Sunday, 10 May 2015

I recently had an email from a prospective customer (now a customer) to asking a couple of very good questions:
Do solar powered pond pumps work in the UK?   and
Why are some solar kits , on ebay etc, half the price of yours? 
I wrote a lengthy reply to these good points, and tried to answer as best I could and thought the information , while too much for our main website may be of interest to others.

"Do solar powered pumps work in the UK?"  The answer is , they do but they need to be built for the worst British weather! 

 I'm afraid you do get what you pay for and poor pumps combined with poor under powered panels are the reason some people don't rate solar power in the UK and ask if they work in our climate. This is why cheap solar kits fail:  I have tried and used them all! The trouble is, they cut two main corners

Firstly they use a 12v pump like a boat bilge pump which though it might move a fair bit of water, they are not rated "for continous use". This normally translates to works great for a couple of days/ couple of months then stops working. This is why they look like they give the same flow rate. They sort of do, all the while they work... And I'm not saying that, just because I don't sell them. The real cheapies are about twenty and look good in a bird bath. If they only last a couple of weeks/months then to some people thats fine. I only want to sell something that will never have to replaced.
I have seen several of my pumps in the last couple of weeks that are still running perfect after 10 or more years.I kid you not..I might put the one on the website next week. They are verry high quality , like the panel, and are fully garuanteed for 3+ 5 years. but in truth I never get them go wrong. They are so good  that the weak point is only ever the connection between the two. (which is why we wire and connect them ourselves).
The panels are the other shortcut. A 12 watt pump needs more than a 12 watt panel so it runs in less than perfect condition. Ours are now 30watt. So even when the sun isn't directly overhead or the panel isn't pointing straight at it, the panel may still be producing 20w, more than enough to run a  12watt pump. They also need to be outdoor rated...You see where this is going. Look at the actual w rating of the cheaper chinese ones, 5 watt? Obviously the fountain from that is going to be feeble.If they are selling a system for £80 I know its no good because the trade price on a good panel is more than that. The panels I use are also fitted to yachts and roofs , places you don't want something failing! Your garden is just as important, you don't want to buy it twice...
We don't do the battery pack because our fountains really don't need one. The pump needs 10w to run and the panel makes 30w so if its nice enough to be in the garden it will probaly be running. To get it to run in thick cloud and rain would double the price to not much gain. Battery packs are mostly used when the panel isn't any good. Unless its for irrigation etc. but thats another story. (we can do that btw).

I now I will reccomend some competition which you probably weren't expecting me to do! 
We don't have any competition in the solar pond pumps market because I think we do the best there are BUT they are £290. If you don't want to spend that much here is my advice DON'T buy a £150 solar set. They cannot (in my opinion) be using the best components. I would reccomend using mains instead. The pumps are cheaper but buy a good quality make like oase, hozelock etc with a good filter. You will need to get outdoor cable, circuit breakers etc but you will get a pump that will last, so you only spend your money once. At the end of the day we offer an alternative to those mains pumps but are really in a different league to cheapie stuff. I have customers with pumps from me still going from a decade or more ago.!

 I hope this helps and thank you for asking the questions. Its a good reminder that just because I know what our product is like, not everyone else does. Because this has been a lengthy reply, I might put the "bones" of it on my blog which others might find helpful.
All the best,
any more questions? please visit

1 comment:

  1. If there are any other questions you think would be good to add to this blog , please drop me a line.