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Attach a solar Pump to a Water Feature?

Can I attach a solar Pump to a Water Feature? is a question we get asked often

Here is a guide to explain how to connect your solar power pump to an existing water feature, this guide is specifically for the UK and covers the Powerbee range of solar fountains.

water feature water feature

There are a large number of different water features in the UK, and after a time the pumps usually fail at some point and need to be replaced, a lot of people ask us whether they can replace their mains pump with a solar power pump, and the answer is yes you most certainly can! There are however some points that need to be considered :

The rule of thumb

As a rule of thumb if you look at the maximum jet head advertised, then divide this by two, and minus 25%, this gives you a safe maximum height our pumps will pump water through tubing of 7mm internal bore.

8mm Tubing for Sunspray Solar Pond Pump 8mm Tubing for Sunspray Solar Pond Pump

 

So for example the SE 500 has a maximum jet head advertised of 121 cm, however this is the maximum jet head based on a spray nozzle not tubing so here is the calculation :

121 cm divided by 2 = 60 cm then minus 25% so this equals : 60 cm - (60/100 * 25) =45 cm

Here is a table of the results for the Fountains :

Product Name Normal Spray Height on Jet Head (cms) Spray Height using standard 8mm 'Internal' Tubing (cms) Spray Height using standard 4mm 'Internal' Tubing (cms) Spray Height where water feature has 3 outlets (cms)
Sunspray se 360  30.5  12  17  6
Sunspray se 450  45 17 24  9
Sunspray se 500  121  45  65  24
Sunspray se 1000  228  85 123  46
Sunspray se 2000  304  114  164  62
Mains 360  26  10 14  5
Sunspray SE 450-w without battery  45  17  24  9

Internal Diameter of tubing used

If you wish to increase the maximum vertical lift distance, this is the vertical distancethat the pump can push water up, measured from the top of the pump to exactly where the water will flow out, you can reduce the bore of the tubing you use.

tubing

As you can see from the above table, its just like squeezing a hose and the water goes further, (this is actually Bernoulli's equation but we wont bore you with that) so for example the SE 500 will pump water to a height of 60 - 70 cm if 4 mm internal diameter tubing is used.

Don't worry this is very easy to achieve, you just need to purchase  a tube converter, and some 4 mm tubing . Then you just attach the 4 mm tubing to your pump with this handy widget.

8 mm to 4 mm plastic hose tube converter 8 mm to 4 mm plastic hose tube converter

If you are also feeding cable horizontally for example from a reservoir up to the top of a waterfall, then this transit distance must be taken in to account, but it only really effects the vertical lift distance a small amount, approx 5% for every 3 meters.

Thats it you can successfully use a solar fountain in nearly any water feature you have, we obviously recommend that your panel is south Facing aspect and out of shade where possible.

Solar Fountains

If you have any questions concerning this we will be more than happy to help you, we have been selling fountains now for over 7 years and can advise on the best solar pump to suit your needs. Our telephone number is 0845 094 8821, or you can email us on admin@powerbee.co.uk.

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