Submersible vs. On-land Pumps

Views 1 Like Comments Comment
Like if this Guide is helpful
Submersible vs. On-land Pumps

Water pumps are a necessity for every pool or well. Some decorative ponds or other small bodies of water will use pumps to create waterfalls and water circulation. Pumps are widely used and are an indispensable part of many households. Choosing the right pump, submersible or on-land, depends on a number of factors. However, the most important place to begin is to understand the differences between the submersible versus the on-land pumps. Each pump comes with both advantages and disadvantages, and buyers need to understand the differences before deciding which pump will work best for each situation.

Basic Pumps

Every type of pump works by using pressure differential, though each pump will use a different method to achieve the differential. The biggest difference in pumps is whether the water flow is intermittent or continuous. Most pumps on the market are continuous, operating on a centrifugal principle. A rotary impeller will draw water in one side then push it out the other side. This type of pump must be at the bottom of the water, since it cannot raise the water itself. Other types of on-land pumps will use hoses to pull water to the impeller. No water pump can operate without water, however, and if the impeller dries out, the pump will be destroyed.

Submersible Pump Explained

The best feature of submersible pumps is that they belong in the water. The whole system is in the water already, and never needs priming. The user simply turns on the pump to make it work. It can be moved around, but this limits its power, especially if it is placed in the wrong area. Size can also get in the way, so purchasing the correct size is important.
Heat can be an issue for the submersibles as well, because the motor must be placed in an airtight, sealed compartment. This compartment traps heat, which means the pump can only achieve a limited amount of power before overheating. The pump is less likely to overheat and burn out due to the continuous water flow, but it is still a possibility if the power is turned up too high. The waterproof power delivery required of submersible pumps brings a whole new set of issues as well.

On-land Pump Explained

The on-land pumps offer a better overall result than the submersible types, which is the biggest advantage of these pumps. The pump is allowed to be larger and carry more power. It needs to be primed to keep the water flowing, and it may need extra effort for installation, depending on its size. An external pump is often more difficult to install than the submersible types, and they are often stationary.
After the installation, however, this type of pump will move great amounts of water very quickly. This application is great for fast pool drainage. These pumps also cool faster because the motor can be open to the air. Electrical issues are also reduced, as the cords do not need to be placed in the water.


Choosing the Right Pump

After the advantages and disadvantages have been reviewed, it is time to choose the right pump for each specific application. Many searchers begin by assessing a budget, then searching for a pump in that budget range. On-land pumps are usually more expensive for both purchasing and installing. Tighter budgets typically choose submersible pumps for this reason. Consumers with larger budget limits may choose on-land pumps for other reasons. The on-land pumps work well for pool and large pond circulation, while submersible pumps work better for drainage.
Many individuals who have a pool installed typically have an on-land pump installed at the same time. Submersible pumps work well for above ground pools because they can be removed if the pool is disassembled. Again, they are limited in power, but they do well for smaller pools.
Use this table to further understand the features between the two types of pumps:


Best Served By







Flow rate


Operates without priming



Buying Both Pumps on eBay

eBay is an ideal place to not only find both on-land and submersible pumps but also pump accessories. Finding pumps on eBay is as simple as using the search bar at the top of any eBay page. The returned results will be lists of pumps in a range of budgets. If the search result doesn’t work, the Home and Garden page will help begin the search for proper pumps and accessories. Be sure to review the seller’s ratings, or use eBay’s Top Seller feature to find the best sellers for the desired product.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides