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23/03/2014 at 08:00

Would like a water feature, but don't have electricity in the garden. Does anyone know how good the solar powered ones are please. Have seen a couple on internet I like but wonder on how well they perform.

23/03/2014 at 11:57

I have a small wildlife pond and we use a solar powered  pump to aid oxygenation. The solar panel is about 250mm x 200mm. It produces a good head of bubbles but I would think you would need a very big panel to produce any kind of fountain effect.

23/03/2014 at 12:03

 

Hi scroggin, I wanted a small ornamental feature to stand next to the patio. I don't have a pond although I would like one?....perhaps i should and that would be the water feature!! 

23/03/2014 at 12:11

Go for it lily, its a great addition to any garden

23/03/2014 at 12:39

Ooh scroggin, you're making my wish list even longer, lol 

24/03/2014 at 19:10

In  my opinion solar powered are not that effective as normally the water feature will be quite small in design and can become lost on a patio area if the area is a normal sized. Why don't you  arrange to have water resistant socket outlet that are quite easy and cheap to have installed. This will then give you more choice in the type and size of water feature you will be able to have. The cables can normally be run underground  through some hosepipe from protection 

i got mine fitted by a qualified electrician and cost me £50 including parts

 

24/03/2014 at 19:28

Be aware that if running the cable underground that you should be at least twice spade depth, there is no specific depth in the regulations but there is a lot of advisory advice.

There are specific cables for underground use and similarly for the conduit.

24/03/2014 at 19:29

My mum also wants a solar powered water feature, she simply doesn't want to have electricity put in. I also wondered if anyone has tried the solar power ones? She would be happy with a little trickle rather than a fountain.

24/03/2014 at 19:37

We didn't want to dig up the patio to put the cable in the ground. Didn't think you could have a socket without having the cable go underneath.

Didn't 

want a very large feature, but did wonder how effective they were

24/03/2014 at 19:57

You can run cabling above ground but it should be run in weatherproof conduit and all the glands and junction boxes have to be rated for outdoor use. Would be quite ugly and hard to disguise thats the main reason for running underground.

Another point on the solar powered pump I bought is that performance drops off after a couple of years and had to be replaced.

24/03/2014 at 20:03

I thought it said Sofa - powered water feature   must get some new glasses!!!

 

If you look on Amazon there's lots of solar powered garden water features etc - have a look and read the reviews - they persuaded me that the technology isn't advanced enough yet. 

24/03/2014 at 20:10

Have looked on a few websites Dove and as usual they have mixed reviews. Some are so daft thats one reason why I asked. Oh well perhaps a pond instead at sometime then

01/05/2014 at 16:37

I have only a small patio garden 35 X 16 feet and wanted a water feature. I plumped for a fountain so dug out a small circle, lined it and bought a fountain water pump. Placed it in the water and placed on top a stone figure on supports. Run the cable through a plastic conduit to the window sill, drilled a hole for the cable which runs to a wall electric socket with a water safety breaker switch attached. It has worked well for years. My wife and I love the sound of the water as we sit out on the patio and it shows that you do not have to have a large garden to enjoy such things.

See Photo.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/44410.jpg?width=160&height=350&mode=max

 

01/05/2014 at 18:13

Can anyone help?  My problem is not blanket weed but tiny little weed that looks as if the pond is covered in cress leaves!  I think they came across when the wild ducks flew in but they have now overtaken the whole pond!  My lillies and oxygenating plants are struggling to grow as it is literally covering the whole surface of the pond.  I tried using barley straw but have been told this is the "wrong type of weed" for that!  I don't want to use chemicals as I have lots of wildlife in and around my pond.

01/05/2014 at 18:30

Duck weed............just keep scooping it off...........IMHO a preferable nuisance to blanket weed

01/05/2014 at 18:59

Yes, get a pond skimmer http://www.swelluk.com/pond/pond-vacs-maintenance-58/fish-nets-299/swell-collapsible-pond-skimmer-net-1-8m-615000.html?ref=shopping&utm_source=product-search&utm_medium=googlebase&gclid=CMzu7cWmi74CFSQFwwod_BEA9g and just keep skimming - you never get rid of it totally, but it can be quite useful as it shades the water and helps regulate the temperature 

01/05/2014 at 22:04
http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/44448.jpg?width=489&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/44447.jpg?width=350

 

starlily we splashed out (excuse the pun) on a solar powered one last year and we love it.  It is a bit big maybe -- I forget the exact dimensions - about two foot high and two and a half feet across.  It's called Fairy in a Clam Shell.  We couldn't have electric connection and I was apprehensive about trying it so it had to be solar power for me.  It has worked really well but perhaps looks a bit naff and over the top to some people.  It was much bigger than I expected even though the online ad gave dimensions.

The garden was covered in scaffolding and builders stuff for most of last summer and is a total mess and I'm only beginning to do a Spring tidy up and plan the garden out again.  This photo was taken this month but she is in a temporary position until the real tidying is done.  It's a very resilient feature.  It was outdoors under a table all winter.  I just took the little solar thing inside over winter and when I plugged it in this April it automatically started right away on a sunny day.  Took 4 hours to charge up, comes with rechargeable batteries.  She looks better in the summer in a permanent position with good foliage and plants around her.  I even sometimes take the wings off which make her look a bit less flamboyant and a bit more classical!  We love her and you can adjust the strength and type of fountain and it also comes with a little light thing which can be plugged in for under the water in the evening.  She's certainly not to everyone' taste and is a bit big, but really easy to do and easily moved around.

 

01/05/2014 at 22:51

Have not even botherd reading the replys so sorry if this has no bearing, but haveing worked in a shop that sells water features and marine life, I can tell you, just dont go there they are OK (Bearly) in full sunlight but they are just a waste of money IMO, id always advise a mains powerd one ware I could, its not as hard as you think to get power to your garden eather so might be worth looking into.

 

GoodLuck, water features are great things to have!!!

01/05/2014 at 23:02

I have a tiny pond in my garden.  It's one of the pre-moulded ones.  We had a solar panel and fountain.  Actually it was a good one, cost around seventy quid.  Really powerful with changing led colours to the fountain.  Then one night one of our visint foxes decided to examine it more closely.  Little blighter hauld the fountain and submerged pump out.  Chewed it all up, and the probably wondered why the lights had gone out.

Lily.  I think that water in a garden really is a must.  It creates such a peaceful atmosphere.  When I lost Val. I purchased a bird bath in the shape of a boy and girl holding each other.  That had a solar pump etc.  Sadly within a couple of months.  It packed up.  Honestly Lily.  Go for mains electric.  I have electric in my workshop/shed, then from there to the greenhouse.  It all runs via a 13amp plug.  There are so many cables and weatherproof conduits etc.  PM if need be.  Mike.

01/05/2014 at 23:59

I used to design and make decorative fountains and have a bubble fountain operating on a solar panel that has been in the garden for nearly nine years without problems. I used to hear all sorts of complaints about SP pumps breaking down but these always turned out to be cheap Far Eastern imports.

Solar pumps are great if you choose the right one. The variation in flow as a result of changing light levels is fascinating but can cause problems if they are used in the wrong water feature eg a spouting mask may become a dribbling one when the sun goes behind a cloud. The water may well then just drp down the wall and empty the catch bowl. The opposite can also happen and strong light can cause a spouting fountain  to spout too fiercely and ditto - an empty container.

If you do go for solar choose carefully, get expert advice and be prepared to buy the best. My old one is an Oase one and it has been brilliant.

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