The Difference Between Trash Pumps and Transfer Pumps

Navigating the world of pumps can be tricky; especially if you’re new to the myriad of types, models and specifications available out there. But pumps are a reliable and cost-effective way to get hard, laborous tasks done with timeliness and precision.



Trash Pumps VS Transfer Pumps

Better yet, they reduce the amount of effort that you’d have to put in yourself; consequently, allowing you to avoid unnecessary injuries and devote yourself to more important tasks. All in all, they are a popular investment across multiple industries, especially for water-based applications such as handling flood water, dewatering construction sites or simply transferring fluids from one area to another. 

Trash pumps and transfer pumps are two pump classifications you may have heard of before. Although they can be used for similar applications in some cases, these two pumps are generally used for entirely different purposes. In this post, we’ve run through the main differences that make trash pumps and transfer pumps distinctive from one another: 


One of the most obvious differences between trash pumps and transfer 

pumps are the type of applications they’re used for. Transfer pumps are more suited towards transferring clean water from one location to another. On the other hand, trash pumps are specialised for handling dirty water that is often solids-laden. Popular applications include handling flood water, dewatering construction sites, and carrying out other agricultural cleaning tasks such as handling livestock effluent. 

Pressure & Flow

So, what makes trash pumps or transfer pumps so suitable for their respective tasks? Well, two of the most important specifications you’ll need to consider when searching for pumps are pressure (measured in PSI) and flow (measured in lpm) While pressure refers to the force at which your pump is able to expel water, flow refers to how much liquid your pump is able to move at any given time.

Although you can find trash pumps and transfer pumps available with varying pressure and flow specifications, you’ll find that trash pumps generally work at a lower flow rate compared to transfer pumps. Their high flow rate is what makes them so suitable for moving large quantities of dirty, solid-laden liquid as fast as possible- perfect for emergency situations when you’re being faced with flooded basements or anything of the like. Pumps that operate at a higher pressure are less suitable for moving liquids that are potentially ridden by debris. This is because the higher pressure increases the likelihood of clogging. 

Aussie Gusher Transfer Pump
Craig McKinnon loves the reliability and high flow of his 2” Aussie Gusher (QP209/GX160) to fill his 13,000 litre tanker fast!
Aussie Trash Pump QP40T GX390E
Civil Contractors using Aussie’s QP40T GX390E heavy duty Trash Pump to pump two tanks containing about 60,000 litres in total to pump out both pits.

Maximum Head

The maximum head refers to the vertical distance that your pump is able to move water. So, if you’re going to be sucking up water from a deep water source such as a dam, you’ll be needing a pump with a greater maximum head. Thankfully, you can find trash pumps and transfer pumps available with various maximum head capabilities, depending on the depth of the water source you’ll be working with. If you need a trash pump for construction site dewatering, you’ll be wanting something with a considerable maximum head. 

Fuel Type

You can also find both trash pumps and transfer pumps available in diesel-powered or petrol-powered models. Both come with their own pros and cons. While petrol-powered pumps are cheaper and come available in more models, diesel-powered pumps are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Plus, they come with a low risk of flammability. 

How to Choose Between Trash Pumps and Transfer Pumps

When it comes to buying a new pump, it’s important that you consider the nature of the application you’re intending to use it for. Consider asking yourself the following questions before seeking out the right pump for the job:

  • What type of liquid will I be handling? (clean, solids-laden, corrosive, etc)
  • Do I need my pump to be portable? (depending on worksite conditions, nature of the industry you’re in)
  • Would a diesel or petrol-powered pump be more suitable? (do you need your pump to be capable of running for extended periods? Is fuel efficiency important?) 
  • What flow rate or pressure am I looking for? (depending on the type of liquid you’ll be handling or the nature of the task) 
  • What water source will I be drawing from? (this will determine the maximum head you’ll need) 
  • Is there a warranty or post-sales support available with the model you’re choosing? 
Aussie Fire Chief Portable Fire Fighting Pump
The Aussie Fire Chief, powered by Honda is the world’s best lightweight, portable fire fighting pump.

The Importance of Choosing Australian Made

While you are bound to find plenty of pumps available out there, it’s always optimal to go for pumps that have been locally manufactured from high-quality materials. In essence, Australian-made pumps have been built to withstand against the harsh conditions and elements. You’re also more likely to benefit from post-sales support and service when you choose to buy from a local manufacturer. Aside from that, warranties are also more common when you’re choosing to buy Australian-made. All of these things are bound to come in handy later on down the road, if you experience any issues with your pump. Alternatively, if you choose a cheaply made pump that has been imported from overseas, you may end up paying for it when it breaks and you have limited support available. 

Need Help Choosing the Right Pump? Contact Your Local Aussie Pumps Dealer

If you’re looking for a pump to speed up jobs on the daily grind, you can trust in Aussie Pumps to deliver the ideal solution. With a wide range of purpose-built, Australian made pumps, you can rest assured of quality and long-lasting performance when you choose to go with us. Our selection of trash pumps and transfer pumps are manufactured to last against the country’s harshest elements and work conditions, so you can trust them to get the job done right every time. With high quality pumps you can always rely on, you can get demanding tasks out of the way sooner.


For help on choosing the right trash pump or transfer pump for your application, locate your nearest Aussie Pumps dealer today!

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