water pump or individually. In most cases, going for the bundle is cheaper than purchasing separately. If you have purchased these pieces of equipment, then you are good to go.
Maintenance for these is pretty low, so you will not have to bother about it much. However, it is important to keep your solar panels clean and maintained. Speaking of solar panels, you will be using some wires at some point in the installation process. You may refer to our article about 20 amps to 60 amps wire or 70 amps to 600 amps wire if you need a guide on which gauge size to buy.
Keep in mind there is no need to rush upgrading to solar-powered pumps if you do not have the budget yet. You can purchase everything one time, or you can buy separately. Some people prefer to purchase separately, while others like to purchase everything in one go. Whatever works for you, go for it.
Anything that uses solar power is most likely more environmentally friendly than anything using traditional electricity. Eco-friendliness is not everyone’s priority, but we should make it one.
The cells in a solar panel harness the energy coming from the sun. It converts this energy into something your electronic devices can use. This process does not use any energy originating from a powerplant, which means it has little to no environmental impact.
Easy to Install
Unlike electrical-powered water pumps, solar-powered water pumps are easier to install. The installation involves simple steps that you can finish in a few hours. A bonus to solar-powered water pumps is that you no longer need to worry about heatproofing or waterproofing the power lines.
With how everything is constantly changing, it is important your equipment at home are highly versatile and capable of adapting. Solar-powered water pumps work with any pond size or shape. They are rarely the same, making versatility in water pumps beneficial.
These pumps work with large ponds, small ponds, solar birdbath bubbler, rock fountain, and several others.
Long-Lasting and Durable
Durability and long-lasting often go hand in hand. If a piece of equipment is durable, it will likely last you for a long time. Solar-powered water pumps are durable and last for a long time. These pumps require less maintenance than a traditional water pump. It also only requires rewiring once every few years. Because of these facts, you will likely spend less time and money maintaining your solar-powered pump.
The lifespan of a pump is dependent on a variety of reasons, such as how often you use it, the amount of work it is doing, the manufacturer, and a whole lot more. It is important to buy your pump from a reputable manufacturer.
Close to Silent Operation
Water pumps that operate with minimal to no noise are great. You will be able to enjoy the calming sound of water without drowning in the sound of the water pump.
What are the typical uses of a solar-powered pond/fountain pump?
Solar-powered water pumps have several uses, but some of the common applications are listed below.
- Large or small ponds
- Outdoor fountains
- Miniature creeks
- Koi ponds
- Garden fountains
If you are choosing between adding a shower or half bath in your bathroom, we suggest you read our article about it. It lays out some of the pros and cons of each, which should help you decide which one is the better choice for you. Bathtubs and showers are important, so we came up with a guide for you to read.
What are the limitations of solar-powered fountain pumps?
The two most important factors to consider in determining the limitations of a solar-powered fountain pump are wattage and size. Commonly, small pumps have lower wattages, while large pumps have higher wattages. It would not make sense to use a small pump in a large fountain as it may put too much stress on the pump. It may lead to issues in the long run, which will cost more.
The fountain or pond’s exposure to sunlight can also limit the effectiveness of a solar-powered fountain pump. As the name describes, these pumps need much sunlight to function well. Limiting this may lead your pump to lower output performance.
A water pump, regardless if it is solar-powered or not, can only work if you are using it with the correct volume of water. You can find this information in the specifications sheet, which varies depending on the model. When deciding to purchase one, look for one that meets your pond’s water volume.
If this is your first time installing a fountain, pond, birdbath, or any other form of water feature, it would be best to place it in a location that gets the most exposure to sunlight. Doing so lets you maximize the full potential of your solar-powered fountain pump.
What about getting a pump that comes with a battery backup?
If you need a consistent flow of water in your water feature, having a battery backup would be great. If you do not mind the consistency of the water’s flow, there is no reason to get a battery backup. You might ask about the importance of getting one. In times when your solar-powered pump did not get enough exposure from sunlight, the battery can kick in and provide the power your pump needs to work consistently and uninterruptedly.
External vs. Submersible
You can find an external water pump outside the water. On the other hand, a submersible water pump is inside the pond or fountain’s water. External water pumps are ideal for large ponds and swimming pools, while submersible water pumps are ideal for birdbaths, fountains, small ponds, and other small applications.
Normal Pump vs. Solar-Powered Pump
There are times a normal pump is a better option than a solar-powered pump. Not everyone lives in a location that gets a lot of exposure to the sun. Factors such as seasonal changes and consistent cloud coverage can affect your location’s exposure to sunlight. In this case, using a normal, traditional water pump is a better idea.
Solar-powered water pumps consume low levels of wattage. It directly translates to converting less of the light it gets into electricity and fewer solar cells.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Solar Pump
Choosing the right solar-powered water pump depends on a few factors. Things like water capacity, size of the application, distance from the nearest outlet, and max head are a few of the important things to consider.
Solar Panel Wattage Capacity
The capacity of your solar-powered water pump depends on its solar panel wattage capacity. You are stuck with whatever wattage panel comes with your water pump, so you must get this right the first time to avoid unnecessary costs. It is also important to make sure that your solar panel can output enough power in your climate. Low wattage is not ideal for Portland, while it may work better in other places like California.
Water pumps have a maximum water flow, often expressed in gallons per hour or GPH. The gallons per hour refers to the capacity the water pump can handle per hour. The maximum limit is dependent on the voltage. Larger fountains or ponds need higher max flow, while smaller ones can work with low max flow.
The cord length affects how far away your solar panel can be from the pump. For example, if your pond or fountain is in a spot that does not get much sunlight, you will have to measure the length of how far you need to place the solar panel from the pump so that it gets the sunlight exposure it needs. When measuring this length, always give a bit more allowance. If your fountain 10 feet away from where there is much sunlight, make sure to have a cord length of at least 12 feet.
The max head refers to the maximum vertical height the water coming from the pump can reach. For example, if you are getting a water pump for a six-foot-tall fountain, you will need a max head that is several inches higher than the six-foot-tall fountain. If you don’t, water will never go out of the fountain’s head.
Sometimes, having an extension cord at home is important because you will never know when you may urgently need one. If you are in the market looking for the best extension cords, we have an article that will point you in the right direction.
Reviews of some of the Best Solar Pond and Fountain Pumps
We have covered a lot about solar-powered fountains and pond pumps. Now, let us talk about some of the best ones available in the market. If you search “solar power fountain water pumps,” you will find at least three models across several brands in the market.
Most pumps look the same, so it is challenging to know which one is the best choice for your needs. Instead of looking at the similarities of these water pumps, a better approach is to classify them according to application.
Best Solar-Powered Pump for Ponds
Below is the best solar-powered water pump for ponds available in the market.
SolarRiver Solar Water Pump Kit
The SolaRiver Solar Water Pump Kit is a top-rated water pump that can surely get the job done. Some of its key features are:
- 20 watts that are best for artificial waterfalls, large fountains, and ponds
- Submersible water pump
- Max water flow capacity of 400 GPH
- Clogging pre-filter helps in filtering dirt and foreign particles from going into the water pump.
- Two-way spray pattern
The max head in this particular model is 5.9 feet, making it a powerful choice for most outdoor water features. A cord length of 16 feet provides flexibility on where you position your water pump with respect to the solar panels. The ideal application for this water pump would be a small pond in a sunny portion of a back or front yard. The pump itself is well built and has two spray patterns available.
Best Solar-Powered Pump for Fountains
Below are some of the best solar-powered water pumps ideal for fountains.
Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Pump and Panel Fountain Kit
The Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar-Powered Waterpump is perfect for almost any backyard application. The pump itself has a built-in LED light, which adds life and color to the fountain. Some of its key features are:
- 3 watts ideal for small ponds or fountains
- Submersible water pump
- LED lights that add life to any water feature
- Max water flow capacity of 132 GPH
- Has a battery backup
- Two spray patterns
The max head of the Sunnydaze is 4.67 feet, which is perfect for any small pond application. It comes with two cord lengths – two 16-foot cables and one 77-inch cable. Having a few cable lengths to choose from allows you to use the right size for your application. When the sun sets, the battery backup can provide power for up to four hours.
Lewisia 5W Solar Fountain Pump
The Lewisia Solar-Powered Pump is great for applications such as fountains and ponds. Some of its key features are:
- 5 watts ideal for koi ponds, fountains, and large ponds
- Submersible water pump
- Bubbler feature attachment is removable
- Max water flow capacity of 380 GPH
- Two spray patterns
It comes with a cord that measures 10 feet in length, which should be long enough for most applications. Unfortunately, the Lewisia Solar-Powered Fountain Pump does not have a battery backup. When there is no sunlight, the fountain will not work. It means it’s only great for use in the morning to afternoon.
Best All-In-One Pond/Fountain System
Below is the best all-in-one fountain/pond system available in the market.
Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Koi Fountain
The Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Koi Fountain is a solar-powered all-in-one fountain. If you like a bit of design, the blue glazed koi fish gives a nice touch to it.
This fountain is ready to use out of the box. The 10 feet long cord lets you freely place the fountain in a nice location. It has a maximum flow capacity of 55 GPH, which flows through the koi’s mouth.
This article about converting SAE to metric measurements is useful should you need to do some conversion.
Best Solar-Powered Birdbath Fountain Kits
Some fountain kits are for birdbaths. Below are some of the solar-powered fountain kits for birdbaths.
RoadTec Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath
The RoadTec Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath is a versatile and functional water pump for different birdbaths and small ponds. Below are some of its key features:
- 1.8 watts pump is ideal for tiny water features and birdbaths
- Submersible water pump
- Max water flow capacity of 53 GPH
- Four spray pattern options
This specific model has a max head of 27.6 inches, which is great for birdbaths and small water features. The cord’s length is 12 feet, long enough to extend the solar panel to somewhere that gets enough light. The motor built inside the pump is brushless, designed to last up to 20,000 hours of life.
Solatec Solar Fountain for Small Water Features
The SolaTec Solar Fountain is a floating water pump that is ideal for small water features. It adds a unique touch to any of your water features. The four different head patterns give the customer flexibility in choosing a pattern. Below are some of its key features:
- 1.4 watts ideal for birdbaths and small fountains
- Submersible water pump
- The water pump itself can float on water
- No backup battery
- A max head of 20 inches