Preventing Submersible Pump Motor Issues

Posted on: 11 February 2015

When it comes to the functionality of your submersible water pump, the motor is by far one of the most important components of the entire unit. If the motor fails, so does the entire system. Learning how to avoid those practices that often lead to submersible well pump motor failure is important.

Water Hammering

One source of motor damage is the result of a problem known as water hammering. Water hammering happens when a rapidly moving current of water meets some type of obstacle or has a sudden change in velocity.

Water hammering is more likely to occur when you are using multiple pumps in an area that doesn't need more than one pump. The way that water hammering damages the motor is that this rapid change in the water's current can cause hydraulic shock, damaging the motor's valve. The best way to avoid this type of problem is to ensure you aren't using more pumps in an area than you actually need to.


Another factor that can have an effect on your submersible pump's motor is temperature. If the temperature gets too high this puts an excessive amount of wear on the motor, reducing its lifespan. In more extreme cases, this higher temperature can also cause the thrust bearing to malfunction, which will lead to immediate failure.

Common causes for the pump's motor getting too hot include overloading the pump, pumping excessively hot water or scale buildup that has collected around the pump. This is best avoided by being mindful of the conditions in which your pump is operating. Monitor water temperature levels and ensure you are periodically removing scale from the pump to stay on the safe side.

Motor Seals

Motor seals also play an important role in how the submersible pump's motor operates. The motor seals work to keep the fluid inside the well from getting inside the motor, working as a barrier. Whether the pump is filled with oil or water, keeping the fluid out of the motor helps ensure the internal motor bearings don't get damaged.

Both the acid found in oil and the salt levels in water can cause the internal bearings in the motor to corrode, which also leads to failure. Make certain you are periodically examining the condition of the motor seals to look for any signs of a leak. In the event of a leak, replace the seals right away.

It is possible to avoid motor issues and keep your submersible pump operating efficiently. With a watchful eye and a commitment to maintenance you can accomplish this.