Last updated: September 11, 2020

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Do you need to draw water from a well for your irrigation system or to bring water to your country home? If your farm, hothouse, workplace, house, or boat takes water from an external source, then a submersible water pump is exactly what you need. These machines will provide you with water stress-free: they are simple to use, affordable, and very functional.

Submersible pumps are very versatile since they won’t simply draw water from your well. You can also use them to move water from a pond or aquarium, to empty a flooded basement, or even to free your boat from troubled waters. You have come to the right place if you want to get your hands on the best submersible pump on the market.

Key Facts

  • You can find large-capacity submersible pumps with motors above 12V, but also smaller models. The former are ideal for dirty water, sewage, and wells. The latter, on the other hand, are designed for ponds and aquariums.
  • Unlike traditional pumps, submersible models cannot operate without water. This means that you must turn them on when they are out of the water, or risk burning out the motor.
  • When it comes to these tools, power is the main purchasing factor to consider. Be sure to know exactly what you want to do with your pump and choose accordingly. Models for wastewater or wells offer the highest power and capacity.

Our Selection: The Best Submersible Pumps on the U.S. Market

Submersible pumps are incredible tools for those living far from the city and who need to pump water from a well. You can also use them for drainage systems and sailing. In fact, so many different models and types are sold on the market that choosing the right one can be a challenge. In the following section, we introduce you to the best submersible pumps currently out there:

Best Submersible Pump for Your Aquarium

Do you need a submersible pump for the maintenance of your aquarium, fountain, or a small pond? This Amazon Best Seller is extremely affordable and versatile. It features suction cups for easy installation both horizontally and vertically, a maximum flow rate of 800 GPH, and a lift height of up to 10 feet. You can easily take it apart for cleaning. This pump has a 2-year warranty.

Best Submersible Pump: Amazon’s Choice

With a 1/4 HP motor and a flow rate that can reach 1,800 gallons per hour, this submersible pump takes it up a notch. Its versatility is exactly what has made this product Amazon’s Choice in the category. With a vertical water lift height of up to 25 feet, this device is great for all your pumping and draining needs. The thermoplastic construction of this pump is resistant and built to last.

Most Powerful Submersible Pump

If you really need to pump large amounts of water – from a flooded basement to a stagnating swimming pool, Wayne’s CDU980E is what you need. Made from cast iron and stainless steel, this sump pump is extremely powerful: it integrates a 3/4 HP motor with a pumping capacity of up to 4,600 GPH. There’s virtually nothing this submersible pump can’t do, and it’s assembled right here in the U.S.

Best Budget-Friendly Submersible Pump

Here comes another Amazon Best Seller, and its incredible affordability certainly has something to do with this. You can get your hands on this quality compact submersible pump for your home for less than ten bucks! You can adjust its flow rate, which can reach a maximum of 80 GPH. This model is perfect for aquariums and small fountains.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Submersible Pumps

Now that you have discovered our selection of the most popular submersible pumps on the market, you are aware of the incredible variety of models, types, and brands available. Picking the right one can be tough, and we want to help you understand exactly how these tools work. This is why we have answered the most frequently asked questions by users regarding submersible pumps in the section below.

When it comes to submersible pumps, power is the main purchasing factor to consider.
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What is a submersible pump exactly?

As its name indicates, this pump is designed to be immersed in a liquid. Their casing features a sealed impeller that allows them to pump the fluid in which they are submerged outwards. The primary advantage of this type of pump is that it provides a lot of pumping power since it doesn’t rely on air pressure.

The primary purpose of these pumps is to carry a fluid from one place to another. In that regard, the characteristics of said fluid will influence the performance characteristics and the means of action over it. These tools are mostly used to pump and extract wastewater and wells.

How do submersible pumps work?

The way these pumps is very simple. They push the water to the surface by converting the rotational energy into kinetic energy and pressure energy thanks to the water circuit in the device. It starts in the outlet, where the rotation of the impeller pushes it through the diffuser and, from there, up to the surface.

They operate vertically due to the movement of their system and their overall design. This causes the water and the kinetic energy it generates by moving the system to be converted into pressure energy to carry out the task of pumping liquid. The solid residues found in wastewater may damage a pump designed for clean water

The primary function of these pumps is to transport a fluid from one place to another.
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What is a submersible water pump for?

Do you need a water pumping system that won’t flood when submerged? You may have a country home where you need to pump water from a well, or you maybe you have to empty a flooded basement. In both cases, a submersible pump is the solution you were looking for. Its body and motor are hermetically sealed so that you can put it underwater in total peace of mind.

Submersible pumps work inside non-corrosive liquids such as mud and water. These devices are basically designed to transport fluids from point A to point B. You can use them for:

  • Transporting water from a well or a natural source to a tank or discharge area.
  • Draining a pool for maintenance.
  • Draining the part of a boat that is flooded, or in case of an emergency.
  • Discharging dirty or wastewater (depending on the model).
  • Eliminating unconventional wells.
  • Drawing water from wells for regular use.
  • Draining a flooded basement.

What are the advantages of submersible pumps?

Their main advantage is that you never have to fuel them since they are always immersed in water. These pumps are incredibly efficient because they spend little energy moving water. The pressure of the water pushes it upwards, significantly reducing the pump’s energy consumption.

On the other hand, their main drawback is that the seals can corrode over time. When this happens, the water will eventually leak into the motor, and you will have to repair or replace your pump. Besides, these types of seals make repairing a submersible pump expensive and very complicated.

What can I use my submersible pump for?

This is the first question you should ask yourself before making your purchase. You have to know exactly how you want to use your submersible pump in order to choose the right model for you. This will influence the model and type of pump you buy, as well as its price.

Here is a list of the most common uses of submersible pumps and how they will affect your final decision:

  • To extract water occasionally in aquariums and ponds. In that case, you only need a basic professional pump with a small electric motor between 8 and 10V. These pumps are more affordable and easier to find.
  • For wells, domestic water, and continuous operation. You will need a professional pump to provide water to your home on an ongoing basis. These tools feature very potent motors of up to 900W and can work non-stop for hours.
  • For clean water. Clean water doesn’t contain solid particles in suspension. It often comes from wells and is suitable for domestic consumption. It can be seawater or water from a swimming pool.
  • For dirty water. These types of pumps come with a special filter to protect the engine. This tends to be wastewater and sewage water from a septic tank, infiltrations, or stagnating water.

The water flow represents the amount of water pumped or extracted per unit of time.
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What are the most common problems with these pumps?

Submersible water pumps are sophisticated equipment. While they are built to last and operate over long periods of time, they often have problems. These common issues include pumps not turning on, insufficient water flow, or difficulties with torque adjustment.

You can find the most common problems, their causes, and possible solutions in the table below:

Problem Possible cause Solution
The pump doesn’t turn on. No current or a phase is missing.
The cable is too long and thin.
The contact is broken, and the temperature relay has tripped.
The power cord is disconnected.
The electrical parts are burned.
There is residue in the impeller.
Check the connection to find the cause.
Use a thicker high-voltage cable.
Replace the contacts.
Check the connection and reconnect.
Repair the electrical part.
Clean the pump.
No water flow. The pump is either too powerful or too weak. The standby function has been activated.
Less pumping than indicated.
The inlet is blocked.
The pipe is blocked or broken.
The impeller is worn out.
The bearing assembly is loose or broken.
The check valve is clogged.
Change the power or reverse the cords.
Adjust the pumping.
Remove clogging.
Remove clogging or fix the piping.
Replace the impeller.
Change the bearing assembly.
Replace the check valve.
The flow is too powerful or too low while using the correct force. Heavy flow without enough water.
The pump isn’t at the right depth.
The water level is too low to reach the pump inlet.
Adjust the flow pump.
Place the pump at the correct depth.
Limit or readjust the pump’s depth.
The automatic shaft works properly, but the manual one doesn’t. The automatic water level electrode is worn out or damaged.
The grounding cable is worn or damaged.
Check the electrode and cable and replace them if necessary.
Check or replace the control box.

Shopping Criteria

Now that you have read everything there is to know about submersible pumps and their operation, let’s focus on the primary shopping factors. These criteria will make the difference between a good and an excellent pump. By the end of this section, you will be fully ready to pick the best model for your needs.

Flow Rate

The flow rate is an essential aspect when buying a submersible pump, as it will determine the uses you can make of your pump, as well as the amount of water it can move from point A to point B. In that regard, it is crucial that you know the flow rate you need in order to choose a device that will fit your needs.

If you want a submersible pump for a pond or aquarium, this factor loses importance as you won’t need a high flow rate. If you need to empty a pool or bring water from a well to your home, on the other hand, you need a much stronger flow. Always evaluate the water flow you require and choose a pump that exceeds your needs.

Dirty or Clean Water

The type of liquid you plan on pumping is also very important to consider. You can find devices designed specifically for clean or dirty water, or both. Remember that you will damage your clean water pump if you use it with wastewater.

Dirty water comes from natural infiltrations or stagnant water. If your basement is flooded or if you want a pump for water from a toilet, it is essential to have a pump with a filter for dirty water. You should prefer a clean water pump to fill and empty a swimming pool.

Use

Before you opt for a specific pump, be sure to know exactly how you plan on using it. A pump for an aquarium or a pond isn’t the same as a pump to bring water from a well to your home or to empty a septic tank. Each model has specific uses and specifications, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You can find compact, affordable pumps for your pond, with low power (10 or 12V) and no special filters. To drain a well or fil and empty a pool, on the other hand, you should be looking at more complex devices with 600 or 900W motors and watertight accessories.

Materials

Just like with any other similar tool, the manufacturing materials of your submersible pump are critical. Ultimately, they determine the overall quality and durability of the device. Since they are continually operating underwater, submersible pumps need to offer maximum reliability. This can only happen with the best materials.

We recommend pumps with steel and high-speed steel (HSS) or stainless steel casings. Your device should also feature layers of protection against rust and corrosion. As we mentioned earlier, the watertight seals are often the leading cause of breakdown for submersible pumps, so choose quality products. Finally, the hoses and rubbers must be insulated and watertight.

Submersible pumps are sophisticated equipment.
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Accessories

Many people overlook the accessories when purchasing their submersible pumps, but this can make a real difference down the line. The most basic or compact models come with very few accessories. These simple, affordable devices only need to be plugged in to operate.

If you are looking for a professional model, on the other hand, make sure it comes with accessories. Floating remotes that turn off the pump when the water level is too low are handy, for instance. An overheating protection system will turn your device off when it gets too hot.

Summary

The main function of submersible pumps is to transport liquids from one point to another. They are built to be fully immersed in non-corrosive liquids, and extract or pump water using internal impellers. They are ideal for your country home, swimming pool, aquarium, or pond.

In this article, we have explained everything you need to know to buy the right submersible pump. Pay close attention to aspects such as the manufacturing materials, the water flow it can work with, the power of its motor, and the type of water it can pump. If you follow our indications, we guarantee you will make a successful purchase.

If you found our guide on submersible pumps helpful, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media!

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Why you can trust me?

Rebecca Campbell Construction & Home Remodeling Expert
Rebecca is a real hands-on type of girl. She took over her father’s small company that specializes in construction and home remodeling. Not only does she manage all the projects her company takes on, but she also loves to get her hands dirty.