How to Use a Submersible Utility Pump

by Nathaniel Miller; Updated September 26, 2017

Submersible utility pumps can be used for a variety of jobs including draining pools and flooded basements, or even regularly maintaining water levels in water storage areas. The basic utility pump is a device that, when submerged in water, pumps water from below its casing through a connected hose to an outfall area. There are a variety of pumps on the market, but here is the basic process of using this type of utility pump, regardless of application.

Items you will need

  • Submersible utility pump
  • Hoses
  • Electrical connection with extension cord
  • Outfall area
Step 1

Begin by choosing your outfall area. You want to pump the excess water to a safe, appropriate area such as a drain pipe, sewer system or sloped grassy area where the water can slowly be absorbed by the ground. Position the nozzle of the hose in the outfall area and then unroll the hose back to the area that you will be pumping from.

Step 2

Connect the hose to the submersible pump and then plug the pump into the extension cord and the power source. Determine the lowest point of the water-filled area, as this is where you will want to place the pump. Also, make sure that a filter screen is attached to the pump if there happens to be a large amount of debris in the water.

Step 3

Drop the pump into the deepest part of the water and then turn the system on. It may take a few minutes for the pump to prime, but then water should start shooting out of the end nozzle of your drain hose. Keep an eye on the pump as the water level recedes and move it around every now and then to remove debris from the screen and to keep it in the deepest part of the water.


  • Pouring a cup of water into the pump initially will help prime it and make start-up easier on its internals.


  • Do not allow the pump to run dry. Keep a special eye on the water level and when it gets close to being dried up, turn the pump off and mop up the water by other means to avoid damage to the pump impeller.

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