Deck Out Your Home With More Living Space

« Back to Home

Well Pumps: How They Function, Types Of Pumps, And Installation Advice

Posted on

If you live far enough away from a town or a city, odds are you have a well for your potable water. If this is the case, you will also have a well pump. Read on to learn what they are, the types of common well pumps, and whether you should attempt your own installation. 

What is a Well Pump?

Well pumps are the devices that pump the water from your water well into your home. Their function varies depending on what kind of pump they are, but the end result is the same; a pump mounted above your water well draws water up and into your home much the same way you would use a straw in your soda. The pump is paired with a storage tank, which typically comes equipped with an air bladder that allows for compression to happen as your well pump pushes water in. This allows the pump to avoid having to run continuously; once the pressure inside the storage tank reaches a certain pre-set PSI level, the pump will turn off automatically, and won't turn back on until the water pressure has dropped to the point that it needs to be raised. 

What Kinds of Well Pumps Are There?

The two main types of well pumps that you will encounter are jet pumps and submersible pumps. The depth of your water table is and the type of water well you are using will determine what sort of well pump you will want to install (or have installed). Generally speaking, if you have a shallow well, jet pumps will do the job, while deep wells require a submersible pump to force the water up from extreme depths. 

  • Jet Pumps: Jet pumps use jet propulsion as the primary means of moving the water through the well and into the storage tanks. Jet pumps are mechanically simpler in design than submersible pumps, and therefore will require less maintenance. Shallow jet pumps are recommended for wells that are 18 feet deep or less, although there are deep well jet pumps for deeper wells. 
  • Submersible Pumps: Submersible pumps work in the opposite direction as jet pumps; they push the water upwards, from within the well, whereas jet pumps are pulling the water upwards. Because the energy required to pull water up increases exponentially the further down you get, jet pumps become far less efficient with greater depths. If your well is deeper than 18 feet, a submersible pump will typically be cheaper and more efficient than a jet pump. 

How Do I Install One?

While it is possible to install your own well pump, it is recommended to seek out a professional at to install the pump correctly, as incorrect installation can lead to high expense if components break. If you have experience in residential plumbing systems installation, or even sprinkler repair, it might be worth researching to see if the project is within your reach experientially speaking. However, if you have no prior installation experience with residential plumbing systems, it is advisable to have the well professionally installed.