Well water pumps are required to move water from your well, and create proper water pressure to your house faucets, showers, etc.  And since a pump is the most recognizable and frequently most troublesome component of the well system, we thought we would explain a bit about the varieties of pumps, and how they work.

There are 4 basic types of pumps used in water wells, as discussed below:

A straight centrifugal pump consists of a motor to provide energy, and impeller to spin and accelerate the water, a volute to concentrate the water and build pressure, and a housing or case to contain the pressure and provide a place to attach pipes.  They may be referred to as ‘end suction’ pump because the suction pipe is connected at the end opposite of the motor.  This type of pump can draw water in wells as deep as (only) 20 feet and is therefore rarely used ion today’s applications.

A shallow well jet pump is an end suction centrifugal pump with an attachment , called a jet assembly, on the front of the pump to boost the pressure.  The attachment converts centrifugal force into water pressure, both positive (pushing) pressure, as well as negative (vacuum/pull) pressure.

A deep well jet pump is similar to the shallow well jet pump, except the jet assembly is located down in the well where it pushes the water to the surface, allowing application in deeper wells, and puts more energy in the pushing pressure than on the vacuum pressure aspect.

A submersible pump has the same parts as a centrifugal pump, but the parts are small enough in diameter, even the motor, to fit within the well, even with multiple impellers and volutes (like fins) to increase the water pressure and ability to push the water up the well shaft.  Each impeller and volute is called a stage, and each stage adds to the pressure produced and the depth at which it can be used.  Very deep wells can have pumps with more than 50 stages, and can draw water from over 1,000 foot depth.

Most replacement applications today are fitted with submersible pumps, to allow for deeper wells currently being drilled. Many houses, however, have perfectly functioning jet pumps, with outstanding service and performance, and few reported problems.  All of these types of pumps are pictured to the right.