What are the Types of Well Pump?
If your family relies on a well for water, it's important to choose the right type of pump with enough power to keep the water flowing, even on the busiest mornings. Brush up on a few well pump types today, so you'll be primed for a smart purchase when the time comes.
Types of well pump
What does a well pump look like? They come in various shapes and sizes. In this section, we'll go over the most common types of well pumps and the situations where each pump is most suitable.
Shallow Well Pumps
Shallow well pumps are found in applications where the well is less than 25' deep and operate as above-ground well pumps. This style of pump is not submersible and is placed outside the well in a well housing.
A feature you should look for is overload protection, which prevents motor burnout. The best shallow well pump systems are accompanied by a tank or a booster to increase PSI, which provides constant water pressure to your home. If pump size is a restriction due to your well housing, choose a pump with a booster as this will take up less space.
Some defining characteristics of shallow well jet pumps are:
- The jet pump process relies on water to function.
- They create pressure via impellers.
- The impellers move water, also called drive water, through a small orifice mounted in the housing located in front of the impeller. Doing so increases the water’s speed.
- When the water leaves the jet, a vacuum will suck more water from the well. This water will combine with the drive water and discharge into your house at high pressure.
Submersible Well Pumps
One of the most popular well pump choices among homeowners, submersible well pumps look like long metal cylinders that are completely submerged in a well. They use a motor to draw water from the well up through the pump and into an above-ground reservoir.
Submersible well pumps can operate at a variety of depths. So if you live in a dry area where wells can reach hundreds of feet in depth, a submersible well pump will still work for you. This won’t increase energy costs either because submersible well pumps take advantage of gravity in the pumping process.
Because they are located underwater, the engines of the submersible well pump always stay cool, which means they last significantly longer than other pumps whose motors can burn out quickly. Submersible pumps can last up to 25 years, whereas other pump types may only last five or six.
That said, sitting underwater can cause damage to pumps over time. Submersible well pumps are designed to be well-sealed around the motor. But over time, the seal can corrode and allow water to get into spaces where it isn’t supposed to be. A wet motor is useless until repaired.
Some characteristics of submersible pumps include:
- They won’t function unless they’re entirely underwater.
- The motor powers impellers that push water up the pipe.
- Turning on the pressure switch causes the impellers to spin, which will push water up into a tank located on the surface.
A centrifugal pump rotates an internal fan to create suction. Unlike other well pumps, centrifugal pumps sit in a mechanical housing next to the well instead of inside it, making maintenance less of a hassle.
One potential downside of centrifugal pumps is that their suction is not powerful enough for use in deep wells. Centrifugal pumps are only a viable option if your well is shallower than 25 feet. The centrifugal well pump tends to be the most affordable type.
Which Well Pump is Best For My Home?
To determine which type of well pump is best for you, consider the depth of your well. If the well you’ll be using is more than 25 feet deep, you can count out centrifugal and shallow well jet pumps. If it’s less than 25 feet deep, you have a plethora of options. Talk to a professional to help you determine what’s best for you.
It’s also important to calculate how much water you’ll need at any given time. Pumps are typically rated in gallons per minute (GPM). The average three to four-bedroom home requires eight to 12 GPM. You can roughly calculate this number by adding one GPM for every fixture requiring well water.