The Best Solar Powered Water Pumps — 2021 Reviews
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The Best Solar Powered Water Pumps

Solar power is so much more than an eco-friendly power source—it’s convenient, low-maintenance, and allows you to go off-grid even in the most remote regions. These days, solar-powered alternatives to anything electric have become more popular and, luckily, solar-powered water pumps have joined the game.

With solar energy, water pumps have become easier to install, maintain, and use whether it’s to give your garden a fountain or you want to power an irrigation system without inflating your electric bills.

Researching these pumps can get a bit overwhelming but now you don’t have to. Instead of clicking through dozens of Amazon pages, we’ve compiled a list of the best solar-powered water pumps for you to choose from!

Backyard Boss Top 5 Solar Powered Water Pumps in 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
AEO Solar Water Pump Kit - The Best Solar Powered Water PumpsAEO Solar Water Pump Kit
  • Peak Power: 10W
  • Max Flow: 196 GPH
  • Warranty: 12 Months
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OKMEE 4-in-1 Solar Fountain - The Best Solar Powered Water PumpsOKMEE 4-in-1 Solar Fountain
  • Peak Power: 2.2W
  • Max Flow: 42 GPH
  • Warranty: 24 Months
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Biling Solar Bird Bath with Panel - The Best Solar Powered Water PumpsBiling Solar Bird Bath with Panel
  • Peak Power: 2.2W
  • Max Flow: 52 GPH
  • Warranty: 12 Months
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SEAFLO Well Water Pump - The Best Solar Powered Water PumpsSEAFLO Well Water Pump
  • Peak Power: 4A at 24V
  • Max Flow: 96 GPH
  • Warranty: 12 Months
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PWS Solar Powered Swimming Pool Pump - The Best Solar Powered Water PumpsPWS Solar Powered Swimming Pool Pump
  • Peak Power: 500W at 48V
  • Max Flow: 96 GPH
  • Warranty: 36 Months
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Why You Can Trust Us

In the effort to have an effortless transition to solar energy, we know from personal experience that choosing anything solar-powered, let alone an important water pump, can be daunting. When we were looking for the best solar-powered water pumps for our well at the farm, we realize what a daunting task it was to pick the right one! After five months of combing through a large selection of solar-powered water pumps available online and offline, we finally found the right one for our well. Since we receive very little sunlight during winter, we picked one that could be powered by a battery.

To help you find a solar-powered water pump, we used both our personal experience and the advice from professionals on what to look for and what to avoid. No stone was left unturned to make sure that only the best would make it on this list. And since knowledge is power, we included additional information to help you decide on the perfect water pump for you, with our sources linked for full transparency.

Best for a Pond

AEO Solar Water Pump Kit
    This pump doubles as a fountain and is a key tool in keeping the water healthy.

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Why We Like It: This kit is specially designed for pond aquaponics and hydroponic gardening, meaning it’s not just a fountain, it also plays a special role in maintaining water quality. This oil and wire-free pump is a filtration system that nourishes and cleans the water for fishes and plants. Installing this needs no expertise since the kit is complete with a 10W polycrystalline solar panel that gives it a 20,000 hour working time and is protected by an aluminum frame. Overall, it’s a fish pond’s best friend!

Who Should Buy It: Someone looking for an alternative method of keeping their pond water healthy and clean.

Best for a Solar Fountain

OKMEE 4-in-1 Solar Fountain
    Versatile design allows even the smallest yards to have an impressive fountain.

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Why We Like It: This solar fountain comes with a special 4-in-1 nozzle and water volume control valve that helps you choose between four fountain styles and three heights. This is easy to use and very powerful, with a maximum fountain height of 50–70 cm high. It’s built with a filter box and water shortage protection that prevents it from running without water and collecting dirt.  It works almost immediately after sun exposure and can be used for fountains, birdbaths, ponds, pools, and aquariums.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for those looking to upgrade their sunny garden with a small DIY water feature.

Best for a Bird Bath

Biling Solar Bird Bath with Panel
    This pump produces a gentle fountain that can be set in five styles and run silently, inviting more birds.

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Why We Like It: This solar birdbath with glass laminate solar panels, comes with six nozzles for five different fountain sprays that can reach up to 40–60 cm tall, with a maximum flow of 52 GPH. It uses durable and compact solar laminates which can be screwed on a wall or inserted in the soil, for easier placement. The pump itself uses a high-quality rotor that works silently so as not to scare away any birds, with 10,000-hour service life and an IP65 waterproof design for all weather conditions.

Who Should Buy It: This would be great for those looking to equip their birdbaths with a gentle fountain.

Best for a Well

SEAFLO Well Water Pump
    This deep-well water pump is incredibly easy to use and comes at a great value.

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Why We Like It: This deep well solar-powered water pump has a 100-foot maximum submersion depth, able to fit 4.09” diameter wells and larger! The pump is incredibly powerful thanks to its three-chamber positive displacement diaphragm for a 96 GPH maximum flow rate and a 230-foot maximum lift. It uses watertight plastic and a thermally protected 24V motor that’s corrosion-resistant. It’s great for irrigation, ponds, and as a water source for secluded homes. If you’re lacking sunlight, it can also be powered by a 12V battery.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone looking for a pump for small irrigation systems and tanks would love this.

Best for a Pool

PWS Solar Powered Swimming Pool Pump
    Pools are very high-maintenance and using this powerful pump helps ease maintenance costs!

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Why We Like It: This 48V DC solar-powered pool pump has a maximum flow rate of 96 GPH and uses a brushless motor with a 49-foot maximum head. This submersible pump is built to easily fill a swimming pool at low costs, working efficiently in all light conditions, not just direct light, and can even be used in salt-chlorinated water. It also has built-in protective features that keep it from overheating and running dry.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for those looking for an environmentally friendly way to maintain their salt-chlorinated pools.

How to Choose a Solar Water Pump

Solar water pumps are designed with a specific purpose in mind which is why it comes in so many forms. This means the first step in choosing a solar-powered water pump is knowing exactly how it’ll be used before choosing a pump according to your specific needs.

Classification

Water pumps can be classified into either submersible or surface pumps. Submersible water pumps are designed to lift water down from 700 feet underground to the surface. Surface water pumps deal with water that is, at most, 20 feet deep.

Solar Panel

Not all solar-powered water pumps come with solar panels. Different pumps require different solar panel specs. It’s not a complicated process but research and professional advice would be a great help in maximizing your chosen pump.

Components and Features

Solar-powered water pumps are built with many parts that each serve an important purpose. Components include pipe size, voltage, flow rate, fountain styles, inlet/ outlet sizes, and bonus features.

It’s also good to look for built-in safety features, such as a built-in filter for pond pumps and intense waterproofing for deep-well submersible pumps. The pump size should also match its purpose and location.

Electric vs. Solar Water Pumps

The biggest factor to consider when choosing a water pump is its power source. There are several power sources to choose from but the most common dilemma is picking between electric and solar-powered water pumps. We’ve gathered the key benefits and drawbacks of each source to help you decide.

The three biggest advantages of an electric water pump are its low initial cost, control opportunities, and the variety of options. 

Electricity is a predictable power source and has been around longer than solar-powered pumps, meaning its design has been improved and enhanced countless times. It also has more control opportunities, such as a timer to schedule cycles automatically.

That said, its biggest disadvantage is its high maintenance needs. Electric systems need regular checks since these operate on AC current, which is built with more parts, such as custom panels and inverters, which lead to more potential fees for each component. When investing in one, expect to be highly involved with maintenance, including replacement and repair fees for each component and a higher electric bill.

two black birds on a fountain
Image credit: Mark Timberlake via Unsplash

On the flip side, a solar-powered water pump’s three biggest advantages are its low maintenance cost, eco-friendliness, and easy assembly and installment.

Solar water pumps are much easier to set up, especially if a unit has all the necessary parts, with online sources that can help with assembly. This also needs less maintenance since they run on sunlight and use DC current, which requires fewer parts while being more efficient than their electric counterparts. Best of all, solar power leaves your electricity bills alone!

However, solar-powered pumps are at a disadvantage with their high initial cost since solar components remain pricier than electrical and mechanical alternatives.

Electric Pump Solar Pump
Powerful x x
Low initial investment x
Low maintenance cost x
Low maintenance efforts x
Environmentally friendly x
Predictable source x
Portable unit x
Varied product innovations x
Many design options x x
High control opportunities x
Easy assembly and installment x

How We Picked

Knowing that different pump designs are made for various purposes, our search started by determining which water pumps were used most. This helped us land on five categories which we kept in mind as we searched through available options.

We looked for pump designs for each category by examining the materials used, product innovations, components included, and the ease of assembly and installation. Not only did we rely on official descriptions, but we also listened closely to what consumers had to say in their reviews.

This strict process gave us an unbiased picture of each product, making us confident in the five solar-powered water pumps we chose.

Our Pick of the Best Solar Powered Water Pumps

Our top pick would be the AEO Solar Water Pump Kit. This water pump can serve many uses, not just for pond aquaponics but also as a birdbath or normal fountain. It comes with its filtration system, has many fountain styles to choose from, uses an incredibly powerful system, and comes complete with solar panels.

Although this specific unit fits the general image of how people imagine solar water pumps, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best for you. Always look at how much potential it has to improve your home and backyard to avoid wasting your precious time and money.

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