What To Do With Old Pool Pumps? (Here's What You Can Do)

Jennifer Eggerton
by Jennifer Eggerton

Expensive pool pump repairs and much-needed upgrades are why people end up with a stockpile of pool pumps. This is when they try to figure out what to do with old pool pumps.

Sell old pool pumps online, or take them to a thrift store. Donate them to a community center or senior living facility. Sell the copper wiring in an old pool pump. Make a waterfall in your backyard, or use it for a pond. Use old pool pumps for lawn sprinklers, vertical hydroponic gardens, pressure washers, and holiday decorations.

Let’s take a closer look at the value of an old pool pump and some ideas for what to do with old pool pumps.

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What are Pool Pumps?

Pool pumps run the filtration system of a swimming pool. Contrary to popular belief, pool pumps don’t suck water in. Rather, the water is pushed through the pump by way of pressure differences. The atmospheric pressure is higher than pressure created by the pump. A pool pump helps to move water through a filter to remove dirt and debris.

Types of Pool Pumps

Pool pumps come in three basic styles, depending on how they are designed to operate.

  • Single-Speed Pool Pumps: These pool pumps run at the same speed all the time.
  • Two-Speed Pool Pumps: Two-speed pool pumps run at two different speeds based on how much filtration is needed – more dirt in the water speeds up the pump motor
  • Variable-Speed Pool Pumps: Variable-speed pool pumps are the most energy-efficient and expensive models that are typically only used in more complex swimming pool designs

How Do Pool Pumps Work?

The pool pump draws water into the filtration system. This removes larger debris from the water. Once the water reaches the impeller of the pool pump, it is pushed through a filter that remove smaller particles, such as dirt. The clean water is then treated and heated before being distributed back into your swimming pool.

Is a Pool Pump Recyclable?

Swimming pool pumps are made with a good amount of metal that can be salvaged and recycled. A salvage yard would be interested in the aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, and bronze. Your local recycling center can use the iron and steel in an old pool pump.

Sell Your Old Pool Pumps

Just like you, people are always looking for parts to do some DIY pool pump repair. One of the most desirable pool pump parts is the pool pump motor. You can also find a good buyer for the pool pump hose and filter. Check an online marketplace to see what buyers need, and list the parts from your old pool pumps.

How Much is a Pool Pump Worth?

An old basic pool pump that is in good working condition can sell for $100 online. Depending on the condition of pool pump, you could sell individual parts for $40 or more.

Is There Copper in a Pool Pump?

There are two designs for pool pump motors – copper winding and magnetic. Look around the motor to see if there is any copper. The copper wiring may be worth $3 or more per pound.

What Can You Use an Old Pool Pump For?

Salvaging, recycling, and selling your old pool pumps are certainly practical ideas, but the fun options might be better. Pool pumps can be used for the same applications as regular pumps. You may just end up with a bit more power than with other types of pumps.


Old pool pumps move water, so why not add a lovely waterfall to your swimming pool. You can build a waterfall with rocks or have it cascade down a wall. Set up the pool pump with an intake hose and an outlet. Use the water from your pool to keep it clean.


Use your old pool pumps for a koi pond. Pool pumps don’t work the same as pond pumps, so you need to adapt the design of your pond. Build the pond away from your house. Pool pumps can be noisier than pond pumps. Install the pump just below the surface of the water. You’ll also need to size the pond according to the output of the pool pump.

Lawn Sprinklers

Yes, you can build lawn sprinklers from an old pool pump. This is a great way to use collected rainwater for your lawn. Put the pump inside the rain barrel, and attach a hose to a lawn sprinkler. If you want to get really creative, connect a series of sprinklers with tubing.

Vertical Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a way to grow vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other plants without soil. A small pump distributes water and fertilizer to small openings near the roots of each plant. An old pool pump is perfect for a large vertical hydroponic garden. Plants that do well in hydroponic gardens include kale, strawberries, herbs, broccoli, Swiss chard, lettuce, and spinach. Most flower species also do well in hydroponic gardens.

Vertical hydroponic systems can cost $500 or more. With a few materials and some spare time over the weekend, you can make your own vertical hydroponic garden with your old pool pumps. Find a 5’ x 5’ area on your property.

Build an A-frame from hollow vertical fence posts. Cut 28 openings in each side of the A-frame. Each opening should be large enough for a net pot. This gives you a total of 56 plants. Set the frame in a reservoir for the water and liquid fertilizer. Hook up your old pool pump to feed water into the top of the fence posts. Add seeds to the net pots. As the water moves through the post, it saturates the net pots.

Pressure Washer

Need a pressure washer? That old pool pump does the job fairly well. Immerse the pump in a cistern for rainwater, and attach it to a hose with a high-pressure spray nozzle. Although you may not get as much power as a normal pressure washer, this DIY design handles most jobs.

Holiday Decorations

Every holiday deserves a spectacular yard display, and you can put those old pool pumps to good use. Attach the pump to fountain basins that you can find at a local landscaping store or online. Add in some LED spotlights for some color, and you have created a wondrous show for your neighbors.

Related Questions

How do I keep algae out of my pond?

Add some lotus or water lilies. They control direct sunlight into the pond to inhibit algae growth. Submerged plants also work well for controlling algae. They reduce the oxygen content of the water.

How do I unclog my pool filter?

Shut off the pool pump. Open the skimmer compartment, and remove large debris. Remove the skimmer basket and rinse it with fresh water.

How much chlorine should I put in my swimming pool?

Use a test kit to check the chlorine level. Add enough chlorine to keep the level between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm). Red eyes and itchy skin are signs that there’s too much chlorine. Drain a portion of the pool water, and add fresh water. Check the chlorine levels. Sunlight and heat also reduce chlorine levels in swimming pools.

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You don’t need to throw your old pool pumps in the trash. Instead of adding them to your local landfill, you can make a little money or find some incredibly creative ways to repurpose them.

Old pool pumps are in high demand through online marketplaces. People are either looking for affordable replacements or parts for their pumps. Sell your old pool pumps online, or take them to a salvage yard. Old pool pumps can also be recycled.

Upcycling old pool pumps is another great idea. They work much the same way as other types of pumps. Enhance your backyard with a waterfall or pond. Build a hydroponic garden. Make a pressure washer, lawn sprinkler for rainwater, and even a holiday display.

Jennifer Eggerton
Jennifer Eggerton

Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a Jeep® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.

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