Buying Guide

Types of Well Pumps

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.

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

Well Types
shallow well pumps
convertible jet pumps
deep well submersible pumps
Description Pump sits above ground and draws water out through one inlet pipe Pump sits above ground and draws water out of one pipe and pushes water through another pipe A single pipe comes up from the inside of the well into the home and connects to a pressure tank
Feature/Benefits For depth to water 25 feet or less One-way check valve keeps pump primed 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 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

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.