Don’t be fooled by these best solar water pump kits’ compact appearance. Some of these devices have the power to keep water flowing through an entire pond. And one can even work for up to 6 hours AT NIGHT.
Here are the top six solar water pump options of 2021 that will work with anything from your fountain to your fish tank.
6 Best Solar Water Pump Kits for Your Fountain, Pond, Birdbath, Fish Tank or Hydroponic System
Before we start, keep in mind that all the products listed below will only work under constant, direct sunlight unless it comes with a battery.
For our solar well pump reviews, we looked at each product’s performance, reliability, and ease of use. The top three choices were tough calls. But ultimately, we chose them based on their overall practicality.
|AISITIN Solar Water Pump||
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|ECO-WORTHY Solar Water Pump||
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|OKMEE Solar Water Pump||
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|AEO Solar Water Pump||
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|Nazano Solar Water Pump||
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|Viajero Solar Water Pump||
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Still unsure which solar water pump kit is the best for your needs? Continue reading for everything you need to know about each kit on our list.
Choosing the best solar water pump kit was not easy because of the tough competition. But in the end, we chose the one that provides the complete package. Here’s a preview of what’s in the box and how to set it up.
The AISITIN solar water pump combines our budget pick’s floatability with our high flow pick’s separate solar panel. Plus, you get a decent backup battery.
Unlike other batteries that take a few seconds to start working, this one works instantly when the device detects unideal sun conditions. But despite the smart feature, the extra power source only provides enough juice to let a few clouds pass.
The 2-hour battery life is not the only winning feature of our top solar water pump pick. It also has a safety feature that automatically kicks in whenever the water levels are low, saving the device from short-circuiting.
Despite this top pick being a complete kit, it comes with some compromises. For one, you don’t get nearly as high a water flow as the previous item, making it less versatile. It can’t put on a water spectacle or irrigate ponds. But it does a great job as a landscape water feature and birdbath.
Although this best solar powered water pump fountain has many spray patterns to choose from, the small parts are easy to lose. That’s where the budget pick’s rotating nozzles have the upper hand. All in all, you get a little bit of everything with this solar water pump kit.
ECO-WORTHY solar pump kit landed on the second spot because of its lack of battery, safety feature, and limited nozzles.
But despite these shortcomings, it rivals the high-flow pick in terms of performance. This solar pump has a strong flow rate and spray height. Plus, it even has a higher solar panel wattage. There’s no doubt that this solar fountain pump can water your hydroponics setup. It can also keep your fish tank water well-aerated.
Additionally, the solar panel has a rugged design with extra-durable corner guards and a digging spike. You can securely position it anywhere in your garden without worrying about it getting blown away or damaged. The engineering is superb, allowing the unit to operate for over 20,000 hours! And if something goes wrong, even if you do everything right, the 1-year warranty will save your wallet.
One big disclaimer for all this big talk is that its power exclusively depends on optimal sun power. It’s super sensitive to light intensity changes that it shuts off immediately when you pass by the solar panel. And after that, it takes a while to start back up.
All in all, the ECO-WORTHY solar-powered pond pump is a worthy runner-up. If not the best choice for those that don’t need it to run on cloudy days.
The OMKEE solar-powered water pump is a good choice for beginners because it’s basic and compact.
It also requires almost no assembly. The hardest thing you’ll have to do is switch the flow setting and choose one of 2 nozzle heads. But don’t worry, those nozzle heads are multifunctional, giving you a total of 7 patterns to choose from without fumbling over different attachments.
If that wasn’t good enough, the kit also includes suction cups that keep the solar fountain pump in one spot, lessening the chances for water to spill out of small basins. But, the suction cup only works on surfaces like marble, metal, or glass. If you have a fountain made of rough material like concrete, the cups won’t work.
Now let’s talk about construction.
The solar pump has a built-in solar panel that can produce about 2 watts of power. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s pretty powerful compared to other solar well pump kits of the same size.
The above-average power allows you to use our budget pick in a regular birdbath or as a pool sprinkler. Just note that the pump needs to be floating to work correctly. If the water is too shallow, the unit shuts down as a safety measure.
If you’re looking to revamp your backyard water feature, the AEO solar fountain pump is your best bet. Its 10W solar panel juices up its brushless motor giving you impressive head height. But, unlike the budget pick, you don’t have many spray pattern options with this unit.
The faster water flow and extendable nozzles let you use the submersible pump in different settings. Aside from putting on a show, you can also use this to keep other gardening systems running. For example, the solar fountain pump has enough power to irrigate your hydroponic system.
But, there’s a catch. All the power comes from the sun — it doesn’t come with a backup battery. The whole system shuts down in the slightest bit of overcast, including your passing shadow. Needless to say, this isn’t the best choice for those that need constant water flow from their fountain. It also takes a while to get going, so don’t worry too much if you only see a trickle when you start it up.
This unit is perfect for areas with full sunlight every day, like in Florida. Otherwise, be prepared to keep an eye on the weather and move the solar panel accordingly. It’s a good thing the kit has a 16-foot power cord that helps a lot in the relocation department.
What’s better than a water feature in your garden? One that has built-in lights, of course! The Nazano solar water pump kit is a step above all else in the theatrics department with its 24 LED lights.
They only come in white and don’t have a pattern. But hey, it’s a game-changer because you can use it to make any water feature a great focal point when the sun sets.
That’s right; this solar water pump is perfect for night use because of its above-average battery capacity.
Unfortunately, the performance doesn’t match the impressive lights. This solar water pump has so-so flow pressure and spray height, performing on the same level as the top pick. But this floating unit still works in different backyard settings like a pond or pool.
If you prefer to use it in a birdbath or small fountain, the plastic bars help keep the unit centered. These accessories don’t just prevent water from spraying everywhere. They also protect the unit from hitting the hard edges of your fountain, helping it last longer.
Overall, this small solar-powered water pump is a fun addition to your backyard. Both human and bird guests will enjoy a daily change in the spray pattern. However, it can be hard to keep track of the spray heads.
Last but not least, we have the Viajero solar water pump. This water fountain packs a lot of energy and intelligent operations in its small shell.
There’s a lot to like about this floating solar fountain pump, starting with how it operates. Unlike all others on the list, this pump kit can continue to work for up to 6 hours without sun. And it functions even though it gets partially covered with a leaf, shade, or other debris. That’s all thanks to its built-in lithium-ion batteries.
But don’t be surprised if the system shuts down when sun power dies down. The switch from solar panel to battery mode takes a few minutes.
Another cool thing about this solar water pump kit is that it comes with yellow head attachments, which do more than add a pop of color to your setup. The bright color acts as a beacon to bees (1).
Sure, they may just come for a drink, but they’ll see your flowers and pollinate them in no time. And don’t worry about them dodging the spray. Water shoots gently out the sides instead of up high, making it easier for the bees to land on the fountain.
While other solar pumps struggle to stay in one place, this solar-powered water pump has a clever solution.
A simple mesh bag where you can put rocks and tie them to the bottom of the pump. Just make sure you don’t weigh it down too much that the whole thing is underwater. After all, it’s designed to stay afloat.
Your Guide To Buying Solar Powered Water Pumps
As you can see, there are many solar-powered fountain pumps to choose from. This section will help you find the water pump with the appropriate flow rate and solar power for your needs. Plus, check out some bonus features you might want for more functionality.
Location Of A Solar Powered Water Pump
Of course, anything labeled as solar-powered needs exposure to sunlight. Having this free power source is actually one of the benefits of solar energy.
But it’s not enough to have daylight. Solar panels need direct sunlight to work efficiently (2).
“There is a substantial power loss due to non-uniform illumination of a series string. The power generated by highly illuminated cells is wasted as heat in the poorly illuminated cells.”
Shading of any kind results in lower energy production or total shutdown. The Viajero Solar Water Pump is an exception because it has a backup solar power source. But more on that later.
The bottom line is that you should consider your general location and the position of your solar pump.
Built-in Vs. Separate Solar Panel
Okay, we’ve established that you need direct sunlight for your solar pond pumps. Now it’s time to decide whether you want the solar panel built into the device or have it separate. To make things easier for you, check out the pros and cons of each setup.
|Solar Panel Orientation||Model||Pros||Cons|
|Built-in||OKMEE Solar Water Pump – Budget Pick||– Easy maintenance|
– Wireless and easy installation
– Low maintenance
|– Weaker power and lower flow rate|
– Restricted positioning to capture light
|Separate||AISITIN Solar Water Pump||– Higher power and flow rate|
– Easy to move around to capture light
– Exposed wires are not a pretty sight
|– Both the solar panel and pump need monitoring|
– Big and bulky setup
Generally speaking, solar fountain pumps with a built-in solar panel are compact. Therefore, they work best for smaller water systems like a pedestal fountain or a birdbath.
The flow rate of any water pump doesn’t only dictate how impressive your water feature looks; it also lets you know how much water is being circulated within a given time frame.
Generally, the stronger your flow rate, the more water movement in the water column. But of course, you need to match the water flow with the size of your pond or body of water (3).
“Most small fountains and ponds require the simplest submersible pump, designed to re-circulate 50 gallons or less an hour. Larger ponds with fountains or waterfalls necessitate a more robust pump.”
Among the products on our list, the AISITIN solar water pump is the best choice for little fountains. For bigger ponds, you can’t go wrong with the AEO Solar Water Pump because its brushless motor can circulate water at a rate of almost 200 gallons per hour.
You can maximize the efficiency of water circulation by getting a high-spray solar water pump. Again, this hits two birds with one stone.
The higher the water spray, the cooler the water feature looks. But there are times you want to dial things down and not run everything on the highest setting. In this case, the budget pick’s adjustable flow control comes in handy.
Max Head / Spray Height
You’ll notice that water flow directly affects the solar water fountain’s maximum head height. For products like the ECO-WORTHY Solar Water Pump, high head height increases functionality. You can use this to keep your hydroponic systems irrigated. And it’s also great for fish tank aeration in an aquaponic setup.
It’s important to consider how these factors work together, especially for smaller water systems like birdbaths.
A water pump that’s too big causes water to spill out instead of going back into the water vessel. You want to find a balance between a wow factor and practicality.
Battery Backup Of A Solar Pump
Now you might think that opting for a kit with a backup battery is a no-brainer. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to have reserved power? Well, in the case of solar water pumps, getting a battery is optional.
Ultimately, the decision to get a solar pump with a battery dramatically depends on your personal preference and water feature type.
If your water fountain exists purely for garden aesthetics, then you can do without a battery. But if you need more prolonged aeration for fish ponds in an off-grid setting, then solar-powered water pumps with a backup battery are a must (4). Among the solar pumps on our list, the Viajero Water Pump has the biggest backup battery lasting up to 6 hours.
Wattage And Solar Energy
Wattage in the world of solar works the same way as it does in standard electrical terms. Generally, the higher the wattage, the more power you have. When relating this to solar water pumps, this means a higher flow rate and head spray.
Given that analogy, you can expect solar water pumps with higher wattage to have a bigger solar panel. But the wattage is limited by your given solar panel and sun intensity (5). You can’t adjust the power on demand as you do with electric pumps plugged into an outlet.
Before buying a solar water pump, you must check how much power your water feature requires to run efficiently.
Our floating solar water pump options have a smaller wattage between 2W-4W. These are perfect for small birdbaths and fountains. Meanwhile, high-flow solar water pumps like the AEO Solar Water Pump operate at 10W. These submerged powerhouses are great for irrigation and aeration in a more practical setting.
Other Features of a Solar Water Pump
Are you still having a hard time choosing the right solar water pump for you? Maybe one of these bonus features will sway your vote.
First up, we have lights as seen on the Nazano Solar Water Pump. In my opinion, this takes things to the next level because it literally shows off your water feature at night. It can also be practical if you use your garden for events. Or it can light up and aerate the fish tank you keep inside your aquaponics shed.
Speaking of fish, if you really want to complete the setup, why stop at a solar-powered water pump with lights? Go all out by adding an indoor solar pool heater to keep the fish comfortable all year round. The last thing you want is to have your fish die because your pump failed in extreme temperatures (6).
Water Monitoring Technology
Next, let’s highlight some safety features. Solar water pumps need a certain water level to function correctly. And this is crucial for floating solar pumps that usually stay in shallow water vessels.
As a water pump drifts around, it can spray water out the sides, which can literally run your well dry and damage your water pump.
Some water pumps like the Viajero Solar Water Pump have automatic shut-off systems triggered by low water levels. These systems pretty much take care of themselves in the summer. But if you plan on running these pumps even through the cold months, consider browsing through the list of best pool heaters.
One way to prevent water spillage is to keep the floating solar devices in place. And there are a lot of ingenious ways of doing that. Some solar water pumps are only for shallow and narrow basins. For example, the Nazano kit comes with plastic tubes that attach to the sides of the fountain, keeping the pump centered.
Spray Nozzle Variety
Lastly, we have accessories. The more spray heads you can get, the more fun your water fountain will be. But it can be hard to keep changing nozzles, and some parts are bound to get lost over time. It’s a good thing there are rotating nozzles, like that of the OKMEE solar water pump kit. You only get two nozzle heads but a total of 7 spray patterns. Cool, right?
Will A Solar Water Pump Help Prevent My Water From Turning Green?
Yes, a solar water pump can help prevent your water from turning green. The green stuff in the water is algae, which blooms when water is stagnant. A water pump keeps things moving, so there’s little chance for the algae to set up camp in the bottom of your water feature. Just make sure you choose the right water pump size to ensure that water fully circulates without dead spots.
Do I Need An Inverter For My Solar Water Fountain?
No, you do not always need an inverter for your solar water fountain. Usually, only big-scale solar water fountains require an inverter. The solar fountain pumps listed above draw power directly from the solar panels and don’t need an inverter.
How Do You Keep A Solar Water Feature Clean?
You can keep a solar water feature clean by frequently clearing out debris in the water. Leaves are the usual culprit of dirty water. They get soggy and break down quickly if you let them be. Eventually, the leaf gunk causes blockages in the water feature’s filter system. Blockages can lead to inefficient water flow and will lessen the lifespan of your water feature. That said, it’s best to check and change the filters once in a while.
- How Bees See and How it Matters. Retrieved from: https://www.beeculture.com/bees-see-matters/
- Effects of Shading on Photovoltaic Cell. Retrieved from: http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jeee/Papers/Vol8-issue2/A0820106.pdf
- How to Size a Fountain Pump. Retrieved from: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/size-fountain-pump-49075.html
- Solar Water Pump System: Key Components. Retrieved from:https://sinovoltaics.com/learning-center/water-pumping/solar-water-pump-system-key-components/
- Solar Water Pumping Basics. Retrieved from: https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/Pubs/Solar_Water_Pumping.pdf
- Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-performance-and-efficiency