Section#2: How to Install a Submersible Pump

A submersible pump is the best type you can install for most water well systems. I didn’t always believe this, but years of running into reality changed my mind. Besides offering the best performance of all electric pump options, submersibles are silent, long lasting, they move more water for a given input of electricity than any other pump design, and they never lose their prime. All this is why a submersible pump has earned a premier recommendation in this course If I was installing a pump in a new well, or replacing an existing pump of any kind, I’d use a submersible. This is true regardless of the type of well the pump was going into. But to be truly reliable, you need to know how to install your own submersible if necessary and pull an old one for servicing.  That’s what this lesson is all about.

Submersible pumps are long, thin, cylindrical units that sit four or five feet above the bottom of a well, underwater. Typically 1/2 hp or 3/4 hp in size for most households, they push water up from below and into a pressure tank in the house via a 1” or 1 1/4” diameter flexible pipe. Wires travel down from the surface to power the pump via a control box, with the water pipe itself exiting the sides of the metal well casing underground before traveling horizontally into your building.

Submersible pumps offer superior performance in all wells, but especially where water levels are deeper than twenty feet below the surface. As I’ve said, submersibles didn’t start out as my favorite water pump, but I’ve wised up over the decades for several specific reasons.  There’s one hitch, however. Installation and removal of a submersible pump is the most challenging of all options. It’s not crazy-difficult, but it is more involved than with other pumps.

Why? Putting a submersible pump into service involves more heavy lifting than any other option because the pump, piping and wires have to be lowered into the deepest recesses of the well from ground level. And if that wasn’t enough, several obscure installation details are important for reliability yet easy to miss. Follow the field-tested techniques you’ll find here and you’ll be an expert when it comes time to be self-reliant about changing your own submersible pump.

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