How To Choose The Right Submersible Pump

In this article, we will present you with tips to help you select the right submersible pump for your project; saving you time, frustration, and most of all…money.

We will focus on the portable-type submersible pumps which are 115 volt plug and play, because selecting pumps for engineered installations such as duplex systems with control panels is an entirely different process requiring expert guidance from trained professionals (which we happen to be).



To select the right pump for your project, you need to know what you are pumping. Essentially, there are 3 BASIC TYPES of submersible pump applications:


Water that contains little to no solids, such as rainwater, pool water, and rivers and lakes, is considered CLEAR WATER. Some examples of clear water applications are elevator shaft sumps, rainwater catchment tanks, and decorative ponds and pools.


Any body of water containing small particles like sand, dirt, and very small gravel is considered SLURRY. You normally find slurry on construction sites where there is digging and trenching or there is cement runoff from saw cutting and washdown.


Wastewater from toilets contains raw sewage. This can include bathroom sinks and showers, kitchen sink drains, and washing machine drains.



Based on the application, you will select a submersible pump from one of 3 BASIC CATEGORIES:


Used for CLEAR WATER APPLICATIONS such as sumps, pools, and catchment tanks. It is pretty simple to spot these pumps because they have an intake screen at the bottom to filter out large particles and debris. They normally have a top discharge and use flow-through cooling technology to keep the motor from overheating. Because of this feature, most dewatering pumps can function without being fully submerged. In fact, the Tsurumi LSC1.4S is a surface level dewatering pump that doesn’t need to be submerged at all.


Submersible pumps designed to pump water mixed with small particles and debris, the type of liquid you would find in SLURRY APPLICATIONS. The easiest features to spot on a trash pump are the large intake screen and side discharge. Large openings on the intake screen allow thicker fluids and debris to pass easily into the volute. The side discharge connects directly to the volute which increases efficiency and reduces wear. The most important element of the submersible trash pump is the agitator. The agitator is a mixing paddle attached to the motor shaft that mixes the particles with the water, pumping them out easily. This unique system makes the trash pump one of the most versatile submersible pumps for most applications.


Designed specifically for RAW SEWAGE APPLICATIONS containing solid waste. Typical submersible sewage pumps are completely cast iron and very heavy, built to thrive in the nastiest environments. You can spot sewage pumps quickly because they normally have feet with no intake screen at all, and a larger throughlet to allow solids to pass without clogging. For the most part, sewage pumps are pretty plain looking since they will be buried in sewage anyway.



Now that you know your PUMP APPLICATION and have your PUMP CATEGORY locked in, let’s take a look at your pump options:





For more information, specifications, and pump efficiency curves, you can visit our online shop.


Engineered Systems

If your project requires more horsepower or a more specialized system such as a simplex or duplex lift station with control panels, oil and water sensors, or pumps with cutting mechanisms, please reach out to us via our Contact Us page.