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What are Pond & Pool Pumps: Difference between Pond Pumps and Pool Pumps

Having a water feature or a pond for fish enhances the beauty of your home. Whether it is a fountain, pond, or pool, you will require a water pump to move the water. Based on its use there is a huge variety of electric motors for water pumps available in the market. Often people put their unused pool and spa pumps for pond use. However, doing so has many disadvantages and can be detrimental to your ponds. Even while purchasing a new pump there are certain pointers that one must keep in mind. When buying a new pump, you must identify the purpose of the pump.

To understand the differences between pond pump and pool pump, let’s first understand the pond pool and pool pump:

Pond Pumps

Pond pumps are essential for pond filtration systems. The pond is a natural habitat for fish, water plants, and other aquatic life. The pond pumps ensure that water circulates in the ponds and in turn better circulation of oxygen. Running water prevents stagnation and cuts down on algae growth and mosquito eggs. There are several application-specific pond pumps such as a fountain, water feature, and filtration pumps.

There are two types of water pumps: Submersible & External.

  1. Submersible pumps operate below the surface of the water. They are cheaper, easier to install, and low on noise. The size range of submersible pumps is 50 to 5000 gallons per hour.
  2. External pond pumps, as the name suggests, are installed on the outer and dry location near the pond. The installation of an external pump is complicated in comparison to a submersible pump. It is also loud. However as it is outside the pond, it is easier to maintain. They are suitable for larger ponds with over 1000 gallons of water.

All pumps have different cord lengths, hence always ensure that the cord is long enough to go through the pond. Also, make sure that the power plug remains far away from the water. Many brands offer pumps claiming to power multiple features at the same time. However, in case of pumps, Jack of all trades ends up being master of none. So, on choosing such pumps one cannot rely on its functionality for more than one task. 

Things to consider while choosing a pond pump

When choosing a pond pump, you need to look for the following factors:


You must be aware of the size of your pond or the volume of water the pond holds, to determine the size of the pump you buy. To calculate the volume, follow the simple formula of length x width x average depth x7.5.

Water circulation Factor

A small pump may cause poor water circulation, water stagnation, and debris accumulation. Having a small pump will also lead to low oxygen levels which are unhealthy for aquatic life. If your pond has a waterfall then it will need water circulation every hour. You may need a GHP of equal intensity as the volume of water. For example,  for 1800 gallons of water you will need an  1800 GHP motor. If a pond has a pressurized water filter then water circulation is required every two hours. In this case, you need at least half size GHP pump for total gallons of water. For example, for a pond that holds 1800 gallons of water, a 900 GPH pump will be suitable.

Head Height

Head height is the vertical height at which the pump raises water above the water surface. As the head height increases, gravity and friction increase which decreases the flow of the pump. Hence choose the pump that would provide you desired flow rate at your system’s height.

The Size of Tubing

Choosing the correct diameter of the pace tube is crucial for the performance of the pond pump. . Attaching a small diameter tube to a large pump will lead to increased friction and restrict water flow. Thus, to get the most volume of water from the pump, the tube size should be according to the flowing water.

Pool Pump

Pool pumps as the name suggests are pumps intended for swimming pools and water recreational activities. The pool pump’s main function is to provide clean pool water as it doesn’t support a habitat or any life in it. The pumping system pushes water from the pool through a filter and the filter clears the water from contamination and debris and backs out to the pool again.

It also moves water through the drains, pipes, and other equipment in the pool. If the heater and calorimeter are fitted, then the pool pump will also pump the water through these attachments before returning water to the pool. The pool pump also aids to set and maintain water at the right temperatures. This allows the maximum use of the swimming pool without bothering about climatic conditions. Most of the pool pumps are set up near to the filter for an easy gravitational flow of water into the pump.

The intensity of filtration depends upon the size of the pool and its usage. Swimming pool water should undergo filtration at least every 24 hours. The pump should remain active for at least 6-8 hours a day to maintain water clarity and chemical balance. It is always tempting to buy a low-wattage watch as it saves money. However, a low wattage may not be suitable for your pool. A small-low wattage pump may lead to a change in the quality of pool water. It may result in dirty, muddy, and murky pool water. Buying the right pump size also helps in saving on energy costs.

Difference between a Pond and Pool pump

Now that we know what pond pumps and pool pumps are, let’s look at the difference between the two:

Operating costs:

Pond pumps are designed to pass a large volume of water at a lower pressure in comparison to pool pumps. Pond pumps use less energy to attain the required flow. Moreover, a lot of energy is used when the pump is switched on/ off. Thus the electricity costs are much less when using the pond pump in comparison to the pool pump.


A pond pump requires to run twenty-four hours a day. Water circulation is necessary for the proper aeration of pond water. The static water can have adverse effects on the fish and water plants. Pool pumps, on the other hand, run for less duration as it has to maintain water clarity for swimming. When pool pumps run for longer hours, they tend to wear out faster.


Pond pumps function more quietly than pool pumps. The most common type of pond pump is submersible i.e. immersed into the water so the sound is concealed. In contrast to the pond pump, a pool pump runs in the range of 65-90 decibels. The pool pump noise is unpleasant and detrimental for human ears. Hence, for a pool pump, sound-reducing materials have to be installed to suppress the noise.

Price Range:

The price of a product depends on the brand and its functional capabilities. Generally, the price of a pool pump is higher than that of a pond pump due to the higher attributes, and durability. The average cost of a pool pump is $1000 and that of a pond pump is $200.

Maintenance and Warranty

The warrant of the products solely depends on the brand you select. The warranty period of pond pumps from a popular brand is usually 2-5 years. Also, most brands develop pond pumps that require less or no maintenance. Unless there is a heavy debris collection, the pond pump needs to be cleaned every 3-6 months. Whereas, a pool pump has a warranty of only 1-2 years. The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover automatic filters, heating parts, liners, leaks, plumbing parts, pipes, and wires. The pool pump has to be cleaned every week plus a regular check by a qualified technician. 

The common electric motors pool pump issues are clogging of filters, overheating, excessive frictions due to wear and tear of bearings. One must get these issues sorted within the limited time frame to prevent pool motor replacement. However, irrespective of the type of pump, ensure to take the warranty card from the manufacturer. Also, check for extended warranty coverage from manufacturers.

Eco Friendly:

Pond pumps are much quieter and low on energy costs. Hence they are more eco-friendly than pool pumps.


Based on usage and application, one must ensure to buy the right water pump for their pond and pools. Although most of the features of these pumps are similar, one must identify the usage and its application. A pool pump may not circulate water properly in a pond pump and similarly a pond pump will not filter out the water in a pool. If you must use a pool pump in your pond ensure that the same is close or below the water level for efficient operation and less sound. If a pool pump has a sand filter, then do not use sand or granules bedding in your pond as it may clog the filter. If you are using a pond pump for a pool, ensure to attach a filter and other necessary equipment which will help in having clear water in the swimming pool. It is best to seek professional advice if the same is possible.

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