Ultimate Guide to Buying a Submersible Water Pump

Submersible water pump

Submersible water pumps play a vital role in efficiently transferring water from one point to another, making them an indispensable tool for various applications. When it comes to handling various water-related tasks like draining a basement, irrigating a garden, or extracting water from a well, a submersible water pump proves to be a reliable and efficient solution. This guide aims to equip you with essential insights to help you select the perfect submersible water pump for your needs, ensuring optimum performance and efficiency.

What is a Submersible Water Pump?

This ingenious mechanical device operates by pushing water to the surface instead of relying on traditional methods of pulling it up. The term “submersible” aptly describes its ability to immerse itself in the water during operation fully. The pump is hermetically sealed, with an airtight motor connected to the body, effectively pushing fluids to the surface.

These pumps are widely renowned and frequently used for various pumping tasks. Their primary function is to extract water from wells, and they excel at this due to their simple yet efficient mechanism. They effortlessly propel water toward the surface by converting rotary motion into pressure energy.

What is a Sump Pump Vs. a Submersible Pump?

A sump pump and a submersible pump are two kinds of pumps used to take out water from different places, but they have some variations in how they work and what they’re used for.

Sump Pump

A sump pump is specifically designed to remove water from a sump pit or a low-lying area prone to flooding. Sump pits are usually found in basements or crawl spaces of buildings. The fundamental purpose of a sump pump is to prevent water from collecting and causing damage to the property’s foundation or other structural elements.

Submersible Pump

A submersible pump is a type of pump designed to be fully submerged in water during operation. These pumps boast remarkable versatility and find widespread usage across numerous applications, including the extraction of water from wells, boreholes, tanks, and other water sources.

Factors to Consider when Buying Submersible Water Pumps

Pump Type

Different types of submersible water pumps are available, each designed for specific applications. Some common types include:

a. Utility Pumps

Utility pumps are versatile and suitable for general water transfer tasks. They can handle relatively clean water with small debris particles. Utility pumps are a popular solution for draining pools, basements, or your yard.

b. Sewage Pumps

Sewage pumps are more robust and can handle wastewater containing solids and other debris. They are commonly used in septic systems and wastewater treatment plants.

c. Well Pumps

Well pumps are designed to draw water from deep wells and are commonly used in rural areas with limited access to municipal water.

d. Fountain Pumps

Fountain pumps are specialized for creating decorative water features and are typically used in ponds and fountains.

e. Sump pumps

These are designed to pump water from a basement or other low-lying areas to prevent flooding.

f. Stainless Steel /Chemical Pumps

These pumps are made of stainless steel and are designed for use in corrosive environments, such as seawater or chemical processing plants.

Maximum Head and Lift

The maximum head refers to the maximum height the pump can lift water vertically. Calculating the total dynamic head (TDH), which includes both vertical lift and friction losses, is essential to ensure the pump’s performance matches your needs.

Flow Rate

When evaluating a submersible water pump for industrial or agricultural purposes, it is essential to focus on the flow rate, which is typically measured in gallons per minute (GPM) or liters per minute (LPM). For optimal performance, it is advisable to choose a model with a flow rate exceeding 2500 liters per minute. Conversely, for domestic applications, a pump with a flow rate between 100 and 200 liters per minute will perfectly cater to your requirements.

Bore Well Size

The bore well size refers to the diameter of the borehole where the submersible pump is installed. While choosing a pump, you can select one with a smaller outer diameter than the bore well size. However, it is essential to note that choosing a pump with a larger outer diameter is not feasible, as it will not fit into the bore well.

Construction and Materials

Investigate the construction and materials of the pump to ensure its durability and longevity. The choice of material impacts the pump’s durability, resistance to corrosion, and suitability for different water types (e.g., saltwater, freshwater). Look for pumps made from corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel, cast iron, and thermoplastic, especially if you plan to use the pump in harsh environments.

Automatic vs. Manual Operation

Some submersible water pumps come with automatic float switches, allowing them to turn on and off automatically based on the water level. Manual pumps require you to switch them on and off manually. Automatic pumps are convenient for continuous operation, while manual pumps offer more control but require monitoring.

Outlet/Delivery Size

The outlet/delivery size refers to the pipe diameter through which the pump set propels water. This diameter should be compatible with the pipe size connected to the storage tanks. Typically, it is measured in both inches and millimeters.

Suction Depth

The suction depth refers to the water level at which the pump operates. When water is pumped, the water level drops, and if the suction assembly is not fully submerged, air may enter the system, preventing the pump from functioning properly.

Cooling System

The cooling system for submersible motors can be categorized into two types: oil-filled and water-filled. Water-filled motors use water as a coolant, which can be refilled as needed. On the other hand, oil-filled motors lack a coolant, making them more susceptible to wear and damage. As a result, water-filled pumps are generally more expensive than oil-filled pumps. When choosing, it’s important to consider each type’s long-term benefits and potential risks.

Float and Flow Switches

Float and flow switches are essential in managing submersible pumps and water flow. The float switch acts as a water level controller for the pumps, automatically shutting down the electrical circuit when the water reaches a certain lower level. On the other hand, the flow switch regulates the volume of water passing through the pump and can be configured to provide continuous monitoring of the total flow.

Pumping Distance

The pumping distance is a significant factor that influences the efficiency of a submersible pump. The farther the liquid needs to be pumped, the more critical it becomes to have a powerful pump with the appropriate capability to handle the job effectively.


Choosing the right submersible water pump is a crucial decision that requires thoughtful consideration of your specific requirements, the technical specifications of the pump, and the reputation of the brand. To make an informed choice, familiarize yourself with various pump types, capacity needs, and maintenance requirements. Prioritize investing in a high-quality pump that aligns with your needs and offers optimal performance, efficiency, and durability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of submersible water pumps?

Submersible pumps come with certain drawbacks that users should be aware of:

  • Their lifespan tends to be relatively short due to the constant contact with pond debris and sediment. This frequent collision and exposure to the pond environment can lead to wear and tear over time.
  • Their placement at the bottom of the pond makes cleaning and maintenance a challenging task, as accessing and servicing the pump requires extra effort.
  • A significant concern is the possibility of the pump becoming clogged or losing its seal. If this happens, water may infiltrate the motor housing, leading to severe damage to the unit.

How long can a submersible water pump run continuously?

When in good condition and supplied with enough water from the well, a submersible water pump can run continuously for 24 hours a day. However, it’s important to note that you should not run the pump dry, as this can damage the equipment or shorten its lifespan. But to ensure a longer lifespan for the pump, it’s best to work it appropriately and allow it to operate within its recommended parameters. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the pump’s performance can also prolong its life and prevent potential issues.

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