Why is My Solar Fountain Not Working? Troubleshoot Guide

Solar fountains make a gorgeous and stunning centerpiece to any landscape, but it can be frustrating when they refuse to work.

If you are new to solar fountains and not sure why yours isn’t working properly, we are here to help.

We receive many questions regarding our solar fountains and that is why we create this complete troubleshoot guide to answer frequent questions we receive with solar fountains.

Also, if you want answers to additional questions that you didn’t find on this list, feel free to reach out by commenting below, emailing customerservice@sunnydazedecor.com, or calling us at (833) 982-1977.

    Why is My Solar Fountain Not Working - Common Questions

    General Solar Fountain Questions

    Standard Solar Fountain: These types of fountains don't store solar power directly, instead they only operate when the solar panel is directly in the sunlight. 

    The solar panel connects to the water pump with a cord. Since there is no battery pack, the feature will not run if it isn’t in direct sunlight.

    Solar Water Fountain with Backup Battery: Fountains that come with a backup battery have the option to operate on battery power or solar. 

    The pump is powered in complete sunlight, which will also recharge the battery pack. This gives you the option to run your solar fountain with battery power at night or on a cloudy day.

    The average battery will last around 12-18 months, but this can be reduced with repeated charge/discharge sequences.

    If you’re having issues with the battery, leaving the solar panel outside in sunny conditions for at least 3 days can give it a boost for max charge. If this doesn’t work then it is time for replacement batteries.

    To replace the battery in a solar panel, switch them out with 4 AA rechargeable batteries by opening the cover featured on the back.

    On a full charge, solar batteries will run for up to 4 hours.

    Standard pumps will continuously operate when water levels are low or dry, which causes the pump to quickly burn out.

    With dry run protection, the pump will turn off when water levels get too low to protect the quality of the pump. All of our Sunnydaze solar fountains feature a pump with dry run protection.

    On average, a solar pump can last around 2-4 years. The longevity largely relies on how well it is maintained and cared for.

    A pump that is properly maintained and regularly cleaned can last at least 4 years.

    Each of our solar fountains include a 16-foot cord to connect the pump to the panel.

    Additionally, some of our fountains have the option to add on another 16-foot extension cord, which provides a total of 32 feet from the fountain and solar panel.

    Solar fountains can be placed wherever outside, as long as the panel is in a convenient place that receives direct sunlight.

    Each purchase comes with a pump, panel, and a 16-foot cord. Some options include a battery pack and/or LED solar lights.

    Solar Powered Fountain How-To Guide

    Depending on the model of the battery pack, there will be a switch or button that changes from battery to solar mode. Some will even switch automatically to battery when there isn't sufficient sunlight.

    Make sure to read the instructions or reach out to us for further support.

    Solar fountains that include batteries feature a plugin on the panel to support a LED lights. Simply plug the light cord into the panel and set the LED lights in the feature. Some fountain comes with the lights already in place.

    Note that the lights on solar fountains will only light up when the panel is in the dark and there is enough power in the battery.

    Make sure you set the solar panel in a spot where it receives direct sunlight throughout the day.

    You can mount your solar panel on the roof, stake it into the ground, or place it on the patio.

    To get the most out of your solar panel, check out Solar Power Rocks article on what direction solar panels should face.

    If you would rather switch your solar fountain into an electric outdoor fountain, you will have to calculate the diameter of the tube from the pump and the total length the water needs to pump.

    Once you record these measurements, contact us and we will recommend the best electric water pump for your fountain. 

    Remember, solar-powered lighting cannot be converted and the extension cord will have to be plugged into a standard electrical outlet.

    Outdoor Solar Fountain Troubleshooting

    First, check the wire connections and make sure they are secure and tight.

    Next, confirm that the solar panel is located outside in complete sunlight. Even if it is placed indoors next to a window it will not work due to filtered light.

    Then, examine the weather and make sure it is clear with no clouds or haze. Temperature won't change how the pump operates, but the panel needs to be in direct sunlight in order for the pump to run.

    First, check that the pump is completely submerged in water. If the pump isn't completely in water, it will run dry, cause a loud noise, and ultimately burn out.

    Then, ensure the hose is correctly attached and there are no kinks. If this is not connected, then water will not reach the pump. If you can’t straighten the kinks, try soaking the hose in warm water.

    If you still hear the noise from the pump, take a sponge, and connect it to the bottom of the water pump with rubber bands. It's common that the noise can come from the vibration of the pump.

    If your solar fountain features LED lights, wait until the solar panel has no sunlight on it, then see if the lights are on.

    If the lights are working, that means the problem is with your pump and you need to replace it.

    If the lights do not turn on, you need to replace your solar panel.

    Technical Solar Fountain Questions

    We don’t advise using a larger panel since each water pump is specifically tested and rated for a particular power current, which can burn out if passed.

    However, the batteries will charge quicker if the fountain is turned off. This can be handy if you want to charge your fountain for a particular moment.

    We have a variety of solar pumps and panels for higher lifts in DIY or pond fountains, but they can also be used for your existing fountain.

    Simply measure the tubing diameter and the height of your fountain. Then contact us and we will see if there is another pump that will work for your solar fountain. 

    However, note that the pumps and panels that come with our fountains are best for that particular model.

    We have replacement pumps and panels available on our website. If you need help, feel free to call or send us an email and we will assist you.

    If you have a Sunnydaze solar fountain, we will first try to solve your problem. If the damage is from manufacturer error, we will cover your purchase within the first year with our Sunnydaze Decor One-Year Warranty

    When contacting us, make sure to have proof of purchase and send photographs and any other relevant information.

    There are many advantages when it comes to a solar fountain compared to an electric one. 

    Besides being more environmentally friendly, solar power is completely free and won’t raise your electric bill. 

    Also, solar fountains don’t require any wiring, electrical outlets, or plumbing when installing.

    The constant water movement will draw in more birds and prevent mosquitoes. Mosquitos like to place their eggs in still water, so it is important that your water run in the birdbath every couple of days.

    There are two main types of solar panels, crystalline and amorphous. Every Sunnydaze panel is crystalline.

    Amorphous: The glass on these panels run through a film deposit method that creates the voltage and current. 

    These panels is can work in low light conditions. However, they are only 7-10% efficient, while crystalline panels are 12-15% efficient.

    Crystalline: These panels are made by growing crystals in chambers and slicing them to create wafers. They are then soldered together to create the voltage and current.

    These panels are excellent with limited space. They are also more effective when transforming sunlight into energy.

    For more detail on the different types of solar panels, check out EnergySage’s article on the different types of solar panels.

    Solar Powered Water Fountain Maintenance

    There are many products that help keep your fountain clean and free of unwanted algae or white scale. 

    Make sure to check out our article on how to keep outdoor fountain water clean so your feature retains its beauty.

    First, completely drain and clean the fountain. This will improve its longevity and make it easier to assemble in Spring.

    Next, clean the pump and bring the pump and panel indoors to store.

    Finally, cover the fountain outdoors or bring it inside for safe storage.

    First, remove the pump from the fountain by detaching the hose and cord.


    Next, remove the pump cover and clean the parts with a cotton swab. You can also use hot water and a mild detergent.


    Finally, simply put the pump back together, place it back in the fountain, then reattach it to the hose and cord.


    About the Author

    Alicia Bowe
    Alicia Bowe
    Alicia Bowe is a product specialist with a flair for interior design and outdoor decorating. By day, she actively researches, measures, and writes about all things Sunnydaze. By night, after her two kids are in bed, she spends time relaxing in the hammock swing on the patio with her water fountain running for a calming ambiance.


    Gail Riley

    The pump works but the lights don’t work at night. This is a replacement for the first one that didn’t pump.

    Mel Freeze

    My pump on my birdbath stopped working,I have cleaned pump. Found out my solar panel is not working. WHY? IT IS NOT OLD.or not abused. Heip


    We bought the fountain pictured on this webpage. We noticed that the pump runs for several hours and then turns off. We think the solar panel charges the battery and then the fountain operates on battery power. We also think the solar panel doesn’t directly charge the pump. Is this a possibility?


    Hi my solar panels fountain has 4;tube sticking out so it seems not sitting in my birth bath do I cut the extra bit to float properly thanks for the reply in advance

    Arron Russ

    Hello sunnydazedecor.com owner, You always provide useful tips and best practices.

    Marianne Galleghan

    To the sunnydazedecor.com owner, Thanks for the well-organized and comprehensive post!

    Faye Sternberg

    To the sunnydazedecor.com webmaster, Thanks for the well-written and informative post!

    Mercedes sante



    I have a solar pump fountain for bird bath. The top of the solar panel has turned white & stop it from working. How do I first clean it & second stop this from happening.

    Eileen Ingvardsen

    My solar birdbath that is brand new is lit up during the day. Is there anything I can do?

    rebecca spence

    First – does anyone answer these questions. There are at least 13 that have no responses. My question is: will the pump work while the sun is out and then used stored energy at night. Right now – it works for 4 hours at night – then has to charge all day to work at night. In addition, the LED lights do not work.

    Tommy Sims

    Followed carefully instructions. Called once and was told to leave solar panel in sunlight for 72 hours. Nothing is working. Sure is frustrating.

    Doug Meeuwsen

    Anyone know if the battery can be under water inside the fountain? No information regarding this in the sheet of paper that comes with the solar pump kit


    Hmmm I just recieved it yesterday. Worked fine yesterday and last night. Now it doesn’t work at all and there is whites spots on the solar panel. I Did not use any chemicals when cleaning. I have taken pump out to clean according to the instructions there is absolutely no debris or dirt. Sooo why isn’t it working. I haven’t even had it for 24 hours. I’m really upset. Cost me $54 and I’m screwed.

    Jim maguire

    Solar fountain pump working but lights do not work

    Jim maguire

    Solar fountain pump working but lights do not work

    Debra Leavitt

    Fountain runs during day but red light flashing on back of solar panel. How do I get a full charge on the battery and the panel?

    Huguette Paulette Warren

    my bird bath solar water fountain stopped working, what is the looks like a reset button for. I have pressed it many times and nothing happens. What is that button?

    John R Garcia

    Just received solar fountain..put it together and put in fountain..noit working

    gayle hudson

    My Solar light is on during the day constantley, and does not come on at night, when it is dark, is there any thing I can do to fix this

    Valorie Grimes

    My solar fountain only works when the sun is shining. How do I get the batteries to charge!
    T022C kit

    Cheryl Crawford

    I would like to purchase extra rechargeable batteries for my solar water fountain. Where can I get them?

    Dave hendo

    My solar water fountain only works at night


    Our solar fountain cascading log and bucket is not working. Can you tell us which solar panel kit we need to replace?
    Thank you

    David Barr

    I have a 31 inch cobblestone rock led water fountain. Very happy with it. The led lights are beginning to malfunction and I would like to replace the led lights. Where and how do I order these? Thanks in advance

    David Barr

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