Water pumps are an absolute necessity for any home that makes use of a water feature or requires irrigation as part of its backyard decor and function, but they can be incredibly expensive items, not only in the short term, but also long term due to the massive drain they create on your electricity bill.
Luckily for you, solar water pump kits make for a hassle-free, cost-effective solution to all of your water pumping needs without having to rely on complex and expensive wired variants that can take all the joy out of your water-based garden decor. We’re now going to tell you everything you need to know about them including how to compare the best products on the market and what the five best options currently available are.
What Is a Solar Pump?
The best solar pumps provide a hassle-free alternative to mains wired pumping mechanisms for all of your outdoor water needs, whether it’s to make a water feature work or to successfully irrigate any small-scale crop or vegetable or fruit installations. As per any solar-fuelled technology, these pumps function by means of an integrated array of photovoltaic cells that are housed on the exterior of the unit, ideally facing south for maximum uptake potential.
When photon rays being emitted from the center of the sun reach the Earth, these special cells collect them and “break” them down. The breakdown process results in electricity being produced that is then sent to an inbuilt inverter and used as effective energy to power a chosen device. In this instance, the device being powered is a water pump. What this means is that you can access energy constantly year-round without having to rely on mains wiring in the process to power your water pump. Not only is this kind of energy consumption great for the environment, but it also leads to massive long-term savings.
How to Choose a Solar Pump
In this section, we’re going to make you aware of the different areas you need to review when comparison shopping for a solar pump to get the most effective product for your residence that’ll suit your specific requirements. These key focus points all need to be considered before a final purchase decision is made.
Capacity in gallons per hour
This vital area determines how powerful the stream of water being produced by the pump is going to be. Typically, power is measured using GPH (gallons per hour), and the higher the rating, the more powerful the stream will be. A good range for most residential water pumps is a GPH rating of 45 – 60, but it’s worth noting that units being used in the middle of a pond should ideally be nearer the 120 mark.
How long can it operate?
A pump that can’t perform for long isn’t going to be much use to anyone, especially if it’s a solar powered water pump for irrigation purposes as you need the constant coverage to produce a favourable result in this instance. The same can be said if you want to power a fountain at night. It’s important to choose a pump that comes with batteries capable of storing the sun’s energy throughout the day so that the pump can operate during twilight hours when sunlight isn’t available. Most of the best rechargeable options can run from 8 – 12 hours on a full daylight charge.
What kind of solar panel does it come with?
Some units have solar panels attached firmly to the exterior of their housing that mean that the cells will always be visible, thus potentially having a negative aesthetic impact on a water feature. Others come with detachable or submersible cells. It’s worth noting that detachable cells can be concealed and submersible cells can still continue to harness the sun’s power when they’re placed underwater.
Your pump is going to be spending its entire life outdoors, so it needs to withstand any of the potential risks associated with exterior placement including the weather and even curious critters, stones, and other hard debris. Your product should be as robust as it is weatherproof. Don’t forget the most important part too in the form of waterproof rating.
Easy to install
One of the main benefits of using solar technology is that it’s a massively convenient alternative to hard wired options due to not requiring a mains circuit and the associated costs, stress, and labor that come with making that facet of its functionality work. Try to view the instructions for your pump online before making a final product decision to determine how easy it’s going to be to use it.
There are a wide array of solar pump model varieties out there for you to choose from to meet your outdoor water projection requirements. As such, it’s worth investing plenty of time into looking through what’s available on the market to ensure that you get something appropriate. Any taste can be catered for along with any external setting or decor type.
It’s sometimes worth shopping for a product based on a brand name so that you know you’re buying something that’s already being used extensively by thousands of other people all over the world. This can provide total peace of mind when making a purchase decision. The following manufacturers are all known to produce some of the best solar water pump systems available on the market: Sunnydaze, Solariver, AEO, Eco-Worthy, COSSCCI, Ankway, OKMEE, and AISITIN. Any product purchased from the above list of manufacturers will be sure to meet your utmost quality expectations with ease.
Top 5 Best Solar Pumps
In this section, we’re going to present you with what we feel are the five best options currently on the market when it comes to effective sun-fuelled water pump solutions. They’re all featured for being excellent all-around pumps while also being particularly strong in their own unique way. Regardless of the option you go for, you’ll be totally satisfied with the end result you get.
5. Lewisia 1.8W Solar Water Fountain Pump
This is a great submersible pump choice for those who want to bury the pump housing underneath the water so that it doesn’t ruin the visual impact of their water feature while still providing all of the visual spectacle of an “over-water” pump variety. You can either mount the separate solar panel onto a wall or into the ground, which gives you greater control over the overall visual appearance of your feature and the high level of adjustability means that you can optimise sun access no matter where the panel is based.
The included filter and filter bag make for super-easy cleaning and there are several different pump heads available to change the visual appearance of your water display for some enhanced dynamic optimisation to suit the atmosphere of any garden.
- Adjustable solar panel
- Included filter makes this product easy to clean
- The changeable heads mean that you can customise your display
- Submerged unit means no negative visual impact on your fountain or feature
- Not as powerful as some other pumps
- Doesn’t include as many different heads as other products
4. Lewisia 5W Solar Fountain Pump
For those who want multiple installation options, this is a great pump choice offering a massive amount of power while featuring a solar panel that can either be mounted on a wall or securable on the ground away from the main pump itself. You can opt for two model variants with one being entirely solar-based and the other offering an integrated rechargeable battery to ensure that you can keep the pump running once the sun goes down for maximum convenience.
The pump can be used pretty much anywhere thanks to its massively amplified power output compared to other product variations on the market and the fact that the panel is separate from the pump housing makes for maximum aesthetic potential, too.
- Incredibly easy to install thanks to dual mount system
- Enormous power output
- Battery option hugely enhances practicality
- Includes five sprayer combinations
- The solar cell housing is quite big
- Might be more power than required for smaller water features
3. iYeHo Solar Water Air Pump Fish Tank Oxygenator
Not everyone wants to enhance the visual flair of a water feature and instead need to purify the water in their pond or fountain instead. This is precisely where a great quality air pump like this comes into play to offer the perfect cleansing solution. The integrated rechargeable battery means that your pump will last well into the night so that your water is as pure as possible around the clock and the three different modes will suit your specific requirements perfectly, whether it’s intermittent or constant cleansing you’re looking for.
It’s perfect for use indoors or outdoors, it hardly emits any noise, and it features high-quality housing that’ll last for a significant amount of time. Overall, this makes it a great choice for anyone looking to safeguard their water quality either in an aquarium or outdoor pond.
- Keeps water pure and clean
- Easy to install and compact
- Low noise
- Totally waterproof
- Provides no visual enhancement
- Ground mounted panel may be susceptible to easy damage
2. COSSCCI 1.8W Solar Fountain Water Pump
This is a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a pump option that comes with a fully concealable solar panel so that it doesn’t have to negatively impact the carefully-planned aesthetics of your backyard water feature. With a life span of up to an impressive 20,000 hours worth of use and carrying a cheap price tag so that replacement is never an issue, the power of the durable and weatherproof pump will produce a stream of up to 27 inches in length for high visibility to make any display stand out.
There are four kinds of spray head included for some visual variation and the low energy consumption means that once in place, you’re never going to have to worry about your electricity bill again while enjoying your water feature.
- Includes different spray heads to make displays more interesting
- The solar panel can be concealed
- It has a long lifespan of up to 20,000 hours
- It can project water streams up to 27 inches
- There are more powerful pumps out there
- The pump stem looks like it could be easily snapped
1. OKMEE Solar Fountain Upgraded 4-in-1 Nozzle
This highly practical submersible pump offers four different settings to allow you to change the style of stream coming out of its center for maximum impact with any water feature for optimum visual appeal while delivering excellent efficiency in the process. The thick housing will withstand exterior damage risk perfectly and the high weather and waterproof resistance mean that it isn’t going to last for year after year of use without you having to worry about making a replacement.
It boasts a cheap price and super easy installation so that even if you aren’t very technically minded, you can still use it effectively straight out of the box with relative ease. The inbuilt filtration box is even great for blocking out dirt, thus improving functionality.
- Durable and long-lasting
- It’s easy to use
- The four different water modes make for a great visual display
- Inbuilt filter safeguards functionality
- Highly visible, which might impair aesthetics
- No style variations
Types of Solar Pumps
In this section, we’re going to summarise the different varieties of solar pumps available to you so that you’re totally confident that you’re making the most effective decision possible to cater for your intended pump usage.
Solar fountain pumps
These are easily the most common solar powered pump varieties on the market and feature a solar panel along with a connected fountain-shaped pump stem that channels the water from its direct surroundings and shoots it out of the top.
Solar air pumps
These pump varieties are not used to enhance water features and instead simply add oxygen to pond water using solar power to enhance its quality.
These pumps feature a separate solar panel and pump stem so that you can conceal the solar cells to improve the aesthetics of a water feature.
Submersible pump varieties
Submersible options feature a fully submersible pump that’s easy to conceal and can achieve water projection using subtlety at the cost of a little power. The cells are integrated into the main unit housing with these products.
Floating solar pumps simply sit on top of the water and project a water stream from the surface thanks to the integrated cells that are woven into the housing material seamlessly.
Pros and Cons of Solar Pumps
We’ll now highlight the reasons for and against using solar water pump technology before you make a final decision. This will give you the total peace of mind you need to ensure that you’re making the right choice switching from hard wired options.
- Leads to massive long-term savings
- Incredibly easy to install
- Produces green and endlessly renewable energy
- Cheaper to buy than mains powered alternatives
- Lots of different style varieties
- Incredibly versatile and can be placed anywhere with ease
- You can use them immediately after purchase
- Small and non-invasive
- Not as powerful as mains wired products
- Potentially not as durable as mains wired products
- Small batteries can’t usually hold much reserve power
- Mainly intended for use as a main pump in smaller settings
Now that you’ve read through to the end of our post, you should feel entirely confident about choosing an effective option to use with your water feature or even small allotment. These pumps might not pack all the power of mains-based technology, but they certainly offer a more cost-effective and convenient option for those that simply don’t need that kind of power to achieve their end result. We hope that you enjoy enhancing your chosen area with sun-fuelled water streams for many years to come thanks to both the aesthetic appeal they create and the massive savings they lead to in the long term.