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Spring is in the air! And with it, the driving urge to upgrade the landscaping. Or at least fix that broken fountain by the mailbox.

The winter’s been a rough one – all those crazy storms! – but we’re ready for a green lawn, working birdbath, and other lovely pieces that make home that much sweeter.

Personally, I’m looking to upgrade the stuff around here, specifically by adding a birdbath that my cat can safely enjoy from the window.

Which means, I need a pump.

And I’m all about solar power, so I’m taking a look at these options. It’s better for the environment and easier on the wallet, among other things. Here we’ll be reviewing the best solar pond pump and the best solar fountain pump.

Quick-Find Best Solar Pump Table

Image Product
  • Best Solar Pump for Ponds
  • Huge pumping capacity
  • Shoots water up to 10 feet
  • Best Solar Pump for Ponds
  • Huge pumping capacity
  • Shoots water up to 10 feet
  • Best Solar Pump for Fountains
  • Two spray patterns
  • Runs great for a few hours after dark
  • Best Solar Pump for Fountains
  • Two spray patterns
  • Runs great for a few hours after dark
  • Great for fountains
  • Multiple spray patterns
  • Very durable
  • Great for fountains
  • Multiple spray patterns
  • Very durable
  • Best All-In-One Pump and Fountain
  • Pump is inside ready-made fountain
  • Very peaceful
  • Best All-In-One Pump and Fountain
  • Pump is inside ready-made fountain
  • Very peaceful
  • Best for Bird Baths
  • Four spray patterns
  • Very small and easy to set up
  • Best for Bird Baths
  • Four spray patterns
  • Very small and easy to set up
  • Best for Small Fountains
  • Floating pump
  • Perfect for small spaces
  • Best for Small Fountains
  • Floating pump
  • Perfect for small spaces

>> Tap here to read our reviews of these top picks <<

Benefits of Using a Solar Powered Pump

There are several reasons you should consider using a solar powered pump for your pond, birdbath, or outdoor fountain.

You’ll be Eco-Friendly

Probably the most obvious thing about a solar powered anything is that it’s going to be much kinder to the environment than something that runs on standard electricity.

Since solar cells literally harness energy put out by the sun and converts it into energy your electronics can use, you’re not using energy created by a powerplant.

You’ll Save Money

When you use solar power, you only have the up-front costs of the solar panels and equipment that runs whatever object you’re powering. In the case of fountains, ponds, et cetera, you’re talking either an all-inclusive item that contains both the pump and the solar panel or a two-piece setup.

Once you make the initial purchase, you’re good to go. The pump doesn’t require expensive utilities to run it. And maintenance is pretty low-key. You’ll mostly just need to keep the pump and solar cells clean to keep the pump functioning.

They’re Easy to Install

Solar powered pumps are pretty easy to install. Most of them are basic models that require just a few simple steps that pretty much anyone can do.

Plus, you don’t have to do extra wiring, figure out waterproof and heatproof power lines, et cetera.

Everything is included in the pump setup and no lines need to be run. Easy.

Solar Power Water Fountain Pumps are Versatile

Solar powered pumps work for just about any shape or size pond you could want. And since no two ponds are the same, that’s a really beneficial thing.

They work for koi ponds, biological ponds, birdbaths, bubble fountains… Just about anything you can think of that needs water pumping through.

Solar Pumps are Nearly Silent

Unlike many of the bubblers that keep ponds and birdbaths going, solar pumps are almost always silent. You’ll still have the lovely bubbling sound of the water, but it won’t be drowned about the obnoxious hum of the pump.

Solar Fountain Pumps Have Long Lifespans

Solar powered pumps also have a long operational lifespan. Because they’re low-maintenance and don’t require rewiring every couple of years, you’ve got this long-lasting pump that will continue to save you time and money as it operates for an impressively long time.

The exact lifespan will change from pump to pump, of course, but that’s part of why it’s important to purchase one from a well-trusted manufacturer.

zen garden with massage stones and waterlily best solar pond pump

What Can You Use a Solar Powered Fountain/Pond Pump For?

You can use your pump to run a few small things.

  • Koi ponds
  • Biological ponds
  • Birdbaths
  • Garden fountains
  • Miniature creeks
  • Other small ponds
  • Wall fountains
  • Bowl fountain/ponds

You would need a larger, more powerful pump to run something like your pool, though there are some solar powered pumps that definitely can be used for this.

Are There Limitations for Solar Fountain Pumps?

The size and wattage of your pump will determine the limitations on how you can use your solar pump.

The amount of sunlight the pond or fountain gets can also limit the effectiveness of your pump.

Pumps can only work with a specific volume of water. Be sure to get one suited for your particular water feature volume rate.

If you’re installing your pond or birdbath, fountain, or other water feature for the first time, be sure to place it where it will get the most sunlight all day. This will ensure your solar pump will get more sunlight.

Should You Get a Pump with a Battery Backup?

If consistency on the rate of flow for your pond isn’t critical for your pleasure – or your turtle’s needs – a solar fountain pump is a great option, with or without backup power. However, if a consistency of flow is needed, you should see if you can find a solar fountain pump with battery backup.

The battery can keep things consistent when the sunlight isn’t are strong as on other days, as well as at night if the solar cells didn’t pull in enough energy to keep things going all night.

What’s the Difference Between Submersible and External?

Submersible pumps literally are submerged in the water of your fountain or pond while an external pump is outside the water itself.

Submersible pumps are best for small ponds, fountains, birdbaths, et cetera, while external pumps are best for things like pools and larger ponds.

When Should You Use a Solar Pump Versus a Normal Pump?

While I always prefer recommending solar powered everything – save the environment! – there are times when a regular pump is a better idea.

If you live someplace where you don’t get a lot of sunlight – either because of consistent cloud coverage or seasonal changes that limit light – you probably want to get a traditionally powered pump.

Generally speaking, solar powered fountain pumps tend to be low wattage and run small things, but that also means they have fewer solar cells and convert less UV light into usable energy.

Tropical zen garden view with fountain and green plants best solar fountain pump

How to Choose the Right Solar Pump

There are several things to think about as you decide on which pump you should choose for your yard’s water features.

Max Flow or Water Capacity

Many of the pumps have multiple max flows based on the voltage used to run them. This will generally be referred to in gallons per hour – or GPH. This tells you the capacity of water the pump can send through in an hour.

Obviously, for larger fountains and ponds, you’ll need higher max flow. For small fountains and birdbaths, however, this isn’t as much of a concern, but still, check to make sure it will do what you need.

Wattage of the Solar Panel

These pumps come with a solar panel, which means you’re stuck with whatever wattage panel is included.

Make sure that the panel is strong enough to power your pump in your climate. Low wattage, for example, wouldn’t be a great idea for Seattle, while it might work okay in someplace like California.

Length of Cord

The length of the cord determines how far away you can position the solar panel. If your fountain or pond is in a shady spot, you’ll need to measure how far away you need to place the solar panel to actually power the pump.

Always anticipate a little more length will be needed. I.e., if your fountain is six feet away from a sunny spot, make sure you get a cord that’s at least eight feet in length.

Max Head

Max head is the maximum height at which the water on the pump can shoot into the air.

That means that if you’re getting a pump for a four-foot tall fountain, you need the max head to be at least several inches higher than this or the water won’t ever get out of the fountainhead.

Reviews of the Best Solar Fountain and Pond Pumps

Now that we know a bit about solar powered pond pumps, let’s take a look at the best ones available. If you go looking for “solar power water pumps for fountains,” you’ll notice that there are about three standard models across the many brands.

That’s a big reason why I’m putting together this list for you. When they all look the same, it’s hard to determine which is the best choice.

fountain in the park best solar water pump

How We Chose the Best Solar Power Water Pumps for Fountains, Ponds, and Birdbaths

Since most of the pumps look the same, it’s hard to tell which ones are better than another. So, instead of thinking about the similarities in the pumps, I found several solar fountain pump review lists to dig through before doing my own research.

These lists looked like they were listing the same product over and over again under a different name, so I pulled up each of the products on the web and compared them side by side. I immediately eliminated any that didn’t have great reviews from real-life users. This left me with about twenty options.

Again, I did a side-by-side comparison, looking at the pumps that resembled each other. Which had the highest ratings? Which had the most beneficial reviews? Which were high quality? I dug around in these listings and reviews for several hours until I came up with what I believe to be the absolute best solar pond pumps available.

Best Solar Pump for Ponds

I looked at several that others said were the best solar powered water pump for ponds. I found just one that I can recommend as the absolute best.

#1. SolaRiver Solar Water Pump Kit (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The SolaRiver is one of the top-rated pumps on nearly every solar pond pump review site I looked at.

But I always want to check things out for myself on anything so popular.

And what I discovered is that the SolaRiver pump kit absolutely deserves this placement.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 20W
  • Best for: ponds, large fountains, artificial waterfalls
  • Submersible: Yes
  • Features: Clogging impeller pre-filter
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: 400 GPH
  • Battery Backup: No
  • Spray patterns: 2
  • Length of cord: 16 feet
  • Max head: 210.5 feet

The 20-watt solar panel on the SolaRiver gives this pump enough power to move a whopping 400 gallons of water per hour.

Admittedly, you have to have the sun to back it up – i.e. don’t stick the panel in a shady spot – but if the panel is getting plenty of sun, you’re working with a powerful pump for your pond, fountain, or birdbath.

solariver solar water pump spray review

Personally, I prefer this one for a small koi pond in the sunny section of the yard. Since the koi need a constantly flowing stream of water aerating the pond, this pump is perfect. It’s also great for larger fountains.

The pump itself can get the water flowing up to 10 feet in the right conditions, and there are two different spray patterns to choose from. The pump itself is durable, and the panel can be staked and placed up to 16-feet away from the water feature.

The pump also comes with a one-year warranty. I always love a good warranty.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

Best Solar Fountain Pump

Fountains don’t necessarily require as much power as large ponds, so it was a little tougher to narrow down my list for this category.

However, I found two that run fountains really well, and one even lights them up for evening enjoyment.

#1. Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Pump and Panel Fountain Kit

Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Pump review

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

This is an absolutely perfect solar powered pump for someone who enjoys the backyard in the evening like I do.

I grab a beer or similar delightful beverage, turn on the radio, and enjoy the crickets and birds as they settle in for the night.

And this pump has a built-in LED light, which means I can enjoy the fountain as it runs, too.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 3W
  • Best for: fountains, mid-sized ponds
  • Submersible: Yes
  • Features: LED light
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: 132 GPH
  • Battery Backup: Yes
  • Spray patterns: two options
  • Length of cord: 2x 16-foot cables, 1x 77-inch cable
  • Max head: 4.67 feet

The Sunnydaze fountain pump has a backup battery pack, which I also love because it means I can still enjoy the fountain on an evening after a cloudy day.

Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Pump small
Smaller, peaceful head
Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Pump large spray
Larger, spraying head

The solar powered pond pump with battery will run for an additional four hours after the sun goes down.

This setup comes with several cable options, too, which is perfect for some of the more awkwardly shaped yards. You can put the solar panel in a spot fairly distant from the fountain, and still get enough sunlight.

This also happens to be the best solar fountain pump with battery backup. The Sunnydaze comes with a one-year warranty.

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#2. Lewisia 5W Solar Fountain Pump

Lewisia 5W Solar Fountain Pump review

Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about the Lewisia pumps to begin with. But as I started reading more, including the many satisfied reviews, I was ready to look deeper.

When I did, I was very pleased with what I learned, and gladly recommend it for your ponds and fountains.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 5W
  • Best for: fountains, larger ponds, koi ponds
  • Submersible: Yes
  • Features: Remove attachment for bubbler feature
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: 380L/h
  • Battery Backup: No
  • Spray patterns: 2
  • Length of cord: 10 feet
  • Max head: 2 feet

With a larger than average wattage, the Lewisia solar water fountain pump can power anything from a small basin fountain to a mid-sized pond. It’s great for birdbaths, fish tanks, koi ponds, and fountains.

Lewisia 5W Solar Fountain Pump examples

The solar panel is made of high-quality Polycrystalline silicon solar cells that effectively capture and convert solar energy into electricity for your water feature.

And this particular panel is incredibly durable, so it’s going to be able to handle being in a yard with kids and pets.

You can adjust the flow by skipping the attachment. This will give you a bubbler type flow, which is perfect for smaller features like birdbaths and wall fountains.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

Best All in One Fountain/Pump System

I hadn’t planned on listing an all-in-one fountain and pump, but this beauty needed to be included.

#1. Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Koi Fountain

Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Koi Fountain review

Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for an all-in-one or pre-made fountain that runs on solar power, this blue glazed finish Koi fountain is my recommendation.

It comes with everything you need for a fountain today. Smart Solar knew what they were doing!

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: unknown
  • Best for: Ready-made fountain
  • Submersible: N/A
  • Features: ready-made/all-in-one fountain/pump
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: 55 GPH
  • Battery Backup: N/A
  • Spray patterns: N/A
  • Length of cord: 10 feet
  • Max head: N/A

This low voltage fountain is ready to go once you remove it from the box. It’s a cool cobalt blue and doesn’t require any wiring. You just need to place it or affix to somewhere you’d like an attractive fountain and place the solar panel within 10-feet in a sunny spot.

The koi’s mouth spouts out the water into the glazed basin, recycling the same 1.5 gallons of water over and over again.

The pump keeps the water running, but also keeps it fresh for birds who might like to splash around for a bath. Some cats and other pets will also think this makes for a great place to grab a drink.

The fountain has a filter, too, so that means the water’s safe to drink for kitty or pooch.

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Best Solar Powered Fountain Kits for Birdbaths

Finally, I needed to offer something that the bird lovers could appreciate. These are the best option I could find for birdbaths anywhere.

#1. RoadTec Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath

ROADTEC Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath review

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

This is my favorite fountain pump for small water features outside.

It’s versatile, easy to set-up, and has some great functionality for a variety of types of small ponds or birdbaths.

It’s a complete, submersible pump kit that will start working within 3-seconds of the panel being placed in the sunlight.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 1.8W
  • Best for: birdbaths and very small water features
  • Submersible: Yes
  • Features: Basic
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: 53 GPH
  • Battery Backup: No
  • Spray patterns: 4 options
  • Length of cord: 12 feet
  • Max head: 27.6-inches

This is a small capacity pump that’s perfect for birdbaths and really small water features, like a tabletop fountain on the deck.

ROADTEC Solar Fountain Pump for Birdbath example

Now, part of what I like about this one is that it’s got four different sprinkler heads, meaning it really is versatile for a variety of water features.

The built-in brushless motor is designed to last a long time, with up to 20,000 hours of life. And since it’s low energy consumption, it’s going to truly last that long assuming it’s well maintained.

it’s low energy consumption, it’s going to truly last that long assuming it’s well maintained.

I will note that this is not really a pump to run fish tanks or ponds with, as the wattage is so low and doesn’t “store” a lot of power for overnight use.

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#2. Solatec Solar Fountain for Small Water Features

Solatec Solar Fountain review

Overall Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

This floating pump from SolaTec adds a unique flair to the yard water features. It has four different heads and works perfectly for small features like birdbaths and fountains.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wattage: 1.4W
  • Best for: small fountains, birdbaths
  • Submersible: Yes
  • Features: floating
  • Max Power/Flow Capacity: unknown
  • Battery Backup: No
  • Spray patterns: 4 options
  • Length of cord: N/A
  • Max head: 20-inches

I love the Solatec Solar Fountain pump. It’s one of the absolute best options to use for a small water feature.

Solatec Solar Fountain example

I specifically like it for a small deck fountain, though it’s great for a birdbath or tiny pond. It’s pretty tiny, though, with only a 20-inch max head.

The Solatec is incredibly easy to install, which is another winning point for me.

And because they’re so small and easy to use, I’m actually thinking of loading up the yard with a few different new water features this year, using these tiny pumps.

My cat loves the birdbath thing, but she loves watching bubbling fountains just about anywhere – and so do I.

Plus, this has four different spray pattern options, which make it all the more versatile for a variety of options, like birdbath, tabletop fountain, miniature pond, and even a fish tank. It comes with a suction cup, as well so you can get really creative.

Finally, the pump actually floats, so that adds a little more versatility to how you can use this pump.

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Find the Best Solar Powered Pond Pump

Honestly, any of the options we’ve suggested are great.

birds bathing in a bird bath best solar fountain pump for bird baths

They’re all powerful enough to keep running, have long-lasting lives, and are attractive and easy to use.

They’re all a bit different – despite the similar looks on many – and different pumps will meet different needs.

Be sure to peruse a few before buying, just to make sure you’re getting what you really want in your new solar powered pond pump.

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