One of my favorite places to be in the summer is outside on our backyard patio. Our landscaping makes it feel like we are in a wooded area, and I love sitting outside and watching the local wildlife hop and fly around. One thing that I was really missing was the sound of water. We can hear some nearby traffic and It’s not my favorite noise. I thought by adding a DIY Solar Water Fountain, the water feature would not only help cloak the car sounds, but the bubbling water would be so relaxing to listen to. I wanted to share a few tips I learned when making my DIY solar fountain because it wasn’t with out it’s hiccups. (you can see the entire experience in the related video, an ad will play first.) and was a little bit of a fail at first. The fountain is such a great alternative to not building a full on pond.
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I knew I wanted solar because I didn’t want to have to run an electrical cord. Our outdoor lights are all solar and I love them. But, I knew solar power has it’s limits as well. The first solar fountain I bought was more on the inexpensive side. It not only had a very weak “outflow”, but it hardly ran unless the it was in direct sunlight, and I mean sunlight so direct it was blinding. I decided to buy the next step up because the reviews were much better and it had a battery backup that would hold a few hours charge from the solar panel so it would run when the sun had intermediate cloud cover. The solar powered fountain needs direct sun and it also had a long cord so the solar pump itself didn’t have to be in a sunny location, only the panel.
I ended up adding an extra flexible bit of aquarium tubing from the pet store because I wanted it to cascade down a board instead of shooting up like a typical bird bath so there was a louder water noise.
To build my solar fountain, I used a vintage galvanized tub I already had as the fountain base. I placed the water pump on the brick in the bottom of the container (you can also use bricks to raise the water level if needed) . Once I propped the board up to create a sort of water wall against the birch tree, I brought the tubing up from the pump around the backside of the board and secured to the the board with looped twine. This could also easily be done with a planter or flower pots using a large pot.
To camouflage the nozzle, I bundled birch tree twigs to create an organic look, and then surrounded the tub with pots of ferns. The water had different nozzles, so I picked one that once the water shot out, it would hit the branches and trickle and drip down for a more organic sounds. Some of the nozzles sounded like a hose was running.
I decided to forgo any water plants right now, but you could easy create a beautiful water garden with some plants and river rocks. I love how lush it looks and how realizing it sounds! It was so easy to put together and I am thrilled with how well the solar fountain works! Since it doesn’t work at night, I do have a half of a mosquito dunk in the water so it doesn’t become a breeding ground. It’s no fun to sit outside if you are getting eaten alive!
Since the solar fountain pump is small, I don’t have to worry as much about the water level. It also has a safety on it to shut off if there’s no water running, so I don’t have to worry about it burning out.
The upside is that the DIY water fountain has also become a sort of a birdbath. The robins and wrens really love it and will give me the side-eye as they take drinks and bath and I love listening to the fountain run as I sit outside!
If you liked this post, you might also like this post about how to make a DIY solar lamp.