Today’s topic is Submersible Pump cable, or Sub Pump as its most commonly referred. This is a specialized product used to supply current/power to the Submersible Pump typically in deep wells. The cable needed for this type of application must be durable and reliable as the installation location and environment can be extremely restrictive as well as hostile. As such, Submersible Pump cable can be used in both fresh and salt water. It is also suitable for direct burial and within well castings.
The size and shape of Submersible Pump cable can vary depending on the usage and preference of the installer. In regards to the standard gauge sizes it ranges from 12 AWG to 500 MCM and is most commonly 3 conductors with a ground, although it can also be found in a 1, 2 and 4 conductor constructions. Typically Sub Pump cable is made in a flat configuration but is also available in a round and twisted construction.
The insulation and jacketing material used on Submersible Pump cable is typically some form of 600 Volt Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) meeting the requirements of UL 83 with a rating of 90 degrees Celsius dry and 75 degrees Celsius wet. The conductors are insulated with a specific color code combination of black, yellow and red with the ground always being green. The PVC jacket can come in a variety of colors itself ranging from black to yellow depending on the manufacturer.
The conductors are usually a bare stranded, soft annealed copper meeting ASTM B3 and B8. As stated earlier, they must be somewhat flexible due to the extreme working conditions.
When buying Submersible Pump cable the main thing to remember is that it’s rarely stocked by the standard electrical wholesaler. It is typically purchased at a pump house or from a specialty wire and cable distributor. When trying to determine the type of Sub Pump cable an individual requires, the most important items to find out is the AWG and conductor count, type of water involved (fresh or salt) and if the customer requires a flat or round construction.