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Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide

This Solar Powered Pump Trouble Shooting Guide for Garden Fountains or Water Feature Pumps will help You Easily Identify Any Problem You have, please follow these simple steps.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide

 

Pump

One of the main reasons that your fountain will stop, is because it needs to be cleaned.  All pumps whether they are solar or not have to be maintained. Ponds are organic and the water always contains fine particles of sand or dirt, algae, pond weed, sediment and any number of other small pieces debris.

The pumps in general do come with a basic filter, however after time this will always become clogged, and so it is necessary to strip down the pump and clean it out. This is far easier to do than most people generally think. There are very few parts inside the pump housing itself mainly only an impeller and an axle.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide - how to clean the pump How to clean SE 360 / SE 450 pump
Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide - how to clean the pump How to clean SE 500 pump

To clean inside the impeller shaft you can thread a piece of string or Pump Cleaning Brush inside it and floss it out, ensure that all algae is removed, the impeller should be clean and free of any dirt.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide : Pump cleaning

One other tip if you do not have fish is to use just a drop of WD40 and smear a little oil the impeller and shaft, this can significantly increase pump performance.

It is so very important to understand that if the pump is located deep down in the water, it has to push a column of water all the way to the level of the surface, before it can come out as a display.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide - pump position

This takes a lot of energy to achieve; the lower the pump is located in the water the less well your fountain will perform. A very common mistake is to locate the pump in the bottom of the pond; this may result in the fountain only operating on sunny days, due to the fact that on cloudy days there simply isn't enough power being generated to push the water all the way up to the top and then out to produce the water feature.

This is also a problem when customers connect a very long tube to the pump in a water feature. Additionally there is usually sediment at the bottom of the pond which will regularly block the filter.

Without doubt the worst possible location for the pump housing is at the bottom of a pond.

The pump to panel test

The pump to panel test is a great way for anyone to see just how much power the panel is producing, and how high the water is being pushed up. It is also a great way to test that your battery is working correctly.

• Simply disconnect the battery unit completely from both the panel and the pump
• Then connect the lead from the pump directly to the panel, effectively bypassing the battery, this way the power from the panel is going directly to the pump.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide - Pump to Panel Test

You can expect the pump to work immediately when exposed to sunlight, please ensure that the pump is clean and close to the surface of the water when performing this test.

You can solve consistency problems by simply relocating your pump, bring it as close to the surface of the water as possible. This means that there is almost no wasted energy, the jet will come out of the pump and immediately display, in most cases this allows the customer to adjust the power of the pump down.

Adjusting the flow of the pump can significantly improve consistency of operation, because you are storing a lot more power from the panel in the battery.

Solar Powered Water Pump Trouble Shooting Guide - Adjusting the flow

The other significant advantage of doing this is that the pump will run after sundown in to the evening. If you combine a solar power fountain with set of solar fairy lights this can create a stress relieving, magical paradise at night time.

Pump storage

Like anything  in life if you look after something it usually lasts a lot longer, when storing the fountain, please ensure that the pump is cleaned out prior to storage, it's extremely easy to strip down clean out and oil the pump, this will ensure that it is ready for use the next time you wish to use it.

Please see " Storing your solar fountain " for more information about stоring your fountain

The battery 

This is where all the power from the panel is stored and regulated, if you suspect a problem with your battery then the first step is to perform the pump to panel test as above, this will test your panel and pump.

The next step is to ensure that the internal connections inside the battery are well connected. A common mistake is not to physically connect this at the beginning, the battery is not completely connected straight out of the box, this ensures that when the fountain is in storage the battery dies not go flat, when it is connected to the circuitry there is a little more battery drain when in storage. So it is important to read the instructions and to simply connect the battery terminal, inside the battery box.

se 360 battery part of the Sunspray SE 360 Fountain

When performing this simple step please check the inside of the battery box, for any obvious damage or corrosion.

The battery box itself is weatherproof, and is designed for all UK weather conditions, however if at some point the box gets turned over on its back and left in the rain, or has not been installed in a horizontal inclination, or has been left in a location that can be flooded, then water can get inside and will result in damage to the electronics.

If a battery is left connected to the electronics inside the battery box and left in storage for a prolonged period of time, then in some cases the battery can leak and damage the circuitry. This will mean you need to replace the battery box and battery.

Charge

It may be the case that your battery is simply not charged, if it has been cloudy or the location of the panel is not good, then there may not have been enough voltage produced from the panel to charge the battery, it is possible to buy a mains charger in these circumstances and to charge the battery in this way.

A good way to test the battery is to turn it off, then after double checking that the panel is in a good location leave the battery to charge for 2 or 3 days, or at least one sunny day. Please also read the panel location section below. Ensure the pump is in shallow water then turn the battery back on, and it should run for at least 1 hour (given that it has had at least some direct sun)

If after a good charge the battery operates intermittently or not at all and the pump to panel test has been carried out, and the pump is ideally located then you need to replace the battery, PowerBee guarantee batteries for 6 months.

The Panel

Solar panels almost never ever fail, there are no moving parts and they are incredibly reliable, this is why when you perform the pump to panel test if there is ever any kind of problem it will almost never be the panel.

The most important thing for the panel is the location - please see " Locating the solar panel " to see how to make sure that the panel is set up correctly.

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