Tips & Tricks

Best Well Pumps For Shallow & Deep Wells

We have reviewed and compared the best well pumps on the market.

by PlumberAndy

Tips & Tricks

Best Well Pumps For Shallow & Deep Wells

We have reviewed and compared the best well pumps on the market.

by PlumberAndy

by PlumberAndy

Drawing water from a well with a bucket and rope is as primitive as we can get today. With the advent of technology, we thankfully no longer have to use the old rope and bucket – instead, we can use well pumps which automatically pull water from deep underground.

Well, pumps are primarily used by homeowners who do not rely on supplied water lines and farmlands and businesses that use their source of water. These are also widely used in rural areas where there is either no provision of water facilities or electricity. These needs have led to a wide range of pumps being available on the market.

If you require a pump for your home, farmland or business, we suggest you read our reviews before investing in one.

How Does A Well Pump Work

Well pumps work to pump water out of your well and store it in a tank or reservoir that supplies your house or farm. Mostly, well pumps do not run 24/7 – here is how these pumps typically function:

  • The air bladder inside the water tank compresses and raises the pressure as water pours in (this pressure drives water through your plumbing system).
  • Once the water reaches the 'cut-in' level, the maximum pressure that your tank can maintain (around 40-60 psi), the pump stops.
  • As the water gets used up, the pressure in the tank starts dropping. When it decreases to about 20 psi (from 60 to 40 or 50 to 30) or the 'cut-out' level, the pump is switched back on, and the cycle repeats.

Advantages of Having A Well Water Pump

If you don’t live in the city or own a piece of land that requires constant irrigation, investing in a well water pump may be in your best interest.

Installing a well water pump means that you can drill a well, and get a constant supply of water without having to pay water bills ever again.

Well reports obtained before installing your system apprise you of the mineral quantities in your water, so you are ready to set the best purifying mechanisms to access clean water.

Additionally, well pumps are easy to maintain, and due to their run cycles shut on and off automatically to save you from high electricity bills.


Types of Well Pump Systems

Deep Well vs. Shallow Well Pump

There are two types of wells depending on the well depth and the water table at your location.

Shallow well pumps are non-submersible pumps that are placed outside the well. If you have a high water table – or in other words, your underground water is closer to the surface – a shallow well pump system can efficiently work to draw water from your well.

Deep well pumps are perfect for locations with low water tables, and deep wells. These are submersible pumps that have 2 and three wire options.

Submersible vs. Convertible

Submersible pumps are primarily used for deep wells and low water tables and are submerged in the well water. Their mechanism involves pushing water upwards instead of pulling it in.

Convertible pumps, also called jet pumps, are suitable for high water tables. Since the pump is outside the well, it pulls water towards the surface, instead of pushing it towards it.

Hand Pump vs. Solar Powered

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve energy, you can opt for more environmentally friendly options such as solar panel powered pumps, and hand pumps.

While hand pumps are cheaper than solar pumps, they require physical effort to draw water from the ground. However, they are more feasible than solar pumps as they don’t depend on weather conditions for power.

Solar powered pumps are a great way to conserve energy and require no effort to pump water. These pumps save you from high electricity bills and are ideal for large commercial farms, etc.


Buyer’s Guide & Information on Well Pumps

Well Depth

It is essential for you to know the depth of a well before you decide which type of pump you need to meet your water needs. Well reports contain technical information such as the well diameter, the mineral composition of the well water, and the expected water yield.

To procure such a report, you can check to see if a previous owner has one, and can give you a copy. If not, you can contact a professional driller, and get a new well water report.

Type of Pump vs. Well Depth

The size and power of your unit are directly dependent on the depth of your well. While shallow wells may not require powerful pumps, deeper wells almost certainly need to be paired with pumps that have a high flow rate.

Based on pumping capacity, these are the three types of pumps available:

  • Shallow well pumps
  • Convertible well pumps
  • Deep well pumps

Here's a table to understand pump type with well depth:

Well Water Depth

Type of Well Pump

0 - 25 feet

Shallow Well Pump (jet)

25 - 100 feet

Convertible Well Pump (jet)

25 - 400 feet

Deep Well Pump (submersible)

Power

The horsepower (HP) of a pump is measured in kilowatts and helps you determine how powerful the pump is. If you need a shallow pump, you can buy a well pump with a lower horsepower. However, if your well is deeper, make sure to invest in pumps with higher power to avoid any issues in the future. You well depth and water capacity will help you determine the correct HP required for your pump.

Flow Rate

Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute and determining it is crucial for getting the right water system for your needs.

You can start by assessing how much water is required by your home or land in a day. Small establishments can function efficiently with units which deliver low water volume. However, larger houses or farms may require units with a higher GPM.

Diameter

The diameter of a well pump has to be following the well diameter. For this reason, pumps come in all sorts of wide and narrow diameters.

Before you invest in a pump, it is vital to decide if it will work with your well.

Start by measuring the diameter of your well. A good fit for your well would be a pump that has a one-inch clearance, so it can easily be inserted or removed and will be easy to maintain.

Wiring

There are two types of pumps based on their wiring:

  • 2-wire pumps contain components within the pump itself, and therefore, are rather easy to install and do not breakdown as much.
  • 3-wire pumps, on the other hand, contain a control box outside of the pump that makes maintenance very easy for individual components.

Well Casing

Well casing diameters are also an important feature to keep in mind when deciding on the best pump for your needs.

Even though the range is extensive, most well casings range between 5 and 6 inches. This can help you determine the diameter of your pump.

Installation

While you can DIY well pump installation, some pumps can be reasonably tricky to install. Hence, it is advised that you seek professional help for the installation process.

Installation costs are depended more on the GPM or flow rate of the pump, than the type of pump. However, submersible pumps cost slightly more for installation than jet pumps due to the added labor involved.


8 Best Well Pumps Reviewed

1. Goulds J10S

Best Shallow Well Pump System

Well System

Convertible

Max Flow Rate

24.8 GPM

Motor

1 HP

Material

Stainless steel

Well Type

Shallow

Well Depth

Up to 25 ft.

The first well pump in our top 8 list is the Goulds J10S. After reviewing multiple well pumps, we concluded it to be the best shallow well pump system on the market. With a 24.8 max GPM and 1 HP motor, this system is ideal for shallow wells of up to 25 feet.

This system can be self-installed, owing to its easy usability, and is equally easy to maintain. It has a simple pump disassembly mechanism to facilitate cleaning and service without disturbing the pipe. Its two-compartment motor also offers easy access to wiring and inner components in case of a replacement.

This well pump is corrosion resistant due to Electro-coated paint (both on the inside and outside), which is first applied and then baked on. All materials used are FDA compliant and designed to resist both UV rays and rust build-up.

The system has a self-priming mechanism after the initial prime, taking away the hassle of continuous priming every time that air gets into the system.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Self-priming system
Cons
  • Can only be used for shallow pumps

2. Wayne SWS100

Best Budget Shallow Well Pump

Well System

Convertible

Max Flow Rate

10.5 GPM

Motor

1 HP

Material

Cast iron

Well Type

Shallow

Well Depth

Up to 25 ft.

This is a single stage water pump with a one horsepower jet pump.

It is designed to pump water from high water table wells with water located 25 feet or less from the pump vertically. With a 10.8 GPM flow rate, this machine is ideal for small houses, farmlands, livestock feeding, and cabins.

This model comes with a 3-year warranty for parts and has a self-priming system which enables it to pump water efficiently, even after long periods of being unused. At very affordable prices, Wayne SWS100 is the best budget shallow well pump available on the market.

Pros
  • Very affordable prices
  • Self-priming mechanism
  • Durable cast iron body
Cons
  • Cannot pump water from wells deeper than 25 ft.

3. Red Lion 14942402

Best Deep Submersible Well Pump

Well System

Submersible

Max Flow Rate

12 GPM

Motor

½ HP

Material

Stainless steel

Well Type

Deep

Well Depth

Up to 250 ft.

This is a submersible well pump for deep wells of up to 250 feet in depth. Its stainless-steel shell keeps the pump corrosion free for a long time – making it a durable and robust well pump model.

With its 0.5 HP motor, it can generate a flow rate of up to 12 gallons per minute. This pump system is perfect for wells with a 4 inch or greater diameter and is fit to supply water in locations with low water tables. It can adequately supply water to rural homes, and cabins or even small farms.

With a built-in section screen, this pump makes your drinking and usage water safe y already filtering for any large impurities. This model comes with a 3-year warranty, thereby providing exceptional value and peace of mind to buyers.

Pros
  • Can pump water from wells 250 feet deep
  • Has a stainless steel shell
Cons
  • Can be hard to maintain since the pump is submersible

4. Hallmark Industries MA0343X-4

Best Budget Deep Submersible Well Pump

Well System

Submersible

Max Flow Rate

25 GPM

Motor

½ HP

Material

Stainless steel

Well Type

Deep

Well Depth

Up to 150 ft.

Among our reviews, we found the Hallmark Industries MA0343X-4 to be the best budget-friendly, deep submersible well pump available in the market.

Apart from being affordable, this pump comes with some added features such as a built-in control box, voiding the need for an external box – this also makes it an extremely compact well pump.

It also has a thermal protection switch which prevents overheating, and a built-in ½ horsepower capacitor start, making it a high functioning pump with a powerful start. It also has the longest pump life of any other well pump in the market, owing to its patented thermoplastic impeller.

It can easily fit wells at least 5 inches in diameter and requires a minimal amount of 115 volts. While this model can be used for homes, it is an ideal fit for industrial use.

Since the design is submersible, it does not require priming. In short, this is an energy efficient and cost-effective pump for deep water wells.

Pros
  • Very cost effective
  • Corrosion resistant material
  • Can pump water in areas with low water tables
  • Requires no priming
Cons
  • Maintenance may be difficult for some users because of its submersible feature

5. Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump

Best Deep Well Hand Pump

Well System

Hand pump

Max Flow Rate

-

Motor

-

Material

Cast iron

Well Type

Shallow

Well Depth

Up to 25 ft.

For homeowners who would like to save on electricity bills, the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump is the perfect hand pump for the job.

With a cast iron outer body and reinforced bolt lugs, it is the sturdiest pump on the market. This is a lead-free hand pump, safe to be used for domestic purposes. It can draw water from wells with high water tables; where water is present only 25 feet from the ground vertically.

Its frost proof hydrant ensures that the frost lines keep empty by draining water out of the standpipe, while the pump is not in use. With torque arrestors that you can get in addition to the system, you can ensure that the pump fits perfectly in the well casing. This helps prevent any possibility of the pump rotating and loosening.

The well caps allow the pressure inside and outside the well to be equalized when water is being pumped.

Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Requires manual labor every time water needs to be pumped

6. ECO-WORTHY

Best Solar Well Pump System

Well System

Submersible and solar

Max Flow Rate

3.2 GPM

Motor

-

Material

Stainless steel

Well Type

Deep

Well Depth

Up to 70 ft.

This pump system is ideal for places without electricity and is currently the best solar well pump system available in the market. The pump type is submersible so that it can draw water from wells as deep as 70 feet.

It can very quickly be set up in an area with abundant sunlight, and the pump starts as soon as the solar panels catch light rays. This pump can be used to provide water for domestic establishments, as well as small farms, ponds and for providing water to livestock.

The exterior of the pump itself is stainless steel, making it corrosion resistant – this is especially important as it is submerged in the underground water.

The model comes with glass and metal solar panels which are 39.3x26.2x1.38 inches in size. Moreover, this compact yet powerful pump can generate a flow rate of up to 3.2 GPM.

Pros
  • Cost-effective
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Doesn’t require priming
Cons
  • The solar panel is fragile

7. Wayne CWS100 Convertible

Best Convertible Well Pump

Well System

Convertible

Max Flow Rate

9.8 GPM

Motor

1 HP

Material

Cast iron

Well Type

Deep

Well Depth

Up to 90 ft.

This is the best convertible well pump on our list.

With a 1 HP square flange motor, this pump is perfect for high performance at low power. It has a maximum flow rate of 9.8 gallons per meter at 50 PSI, which makes the Wayne CWS100 Convertible an efficient well pump for wells up to 90 feet in depth.

It contains a pressure switch which provides automatic operation due to its pre-set limit of 30-50 PSI. This model also has a dedicated priming port to make it easier to prime, especially if air enters the pipes after a long period of the pump not being used.

This product also allows a packer foot valve to be installed in the well, which, due to its self-priming ability, makes it very easy to check for leaks. The Wayne CWS100 is a great jet pump that can be used for deep wells without using too much power.

Pros
  • Convertible well system
  • Has a 1 HP motor
  • Can draw water from up to 90 feet wells
  • Decreased friction
Cons
  • Can only generate a max flow rate of 9.8 GPM

8. Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208 Premium

Best Jet Pump For Wells

Well System

Convertible

Max Flow Rate

23 GPM

Motor

1 HP

Material

Cast iron

Well Type

Shallow

Well Depth

Up to 25 ft.

The last item we have compiled on this list is the Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208, which according to our research, is the best jet pump for wells. It is perfect for water provision to rural homes, medium and small-sized farms, and remote cabins.

It is ideal for wells with a depth of 25 feet or less and has a one horsepower pump motor which can supply water to large areas that require up to 23 GPMs. The heavy-duty red cast iron exterior is corrosion and rust resistant and is designed to give you service for years.

Easy access to the pump enables stress-free maintenance and service without the need to disturb the pipe. This is a high-performance system, with its centrifugal pump and glass-filled thermoplastic impeller and diffuser.

With its dual voltage unique feature, this pump can function at both 115 and 230 volts. Notably, this model comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros
  • High GPM
  • Non-corrosive and rust resistant exterior
Cons
  • Can only pump water from shallow wells

Tips for Priming A Water Well Pump

Priming is the process of running water through your pump to generate the right amount of pressure for a smooth operation. Priming is an integral part of maintaining a well pump, mainly if it has not been used for a while.

The steps to priming your well pump are:

  • Turn off the pump’s power supply
  • Set up a hose with an independent water source
  • Flush the hose to ensure that it has no contaminants
  • Open any relief valves present on your pump
  • Locate the plumbing fixture and place your hose inside it
  • Turn off the hose water supply once the water starts coming out of the opposite end
  • Let the water on the opposite end flow out completely
  • Restore power to pump

Getting the Correct Pump Size For A Well System

The pump size that can best fulfill your water needs depends on the well yield, well depth, your water requirement, and GPM.

GPM or flow rate is the gallon per minute rate at which a well pump pushes or pulls water from your well. This can be easily determined by the outlets or fixtures present throughout your house or land.

Another factor essential in determining the size of the well pump is the Total Dynamic Head or THD – this is the measure of resistance that water will face while moving up the pump.

Once you have determined the required GPM value and THD (get a specialist to calculate this), you can easily reference these values against the manufacturer provided pump curve chart to determine the exact model and horsepower requirement.


How to Use A Well Pump?

Different types of well pumps can be used to serve different purposes.

A shallow well pump, with a small flow rate, can be used to provide water for domestic use such as homes and small rural farmlands.

Deep or submersible pumps are ideal for large plantations and commercial settings to provide irrigation to farmlands, and unlimited water to industrial facilities.


Installation and Maintenance of Well Pumps

To Install A Well Pump

While different types of well pumps need to be installed differently, or as per their user manuals, here is a general guide to installing well pumps:

  1. 1
    Select the right pump type
  2. 2
    Select the right pump size
  3. 3
    Assemble the pump with the pipe
  4. 4
    Connect the electric outlets to the pump (except for hand pumps and solar pumps)
  5. 5
    For a deep well pump, set the pump by lowering it into the well

To Service A Well Pump

Just like installation, proper maintenance of a pump will vary from type to type. However, as a general guideline, when servicing your pump:

  1. 1
    Switch the power off
  2. 2
    Clean the pump from the outside and inside to remove dirt and grime
  3. 3
    Inspect the pump for any system damage
  4. 4
    Replace any faulty or worn out parts
  5. 5
    Adjust pressure levels if required

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Well Pump Units Last?

Not all well pumps last the same amount of time, and their average life expectancy can vary anywhere between one and ten years.

How Do I Improve My Well Pump’s Life Expectancy?

To make your pump last longer, it is crucial to assess your pump for damages and conduct any repairs immediately. If any components show wear or signs of overuse, it is better to replace them before they cause your pump to stop working.

Overall, you can increase your pump's life expectancy by making sure that it isn't overworked, and by maintaining it regularly.

What Should I Do If My Well Runs Out of Water?

If your well has run dry or there isn’t water in your faucets, you have three options. You can:

  • Lower your pump to reach the lower water table
  • Deepen the well further, or
  • Drill a new well
What Do I Do When the Pump Loses Pressure?

The main reasons that your pump could be losing pressure include:

  • Water storage tank capacity
  • The size of the water pump, or
  • A faulty check valve/foot valve

To stop your water pump from losing pressure, check to see which of these is affecting your pump’s pressure.

If it is because of storage tank capacity, you can:

  • Add another tank with the existing one
  • Replace the existing tank with one that has a larger volume

If it is due to the pump size, getting a more substantial sized pump might help you solve the issue. If it is because of the foot valve, you can replace it with a new one.

How Do I Check the Foot Valve on A Shallow Well Pump?

After you remove the foot valve from the end of the pipe, check to see for signs of freezing or rust near the valve end.


Conclusion

After reviewing multiple well pumps of different types, we have compiled for you a list of the top 8 water well pumps with a winner in each category.

You can now make an educated decision about the right type of pump for your needs, and according to your location – without having to go through hundreds of models and reviews!


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