Buying a Solar Garden Fountain - Some Tips

Should you purchase a solar garden fountain or a mains powered fountain? Both have their pros and cons but we find that solar powered fountains are safer around children and pets and easier to maintain than mains powered fountains even though they have the shortcoming of working less efficiently through the winter.The panels on solar fountains make use of photovoltaic cells to collect solar energy all through the day which is used to operate the pump. As they need sunlight the pump will reduce speed and the water will stop during the hours of darkness or if the sky is cloudy.

Solar fountains are trouble-free to set up and the majority will need no difficult installation. Solar fountains either have solar panels in the main body or remote panels that can be placed at a distance. This enables the fountain to be sited in a shady position while the panels are located where they can collect the sunlight. The remote solar panels can be located on a firm surface, attached to a tree or fence or on a wood stake planted firmly in the earth.

Solar garden fountains are useful as they need no cables from the mains and can be placed some distance from the home. With separate panels they can even be positioned in shady spots or in summerhouses.

Solar Fountain by Norm Walsh
Solar Fountain by Norm Walsh

Disadvantages of Using Solar Panels

Most solar panels aren't able to store power so they cannot be used at night. They will work most efficiently on sunny days and on overcast days they may just pump water very slowly or stop pumping completely. For the duration of the winter it is best to disengage the panels as during very cold or freezing weather conditions the pump may work when the sun is out and damage could happen. A few solar fountains have backup batteries to make up for short cloudy periods but nearly all are really only intended to be operated on sunlit days.

Solar Pond Fountains

Also many solar fountains are specially made for ponds and are also handy as they do not require cables from the house. You could set them to float on the pond or set them in position with rocks or attached to secure them.

Solar Pond Fountain by cleverswine
Solar Pond Fountain by cleverswine

Safety Issues

Solar fountains are environmentally friendly with no noxious emissions, no noise and no substances that may seep out and be a hazard. As there are no cables they are safe for pets and the family.

Solar Powered Bird Baths

Solar bird baths incorporate a bird bath with a fountain and make wonderful birdbaths. The sound of running water attracts the wild birds who will love to bathe in the fountain and will attract insect loving birds that do not come to your bird feeder. As they are solar powered they do not cost anything to run but they will not work well on cloudy days or during the overcast days in the winter.


Outdoor garden fountains driven by sunlight are economical, easy to look after and safer than wired fountains. Although they have the drawback of running poorly through the colder months they would be, nevertheless, excellent additions to your garden.

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Comments 4 comments

Mary Fellows profile image

Mary Fellows 7 years ago from Australia

I love the blue one - thats pretty - not sure they would work in the UK though - is there enough sun? It would be great in Australia but we are more into swimming pools here!

StewardL profile image

StewardL 7 years ago

I live in San Diego and it is always sunny here - except when the May grey and June gloom come in. But other than that it is always sunny. Too bad I don't have a house to put up solar water fountain in - it would probably be really nice.

joyrb profile image

joyrb 7 years ago from UK Author

My daughter has one in her garden and it works pretty well during the summer - not so good in the Autumn and winter though!

themoneyking profile image

themoneyking 7 years ago from Canada

I'm in love with solar power. The concept of not having to pay money to operate electronic stuff really appeals. Great article!

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