How to build a solar pond fountain

Written by beverly ward
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How to build a solar pond fountain
Photo by Laura Shreck

The simplest way to create a solar-powered pond fountain is to purchase a ready-made floating pump with solar cells built into the unit. However, if you want to flex your creative muscles to design your own pond fountain, you'll need to purchase and assemble the components for your fountain separately. For a simple fountain system, you'll need a pump with fountain nozzle, solar cells and the appropriate wiring.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Submersible pump
  • Solar cells
  • Backup battery (optional)
  • Wiring

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  1. 1

    Choose a submersible fountain pump that provides the water height and type of spray pattern you prefer. Select a spray nozzle if not included with the pump. Note the amount of power required to run the pump. This will expressed in AC (alternating current), watts or volts. Submersible fountain pumps are available at home improvement and garden supply stores as well as online (see Resources below).

  2. 2

    Match up a solar cell panel or panels to meet the pump's power requirements. Determine where you'll place the solar cells to collect the maximum amount of sun energy. Solar cells should be placed in an area that receives continuous sunlight, away from trees and other shade-producing elements. You may need to mount the solar cells on a pole to achieve optimal results. Once you've determined the best location for the solar cells, you can calculate the length of wiring you'll need to connect your solar cells to the fountain pump. If you want your fountain to run around the clock and not just when the sun is shining brightly, you'll also need a backup battery that stores energy.

  3. 3

    Set up your solar cells in the selected location first. If mounting on a pole, dig a hole with a posthole digger and fill with wet concrete to provide a sturdy base. Insert the pole into the concrete and allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Attach the solar cells to the pole with screws and connect the wiring to your backup battery if you've chosen to use one. The battery pack can be attached to the underside of the solar panels.

  4. 4

    Attach one end of your underwater wiring to the solar cell and the other end to the pump. Gently place the pump at the bottom of the pond. You may need to place several stones or rocks around it to keep it stable. Now you're ready to turn on your pump and enjoy your fountain.

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