Picking the Right Fountain Pump for Your Solar Water Fountain

flower garden with solar fountain in brass bucket

A solar water fountain is an environmentally friendly way of adding a little charm to your garden or landscape. With only the rays of the sun to power it, a solar pump and water fountain can create an appealing shower for birds in your yard or draw attention to a particular spot in your yard. However, there are a few things you will want to consider before buying a solar water fountain pump.

Determining What Size Solar Pump You Will Need

Before you purchase a solar water pump, you'll first need to consider the size of your water fountain and how high into the air that you want the water to be projected. You'll also need to think about the water volume that you want to be circulated by the pump. You can purchase a solar water pond that will create only thin streams of water that are shot into the air, or you can purchase higher volume pumps that will project much larger streams of water.

Generally speaking, solar water pumps are rated in two categories: the head height and gallons per hour or GPH. The head is the height that water is projected into the air by the water pump. On the other hand, the GPH rating for the pump is the water volume that the pump can circulate in an hour. If you create a simple birdbath, a smaller pump with a shorter head and lower GPH will suffice. However, if you want to make a fountain in a fishpond (or other larger body of water), you will want a pump with a taller ahead and higher GPH.

For small bird baths, purchase a solar water pump with a head rating of between 18 to 24 inches and a water circulation volume of about 45 to 60 gallons per hour. For a fishpond, a unit with a taller head of about 60 to 72 inches and a water circulation volume of about 162 250 GPH will be needed.

solar water fountain in bird bath

Do You Want the Fountain to Work at Night?

If you want your water fountain to function 24 hours a day, a solar pump powered only by a panel will not suffice. You will need a solar water pump that has a solar panel and has a rechargeable battery.

More expensive solar water pumps come with a battery that stores energy during the day, and uses that energy to power the solar water pump at night. However, if you have a spare car battery, you can use the battery in much the same way and save a little money on the additional cost of a rechargeable battery for your water pump.

Solar Panel Location: Things to Consider

If you want to show off your green solar water pump, then the solar panel location won't be much of an issue, and you can install the panel next to your fountain. However, if you want to keep the solar panel out of sight, you'll need to find a water pump that has wiring that is long enough to allow you to place the solar panel away from the fountain. However, keep in mind that the solar panel should be located in an open area exposed to as much direct sunlight as possible.