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best solar powered pond pump

Best Solar Powered Pond Pump | Easy To Install And No Bills

A garden pond is a lovely addition to any garden and adding a fountain or waterfall just takes a standard garden pond to the next level. If your garden pond is far from your home how do you get power to it? Sometimes it’s not practical to run power all the way down your garden or yard. That’s where a solar-powered pond pump can come in very handy. But which one should you choose? It can be very confusing figuring out which one is best for your needs. Let us guide you through the process and suggest the Best Solar Powered Pond Pumps for your pond.

Listening to the sound of water from the fountain or waterfall is very relaxing especially if you’re sat with a glass of wine or cool drink in summer. A solar-powered pond pump can enhance your relaxing experience.

solar powered pond fountain
Fountains add a beautiful feature and oxygenate the water at the same time

Table of Contents

Quick peek: Top 5 Solar Powered Pond Pumps

  • Sunnytech Solar Power Water Pump
  • ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit
  • AEO Solar Water Pump KIT
  • Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit – 360+GPH
  • MNP SP50 50W Twin Panel Solar Powered Pump

Do Solar Powered Pumps Really Work?

Like everything solar-powered, there are limitations and solar-powered pond pumps are no different. Solar-powered pond pumps should not be compared and tested against mains operated pond pumps.

These pumps are budget garden solar powered pond pumps with much smaller GPH outputs due to the power generated by the small and discreet solar panels.

The average solar powered pond pump produces around 100-250 GPH water flow. This is adequate for powering a small water feature ie: Fountain or Waterfall but will not be sufficient to power a pond filter system.

They are typically used to add a feature and a small amount of water movement in hard to reach garden ponds and patio ponds.

Below are some of the Pros & Cons of solar powered pond pumps:

Pros
  • No high power bills
  • No wiring to main needed
  • Perfect for small fountains
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to install
  • Quiet operation
Cons
  • Lack of direct light
  • Low water flow
  • Backup batteries limits operation when no sunlight
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Last updated on November 13, 2019 1:26 am

Does A Wildlife Pond Need A Pump?

Wildlife ponds are natural ponds that are often located in hard to reach parts of the garden. This style of pond does not usually have filters or pumps, however, you may need to add some water movement if you add fish.

Wildlife ponds don’t tend to have fish in them and support lots of interesting wildlife like insects, frogs, and other interesting creatures. None of these need pure clean water which is obtained by adding a filter so a pump isn’t called for.

However, you may decide to add a water feature like a stream or waterfall. This will require a solar-powered pump like the ones we have featured and tested.

How Do Solar Powered Pond Pumps Work?

Like all solar panels, you will need to place the panel directly in the sun’s rays. As the rays hit the solar panel it generates electricity instantly which powers the pumps.

If the sun goes down the power will decrease and the pump will slow or even stop working. Some pumps have built-in battery backups to continue working even in dark light.

Solar-powered pumps are suitable for water features but are not suitable for filters as they will stop running when it becomes dark which could result in poor or even harmful water conditions for your fish.

Pumps without battery backup will stop working the minute the sun’s rays stop hitting and charging the pump.

Top 5 Solar Powered Pond Pumps

1. Sunnytech Solar Power Water Pump

Sunnytech Solar Power Water Pump - Garden Fountain Pool Watering Pond Pump Pool Aquarium Fish Tank with Separate Solar Panel and 3M Long Cable & 4 Sprayer Adapters(Black)

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Features

  • ECO-FRIENDLY SOLAR FOUNTAIN PUMP---- Solar powered, no extra power needed, energy-saving and environmentally friendly. Starts working in 3 seconds once exposed to sufficient sunlight. Perfectly suitable for garden, bird bath, small pond, water circulation for oxygen, etc.
  • A VARIETY OF SPRAY---- 4 Different size Sprayer Adapters to make you easy to switch to different applications. Can make different water flows and water heights.
  • LONG SERVICE LIFE---- The solar water fountain pump has a built-in brushless motor that provides a longer service life and lower energy consumption. it can not only operate the brushless motor easily under small light like a brush motor, but also has a longer service life (≧20000 Hours) than other brush motors.
  • CONVENIENT FUNCTION DESIGN --- Simply cleaning, easily move to different locations, no plugs required, small, multiple fountain heads for different water patterns. Just connect solar panel and pump., it will run automatically once the solar panel reach enough sunlight.
  • PRIORITY GIFT OPTION FOR MANY APPLICATIONS----It is an amazing and fantastic product at this price. Easy to install, no tools required; Can be left outdoors all year round; It's a good solution for small or medium fountains, birdbaths and ponds, garden plants caring. A good gift for friends, families, parents etc.
Pros
  • Come with 4 size fountain attachments
  • Small panel perfect for birdbaths
  • Strong water flow for a small pump
  • 3m Cable
Cons
  • No battery backup
  • Small pump needs securing
  • Limited power
Best Solar Powered Pond Pump | Easy To Install And No Bills 7

Our thoughts…

Out of the box, we thought this very small pump costing very little would not produce the goods. It’s true it has its limitations but for running a small water feature it was fine.

It had clear instructions and connecting the very small solar panel was easy.

Within seconds of connecting the panel and placing the pump in our shallow container pond, it started to work. It came with 4 different attachments for the fountain which gave us some nice options.

We found when the fountain was running it kept falling over which if left unnoticed could empty a small pond within minutes. So ensuring it’s steady and firmly in place is very important.

If you’re on a budget the Sunnytech Water pump is perfect for container ponds and birdbaths. Not suitable for larger ponds or deep ponds.

2. ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump

ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit 10W Solar Panel and 160 GPH Brushless Submersible Powered Pump for Garden Decoration Solar Aerator Pump, Waterfall, Pond Aeration, Aquarium,(NO Battery Backup)

$79.99
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Features

  • 【 Durable and efficient Pump 】 - Max flow Rate: 160 GPH (610 L/H); Max Lift Height: 5.6 FT ( 1.7 m); Long life : 20,000+ hours, Cord length: 16FT (5m); No need any tools to detach it, easy to operate, easy to clean.
  • 【 10 W solar panel 】 - 12 volt working voltage (DC Power); Durable aluminum frame and 4 protection angles; Adjustable solar panel angle and you can plant the solar panel in the ground.
  • 【 Our Guarantee 】 - 1 Year Warranty - 100% Money Back Guarantee if our pump kit doesn't meet your water pumping needs!
  • 【 Special Spray Water Patterns 】 - Two types fountain heads ( Mushroom or Blossom or others). NOTE: This water pump is powered by a solar panel therefore requires sunlight to operate. There is NO BATTERY in this system. DOES NOT run at night!
  • 【 Multi-application 】 - This solar powered pond pump is for outdoor landscape, powered by solar energy, free maintenance, no wire, no electrical shock. Perfect Suitable for outdoor large fountains, water features, ponds, streams, waterfalls, hydroponics, aquaponics, greenhouses, rainwater. Make your garden more interesting and beautiful. Attract your neighbors and cute little animals.
Pros
  • Brushless motor
  • 160 GPH
  • Cord length 16 Feet
  • 10W panel
Cons
  • No battery Backup
  • Only two fountain heads suppied
Best Solar Powered Pond Pump | Easy To Install And No Bills 9

Our thoughts…

Another 10w solar powered pond pump and again we were surprised how small this pump and panel was. Could something this small produce enough water to power a strong fountain or waterfall?

Well, yes, to be honest, it was fine for our needs. We tested it on a 5-feet waterfall and it performed perfectly. It did, however, need plenty of light to run. But once we pointed the small solar panel directly at the sun which we held in place with the spike, it burst into life.

The box and manufacture claim it runs at 161 GPH (gallons per hour) but we found that it was slightly under that at around 140 GPH. This was still adequate enough to run the small waterfall.

For the price we paid the ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit was fine but was it much better than the previous one which was far cheaper? That’s questionable!

3. AEO Solar Water Pump KIT

AEO Solar Water Pump KIT: 12V-24V DC Brushless Submersible 196GpH Water Pump with 10W Solar Panel for Solar Fountain, Fish Pond, and Aquarium (No Backup Battery)

$129.00
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Features

  • Complete set for Solar Powered Water Pump Solution. Set and Connect to turn it on. No Wiring required
  • 10-watt Polycrystalline Solar panel protected with durable aluminum frame
  • Water Pump Oil-free design prevents water contamination
  • Brushless Motor is designed for 24/7 operation for more than 20000 hours
  • 1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty
Pros
  • 196 GPH
  • 10W Power output
  • Brushless Motor
  • Suitable for fresh or saltwater
  • 16 Foot cord
  • 5-6 foot pump head
Cons
  • Didn’t produce 196 GPH more like 160-170 GPH
  • Instructions not clear

Our thoughts…

We heard reports that this unit was unreliable however the one we purchased worked straight out of the box with no issues.

The unit is tiny and so too is the solar panel but it worked as predicted. It instantly produced a small trickle which after 20-30 seconds of the sun hitting the solar panel quickly turned into a full and powerful fountain.

We then tested the water flow GPH and found it adequate but not the 196 GPH as the box said. It was around 160-170 GPH. That’s fine for a small waterfall or fountain.

The solar panel is very small and as with most units, so small it’s difficult to ensure they receive enough sun to run continually. So the unit did stop 2-3 times for a few seconds whilst testing.

You’ll find this common amongst many solar powered pond pumps. You can increase the size of your solar panel just ensure the voltage is the same or you’ll damage the pump. This pump runs on 12-24V.

The AEO WATER PUMP KIT is very similar to the previous ones tested with 4 fountain head attachments but in our test produced a better water flow of around 170 GPH.

4. Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit - 360+GPH - Submersible Pump and 20 Watt Solar Panel for Sun Powered Fountain, Waterfall, Pond Aeration, Aquarium, Aquaculture (NO Battery Backup)

$199.99
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Features

  • The Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit moves larges volumes of water without ever plugging into the grid! Perfect for large fountains, water features, ponds, streams, waterfalls, hydroponics, aquaponics, greenhouses, rainwater collection, animal troughs, natural pools or anywhere you need to pump water and don't want to run power to or just want to save on expensive energy bills!
  • The durable and efficient submersible brushless magnetic pump has a long life (20,000+ hours), has a removable pre-filter to prevent debris clogging impeller and is non-toxic to fish, frogs and other aquatic life.
  • The 20 watt solar panel is framed with aluminum, comes with a stake and can be placed up to 16 feet away from the pump with included power cord. Optional 16' extension cord sold separately allows for placement even further away from the pump.
  • 1 Year Warranty - 100% Money Back Guarantee if our pump kit doesn't meet your water pumping needs!
  • PLEASE READ prior to purchasing: This water pump is powered by a solar panel therefore requires sunlight to operate. The flow of water is determined by the amount of light that hits the solar panel. There is NO BATTERY in this system. DOES NOT run at night!
Pros
  • Powerful 20W output
  • 360 GPH
  • Plugin & Play
  • Easy to set up
  • Great customer service and warranty
  • 3 Feet high fountain
Cons
  • Rather expensive
  • Build quality is questionable

Our thoughts…

For such a small and compact pump it really delivered. We tested it at over 300 GPH and it shot a fountain 3 feet in the air.

It really was an out of the box ‘plugin and play’ solar-powered pump. No instruction was needed although it did come with some clear instructions.

On inspection of the solar panel, the back didn’t look well built but in most countries, it will hold up. My fear would be in harsh weather condition would it hold up for years to come? I’m not sure.

The pump has a filter on the intake that stops baby fish and keeps the impeller from clogging with dirt.

This solar-powered pump is too strong for a birdbath or very small container pond. This is a strong pump perfect for a larger pond if you’d like a big fountain over 3 feet high or a large waterfall.

We found the Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit one of the most powerful solar powered pond pumps we tested to date.

5. MNP SP50 Submersible Pond Pump Kit

MNP SP50 50W Large Powerful Twin Panel Solar Powered Submersible Pond Pump Kit with 16 feet of hose 898 GPH - Kit weighs over 23 pounds - Ready to connect to waterfall or filtration system -

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Features

  • ☀【Powerful Solar Pump】Large (9x12x8 inches - too large for most fountains/water features) powerful submersible solar pump twin solar panels each 25W (size 24 x 13.5 inches) total 50W powered pond pump. This kit uses a proprietary solar brush-less pump representing a major breakthrough for solar powered water pumps and significantly reduces maintenance issues. Please see also our most powerful 100W solar pump by searching B07RVFB6JJ.
  • ☀【Complete Kit】Complete solar power kit includes 16 feet of plastic hose to connect the pump to a waterfall or filter box. Nothing more to buy and you should be up and running in a few minutes on a sunny day. Please note this pump has a max head of 10 feet.
  • ☀【Extensions available】Kit comes with 16 ft of electrical cable from the pump to solar panels. This can be extended multiple 16 feet lengths allowing you to hide the panels and/or place them where you get the most sun..
  • ☀【Reliability and Safety Features】Pump alone weighs over five pounds. It has dimensions about 10 by12 inches and needs some space around it to operate well. Very easy to clean. Has dry run cut off meaning it will help save some water for your fish in the event there is a leak somewhere. Some pumps run until they dry out a pond.
  • ☀【Exceptional customer service】Pump has a reliable and maintenance-free brush-less DC motor with a failure proof carbon brush and shaft seal, ensuring a long service life. All our products are backed up by exceptional after sales service seven days a week. To contact us please click "AQUAPLANCTON" just under the "Buy" box to the top right. We also have a smaller MNP SP25 and our most powerful MNP SP100 twin 50W = 100W solar pump.
Pros
  • Twin 25W Solar Panels
  • 50W Total Output
  • Over 850 GPH
  • Strong Pump
  • Easy to install
  • 16 Feet of Hose Included
  • Brushless reliable motor
  • Easy to clean pump
Cons
  • Most expensive we tested
  • No Battery Backup

Our thoughts…

We knew as soon as we took this pump out of the box that it was a substantial piece of kit. To start with, there are twin solar panels producing 50W output, so we knew from that level of power that the pump would be a big one.

We weren’t disappointed as the pump produced over 800 GPH constantly.

This pump was really put to the test and it never failed us. We tried it on our waterfall and the amount of water was perfect and strong. Even when we lifted the outlet pipe as high as we could it still produced over 800 GPH none-stop.

If this pump had a backup battery which at this price point I thought it would have had, then it would have been probably the best solar powered pond pump we have ever tested.

The MNP SP50 Twin Panel Solar Powered Submersible Pond Pump Kit was, without a doubt, the best pump we tested on the day. The twin solar panels gave us the reassurance and the power output most people will need.

Unless you have a small birdbath then this pump is far too powerful.

solar powered waterfalls
Solar-powered pond pumps are perfect for small waterfalls

How Much Light Do They Need?

Like many solar panels, they need direct sunlight to work. Too little light and the pumps will slow down. No light and the pumps will stop altogether.

In times of no light, your pump – if fitted with a battery back up – will automatically switch to battery power and continue to run. Depending on the model this can range from 1-10 hours running on battery power only.

Really good models (which are expensive), charge the batteries through the day when the light is good. So, you get continual running both day and night.

As most solar panel pond pumps are used to run a water feature only and are not relied on to sustain life, it’s not vital that they run through the night or in low light. They are mainly used for decoration and fun.

What Size Pump Will You Need?

Most of the solar pond pumps we see and have featured here are not intended to run important pond filters so the GPH (gallons per hour) is not as important.

Generally, any pond over 1000 Gallons will need an electric pump plugged directly into the mains to make an impact.

The bigger the GPH output, the better the pond pump will perform and the more water you’ll be able to pump.

Our suggestion would be to choose one between 150-300 GPH as this will be enough for most waterfalls and fountains.

Using Pond Pumps For Aeration

All wildlife no matter how small will need oxygen in the water to survive. Even wildlife ponds get oxygenation from plants and water movement.

The best way to add extra aeration (oxygenation) to a pond is to add water movement via a pond pump, air pump or adding a water feature.

Solar panel pond pumps are perfect for this. Add a lovely looking fountain and you’re not only adding a lovely feature but you’re adding essential oxygen to the water.

If you have fish in your pond no matter how big or small, it is vital that you add aeration to your pond.

solar powered fountain
A 10W Solar Powered Fountain

What’s The Best Solar Pump?

We have tested many solar pond pumps over the years and out of the Top 5 Solar Pond Pumps we tested in this article we had a clear winner.

For us, the MNP SP50 Twin Panel Solar Powered Submersible Pond Pump Kit that stood out to use.

Best Solar Powered Pond Pump | Easy To Install And No Bills 13
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It had a long hose (16 Feet) and a powerful pond pump capable of producing nearly 900 GPH which is bigger than a lot of main powered pond pumps.

Yes, It’s the most expensive but you get what you pay for. This pump can run any water feature and even a filter with its powerful pump. It’s the only pump that we tested capable of doing this. All the others are only suitable for water features.

One of the best features was a dry cut-out function which prevented the pump from burning out if the water level dropped. The pump automatically stops when the water level dropped to a dangerous level.

F.A.Q

  • Are they easy to set up? All the pumps we tested were easy to set up and we had them running within minutes. Within 30 seconds of the sun hitting the panels, they started to run.
  • Do they run when there’s no sun? No, only pumps with battery backup (expensive) do this. No sun equals no power!
  • Will they work in winter? If the sun is out they will run. You will need to protect the solar panels from frost and snow in very low temperatures.
  • How deep can solar powered pond pumps work? The best pump we tested ran as deep as 4 feet. However, most only worked at a maximum depth of 2 feet. They are designed to run water features in small and shallow ponds.
  • Do they have backup batteries? Not the ones we tested. Battery backup solar powered pond pumps are very expensive and out of most people’s budget hence we didn’t feature any in this review.

Conclusion: Best Solar Powered Pond Pump

We have a winner…. MNP SP50 Twin Panel Solar Powered Submersible Pond Pump Kit

If you’re looking to add an interesting water feature to your pond then solar panel pond pumps work just fine.

No access to the mains electricity isn’t an issue with these pumps. As soon as you connect the pump to the solar panel you’ll see them work.

Things to consider when buying one of these pumps are cost, size and what you want from your pump. If it’s to power a pond filter then don’t bother because they will not run continuously day and night.

If it’s to add an attractive water feature to your garden pond then buy one today. You won’t regret it.