Can A Submersible Well Pump Overheat

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Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by Alexander A. Smith

A pump explosion is incredibly damaging, costly, and potentially devastating, as anybody who has seen one will attest. Maintaining a safe temperature range for your submersible well pumps is essential for both the well-being of the pump’s operator and the environment.

Sources of Overheating

Submersible well pumps often fail due to overheating, which shortens the life of the motor’s shielding and ultimately causes the pump to stop working. It’s not uncommon for a motor’s failure to be precipitated by additional issues brought on by overheating.


It is conceivable that the supply frequency of a generating unit, as opposed to the mains of a power utility, might be greater than the motor’s or pump’s specified frequency. Regular pumps’ performance parameters vary greatly with velocity. Increasing the frequency of the pump will force it to run faster, which may lead to the service limit of the pump being exceeded, which can lead to the motor burning out. When a motor is overworked, it will eventually overheat and fail.

Increased Water Temperature in the Environment

Maximum temperature of the water, minimum cooling water flow rate (in meters per second), & maximum full load output power are all parameters defined by Submersible Motor Engineering (SME). The capacity of the motor to disperse the internal energy created by the motor’s operation is dependent on a number of factors, all of which are subject to variation in operation. If the maximum atmospheric cooling temperature of the water is surpassed, the machine will overheat and its lifespan will be shortened.

High or Low Voltages

When saturation effects are disregarded, voltage and current are found to be proportionate, hence lowering the voltage will result in a rise in the current flowing through the circuit. The stator winding will become hotter if the current through it is increased. Furthermore, low voltages will decrease full load pace and enhance slip. There will be less water going through the pump, less water going through the engine, and perhaps less cooling capacity.

As the voltage increases, the current through the stator decreases, resulting in a lower rising temperature; but, as the laminated iron reaches saturation, the current begins to climb, causing a higher heating effect. Increased beginning torque and initial current from a high voltage supply may likely result in the pump overheating as it warms up.

High or Low Voltages

Errors in Setup Processes

The pump and motor need to be put together properly. Imbalance and binding both increase the risk of motor overload. Imbalance occurs when parts are improperly manufactured or installed. Each part of the motor as well as the pump must be centered within the specifications set by the manufacturer.

Care must be taken to ensure that all parts are properly fitted, that spinning parts are properly balanced and vibrating, and that there are no debris or other contaminants in the assembly, particularly in the space between the flanges. When a pump binds, it’s typically because the shaft connection is improperly fitted or there is not enough axial or radial clearance in the pump.

Errors in Setup Processes

The connection shouldn’t be glued or grub screwed onto the motor shaft; instead, it should be able to glide freely on the shaft to accommodate the shaft’s thermal effects. Because the motor uses the water to dissipate the heat it generates, it is crucial that the motor be properly filled with water before installation.

Overheating is a real risk if a motor isn’t adequately fueled. Extreme caution must be used during setup to prevent any harm to the motor and pump as a unit. It is imperative that the motor/pump be lifted carefully to the upright position before being lowered into the hole. Avoid putting the shaft under any unnecessary stress that might result in it snapping.

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Overheating of a submersible well pump almost often indicates a more serious issue. Motor breakdowns, lengthier down periods, recurrent restorations, and increased maintenance expenses will result if the real cause of the overheating is not found and addressed.

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