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Well Pumps

Well pumps
A well pump is a pump that extracts water from an underground water source. Because wells range in size, depth and amount of water available, different well pumps are designed to meet different requirements. Selection depends on factors like the depth to water of your well and the diameter of the well casing. This guide will explain the types of well pumps available and help you feel confident you're choosing the one that's right for you. 

Pump Types  

Well pumps can be mounted above a well or submersed in water, depending on the distance the water needs to travel to reach the surface. As a result, the first step in selecting your pump is driven by whether you have a shallow or deep well. Refer to the table below to see which pump will work best for you.

Well Type



Shallow Well Jet Pump Pump sits above ground and draws water out through one inlet pipe

• For depth to water 25 feet or less

• One-way check valve keeps pump primed

Deep Well Jet Pump Pump sits above ground and draws water out of one pipe and pushes water through another pipe

• For depth to water 25 to 110 feet deep

• May include a tailpipe to ensure well is never pumped 

• Requires a foot valve to prime the pump

Deep Well Submersible Pump A single pipe comes up from the inside of the well into the home and connects to a pressure tank

• For depths to water 25 to 400 feet deep

• Must be pulled from well casing for repairs

• Two-wire pumps have built-in controls

• Three-wire pumps require a separate control box

Other types of pumps include manual, solar and air-driven.


Pumps are rated in gallons per minute (GPM). A typical 3 to 4 bedroom home requires 8 to 12 GPM. To determine how much water your home needs, add one GPM for each fixture and the total will be the number of GPM for which your pump should to be rated.

Other Components

Pressure Switch: Turns water on and off automatically based on pressure settings.
Pressure Tank: Helps maintain water pressure, to keep your appliances running efficiently.
Safety Rope: To recover the pump for maintenance.
Check Valve: Prevents pumped water from flowing back down into the basin.
Foot Valve: Keeps water from flowing back down to the source when a deep well pump is off.

Additional Information

An oversized pump can create costs due to energy inefficiencies and reduced performance.
If your pump starts too frequently, the problem may be your pressure tank, which could have a leak or need recharging. If you pump doesn't shut off, check your pressure switch settings. Other causes could be that the water level in the well is too low or there may be a leak in the drop line.
If you're replacing a pump, choose a unit with the same horsepower. Consider adding more horsepower if you've added a family member or a new appliance.