Back Button

Reasons for Submersible Pump Cavitation

Paul Cartmell

A submersible pump is a centrifugal pump that inserts the pump and its electric motor into the water. Submersible water pumps can be adversely affected by a buildup of bubbles entering the system causing problems for the pump system.


Cavitation is a buildup of cavities, or bubbles, within the liquid being pumped, that form at low pressure. When the cavities within the liquid are passed through the pump from low pressure areas into high pressure areas, they cause problems with the pump.


The process of cavitation in submersible water pumps can produce inconsistent water pressure and a reduced efficiency for the pump. Other problems associated with cavitation include noise, vibration and damage to the submersible pump.


The causes of cavitation include vaporization, internal recirculation, flow turbulence and vane passing syndrome (cavitation resulting from the small size of the impeller or low cutwater clearance). Another problem with cavitation is air ingestion, whose symptoms are similar to cavitation.