Garden fountains enhance your backyard retreat in crating a relaxing, attractive environment. A solar-powered pump will not only give the garden fountain a quiet running pump, but also save on the overall electrical bill. Solar-powered pumps for garden fountains are relatively inexpensive and are easily installed. Here are some basic steps to outfitting your garden fountain with a solar-powered pump.
Step 1: Plan for Solar Power
One of the biggest problems many people face when they want to add a solar-powered item an existing feature is the sun factor. If the area is shaded, the solar power will not operate a pump because the solar energy stored during the day is inadequate, Before you purchase a solar pump, make sure that the garden fountain is in a sunny spot, or you can move it.
Step 2: Purchase Pump for Garden Fountain
There are several different kinds of pumps on the market today for garden fountains. Most of the time, the one that is supplied with the fountain is rated for the specific amount of water and flow that it needs to maintain a clean water basin. Check to see the specs on the current pump and do not purchase anything that is rated any lower.
Step 3: Position Solar Panel
A solar pump is going to have a detached solar panel from which it will receive power. This solar panel is usually connected by a wire that can be anywhere from 4 to 10 feet long. Depending on the length of the cord, this is the amount of room you have to work with. Place the solar panel in an area that is both out of the way and access to full sun at least 6 hours a day.
Step 4: Install Solar Panel
The solar panel may have a built in stake system where it is driven into the ground. If so, install the panel with a rubber mallet or by simply pushing the stake into the soil. If not, then drive a length of 2 x 4 lumber into the ground with a hammer and make sure that about 3 feet is sticking up. Place the solar panel on the lumber with some wood screws.
Step 5: Install Pump in Garden Fountain
After the solar panel is in position, remove the old pump from the garden fountain. You may have to drain the fountain and remove a cover to do so. This will depend on the type of fountain you own. Remove any power cords that are running into the fountain and replace it with the one coming from the solar panel. Connect the cord to the pump and place it at the bottom of the fountain.
Step 6: Caulk Opening
When you removed the power cord from the fountain you would have disturbed the waterproof caulk that was around it. Place a new bead of caulking around the cord. Make sure it is water tight and refill the fountain. Turn on the pump and check to make sure that it is circulating correctly.