The Submersible Well Pump – Pros, Cons and Benefits

The submersible well pump is an important component of the submersible well system. It is usually required in instances where water need to be drawn from a deep well. The pump is submerged in water a few inches above the bottom of the well. It pushes the water into the top of the well where it can be pumped to the household or industrial plant. The two most important components of a submersible well pump are its motor and the water end. Most households use submersible well pumps that have a horsepower of ½ to 1 ½HP. The well pump never works until it is fully submerged in the liquid.

Inside the Submersible Pump

The submersible pump has been categorized into two broad categories: shallow and deep well pump. The two are generally designed in the same way even though the sizes and capacity differ. The typical submersible well pump is designed such that it has a 2 to 4 foot cylinder with a diameter of approximately 3 to 5 inches. Its water-proof motor is wholly sealed so as to prevent water infiltration and is close-coupled to the water pumps body. Any potential leakage of water into the motor will cause a short circuit.

The role of the motor is to drive the impeller which begins to spin when the pressure switch is turned on. The spinning draws the water into the pump which then directs it to the surface. The remaining part of the submersible well pump is made up of cable that is connected to the motor. The pipe transports the water into the surface then to the storage tank.

Submersible pumps come in different sizes and the one required for a household will depend on the yield of your well and the household’s peak demand. The type of pump installed should be in harmony with the well yield. If you install a pump that has a greater pumping capacity than the well, you risk running the well dry. Alternatively you can get one if your intention is to use a well storage with normal yield when the demand is at its peak.

Benefits of Submersible Well Pumps

By using a submersible well pump, you are able to evade the mechanical problems associated with above ground well pumps. The latter tend to lose prime hence causing the motor to burn out and need to be replaced. The submersible well pump will never burn out and normally has little to no problems. In fact, they can last for up to 25 years before a replacement is needed. Furthermore, the fact that a submersible well pump lies beneath the water means it is never subjected to cavitation problems as the case is with above ground pumps.

Pros and Cons of the Submersible Well Pump


  • It is self-primed and thus saves time. Priming takes time and usually takes several attempts before desired results are attained.
  • You avoid frequent replacement of the valves since it does not stop working easily.
  • Saves energy since it cooperates with gravity. It also makes pressure 30% faster when compared to a jet pump.
  • Greater water yield unlike other types of pumps. Ideal for small, medium, and large water needs.
  • Free from maintenance unlike other pumps and is therefore a huge cost-saver. Its sealed motor does not require regular maintenance.
  • Longer life span. The submersible pump lasts longer than any other pump in the market. This may be attributed to the fact that its motor is submerged in cool well water.


  • In case the motor breaks down, it is difficult to fix.
  • It is extremely difficult to pin-point and repair damages on the pump. In case the pump begins to leak, it is hard to detect and components will begin to corrode without showing any signs. This may be seen when it is too late.
  • They are the most expensive to purchase unlike other pumps.


How it Works

When the pump is turned on, the motor spins the shaft which then turns the impellers. Since the impellers have fins, when they turn an upward driving force is created which will then suck the water through the opening. The water will then be pushed upwards through the well pipe which is then directed to the storage tank or whichever purpose it serves.

About Submersible Well Pump Sizes

The motors and water ends come in different sizes. The motors are measured in terms of their horsepower capabilities whereas the water ends are measured in gallons per minute. The fewer the number of impellers, the less the water it can pump. The more the impellers the more the water it can pump. A water end with more impellers receives a rating of higher gallons per minute. Most of the water ends in the market range in rating as from 5 to 25 gallons/minute.

The pairing of the motor and water ends will affect the amount of water pumped based on some other factors as well. They include: the water level, well tank size, well depth, number of plumbing fixture, distance from the well to the house, and many others. Most manufacturers provide a chart showing motor/water end pairings and will evaluate your needs then recommend the right well pump.

A Final Word

The well pump is a necessity in every household or water delivery system. The submersible well pumps make it easy to transport water from the well to its required destination. It is not only efficient in drawing water but it is also free from maintenance. One of the things that make this pump a great one is the fact that it has a longer life expectancy than other pumps. It can last for up to 15 years if it is being used in low-sediment water. If used in high sediment water and with no valve and sediment protection, it will last from 5 to 6 years. That is why it is important that you understand your needs before making a purchase. A professional is in a better position of evaluating your needs before recommending the required submersible well pump.