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10 factors to consider when purchasing Submersible Water Pumps

Basically, all submersible water pumps work according to the same principle. They have a suction opening through which the machine takes in water. The water is then pumped to a higher area through a hose. But there are lots of different submersible pumps designed for totally different purposes and with vastly different technical details, which may be used in different ways, including draining a swamped basement or pool and much more. Moreover, these pumps may be found in various designs like vertical multistage pumps, well submersible pumps, plus much more.

We have collected some of the most important considerations in choosing a submersible pump for you, so you can buy the right pump for your needs.

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Submersible Pumps for Clear Water

Lots of types of pumps are only intended for use in clear water. This type of submersible pump, for example, might be used if you’re collecting rain water in a rainwater barrel or tank and then want to pump it to another container or even into a hose to water your garden. The types of pumps used in pond systems are also clear water pumps. Submersible pumps are also often used if there are environmental issues like a water main break or a flood. This type of device can help you pump your basement dry easily in case of emergency.

Of course, you will need to check how much dirt and debris is in the water before you start to pump and be sure your pump can handle it. Water in a flooding situation often contains a large amount of dirt or silt, which means pumps designed for clear water won’t do the job.

Submersible Pumps for Dirty Water

If the water you need to pump has heavy dirt deposits, you’ll need a pump suited for dirty water. It will be especially sturdy and won’t have any issues pumping water that contains mud or particles. As we’ve already described, these kinds of pumps are most commonly used in flooding situations and if muddy water has entered a building. These pumps can also be used to clean out sewage and septic systems. When you’re buying these submersible pumps, check the maximum grain size it can work with. This will tell you how large the particles in your water can be and still pass through the machine. You’ll need to choose a pump designed to work with the type of contamination you need to pump.

Submersible Pumps for Wells

Another way to use a submersible pump is to bring up water from a well or spring. In many cases, you will be using this pumped water in your home plumbing system. Some pumps aren’t suited for very deep groundwater levels because the suction head isn’t high enough. The suction head tells you how far the water level can be below the level of the pump. If the pump is placed directly in the water, the suction head will be close to zero. That’s why submersible pumps are so frequently used in deep wells.

Submersible Pumps for Your Garden Pond

A garden pond is another great place to make use of a submersible pump. You’ll need the pump to pump water to the filter or to operate a fountain or running stream. Submersible pumps are the most common type of pump used for this application because you can place them directly in the water. If you need a pump for your garden fish pond, you can also look under pet supplies to find pumps which will work great. You’ll find pumps for both fresh water and salt water, as well as some specifically designed for outdoor use in fish ponds. 

Which Technical Details Are Most Important?

After you’ve determined the area in which you want to use your submersible pump and narrowed down your options a little bit, you’ll also need to think about the technical details of the pumps available. The primary consideration will be the pump’s power, but there are a few other points you should also pay close attention to. If you do, you’ll be sure the submersible pump can easily handle all the jobs you want to use it for.

Maximum Discharge Head

Submersible pumps are used to transport liquids from a lower to a higher location. The difference in height the pump can handle, however, will always be limited. The maximum discharge head tells you how great this difference can be. If you want to use the pump, for example, to move water from a rain barrel to another container on the same level, you need only a minimal level of discharge head. If you want to pump out your basement after you’ve had a water line break, however, your discharge head needs to be significantly higher. If you have a deep well, you need a pump with a very high discharge head. That’s why you need to carefully consider what distance the pump needs to cover before you purchase so you can choose the right discharge head for you.

Discharge Rate

The discharge rate indicates how much water the pump can move per hour or per minute. This value gives you the pump’s power level. It’s important to think about the discharge rate you’ll need for what you want to use the pump to accomplish. If you need the pump to pump water out of a rain barrel, for instance, a power level of 250 – 500 gallons per hour will be plenty to empty your container in an acceptable time period. If you want to pump out your flooded basement, on the other hand, you might have to pump for days to do the job if all you had was a pump with this power level. For this type of job you’ll need a high power pump with a discharge rate of over 1 or 2,000 gallons per hour.

Submersible Pumps with a Float Switch

One important detail to look for when you’re choosing a submersible pump is a float switch. This is a switching device which controls the pump depending on the water level. It can be very important, for instance, in stopping the pump from operating once there’s no more water in the area you want to pump out. If the pump tries to operate without any water, it can cause major damage to the machinery. A float switch makes sure the pump turns off automatically at a low water level. Generally, float switches should offer multiple settings and adjustments. You can set the pump to automatically begin working again if the water level rises. When you’re choosing a pump, check that the model comes with a float switch if this is a feature you’d like to use.

Suction Depth

When the pump sucks water out of a container, its water level will drop. At a certain level, the suction assembly will no longer be entirely covered with water. This causes air to get into the pump and stops it from being able to do its job correctly. That’s why the pump will always leave a small amount of water in the container it is in which it isn’t able to suck up. The suction depth is the water level at which the pump is capable of operating. If you want to be able to empty a container almost completely, you’ll need the lowest possible suction depth.

Connecting Hose Size

The submersible pump needs to be connected to a hose which will transport water away from the pump. There are lots of different hose sizes you might use for different applications. Individual pumps generally have different options for hose connections, but you won’t be guaranteed you can fit any hose onto any pump you like. If you already have a hose you want to use, you should be sure the pump will work with your hose size.

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Dennis Ayemba
Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya


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  2. Buy and sell unused and used Water Pumps at IronPlanet. Water Pumps can either use a fuel, electric, or hydraulic engine to support the

  3. It’s great that you mentioned that submersible pumps are a great choice for a water well because they are suited for deep groundwater levels. My parents recently moved to the rural property they bought a few months ago. Since they’re thinking of having a water well installed soon, I’ll share this with them so they can have a submersible pump installed for their new well. Thanks!

  4. It makes a lot of sense to get a submersible pump that is made to work with dirty water if your well has a lot of sediment in it. My parents are going to drill a new well on their property this year so that they have their own water supply. I think it’s a great idea to work with professionals that will know how to get their pump up and running without very many issues with the dirty water.

  5. Thanks for pointing out that there are different pumps for different types of water. My wife and I want to start drinking water from the aquifer under our house, and we didn’t know how we would get to it. We’ll be sure to keep your tips in mind as we find out more about pumps!

  6. I didn’t know that you could use a water pump to bring up water from a well. I have always wanted to have a well on my property. If I ever get one, I’ll make sure I get a submersible water pump too.

  7. It is useful for me to read detailed information to choose a submersible water pump. I want to install it in my garden to use underground water to care for my plants.

  8. Thank you for telling me that I could use a submersible pump for our garden pond. My mother wants to take care of fishes during her spare time and use our long-forgotten garden pond at the back of our house. I’ll ask my father if the extruder screen packs we have stored a year ago can be used to filter the water coming out of the pump.

  9. It’s helpful to know that different pumps are viable for being under particular water levels, so it’s important to get ones that are sized properly. We’re thinking of installing a well at our cabin when we renovate part of it. Getting the right pump for the situation would be important.

  10. You made a good point that if you chose a submergible water well pump, you should consider a suction head being able to show you how far the water level can be. I’ve been wanting to add a well to my property to access the fresh groundwater to save a little on my water costs. Maybe I should talk to an expert and see what pump is right for me.

  11. It was fantastic you lectured about how submersible pumps are a great fit with deepwater wells. Submersible well pumps seem like a great way to ensure that your well is working efficiently. My grandfather is getting a well drilled soon, so I will recommend him a submergible water pump

  12. I like what you said about the suction head being able to show you how far the water level can be. Submersible well pumps seem like a great way to ensure that your well is working efficiently. If I were to need such a pump, I would contact a reputable supplier in my area to get the best service.

  13. Hi i need a submersible water pump for sea water that can pump to a height of 50m at a rate of 80m3/hour.
    Any advice?

  14. I agree, you need to figure out what you want the pump to do beforehand so that you can make sure you’re getting a good discharge rate. After all, different kinds of pumps have different power levels so you’ll need to make sure you’re choosing the right one. For example, if you need to move an entire pool’s worth of water or drain a basement then you’ll likely need a pump with a very high discharge rate.

  15. I am glad that you talked about how submersible pumps are a great fit with deepwater wells. My father lives alone in our farm, and he is trying to have a deep well drilled in on his property. I think this type of well pump will help him enjoy better water flow so I will be sure to share this article with him. Thanks!a

  16. Thanks for explaining for explaining how there are different pumps for dirty and clear water. Knowing the kind you need would be important to ensure you can install a water pump that does the work you need. When choosing, it could help to consult an installation contractor so that you can learn more about the different options and discuss your situation in order to figure out which kind is best and have it installed by a professional.


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