Difference between Centrifugal and Submersible Pump

The water pump is a mechanical device useful for transferring liquid or substance from one point to another. It is beneficial in water storage areas and moves the water with the help of its mechanical action. This mechanical action takes place after converting the electrical energy into hydraulic energy. There are various types of water pumps available in the market. It is essential to know the specialty, correct amount of water/pressure and functionality of each type of pump as it will help you select the right kind of pump relevant for the available water supply. In this article we are trying to discuss about the difference between the centrifugal and submersible pump.

Difference between Centrifugal and Submersible Pump:

Working Principle:

A. Centrifugal Pump – It is a rotary machine equipped with impellers in the form of rotors. This pump moves the water by transferring the rotational energy from one impeller to other. It converts the centrifugal force to kinetic energy into the fluid’s pressure head to pump the water from the outlet.

B. Submersible Pump – It is a mechanical machine used to lift the water from low to high level or push the underground water to the surface level. A submersible pump has a working mechanism for converting the energy from mechanical to liquid flow. (Change in energy from rotary to kinetic and then into pressure energy)

Installation Type:

A. Centrifugal Pump – It comprises proper location, foundation, and coupling alignment. A Centrifugal pump is generally installed on the ground near the source of water supply to reduce the suction lift issue.

B. Submersible Pump – It is mainly installed in borewells or open wells and remains/submerged inside the water.

Design & Structure:

A. Centrifugal Pump – The centrifugal pump's design is not to submerge the pump into the water and to keep it outside the water. It has a simple design and is thus easy to access. It provides a high-pressure level and comes in various sizes and voltages. The main parts of the centrifugal pump consist of the impeller, shaft, cover casing, sealing ring, bearing, etc.

B. Submersible Pump – The design of the pump is such that it is suitable for submerging inside the water. The motors of these pumps are generally covered with oil-filled compartments detached from the substance. Electric motor, seal section, pump cable, check and bleeder valves, and clamps are certain main parts of submersible pumps.


A. Centrifugal Pump – It is mainly used to pump fluids like oil, solvent, acids and bases based on the principle of centrifugal force. A Centrifugal pump is applicable for liquids with relatively low viscosity. Its typical applications include industrial, agriculture and industrial use for pumping organic liquids, oils, acids, bases and solvents.

B. Submersible Pump – It is mainly used in drainage, slurry and sewage pumping systems, saltwater handling, dirt treatment, mine dewatering, etc. The submersible pump is also used in the navy, mining, rescue, fire and wastewater services, groundwater extraction and irrigation of artificial lifts.


A. Centrifugal Pump – It has a simple design, space-saving and less capital cost. The Centrifugal pump is easy to use and maintain. This pump applies to work with even larger volumes and experiences less friction loss. The output delivered by the centrifugal pump is very steady and consistent. The device provides a lot of flexibility and thus can be easy to move and carry. Also, there is no heat transfer issue due to the separation of the motor and pump chamber done with the help of the air gap element.

B. Submersible Pump – They are highly efficient and have high energy conservation. The submersible pump has a noiseless operation and handles both liquid and solid substances. This versatile device has no cavitation problem. It utilizes the internal pressure to smoothly flow the water inside without requiring additional elements.


A. Centrifugal Pump – There is a specific energy loss due to magnetic resonance within the centrifugal pump system. Even the vibrations in the surrounding atmosphere can negatively impact the pump. Centrifugal pump generally experiences cavitation issues. It is incapable of working with high heat and high viscous fluids. Sometimes there is excessive wear of impellers. The pump experiences leakage of media along the rotating shaft at a time. Few harsh fluids can cause corrosion inside the centrifugal pump system.

B. Submersible Pump – The seals of the submersible pump get damaged easily. There is an overheating problem experienced more often by the motors in the pump. The maintenance and repairing of this type of pump system are comparatively complicated. If the pump is not completely submerged in the water, there is an occurrence of heavy damage to the machine.

Standard Types:

A. Centrifugal Pump –

  1. Based on the Flow Type: Radial, Axial, Mixed
  • Radial Pump – This pump type mainly applies to oil and gas industries. The fluid runs parallel to the shaft within this pump system. It discharges liquid perpendicular to the main pump shafts. Thus, it is suitable for many pressure and flow type applications.
  • Axial Pump – It is applicable for the situation where there is a large flow rate and less pressure head, e.g., dewatering and water circulation pumps.
  • Mixed pump – As the name suggests, the pump consists of fluid flows mixing both radial and axial properties. It works at high flow rates with slow growth in the pressure head. Mixed pump discharges liquid at an angle exceeding 90 degrees relative to the pump shaft.

2. Based on the number of shafts:

  • Single-stage pump – It comes with one impeller and a simple design/structure. Its unique features include lightweight, high speed, high performance, high efficiency, large flow and easy operation.
  • Multi-stage pump – The output water pressure of this pump is large volume. It is suitable for the situation where the high head at discharge is needed.

B. Submersible Pump –

1.Borewell Pump – It comes with a motor at the bottom and a pump at the top side. This pump is usually submerged in water to push it to the surface. Borewell pump operates using the electric motor and is mainly used for draining water, sewage pumping, emptying ponds, domestic use, etc.

2. Open well Pump – It is mainly used for irrigation and gardening, sprinkling, under-ground reservoirs, hotels, commercial use, etc. The open well pump is completely submerged in water and is sealed in a tight air casing.

3. Bladder Pump – It is a low-flow pneumatic device used for fluid sampling applications.

4. Grinder Pump – It is a wastewater pump that can cut harder substances like solid waste content into smaller pieces like fine slurry. The prime purpose of the grinder pump is to pass the solids easily through the pump without clogging or jamming.

5. Oil-filled Pump – It consists of machinery oil and is commonly used in water towers, flood protection and municipal construction drainage systems.


We have tried to explain the difference between the centrifugal and submersible pump based on various parameters like working principle, installation type, design and structure, application and use, advantages and disadvantages, etc. Hope the above information will help you understand the core difference between these pump types. You can also explore and choose your choice of centrifugal pump & submersible pump online.