Solar Panel and Pump Problems: A Simple Solution

Paul’s solar panel and pump problems started when he ordered a B10-A Circulating Pump. Before he connected the pump to his PV panel, the solar panel was outputting the proper voltage. When he connected the B10-A with the regulator, the PV output dropped to zero.

Thinking the problem was the pump, he sent it back to US Solar Pumps. Mike sent a new pump. When Paul connected it to the solar panel it still did not work. Mike recommended testing the new pump with Paul’s car battery. When you connect a pump with a car battery you can see whether the problem lies with the pump or with the power source.

Paul tested the pump with the car battery and it worked just fine. So he took a closer look at the PV output and millimeter. He then noticed that it had a little dash on the far left when measuring the unhooked solar panel. The solar panel was showing negative voltage. It is something that is easy to overlook in the sunlight.

What does this mean? It means that the solar panel was wired backwards. Everything Paul had read in the instructions said connect red to red, positive to positive and similar for black/negative. Once he flipped the connection to the solar panel, the B10-A Circulating pump worked with or without the voltage regulator. Paul added a float switch to tell the pump to turn on only when there is water, and he’s all set.

This is Paul’s setup:

solar panel and pump problems
Paul’s setup

“I think we now have a full solution. Mike, thanks for your excellent and quick response on all this.” – Paul

If you have a question or concern about your pump, call Mike at +1 (570) 780-9524 or send us an email at [email protected]. We will be happy to help with your solar panel and pump problems.

Read about common questions people have about 12V solar pumps here.