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Solar powered water pumps are both eco-friendly and cost-effective which is why they are so widely used. Many people choose to invest in these eco-friendly pumps instead of opting for the traditional wired ones.
Not only can you find these handy gadgets in remote gardens where’s there’s no access to a power supply, but you’ll also see them in residential pools, garden fountains, aquariums and ponds.
If you’re looking for a solar powered water pump, whatever your purpose may be, you can be sure to find one that will get your job done for you. This is because of the large variety of solar pumps on the market, suited for all kinds of applications and catering to a variety of budgets. However, with so many options available, finding the right one can be rather daunting especially if you haven’t got an idea where to start.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve prepared this guide to help you make your decision when choosing the right solar pump for you. Check out this list of the top 6 best solar water pumps on the market right now:
Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit
- Powerful motor producing more than 400GPH flow rate
- Polycrystalline solar panel
- Works with both fresh and salty water
- Safe for aquatic creatures (non-toxic)
- Easy assembling and maintenance
- No battery included
- No filter box included in package
This Solar Water Pump Kit comes with a durable and efficient submersible pump that operates at 12-24V, using either 10W or a 20W solar panel. Depending on which voltage is being used, it can project water jets from 3.25 to 10.5 feet high in several different patterns.
This unit has the capacity to supply over 400 GPH at the maximum voltage, making it one of the most powerful solar pumps on the market.
We were really impressed with the construction of this pump and the solar panel. The panel which features a very sturdy aluminium frame and the magnetic pump has a life span of up to 20,000 or more hours. The brushless motor offers many benefits such as reduced noise, no ionizing sparks and increased reliability overall. It also includes a removable pre-filter which prevents the impeller from clogging up with debris.
The Solariver pump is very easy to assemble. The package contains everything you need including a 16ft cable and a plastic stake. It requires little maintenance since all you need to do is to wipe off the dust from the panel and check the filter regularly to remove any debris that may block it up. Apart from this, there’s really nothing else to be done.
Solatec Solar Powered Bird Bath Fountain Pump
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to assemble
- Needs full, direct sunlight to work
- Doesn’t store power in a battery
- Very affordable
The Solatec Solar Powered Bird Bath Fountain Pump is one of the most affordable pumps of its kind which not only looks the part but also works excellently.
We were surprised by the quality of this product considering that it’s a budget model. It sprays water up to a height of 1.74 ft at peak pressure and the four nozzle heads it includes makes it easy to change the spray pattern according to your preference to get the perfect visual display for your solar water fountain or bird bath.
This system is very easy to set up since all you have to do is assemble all the parts and place it in your water feature. You can allow it to float around on the water or you can always use a piece of fishing line to tie it down to a heavy object to keep it in one place. All it needs is a few seconds of sunlight and it will start to spray water jets into the air.
All the solar panels need to be exposed to full sunlight for it to work and it doesn’t store power in a battery. Even an inch of shadow falling on it is enough to stop it from functioning. Other than that, it’s an excellent product that requires very little maintenance.
COSSCCI Solar Fountain Water Pump
- Low energy consumption
- Lifespan over 20,000 hours
- Starts working after 3 seconds in sunlight
- Maximum water area: 150cm
While the COSSCCI water pump is solar-powered, it works in a slightly different way from most other models. The solar panel part of this pump is separate from the nozzle which is an added benefit since you can position it wherever there is adequate sunlight even if the water is in the shade.
The panel and nozzle have a 9.5 ft length cord in between which is more than enough to allow you to position the panel in a convenient place.
The height of water jets projected from the nozzle depends on how much sunlight the panel gets. In optimal conditions, it can as high as 27 inches and you also get 4 sprinkler heads, each creating a different spray pattern, making it ideal for any type of outdoor water feature.
This pump comes with a built-in brushless motor which provides low energy consumption and is designed to last for over 20,000 hours. It’s an excellent device that needs no extra power and is eco-friendly as well. However, keep in mind that the pump shouldn’t be left working without water for too long or its lifespan will be shorted and the motor can damage.
Viajero Solar Powered Fountain Pump
5 used from $9.20
- PET laminated solar panels that won’t break or deform
- 800mAH backup battery
- Four different patterned spray nozzles
- Easy to assemble
- Minimal maintenance
The Viajero pump is a top-quality, fountain pump that will save energy and help you cut down on your bills compared to a pump powered by electricity. This pump powers on after about 15 seconds of exposure to the sun and has a maximum jet height of 20 inches.
What’s great about this device is that it has a backup battery which stores solar energy for uninterrupted flow of water so cloudy days won’t affect it at all.
Due to this, its performance is more stable than most other solar powered models and it also has a little more power. To charge the battery, the pump needs to be kept in bright sunlight for just a few hours.
This pump is very easy to clean since it can be detached easily from the solar panel. Its designed to shut off automatically if there isn’t enough water or if the pump gets blocked with debris so that it won’t damage itself. The pump needs to be cleaned once a week for best performance and that’s about all the maintenance it requires.
Winkeyes Solar Fountain Pump
- Maximum water height: 27 inches
- Built-in brushless motor
- Oil-free design to prevent water contamination
The Winkeyes Solar Fountain Pump is a perfect option for anyone looking for an energy saving and environmentally friendly solar powered water pump for their birdbath, fish tank, pond, pool or any other garden water feature. It has a built-in brushless motor which ensures longer life and oil-free design to prevent water contamination.
This pump is very easy to use since it just needs to be allowed to float on the water. It begins to work automatically in 3s once it’s exposed to sufficient sunlight and sprays jets of water at a maximum height of 27 inches.
The Winkeyes requires some maintenance since the solar panel should always be kept dry and clean for best performance. The pump should also be cleaned regularly, especially the spray caps and the water outlet since these can get blocked with debris. Apart from this, you also need to ensure that you change the water frequently to keep it clean and avoid any dirt from impeding the pump.
Lewisia Solar Bird Bath Fountain
- Hassle-free product
- Extra-long cable: 10ft
- Portable and lightweight
- Powerful capacity
- 85 cm maximum lift
This Solar Bird Bath Fountain by Lewisia is another of the most powerful fountain pumps on the market, which is why it’s one of our top picks. The great thing about this product is that the solar panel and the pump are separate and it comes with a 10ft long cord so you can place the panel somewhere where there is a lot of sunshine, while leaving the birdbath in the shade.
Not only is this pump suitable for a bird bath, but it’s also ideal for a fish tank, garden decoration, small pond or water circulation for oxygen due to its small and convenient size.
It comes with multiple spray heads to customize the water patterns whichever way you like, and you’ll find it’s also very easy to install and clean. It also doesn’t require any special maintenance.
This pump, though small, is powerful and can shoot jets of water up to 55cm (roughly 21 inches) with a maximum lift of 85cm (33 inches).
However, it may not work well if the panel is dirty, the water level is too low or the pump outlet is blocked. It’s also extremely sensitive and stops working if there’s even the slightest bit of shadow covering the panel.
How to Choose a Solar Powered Water Pump
When choosing the right solar powered water pump, you will need to first establish exactly what it is you’re looking for. Once you’ve decided on this, you’ll find it easier to choose from the 2 types of solar powered pumps that exist:
- Fountain pumps: these are designed to spray jets of water into the air and circulate it throughout a pool or a pond. They are small, but can be used in larger bodies of water as well.
- Pond pumps: these have higher suction power, making them suitable for areas with a greater depth of water. They spray much higher than fountain pumps and aerate vast quantities of water.
Now that you know what type of pump would suit the job better, let’s check out some of the most important features to look out for.
- The Application
Aside from the type of pump, its application is also important to consider when trying to purchase one.
If you need a pump for your fishpond, you may want to invest in one that can run even in the night since it will aerate, filter and circulate water which are three of the most important things for supporting aquatic life.
Therefore, you’d need to go for a pump that has a backup battery or an electric one that works at night.
If you’re looking for a pump for maintaining the flow of water to a birdbath, fountain or any other type of decorative water feature, a solar powered one that runs for a few hours a day would be the best choice.
- Lift Height and Flow Rate
The lift height is another important feature that needs to be considered. This means how far the fountain spray head will spray jets of water into the air.
With the spray height, you also need to consider the flow rate since these two go hand in hand.
For a simple and small birdbath, a pump with short spray height and low flow rate will be adequate but, if it’s for a bigger fountain, you’d want to opt for a unit with higher lift height and flow rate.
- Corrosion Resistance
Some pumps are made with galvanized metal which keep them from rusting whereas others may be saturated with a minor electrical charge to reduce or completely eliminate corrosion.
Before you purchase a pump, check to make sure it’s corrosion resistant and don’t go for cheaper products made of cheap materials that you might regret in the long run.
Products that rust after a while can threaten the life of your aquatic creatures, so look carefully into this when choosing.
The Bottom Line
A solar powered water pump kit offers you minimal maintenance and cost to operate, without sacrificing on performance and beauty. You’ll be able to incorporate lots of ideas and creativity into your garden at an affordable price, as most solar pumps cost on average around $30 to $50, and work for several thousand hours.
If you’re looking for a more powerful pump for wells or other similar applications, we recommend checking out our reviews on the best submersible pumps and the best shallow well pumps. Alternatively, read about different types of pumps in our comprehensive guide.