Solar Pump FAQ
Why do I need a solar pond pump or solar fountain?
Solar pumps are for people who have no electrical supply to their pond or they but they simply want to reduce their electricity bill. Any additional filtration or aeration will help pond life, plants and especially fish survive and thrive.
Please note the solar products only work when the sun strikes the solar panel. They may work at a reduced level with light clouds. We stress this as a few customers have complained that the product did not work on a cloudy day or at night. However, we do sell a battery to extend daily running. Our twin panel pumps have what is called a max. head at ten feet. That’s measured from the surface of the water to the top of any waterfall. You should try to get below six feet to ensure a reasobale flow. This is six feet on the single panel SP25. Please call us if you have any questions.
What’s in the Kits?
The SP25, SP50 and SP100 are designed to pump water to a waterfall, filter box or irrigation system. The kit has all you need to start right away with the pump, the panel(s) and stands, 16 feet of wiring and 16 feet of hose approx one inch in diameter. The hose connects to the pump using a supplied graduated adapter that can take a smaller or larger hose but the one we supply fits very well. There is 16 feet of wire from the pump to the solar panels. We sell extenders that can extend this distance by multiples of 16 or 32 feet allowing you to place the panels in the optimal position for the sun and/or to hide them. We have customers who have bought 3-4 of these extenders for this purpose. There is nothing else to purchase and you should be up and running on a sunny day in minutes.
The SF70 and SDF100 solar fountain kits are also ready to set up and run in minutes. No hose is supplied as they will pump water vertically up through a choice of three supplied fountain patterns. There are plastic extenders supplied to the pump can rest some way below the surface. You can also buy extenders allowing you to place the solar panels further way from the pump.
Where can I place the solar panels?
Which solar pumps should I get?
All our pumps are quite large measuring about 10 by 9 inches and about eight inches high. They are unlikely to fit into a small water feature such as a fountain due to their size as they need at least 50 gallons of water and 4-6 inches of space around them to operate efficiently. If the water drops below the top of our pumps it will stop. This is a critical safety feature so the pump will not burn out but it can also save you from drying out a pond in the event there is a leak. Many people have emptied their ponds killing their fish with cheaper pumps.
Any pond over 100 gallons up to over well 25,000 gallons will benefit from one of these waterfall/filtration pumps. We have some customers with lakes who have a fountain pump at one end where it can be easily seen. The solar waterfall/filtration pumps come in three sizes. The MNP SP 25 has one 25W panel and has a max output of 647 gallons per hour (GPH). The SP50 with two 25W panels has a max. GPH of 898 GPH and the SP100 with two 50W panels has a max output of 1,268 GPH. The SP25 has a max. head of six feet measured from the surface of the water and the larger pumps have a max. head of ten feet. Try not to take your waterfall much higher than half the max head and the lower the faster the water will flow.
We have two solar powered fountain pumps. Each comes with three different fountain patterns. You can also have what looks like a mushroom effect, a pillar of water or a classic full spray. The SF70 has a max GPH of 898 GPH powered by two 35W panels and the MNP SF100 uses two 50W panels to reach 1,268 GPH max. These are complete kits. They pump should be placed close to the surface of the water. Some people have placed the pump on one or two plastic crates. These fountain pumps are not suitable for a small pond as the water they throw up can come down outside the perimeter of the pond. We suggest the pond should exceed ten by ten feet to help avoid this. As with the waterfall pump these pumps will stop running if the pump is uncovered and will also stop but no burn out if the get jammed with weeds.
Can I add a backup battery?
Providing this facility for our powerful range of solar pumps (all but the SP25) demands some trade-offs to keep the costs reasonable and the performance acceptable. The MNP SB12 meets this need by lowering the pump speed and max head of the solar pumps it works with but in return for this performance degradation the battery can provide many hours of continuous running long after the sun goes down.
That trade off is in the region of a reduction in max head from 10 to 6 feet and as a consequence your waterfall should be below 4 feet to have a decent flow. The GPH will go down by about a third. During long summer days you may disconnect the battery and revert to the pump’s normal perormance but if you want around ten extra hours run time this may be a good option. The battery needs sunshine on the panels to charge up and it may not reach sufficient power until 9-10 am in the morning. If you have a cloudy day the battery will not charge and will not run the pump. Please see the product specifications here for more details: