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A Guide To Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps play a crucial role in mining operations and mine dewatering around Australia.

What is a Submersible Pump?

A submersible pump is a type of dewatering pump that is designed to work with the entire assembly fully submerged in the liquid or medium to be processed. Submersible pumps have a hermetically, or airtight, sealed motor which is closely coupled to the body of the pump. The enclosure around the motor is generally filled with oil, protecting it from damage through the prevention of any liquid entering, short circuiting the pump and causing pump failure.

How Does A Submersible Pump Work?

When a pump is submerged, there is a positive fluid pressure at the inlet of the pump. This can create greater efficiency as there is less energy required to move the fluid through the liquid path of the pump.

Submersible pumps operate by pushing, opposed to drawing, liquid during the pumping process. This method of pumping is highly efficient because the pump uses the head of liquid it is submerged in to operate. This means that no energy is required to draw the liquid into the pump, and the liquid aids in cooling the pumps motor, preventing overheating.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps are versatile pieces of pumping equipment in regard to their applications, providing a range of advantages to those who utilise them – but there are some potential pitfalls that should be noted.


Submersible pumps offer a range of benefits when compared with other pump types:

  • Priming: Submersible pumps don’t need to be primed. They are self-priming as they operate below the surface being pumped.
  • Cavitation: Submersible pumping systems are not prone to cavitation as they are fully submerged. Cavitation can be an issue for centrifugal, and other types of positive displacement pumps.
  • Efficiency: Due to the positive fluid pressure at the inlet of a submerged pump, there is less energy required to move the fluid through the pump leading to efficient pumping.
  • Noise: Generally, submerged pumps are very quiet.


There are some potential pitfalls associated with submersible pumps, including:

  • Accessibility: The nature of submersible pumps often makes it difficult for routine inspection or maintenance, particularly in deep well and underground mining applications. Due to the lack of accessibility required for preventative maintenance, in many circumstances the pump is left to run until the point of pump breakdown, requiring replacement and causing major production delays.
  • Corrosion: Prolonged exposure to a liquid of any kind will lead to corrosion. In particular cases, submersible pumps are used to process liquids that are both corrosive and abrasive, leading to the corrosion of seals, causing leaks and in turn damage to the pumps motor. The risk of corrosion can be mitigated by manufacturing pumps with corrosion-resistant materials – but this makes the total cost more expensive than other pump types of the same capacity.

Applications of Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps are reliable and durable pieces of machinery that are extremely versatile in their application. Some of the more common uses for submersible pumps are outlined below:


Submersible pumps are often used by port authorities to dredge a harbour – they have been designed to handle liquids with high volumes of solid content.


Mines use submersible pumps that are designed to operate in tough conditions, processing liquids that can be highly acidic and carrying suspended solids.

Oil and Gas

The oil and gas industry utilise submersible pumps as a cost-effective way of lifting large volumes of fluid and waste water from deep wells. The motors used in submersible pumps are designed to operate under rigorous conditions of high temperature and high pressure in a tough environment.

Sewage Treatment

Submersible pumps that can transport solid material without obstruction are often used in the sewage treatment process. These pumps often reduce sewage material to particles, which is beneficial for handling and downstream treatments.

Sump Pumping

Another application for submersible pumps is to remove accumulated water from low-lying areas and pits – for example removing tailings ponds from mine sites or draining a basement of a building following a flood. Submersible dewatering pumps can aid in water transfer from these low-lying areas.


Submersible pumps are widely used within the wastewater industry in pump and lift stations due to their compact build and cost-effectiveness.


Boreholes and water wells utilise submersible pumps to lift water to the surface. Within the oil and gas industry, submersible pumps are used extensively to lift oil from deep wells to the surface.

Choosing A Submersible Pump

When choosing a submersible pump for your mine site, these are a few key considerations:

  • How far below the surface is the water?
  • How far above ground does the water need to be lifted?
  • What is your total pumping lift? (depth of water below ground plus height of surface water in above ground tank)
  • How much water is required daily?
  • How does the pump need to be powered?
  • Is the water very clean or does it have particulates?
  • Is your pump for domestic, commercial, agricultural or other use?

Your pump dealer will need to know this information in order to provide a suitable pump hire solution. Many submersible pumps will have data sheets with complex flowrate and depth graphs, highlighting the importance of having a clear understanding of what your project requires.

Hiring A Submersible Pump

At Prestige Universal Mining Pumps, we carry a range of submersible pumps and sizes suitable for many applications, offered at competitive rates. Our team of experts will work with you to understand your project requirements and provide an appropriate solution.

Why Choose Prestige Universal Mining Pumps?

Since 2005, Prestige Universal Mining Pumps have been a trusted name and reliable partner for all mining pump supply, hire, maintenance and motor rewind services. With a focus on exceptional service at an affordable market price, P.U.M.P has fostered a strong reputation within the industry.

With Prestige Pumps being in control of product manufacturing, significant time has been invested into research and development leading to improved pump performance, quality, higher damage and corrosion resistance, helping to ensure a longer service life of pumps and their components.

For all mining pump requirements, go with the trusted name in the industry. Get in touch today to discuss your project!