Water Well Pump Options

Maintain a steady flow of water from any depth with a deep well pump

Water Well Pump Options Buying Guide

Use a well pump to provide water from nearby underground sources to your home. Because wells range in size depending on the amount of available water, different pumps are designed for different situations. Which one you choose will depend on factors like the depth of the water of your well and the diameter of the well casing.

This guide explains the types of well pumps available and the available sizes and other components.

Pump Types

Well pumps can be mounted above a well or submersed in water, depending on distance the water needs to travel.

The first step is to determine whether you have a shallow or deep well.

Well type Operation Features

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 dry
  • 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) and a typical three- or four-bedroom home requires 8 to 12 GPM.

  • To determine the correct size pump for your home, add one GPM for every fixture you have along your line.
  • Do not buy an oversized pump as it can increase costs due to energy inefficiencies and reduce performance.
  • If you are replacing a pump, choose a unit with the same horsepower. Consider increasing HP if you have added a family member or a new appliance or fixture.

Other Components and Considerations

Leaks and switch settings can cause your pump to work improperly. There are a few system components to look for to help avoid problems.

  • If your pump starts too frequently, the pressure tank could have a leak or need recharging.
  • If your pump does not shut off, check the pressure switch settings. Other causes could be the water level in the well is too low or there may be a leak in the drop line.

Additional System Components

  • Pressure switch: Turns the water on and off.
  • Pressure tank: Maintains the water pressure.
  • Safety rope: Used 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 well when a deep well pump is off.