An Overview of Submersible Pumps


There are numerous applications for submersible pumps. Be it a major industrial operation or clearing out a flooded basement, submersible pumps are useful to both consumers and industries. This article will give an introduction to submersible pumps and their pros and cons to help you decide if they’re right for your application.

What’s a submersible pump?

First, what is a submersible pump? 

A pump that’s designed to be submerged in a fluid and then pump that fluid out. The term submersible pump doesn’t describe a particular pump but instead the technology that makes its operation possible.

These pumps are fitted with seals and gaskets which are watertight. This protects its internal parts while completely beneath the surface. Instead of using suction to pump the fluid, submersible pumps utilize direct pressure to pull the liquid into its system. This is more efficient.

Within the class of submersible pumps, there are two main categories:

Vertical pumps

Vertical pumps are mostly utilized in moving large amounts of fluid that’s relatively clean. They use large amounts of power and are very efficient.

Slurry pumps

Slurry pumps move contaminated fluid. Fluid that typically has solid particles floating about. The most common application for slurry pumps is drainage. Although not as powerful as vertical pumps, slurry pumps are able to handle the contaminants that may damage other pumps.

Applications of submersible pumps

Although there’s a wide variety of applications that use submersible pumps, the most common use is deep well pumping as well as in drainage pumps like sewage and dewatering. Places that experience frequent floods will typically use submersible pumps to drain the water. They can also be used for agricultural operations like an irrigation system.


The most obvious advantage of a submersible pump is its ability to function while submerged, a quality that not all pumps have. Most other pumps would, at the very least, be much less efficient underwater and others wouldn’t be able to function at all.

A second advantage is the pump’s intake method which uses direct pressure rather than suction. This means it’s less susceptible to pockets of air within the pump that can damage it’s components. This is called cavitation. Direct pressure is also more efficient at moving fluid over longer distances.

Many pumps require the fluid they’re pumping to have a certain level of purity. It can’t be heavily contaminated. Slurry pumps are designed to pump this contaminated liquid, suiting them perfectly for drainage systems.

One more advantage of submersible pumps is their self-priming feature. These pumps will clear their system of air themselves and don’t need to be manually primed.


One potential disadvantage of submersible pumps is their cost. These pumps, generally, aren’t cheap compared to non-submersible pumps. However, many choose to go with this technology anyway because they are more efficient and convenient.

Another disadvantage are the potential mechanical failures like a ruptured watertight gasket. If leaks occur, the internal components can be severely damaged, leading to pump failure. 

One drawback is the potential difficulty in retrieving the pump for maintenance or removal. If the pump is deeply submerged, it may be hard to get it out.

There are a variety of uses for a submersible pump. Companies like PumpBiz have a variety of models for all kinds of situations. While cost may be a bit prohibitive, many choose to go with them anyway for their convenience and efficiency. 


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