Many of you have some sort of water reservoir in your backyard or homes. Some of you have ponds, some of you have pools while others may have sumps. All three of them need some sort of pump to facilitate the movement of water.

Pond pumps are used for circulating water for the purpose of producing oxygen. Pool pumps are used for water circulation, sanitization, and heating. While sump pumps are used to clear out unwanted water from homesteads.

Each of them have their unique perks and drawbacks. To get the best out of them you need to understand them deeply. So, let’s take a look at the difference between the pool, pond, and sump pumps.

Understanding Ponds, Pools, and Sumps

Before getting to the difference between the pool, pond, and sump pumps, first, we have to know about the bodies of water themselves. This knowledge will help us understand the pumps’ use and pros and cons better.


Pools are bodies of water that are built artificially. The main and oftentimes sole purpose of them is to facilitate swimming. Now, this swimming can be either competitive or recreational. Although they are most common in homes, they can also be found in hotels, resorts, clubs, and swimming complexes.

Their average length is 20-30 feet, but the pools used for competitive swimming are usually 50 meters long, about five times the size of average pools.


While pools are entirely artificial, ponds on the other hand aren’t necessarily so. You can either build a pond or have a natural one as well.

The main difference between these two types of ponds other than their origin is, the natural ponds have already established ecosystems associated with them while artificial ones start from zero. Sometimes an ecosystem is gradually created around them, sometimes it doesn’t.


Sumps are pit-like structures that are used for collecting contaminated water. They can be in your basement, underground, or even caves. Depending on where they are situated, their function changes.


The basement ones remove unwanted water from there, the cave ones store water that is deposited there while underground ones sometimes recharge aquifers.

Pool Pump Vs. Pond Pump Vs. Sump Pump

Difference between the pumps: Pool Pump Vs. Pond Pump Vs. Sump Pump

Now that we have a general idea about the bodies of water themselves, it is time to take a look at the main differences between the pumps they use. These differences can be demonstrated based on some common factors which are discussed below.


Pond pumps can be placed both in and out of the ponds. The submerged pond pumps are placed underwater, while the external ones are placed outside the pond but in close proximity.

Pool pumps are also of two types based on their placement : the above-ground pool pumps and in-ground pool pumps. The above-ground variety is placed underwater while the in-ground ones are placed above the waterline.

The sump pumps are placed a bit away from the sumps. First a hole has to be dug which is 6 inches deeper than the sump itself and then the pump is placed into it.


The role of a pond pump is to circulate the water of the pond. Stagnant water is fatal for the plants and animals living in a pond. So the pond pumps move the water which produced oxygen.

The pool pumps also circulate water. But their reason of circulation is different than the pond pumps. These pumps circulate water in order to evenly distribute the chemicals throughout the pool to properly sanitize, filter and heat the water.

Sump pumps are used to get the water out from basements or any low points in someones home. This is done to protect the homes from flooding, damage from water and molds.

Working procedure

The working procedure of a pond pump is very simple. The impellers in the pumps turn, this results in the water getting sucked in at one end and getting discharged from the output end,creating circulation.

Pool pumps discharge the water into a filtration system. A hydraulic wet end and an electric motor combine to make up a pool pump. The impeller draws water in and pushes it out the wet end into the filtration system.

The sump pumps collect the water from a pit after it reaches a certain level. Once it reaches that point, the pump automatically turns on and the water is then pushed out through a check valve. Then it pumps the water out of the homes foundation and into a drainage system.

Operation Costs

The first thing that crosses the mind of someone while using any sort of electrical device is the cost of operating those said devices. As ponds are usually larger than both sumps and pools, the pond pumps are made in such a fashion, that they can circulate huge volumes of water at much lower levels of pressure.

This isn’t the case with pool pumps or sump pumps. Pond pumps consume way less energy to circulate the same amount of water than pool or sump pumps. From my investigations, I found that the running cost of a pool pump or sump pump is three times that of a pond pump. So, the pond pump is way more budget-friendly than its pool and sump counterparts.


Pool pumps are notorious for being too noisy.  Even sump pumps, which operate in a smaller area than both the pool and pond pumps, create much more noise with respect to their size. The pond pumps, on the other hand, are much quieter.

There are two reasons for this. First, as they expend less energy, they produce less energy as a byproduct that can be transformed into sound. Second, if we take submersible pumps into account, due to them being submerged underwater, whatever little sound they do produce, gets silenced.

So you don’t have to worry about your neighbors filing noise complaints against you while using pond pumps.

Frequency of Usage

As pond pumps have to circulate the water of a whole pond continuously throughout the whole day, they run 24/7,  365 days of the year.

But pool pumps and sumps pumps are designed to run for a short period of time each time they are turned on. So, if you use a pool or sump pump, you will run the risk of burning those pumps out in a very short amount of time.

Running a pump for a extremely shorter amount of time is as detrimental as is running it for unusually longer periods of time. The minimum recommended time to run a pump is one hour. So, if you need to run a pump that has to run for a long time continuously, use a pond pump. On the other hand, use pool or sump pumps if the intended running period is shorter.

Pressure of Operation

If a pump has a filter attached to it, be sure to check its maximum pressure of operation. Most filters have the maximum pressure of operation of 5 meters.

Pool pumps and sump pumps are not suitable for filters as the pool pumps have a maximum pressure of operation of 30 meters and sump pumps’ pressure of operation is even further beyond 30 meters. If you try to connect a filter to a pool pump or a sump pump, it will almost instantly be destroyed.

Price & Warranty

Generally speaking, pond pumps are usually cheaper than pool and sump pumps.

Similar to prices, warranty is also a variable which depends on the type of the product and its brand. But usually pond pumps come with a warranty of 2-5 years. On the other hand, pool and sump pumps have warranties of maximum 2 years. Even that can be called null and void if the evidence is found of them running constantly.

Effects on the environment

As stated earlier, pond pumps run on much less electricity than pool and sump pumps. So, they emit less carbon. In this regard, they are more eco-friendly than the other two pumps.

Also, since they produce way less noise, they don’t create sound pollution which is also beneficial for the environment. This only goes to show how it is head and shoulders ahead of its counterparts, whereas the pool and the sump pump are known to be very noisy.

A Final Verdict

If we look at the above-mentioned differences between the pool, pond, and sump pumps, you may think that using pond pumps for everything is the best choice. But in reality it might not be true all of the time.

You can’t solve every problem with pond pumps. It is best if you use pumps that are designed for specific purposes. So, use pond pumps in ponds, pool pumps in pools, and sump pumps in sumps to achieve the optimum result.

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