Best Solar Powered Pond Fountain & Water Pump for the Birds

With the spring season just around the corner, people get the urge to do maintenance and upgrade their front lawn and backyard. Aside from landscaping, inspecting the pump in your rock fountain and garden fountain is important. Look at 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. Installing a birdbath or changing your electric-powered one with solar-powered ones instead are both great ideas. If you are going in this direction, you may need to upgrade your existing option to a solar water pump. Check it out before fully committing.

solar powered fountain

In this article, we will discuss a few of the best solar fountains and solar pond pumps in detail.

bird bath

Benefits

Using a solar-powered pump has its benefits for your outdoor fountain or birdbath. Here are some of the reasons why it is more beneficial to use one of these than any other type.

Benefits
Cost-EfficientEco-FriendlyLong-Lasting and Durable
Easy to InstallHighly VersatileClose 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. 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.

You can get these as a bundle containing the solar panel and pump or individually for the ponds and fountain. It’s other equipment essential to making things run. 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 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. 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 to buy.

Keep in mind there is no need to rush upgrading if you do not have the budget yet. You can purchase everything one time, or you can buy it 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 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 pumps work with any pond size or shape. They are rarely the same, making versatility beneficial.

They work with large ponds but also work for birdbath bubblers. You can even consider them for your rock fountains.

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. They are durable and last for a long time. They require less maintenance than 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 unit’s lifespan depends on various reasons, such as how often you use it and the amount of work it is doing. The manufacturer you choose and the quality of their products will affect the lifespan. It is important to buy yours from a reputable manufacturer.

Close to Silent Operation

Ones 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 options have several uses, but some common applications are listed below.

water fountain
  • 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 their limitations are wattage and size. Commonly, small models have lower wattages. Larger ones have higher wattages, the same way generators work. 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.

Exposure to sunlight can also limit the effectiveness of the unit. As the name describes, they need a lot of sunlight to function well. Limiting this may lead your pump to lower output performance.

Regardless of whether it is solar-powered or not, it can only work if you use 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 or birdbath, 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 one that comes with a battery backup?

If you need a consistent water flow in your water feature, having a battery backup would be great. If you do not mind the consistency of the flow, there is no reason to get a battery backup. You might ask about the importance of getting one. When your solar-powered pump does not get enough exposure to sunlight, the battery can kick in. It provides the power you need 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. In contrast, submersible ones are ideal for birdbaths and fountains. Get one for your small pond today!

Normal vs. Solar-Powered

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, the traditional option is a better idea.

Solar-powered models 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 the capacity and size of the application are a few of the important things to consider. Make sure you know about the distance from the nearest outlet and max head as well.

Factors to Consider
Wattage Capacity Capacity
Max HeadCord Length

Wattage Capacity

The capacity of your unit 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 ensure 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.

Capacity

Water pumps have a maximum 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, suppose 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 panel from the pump to get the sunlight exposure it needs. When measuring this length, always give a bit more allowance. If your fountain is 10 feet away from where there is much sunlight, 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 from the pump can reach. If you are getting one for a six-foot-tall option, you need a max head 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 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 these similarities, a better approach is to classify them according to application.

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Best for Ponds

Below is the best solar-powered water pump for ponds available in the market.

SolarRiver Pump Kit

The SolaRiver is a top-rated product that can surely get the job done. Some of its key features are:

  • 20 watts is best for large fountains and ponds.
  • Submersible
  • It has a max flow capacity of 400 GPH.
  • The clogging pre-filter helps in filtering dirt and foreign particles from getting clogged inside.
  • 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 regarding the solar panels’ position. Its ideal application 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, giving you the option to choose your favorite.

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green bird

Best Pumps

Below are some of the best options, ideal for fountains.

Sunnydaze Fountain Kit

The Sunnydaze Outdoor unit is perfect for almost any backyard application. It has a built-in LED light, adding life and color to the fountain. Some of its key features are:

  • 3 watts are ideal for small ponds
  • Submersible
  • LED lights add life to any water feature.
  • It has a max water flow capacity of 132 GPH.
  • It 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

The Lewisia unit is great for applications such as fountains and ponds. Some of its key features are:

  • 5 watts ideal for koi ponds and fountains. It’s also great for large ponds.
  • Submersible pump
  • The bubbler feature attachment is removable.
  • Max water flow capacity of 380 GPH
  • Two spray patterns

It comes with a cord that measures 10 feet long, which should be long enough for most applications. Unfortunately, the Lewisia model 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 Koi Fountain

The Smart Solar Ceramic Koi Fountain is an all-in-one solution for your backyard or pond. 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 for Birdbath

The RoadTec Solar brand is a versatile and functional option for different birdbaths and small ponds. Below are some of its key features:

  • 1.8 watts is ideal for tiny water features and birdbaths.
  • Submersible
  • It has a max 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 product is a floating model 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 is ideal for birdbaths and small fountains.
  • Submersible
  • The pump itself can float on the water.
  • No backup battery
  • It has a max head of 20 inches.

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water fountain for the garden