Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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What Is a Submersible Pump Used For? Applications in Rental Properties

If you own or manage a rental property in New York City, you probably have at least one submersible pump in your building. But if you don’t and you’ve always wondered, “What is a submersible pump used for ?” this post will provide an overview. Great strides in submersible pump technology have been made over the last few decades. And, these handy devices can make life much easier for you and for your tenants.

Types of Submersible Pumps

Well pumps versus sump pumps

Submersible pumps are pumps that can be completely covered in fluid during their operation because the motor is hermetically sealed. This gives them many more types of usage than you’ll find with regular pumps, where the motor must be kept separate from any liquids.

There are two essential kinds of submersible pumps:

  • Well pumps (aka bored well submersible pumps) – used in wells and may have multiple stages and impellers, depending on the depth of the well
  • Sump pumps (aka basin submersible pumps) – found in shallow pits in low-lying areas of structures

Submersible Pump Uses

Multiple applications

You’ll find submersible pumps used in a wide range of places, including irrigational, industrial, and municipal uses, as well as in residential buildings. In rental properties, submersible pumps are sometimes used in cooling systems and for boiler recirculation. But by far, the submersible pumps we see most commonly are sump pumps and ejector pumps.

Sump pumps

Sump pumps are used to keep basements and lower levels from flooding. Sometimes, the groundwater to be removed comes from a permanent natural water feature nearby. But, in New York City, it’s usually storms that cause problems with the local water table. Water inside your property can cause water damage, contamination, growth of mold, and electric shock.

A sump pump is positioned in a basin at the lowest level of the property. When water rises to a certain level, it activates the pump, which then removes the water to another location through a discharge pipe.

Ejector pumps

Ejector pumps are also used in low-lying areas, but they remove wastewater into the sewer line when the force of gravity isn’t sufficient to do this. Ejector pumps are typically used in bathrooms, kitchen sinks, and laundry rooms. They keep wastewater from backing up by flushing it either each time an appliance or fixture is used or when a containment basin becomes full.

Perhaps the most common type of ejector pump is the sewage grinder pump, designed to handle solid waste. Instead of simply removing wastewater, a sewage grinder pump grinds it first, using a mechanism similar to a garbage disposal.

Advantages of Submersible Pumps

Many pros

Submersible pumps have many advantages and basically no disadvantages. One of their biggest pluses is that they prevent cavitation. It is a potentially disastrous problem caused by pressure differentials that can ruin the parts of a pump. Because of their submersible nature, these pumps are also usually quite sturdy and long-lasting. They can be installed beneath the floor, so space is not an issue.

Submersible Pump Technology

The latest innovations

The first submersible pump was invented in 1928. Since then, there have been many technological advances that benefit submersible pump users:

  • Automatic pumps that don’t need any manual cranking or turning on/off
  • Abrasion- and corrosion-resistant materials
  • Alert systems to let users know when there is a problem
  • Controllers that provide more specific settings and catch small issues before the pump fails
  • Quieter operation

Submersible Pump Maintenance

Tips from the pros

Submersible pumps are a terrific invention. But they do need regular maintenance, just like other pumps on your property. Here are our best suggestions for making sure your submersible pumps stay up to the job.

Know the five signs of sump pump failure:

  • Running constantly
  • Making loud or strange noises
  • Not cycling properly or removing water
  • Showing evidence of rust, mineral scale buildup, or corrosion
  • Motor or electrical malfunctions

Remember that sump pumps tend to burn out faster in cold climates. This is usually because the drain hose clogs with ice. Therefore, keep the conduit clear and consult your pump expert if you notice signs of motor trouble.

Sometimes, what looks like a sump pump motor problem is really an issue with your electrical system. If the pump is sized properly for the building and its demands yet the circuit breaker keeps tripping, for example, it could be that the electrical supply is not sufficient. When we service a pump, we always make sure the flow rate, pressure settings, and motor horsepower are right for the property. Then we look at electrical failures and other potential causes of problems.

Sump pump floats that switch the pump on can get stuck. If you are experiencing poor performance or strange cycling from your pump, this is one of the first places to look.

Submersible pumps rely on all seals and gaskets working correctly. Replace any worn or cracked parts as soon as you notice signs of damage.

Recognize the warning signs of ejector pump malfunction:

  • Waste not being removed thoroughly or at all
  • Noticeable sewage odors in the kitchen, bath, or laundry room
  • Pump won’t start or only runs intermittently
  • Pump motor running continuously
  • Excessive or unusual noise coming from the pump
  • Alarm on pump going off (if this is a feature)

Call Antler Pumps for Submersible Pump Installation and Service

New York City’s hyper-local blue-chip pump experts

Whether you would like a sump or ejector pump installed or you need service on your submersible pump, Antler Pumps should be at the top of your list. We have been serving New York City rental property owners for nearly a century.

We can evaluate your pump needs and check your existing pump, so you can be confident it will work when you need it to. Call us at 212-534-2500 or use our easy online form to schedule a service call.


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