The most important part of any fountain is the pump.
It circulates the water, prevents algae buildup, creates soothing sounds, and adds a water jet to make any fountain a stunning centerpiece.
Choosing the best fountain pumps is key to creating water features that last. There are several different kinds available so it’s important to know what to look for to find the right one for you.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Right Fountain Pump?
- The 8 Best Fountain Pumps on the Market
- Best Fountain Pump Reviews
- How Does a Fountain Pump Work?
- How to Install a Water Fountain Pump?
- How to Clean a Water Fountain Pump?
How to Choose the Right Fountain Pump?
There are a few things to consider when choosing a fountain pump. When deciding which is the right one for you, it’s always important to keep in mind how you’re going to use it. Different applications have different needs.
Solar Power Pumps
The most important thing to consider if you’re choosing a fountain pump for an outdoor water feature is how you want to power it. For pumps that are only going to be used outside, solar power is a convenient choice.
A lot of pumps that are designed to create fountains in pools, ponds, and birdbaths feature a nozzle surrounded by a large solar panel that sits near the surface of the water. Others use a separate solar panel with cables that attach to the nozzle. They don’t require an additional power source.
Some solar pumps don’t store energy and will only work when the solar panel is exposed to bright sunlight. Others have an internal battery that gives the pump a little more power and keeps it going when clouds block out the sun.
Submersible Water Pumps
For something more powerful and reliable, consider a submersible pump. They can be used indoors and outdoors and, as the name suggests, are completely submersible. This means they can also be used in aquariums to circulate and oxygenate the water.
Submersible pumps are electric and plug right into an outlet. Because they don’t depend on sunlight, they’re consistently powerful and work around the clock.
How high do you want the water to spray? There are two factors that determine how high the spray can get: the volume of water in the pool or fountain and how much water pressure is needed to achieve that height.
Each of these pumps has a different maximum spray height but it’s important to remember that this isn’t the only factor in how high the spray will actually be. Choosing a pump that fits the size of your pool, fountain, or birdbath can help it operate more effectively.
Most of the products we reviewed come with a variety of nozzles to control the shape and coverage of the water jet. This is a great feature if you like to mix it up occasionally and change the way your fountain looks.
The 8 Best Fountain Pumps on the Market
If you’re looking for the best fountain pump to suit your needs, you’re in the right place. There are a lot of options to choose from so you’re sure to find one that works for you.
|Solatec Solar Fountain Pump||1.4W|
|Viajero Solar Powered Fountain Pump||4W|
|AMYER Solar Powered Fountain Pump||1.7W|
|COSSCCI Solar Fountain Water Pump||1.8W|
|Jebao Submersible Fountain Pond Water Pump||2.5, 5, 12, 20, 45, 99W|
|CWKJ Submersible Fountain Water Pump||25W|
|Tiger Submersible Fountain Pump||6W|
|KEDSUM Ultra Quiet Submersible Fountain Pump||40, 55, 65W|
Best Fountain Pump Reviews
1. Solatec Solar Fountain Pump
The best solar fountain pump we found is this one from Solatec. It’s completely powered by the sun, no need for a backup battery or electrical outlet, though it does not store power and needs sunlight to operate.
It’s an ideal pump for fountains, birdbaths, pools, small ponds, or to circulate water in an aquarium.
This pump features four different types of nozzle heads. Each one creates a slightly different spray pattern that reaches up to about 20 inches high. Switching from one to another is easy and the all-black design doesn’t distract from the water and other surroundings.
Installation is simple, too. Just make sure the floating plate stays on the surface of the water so the solar panel is exposed to sunlight. The fountain automatically starts working in a few seconds. The brighter the sun, the better the fountain works.
The weather-resistant design is waterproof and durable and the polycrystalline silicon solar panel is designed to tolerate even frosty weather. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well as a full one year warranty.
2. Viajero Solar Powered Fountain Pump
This fountain from Viajero is solar-powered, too, and powers on after only 15 seconds of sun exposure. For best results, let it sit out in the sun for about 30 minutes to charge before placing it in the water.
What’s great about this pump is it stores solar energy to power a backup battery. Performance is a little more stable and it has just a little more power for a maximum jet height of about 20 inches. Keep in mind that the pump needs a few hours of bright sunlight to charge the battery.
With four different water jet patterns, you have a nice variety to choose from when using this pump in a fountain, small pond, pool, or garden. It’s waterproof, easy to install, and weighs just 12 ounces.
The pump easily detaches from the solar panel for easy cleaning. It comes with excellent customer service and a one-year warranty.
3. AMYER Solar Fountain Pump
Another great choice is this fountain from AMYER. It’s completely solar-powered and, in full sunlight, has a jet height as high as 38 inches. That said, it also features an updated solar panel and unique design that still creates beautiful fountains even when the sunlight is weak.
The pump starts working after being exposed to sunlight for only three seconds but is stronger after longer sun exposure.
There are four different types of nozzles and various combinations you can try to get the perfect accent for your small pond, pool, fish tank, or birdbath. For best results, place the pump in the water to start running then assemble and place the nozzle of your choice.
For the biggest sprays, make sure there are at least two inches of water. Regular cleaning is recommended, too, especially if you want large water jets. Remember, the more sun exposure, the more power.
4. COSSCCI Solar Fountain Water Pump
While this COSSCCI is solar-powered, it works a little differently than what we’ve seen so far. The solar panel is separate and not connected to the nozzle. The major benefit to this is you can easily position the panel in an area with adequate sunlight, even when the water is in the shade.
The cord length between the solar panel and the nozzle is 9.5 feet which give you a good amount of length to work with when positioning the panel. The height of the water depends on the strength of the sunlight. It can hit about 27 inches in optimal conditions.
There are four sprinkler heads included creating different spray patterns which makes this a great choice for any outdoor water decoration. Because the nozzle is so small, it’s much less inconspicuous than those with the panel attached.
This fountain has a built-in brushless motor for longer life and lower energy consumption as well as a solar fountain built to last more than 20,000 hours. If any problems occur, it’s likely that the solar panel is dirty or not placed in optimal sunlight.
5. Jebao Submersible Fountain Pond Water Pump
If you’re looking for the best small fountain pump for small birdbaths or water features, check out this submersible pump from Jebao. Because it’s powered by electricity, it doesn’t need sun exposure so it can be even be used indoors.
This pump must be set up close to an outlet but the six-foot-long electrical cord adds some versatility. It uses a three-prong plug and comes with two different tube connectors, 1/2” and 5/16”.
Although this pump is small, it delivers reliable performance and the flow can be adjusted to suit your needs. It’s also energy efficient with low power consumption and operates pretty quietly so it won’t be distracting when used indoors.
6. CWKJ Submersible Fountain Water Pump
Another option for a great submersible pump is this one from CWKJ. It comes with three nozzles with threaded fittings that are much more stable than those that just push into place. The base of the pump features four strong suction cups so you can place it horizontally or vertically.
There’s an adjustable knob to control the flow rate for water pressures up to 400 GPH and it has a 6.5-foot long power cord for easy placement. The powerful motor not only runs quietly but it can also deliver water jets as tall as 6.56 feet.
The impeller shaft is made of durable stainless steel so it resists corrosion and lasts a really long time. To extend the life of the pump, make sure to only run it when it’s in the water and disconnect it during water changes.
7. Tiger Submersible Fountain Pump
This Tiger submersible pump has a low-power, energy-saving design that operates quietly. It’s a great choice for fountains, ponds, pools, and aquariums and can even be used in hydroponic pump systems. It’s powerful enough to produce water jets as tall as five feet.
There’s a simple valve to adjust the flow rate up to 120 GPH and ½ and ¼ inch adapters are included. Installing this pump is really easy. It has four individual suction cups on the bottom and is so compact, it’s easily hidden. Plus, it’s really lightweight and can be mounted horizontally if needed.
One of the best things about this pump is that it was designed to last. It’s 100% submersible and uses acid and salt resistant materials throughout. Plus, it comes with a 12-month limited warranty as well as a 100% money-back guarantee.
8. KEDSUM Ultra Quiet Submersible Fountain Pump
Finally, we recommend this submersible pump from KEDSUM. This ultra-quiet design is super easy to install. Just use the large suction cups at the bottom of the pump to attach it to glass or any other smooth, firm surface.
It features a 6.5-foot long power cord and large suction cups on the bottom so it’s easy to install and stays firmly in place. You can even hang it horizontally if you want which is ideal for use inside an aquarium.
This pump includes a 0.51-inch, 0.75-inch, and 0.87-inch adapter for different effects and has a maximum water jet height of five feet. It’s a great choice for ponds, fountains, and aquariums and can handle either fresh or saltwater in temperatures up to 95 degrees F.
The parts are easy to separate which makes cleanup really easy. It’s also covered by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
How Does a Fountain Pump Work?
Fountain pumps are also known as recirculating pumps. This means they use the same water over and over again so you can keep them running without worrying about running up the water bill or feeling guilty for wasting excessive water.
There are three main components to a fountain pump: the pump itself, a reservoir, and a delivery system.
The function of the pump is to move the water upwards to make a water jet. It can be used at lower pressures to create a waterfall effect or to create movement in a fish tank. Most fountain pumps are rated by how many gallons of water they move. The more gallons, the faster the flow.
This is the area where water collects to be recirculated. It’s constantly filling as water is being removed to maintain water pressure in the pump so the fountain never stops.
Water passes through an intake valve to get to the pump. It’s really important to keep this area free from debris which can be pretty common in an outdoor water feature. Anything that blocks the intake can cause the pump to run dry.
The delivery system depends on the effect you’re trying to create. For gentle waterfalls or when used in an aquarium, a hose is common. This allows you to position the output right where you need it to fit in flawlessly with its surroundings.
If you’re creating a water feature with a jet, nozzles are usually attached directly to the output of the pump. The pump pushes water through the nozzles to create various patterns of water shooting into the air.
How to Install a Water Fountain Pump?
Installation of these pumps varies from one model to the next so make sure to read the instructions that are included with the pump you choose. That said, here’s a simple method for installing a fountain pump:
1. First, prepare the pond, pool, or fountain
Remove any large pieces of debris like dirt and twigs that could clog the pump.
A submersible pump should never be placed at the bottom of the water unless it’s really shallow like in a birdbath or small water feature. In deeper water, submersible pumps should be elevated on a stone or cinder block to keep them away from debris that settles on the bottom.
The same is true if you’re using a submersible pump in an aquarium but they’re often very easy to install on the side of the tank using the integrated suction cups.
2. Set up the pump
Apply any tubing if applicable or choose the nozzle combination you want to use.
Solar-powered pumps usually start working in a matter of seconds after being exposed to the sun but most manufacturers recommend letting the panels sit in direct sunlight for about 30 minutes before placing them in the water.
3. Place the pump in the water
Attach any hoses or nozzles then place the pump in the water. Make sure it’s positioned appropriately. Remember submersible pumps should never sit on the bottom of the pond or fountain unless the water is too shallow to elevate them.
4. Turn on the pump
Once the pump is turned on, it should only take a few seconds for the water to begin cycling. After the water is in motion, it’s time to make any needed adjustments to the flow.
Most pumps have a dial or knob to control pressure. If the flow is too weak, the nozzles will be ineffective because there isn’t enough pressure for them to work correctly. On the other hand, if you want to create a gentle waterfall, the pressure may need to be adjusted lower.
It is very, very important not to let the pump run dry. Make sure you don’t turn it on until it’s in the water and make sure the water level is sufficient at all times.
How to Clean a Water Fountain Pump?
Keeping a fountain pump clean is really important. Too much debris or buildup affects the flow and could cause the fountain to stop working after a short period of time. Here are some tips for keeping your fountain pump clean.
- Check the water level often. The pump itself should always be submerged in water and, if it gets too low, significant damage can occur. Distilled water is best because it reduced the amount of buildup and can make maintenance easier.
- Remove debris a few times a week, especially in an outdoor pool or fountain. Leaves, twigs, and any other debris can quickly clog the pump which stops it from circulating water and causes it to run dry.
- The pump should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month or more if needed. Turn off the pump and remove it from the water and allow it to drain completely. Then, soak the pump in a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar to loosen mineral deposits.
- After soaking, remove the pump cover and use an old toothbrush to clean away any mineral debris or algae.
- Rinse and replace the cover then fill the pump with distilled water before placing it back in the water.
- Once the pump is fully submerged again, turn it on. Make any necessary adjustments to the nozzles or tubing.
- If you live in a climate that experiences cold winters, it’s best to bring your fountain inside from fall until early spring. Disassemble it completely, clean it well, and place it in storage until the weather warms up.
There are a lot of options to choose from when looking for a good quality fountain pump but it’s important to consider what features you need before you start to shop.
To get the most out of your pump, make sure you get the right size and make sure to keep up with cleaning and maintenance. The better you take care of it, the longer it will last.