Ever wonder what kind of a pump is bringing water from your well to the kitchen sink? If the pump went bad, what would it cost to replace it? Would you know where to get started with replacement? How about water pressure? How much is enough and what pumps do a better job than others? Get to know the four different types of well pumps and how they work.
Wells are more of our most ancient technologies. By digging down into the earth and locating the water table, we can harness its life giving powers.
Modern wells are far beyond lowering a bucket into a dark hole. Mechanical pumps bring the water to our kitchen sinks.
There are 4 basic types of pumps used in water wells:
- 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) pressures, as well as negative (vacuum/pull) pressures.
- A Deep Well Jet Pump is similar to the shallow well jet pump, except this pump’s jet assembly is located down in the well where it pushes the water to the surface, allowing application in deeper wells, and creating more energy in the pushing/positive pressure than in the vacuum/negative pressure.
- A Submersible Pump has the same parts as a centrifugal pump, but each piece is small enough in diameter to fit entirely within the well. This allows the motor, multiple impellers, and volutes (fin-like components) to increase the water pressure and push the water up the well shaft. Each impeller and volute is called a stage, and each stage adds to the pressure produced and increases the depth at which it can be used. Very deep wells can have pumps with more than 50 stages, and can draw water from an over 1,000-foot depth!
- A Constant Pressure Pump is the newest technology, where the pump motor adjusts its speed of the impellers depending on the demand for water, which is based on the number and extent of open faucets/outlets. Generally, a constant pressure pump eliminates the need for Pressure Tanks since the pressure of the water supply is sustained by the pump.
Most replacement applications today are outfitted with submersible or constant pressure 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.
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