Photograph of a drilled well casing Submersible Well Pumps for Drinking Water Wells
Components of submersible pump well systems

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Submersible well pumps:

This article describes the components of a submersible well pump water system, how the pump, well and controls work, what the well pump components look like, and what they do.

We give submersible well pump troubleshooting advice and invite questions. We include definitions of water well and water well drilling terms, the typical capacity of drilled water well pumps, and we include descriptions of methods used to fish materials out of a water well if you've dropped the pipe, well pump, or tools down into the well casing.

We explain how to use a torque arrestor & other methods to stop damage to well pump wiring & piping caused by twisting forces as the pump starts.

In our page top photo we know that this well uses a submersible well pump. How? Notice that electrical conduit running up the left side of the well casing and into the well cap? That's carrying electrical wiring down into the well - that's how we power a submersible pump.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

What are the Components of a Drilled Well with a Submersible Water Pump?

Pulling a well pipe © D Friedman at Here we provide detail about the individual components and operating characteristics of drilled wells using a steel casing where a submersible water pump has been installed in the well to deliver water to the building.

Our photo (left) shows the process of pulling a well pipe and submersible pump.

Article Contents

We introduced the different types of drilled wells and bored wells
at DRILLED WELLS, STEEL CASINGS. This article discusses submersible in-well pumps - those water pumps located within the well bore or casing itself, typically close to the bottom of the well.

Rather than an in-well submersible water pump, other wells use a one line or two line jet pump (depending on well depth) - in those wells the pump is above ground rather than in the well. Those well types are discussed in more detail at
WATER PUMP, ONE LINE JET used in shallow wells
TWO LINE JET PUMP used in deep wells

Definitions of well and water pump items shown on the above sketch left side, top to bottom

Submersible Well Pump Components (C) Daniel FriedmanSketch & Definitions of the Components of a Drilled Well with a Submersible Pump

Refer to this illustration of a deep well with a submersible pump. This list and definition of water well parts and terms is organized from the top of the drawing towards its bottom and uses names that correspond to those shown in our drawing.

In the list of submersible pump type well components, please also refer to both the illustration here and my ink sketch of well parts in the next illustration below. Referring to the second inky sketch, we first describe items listed on the right side of that sketch, second we describe items and terms listed on the left side of that sketch.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Definitions of well and water pump items shown on the ugly ink-drawing sketch below, proceeding from sketch right side, top to bottom:

Photograph of a drilled well casing

Below we see an illustration of the details of a submersible well pump in the first sketch, and in the second larger sketch you will find additional details of a submersible pump well design, courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates' sketch. The letters at each definition are keyed to our rough deep well sketch higher on this article .

[Click to enlarge any image]

Photograph of a drilled well casing Schematic of a submersible pump deep well system (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

What is the Pumping Capacity in Gallons per Minute for a Submersible Deep Well Pump?

A submersible deep well water pump (the pump is physically inside the well and at or close to the bottom of the well piping) can typically raise water from depths of 30-feet to hundreds of feet, and at water delivery rates of 4 gpm 25 gpm depending on the variables that we list below. Submersible well pumps are typically offered in horsepower ratings of 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, 1 HP, and 1 1/2 HP.

At WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM we compare the pumping capacities of one line jet pumps, two line jet pumps, submersible well pumps, and other water pumping methods.

Rated water flow rates for pumps range (by horsepower and model) from a nominal 6 gpm to 35 gpm.

Watch out: installing a higher capacity well pump may indeed give faster water flow and higher water system pressure, but if the pump is not properly matched to the well's safe flow rate (by pump selection or pump controls) you can pump all of the water out of your well, run dry, damage the pump, etc.


A nice example table of Deep Well Submersible Well Pump Capacities is provided in the Water Ace 4-inch (diameter) Submersible Well Pump Installation Manual and excerpted below to illustrate the factors that determine well pump capacity. We have sharpened the text and provided a larger, more legible table (click to enlarge) than the original.

In selecting a well pump the well depth as well as water flow requirements must be considered. While jet pumps have a pickup placed typically 5-feet above the well bottom, when installing a submersible pump it is placed ten feet above the well bottom (maximum) or ten feet below the draw down limit for the well.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Deep well pumping capacity - Water Ace Co.

The Water Ace charts (shown in part above) make clear that the capacity of a deep well pump to deliver water at a given flow rate varies by these factors:

  1. the depth of the well (the bottom scale in the two charts)
  2. the pump horsepower (the color codes indicate pump model and horsepower HP variation)
  3. The well pump model (the right hand table is for the company's more powerful well pump series of 2-line jet pumps)
  4. The condition of well piping, including pipe diameter, length, number of bends or elbows
  5. The presumption that the entire piping system has no leaks

Permission requested, Water Ace Corp. Aug 2010 - Pentair Pump Group.

Water Ace asserts that a typical 3-4 bedroom home requires a water delivery rate of 8-12 GPM.

Watch out: the water delivery rate at plumbing fixtures is determined by the water pump as well as building water supply piping and controls. But it is a number independent of the ability of the well itself to deliver a sustained water flow - the well yield. The water delivery rate is also independent of the total quantity of water that can be run before you run out.


Watch out: Safety warnings are throughout any pump manufacturer's instructions. Because some pump models are capable of developing internal pressures of more than 100 psi, if your building piping, pressure relief valves, safety controls, wiring, and plumbing are not properly installed, very dangerous conditions including electrical shock, tank explosion, and leaks or floods can occur.

Submersible Pump Torque Problems



Continue reading at PUMP, SUBMERSIBLE OPERATION or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see SUBMERSIBLE PUMP DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for diagnostic questions & answers



Suggested citation for this web page

WATER PUMP, SUBMERSIBLE at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman