Best Solar Powered Pond Fountain & Water Pump for the Birds

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  pump in your rock fountain, garden fountain, or whatever type of outdoor 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 one with solar-powered ones instead. If you are going in this direction, you may also need to upgrade your existing option 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.

bird bath

Benefits

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 one of these one than any other type.

Benefits
Cost-Efficient Eco-Friendly Long-Lasting and Durable
Easy to Install Highly Versatile Close to Silent Operation

Cost-Efficient

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 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 a solar-powered one 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.

Eco-Friendly

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.

beautiful green bird

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 ones, solar-powered ones are easier to install. The installation involves simple steps that you can finish in a few hours. A bonus to these options is that you no longer need to worry about heatproofing or waterproofing the power lines.

Highly Versatile

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 beneficial.

They 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 ones. It also only requires rewiring once every few years. Because of these facts, you will likely spend less time and money maintaining these units.

The lifespan of the unit 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 yours 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 that they make.

What are the typical options?

Solar-powered water options have several uses, but some of the common applications are listed below.

  • Large or small ponds
  • Birdbaths
  • Outdoor fountains
  • Miniature creeks
  • Koi ponds
  • Garden fountains

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What are the limitations of them?

The two most important factors to consider in determining the limitations of a solar-powered ones 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 one 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 exposure to sunlight can also limit the effectiveness of the unit. As the name describes, they need much sunlight to function well. Limiting this may lead your pump to lower output performance.

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 these products.

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 needs to work consistently and uninterruptedly.

bird bath seen in the rain

External vs. Submersible

You can find an external water pump outside the water. On the other hand, a submersible one is inside the pond or fountain’s water. External ones are ideal for large ponds and swimming pools, while submersible ones are ideal for birdbaths, fountains, small ponds, and other small applications.

Normal Pump vs. Solar-Powered

There are times a normal one 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 option 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 cells.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right One

Choosing the right one 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.

Factors to Consider
Wattage Capacity Water Capacity
Max Head Cord Length

Wattage Capacity

The capacity of your solar-powered water pump depends on its panel wattage capacity. You are stuck with whatever wattage panel comes with it, 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 Capacity

Water pumps have a maximum water flow, often expressed in gallons per hour or GPH. The gallons per hour refers to the capacity they can handle per hour. The maximum limit is dependent on the voltage. Larger ones need higher max flow, while smaller ones can work with low max flow.

Cord Length

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.

bird next to yellow flowers

Max Head

The max head refers to the maximum vertical height the water coming from the pump can reach. For example, if you are getting one for a six-foot-tall option, you will need a max head that is several inches higher than the six-foot-tall one. If you don’t, water will never go out of the head.

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Reviews of some of the Best Options

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 them online, 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, a better approach is to classify them according to application.

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Best 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 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. It is well built and has two spray patterns available.

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green bird

Best Pumps

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
  • 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
  • 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, it will not work. It means it’s only great for use in the morning to afternoon.

Best All-In-One System

Below is the best all-in-one 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 option is ready to use out of the box. The 10 feet long cord lets you freely place it in a nice location. It has a maximum flow capacity of 55 GPH, which flows through the koi’s mouth.

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Best Birdbath Kits

Some kits are for birdbaths. Below are some of the options for birdbaths.

RoadTec Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath

The RoadTec Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath is a versatile and functional 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 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 is brushless, designed to last up to 20,000 hours of life.

Solatec 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 pump
  • The water pump itself can float on water
  • No backup battery
  • A max head of 20 inches

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