How to Convert a Standard Fountain into a Solar Fountain

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Going green in your garden nowadays does not only mean the color of plantings, but implementing environmentally friendly and cost-effective methods to beautify your landscape. Aside from choosing drought-tolerant plantings to save water, add features that can save electricity. Fountains that run on electric pumps can waste energy and money, especially when left running all day. Converting a standard fountain into a solar-powered fountain helps save energy and money while giving your garden a soothing and peaceful ambience.

Things You'll Need

  • Solar pump kit
  • Wire cutter
  • Crowbar

Removing Old Fountain Pump

  • Turn off and unplug the water fountain.

  • Remove the water and other water features such as pebbles, water plants and decorations.

  • Trace the electric line or cable underneath or behind the fountain. Some fountains come with wires built-in making them a little difficult to remove. Loosen or disconnect the wire from the pump and cut the wires as close to the electric pump as possible, using a wire cutter.

  • Remove the old fountain pump by lifting the suction. Disconnect it from the suction hose or tubing. Some fountains come with glued pumps so that they will not move during operation. In this case, use a sharp object or a crowbar to loosen the glue before you lift the pump.

  • Clean the interior of the fountain and inspect for any leaks or damage.

Installing Solar Pump Kit

  • Place the new pump in the place where the old pump sat. Use a clamp or put a rock to anchor it in place.

  • Connect the tubing to the pump. Make sure it is free of debris.

  • Run the pump wire underneath or behind the fountain. Camouflage with rocks and plants to hide it from view. If the solar panel has a long connection cord, put it on any unobstructed location that it can reach.

  • Fill the fountain with water. Submerge the pump.

  • Turn on the pump if it has an on/off switch. Some models do not come with an on/off switch and will automatically run once the sun hits the solar panel. Check the water flow and make adjustments as needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Solar pump kits come in small, medium, large and extra-large. Small solar pumps can pump up to 45 gallons per hour, medium solar pumps can pump up to 125 gallons per hour, large solar pumps can pump up to 220 gallons per hour and extra large solar pumps can pump up to 450 gallons of water per hour. Choose the right size for your fountain.
  • Avoid shady locations for your fountain such as under tall trees or next to a tall building and structures that can cast shadows directly over the panel, preventing direct sunlight from penetrating.
  • Install a night/day solar water pump kit so that you can use the fountain even when it is dark.

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References

  • Photo Credit fountain image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
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