Well Pumps: How to Choose the Right One

For the lifelong city dweller, the question of where the water comes from is simple. It comes from the city’s municipal water system. For 13 million rural homes, though, the answer is that it comes from the well on your property.

These homes usually reside far beyond the reach of a town or city water supply and instead rely on well pumps to bring water up from the local aquifer. Think water deep below the surface of the earth.

Unfortunately, those well pumps don’t last forever. Like other machines, they eventually malfunction or break down completely. When that happens, how do you choose the right well pump?

Keep reading for our quick well pump guide.

Well Depth

One of the biggest factors in choosing a well pump is the overall depth of your well. Wells fall into three general categories:

  • Shallow
  • Driven
  • Drilled

A typical shallow well typically goes does around 25 feet, give or take. A driven well will extend down to anywhere from 50 feet to 90 feet. A drilled or deep well can easily extend down a couple of hundred feet.

For ease of the well selection process, you can generally group shallow and driven wells together.

Types of Well Pump

Well pumps come in three main types of well pumps in common use today.

First up on the list is the centrifugal pump. Unlike the other type types of pump, this kind of pump doesn’t go into the well itself. It’s installed next to the well.

These pumps only work for shallow wells.

Next up are the shallow well jet pumps, such as a Sta rite pump. These pumps go into the well itself. For driven well, you might get a convertible jet pump.

The last pump option is the submersible well pump. Submersible pumps literally go under the water inside the well, which can mean installing them hundreds of feet down. These pumps work in all well types.


You must also factor in the overall horsepower of the pump. If your old pump didn’t really get the job done, you may want a more powerful pump as a replacement.

Consult a Pro

At the top of the well pump tips list is that you should consult a pro. A well company can provide you with specific guidance on the type of well you own and the best pump for your specific needs. It’s much more reliable than making a best guess on your own.

Well Pumps and Your Home

When it comes to well pumps, you should plan ahead. Don’t want until there is a glaring problem to find out things like what kind of well you have and what pump is installed.

Get pros out to your property while the well is in working order and get all the facts in order. That will make getting the right pump for your well faster and easier.

Looking for more property maintenance tips? Check out some of the other posts over in our Home Improvement section.

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