Why is my submersible pump not working?

Why is my submersible pump not working?

Commonly found in moving wastewater, submersible pumps are usually hard to access. Therefore, when they fail, it can present quite a challenge for operators. But why do they fail, and what can you do to prevent unscheduled pump downtime?

The primary reason for submersible pump failure, in our experience, is mechanical seal failure. This causes water to leak into the internals of the pump and invade the windings, causing the pump to fail.

Another cause is clogging. Rags and other solids in the water can collect inside the pump, eventually jamming the impeller, causing an overload. Bearing failure will also bring a pump to a standstill. In addition, we have seen cable and control faults contribute to a broken pump.

Carrying out routine inspections as part of preventative maintenance can minimise the risk of unforeseen pump failure. However, as submersible pumps are often difficult to access, most operators carry out inspections every six months, as regularly removing the pump to take a look can be time consuming and costly.

Some operators may prefer to leave the pump in-situ until it fails. With this approach, it is vitally important to ensure there is a back-up pump that can seamlessly kick in when failure occurs. This provides redundancy while the failed pump is removed for repair.

Rotamec Pump Services


At Rotamec, we offer a turnkey, 24/7 repair and maintenance service for submersible pumps. Our overhaul services include replacement of bearings, seals, cables and full rewinds. We can react quickly to any submersible pump breakdown, minimising downtime and relieving any redundancy pump quickly. Furthermore, we can work within your planned shutdowns to inspect submersible pumps to reduce the likelihood of future failure. Our on-site teams have over 20 years of experience working at wastewater sites, on housing estates and at food and beverage processing facilities.

Our dedicated engineering and electrical teams are on the road in the South, South West and South Wales to offer response times within hours. Backed by decades of experience, Rotamec has pump repair facilities throughout the region working around the clock to carry out high-quality repairs.


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