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A Guide to the Different Types of Well Pumps

Over 13 million homes have their own private wells. Unlike city dwellers, private well owners have the added responsibility of pump maintenance. When a pump goes bad, choosing a replacement can seem a bit confusing.

Need to buy a new well pump, but not sure which kind is best for your specific well? Keep reading to learn about the three types of well pumps. After doing so you’ll be better equipped at making a buying decision.

Well Types

There are three basic kinds of wells, each made using a different digging method. Because of depth differences, the type of well you have will determine which well pump you need. So, let’s talk about the three kinds of wells first.

Basic Dug Well

This type of well is dug either by hand or with a backhoe. In the past, landowners would dig the well until they got below the groundwater table. At that point, the digger could no longer keep the hole clear of the water in order to keep digging.

To keep the walls of the well from collapsing, it needs some kind of lining. Brick, tile, or rock is often used. In most cases, a dug well won’t exceed 30-feet deep.

Driven Well

A driven well uses a small diameter pipe that’s forced into the ground. They’re effective in sandy or soft ground which has a shallow water table. Machine-driven wells can get as deep as 50-feet, where a hand-driven one is about 30-feet deep.

Drilled Well

Drilled types are the deepest of all three kinds of wells. They can go deeper than 1000-feet. They get built with a drilling machine or percussion cable tool. You can visit this site for all kind of drilling services be it Environmental Drilling or Rotary.

Types of Well Pumps

When choosing a new well pump, the first thing to consider is the depth of your well. Beyond that, keep these questions in mind:

  • Maintenance: How long does a well pump last?
  • Budget: How much can I afford?
  • Power: What HP well pump do I need?

There are three basic kinds of well pumps. We’ll share the pros and cons of each to make the decision-making process easier for you.

Submersible Well Pumps

Submersible well pumps push the water out of the well rather than pull it. They are often used on wells that are over 110-feet deep. The pump itself sits down inside the well and forces the water out through a pipe.

Submersible pumps are airtight since they are hermetically sealed. Because of this, there is minimal damage from leaks and repairs are rare. Since they’re the most versatile kind of well pump, they are also the most popular.

Shallow Well Pumps

Well pumps made for shallow depths of 25-feet or less use a centrifugal pump. They are easy to maintain, cost less, and are more energy-efficient than the other two types of well pumps. Centrifugal pumps get installed outside of the well, making maintenance easier.

However, if you have a well deeper than 25-feet, you won’t have enough water pressure with this type.

Deep Well Jet Pumps

A deep well pump is ideal for wells with a depth of up to 110-feet. They are more powerful since they use a jet pump with impellers, diffusers, and an injector. Jet pumps from companies like PumBiz are self-priming as well. Check out for more info.

All this put together means higher water pressure. In shallow wells, a jet pump gets installed entirely outside the well. For deeper wells, the assembly will go inside the well and the motor outside.

Even though they are more expensive up front, in the long run, the servicing costs are lower.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Understanding the types of well pumps and how depth affects their function will help you make a wise purchase. Power, cost, and ongoing maintenance will play a part in the decision. Remember, a well pump will last about 25 years, so get one that you can live with for that long.

Want more home improvement tips? Check out all the articles available here on our blog. You’ll be a pro in no time!

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