Are you planning to have a well drilled and need to know where to locate it? Or perhaps your property already has a well and you want to add a house but aren't sure how close it needs to be. Well, you've come to the right place. We've done the research to provide you with everything you need to know about wells.
Motorized submersible well pumps are able to transport water a maximum of approximately 300 feet. Shallow well pumps, or jet pumps, can pull water a maximum of 110 feet.
So what are the different types of pumps? And what is each model best for? Keep reading to learn all about well pumps and which type is best for your needs.
How Deep Can Well Pumps Pull Water From?
Shallow well pumps can push water from depths of 25 feet. A submersible well pump can pull water from depths of up to 300 feet. Hand-operated well pumps can pull water from depths of around 328 feet.
The type of pump you need to use will be determined by the type of well you have as well as its depth. If you're having a well drilled, then the drilling company can advise you on your options.
How Deep Is A Well?
There are three different types of wells, and each type is capable of reaching different depths. Most wells vary in depth from 10 feet to 80 feet. Deep wells are preferred for home use because they are less susceptible to contamination.
What Is A Drilled Well?
Drilled wells are the deepest type of well, going as deep as 80 feet to reach a water table. These wells are created by drilling into the ground with heavy machinery until water is found.
Drilled wells are the most common option, especially for household use. The depth of drilled wells and their use of casing makes them a cleaner water source.
What Is A Driven Well?
A driven well is the second most common option for household water wells. These wells are created by driving pipe into the earth until a groundwater aquifer is discovered, usually around 25 feet.
Driven wells are less costly compared to drilled wells, making them another popular choice for household water. Since these wells gather water from an aquifer close to the surface, they are more susceptible to contamination.
What Is A Dug Well?
These wells were common in early America but have become less efficient with advances in technology. A dug well is created by hand digging or using machinery like an excavator to locate a source of groundwater. These wells usually have a fairly wide opening.
These are the least costly wells to dig, but they are not recommended for use as household water since they are very easily contaminated. Usually, a bucket on a rope is tossed into the well, and a hand crank is used to pull the bucket back to the surface filled with water.
What Is A Hand Pump?
A hand pump, or pitcher pump, is a man-powered pump system that attaches to the well to bring water to the surface. You move the arm on the pump up and down to power the mechanism and draw water up, filling receptacles with water under the spigot.
A pitcher pump can draw water from depths of about 25 feet, although some special deep well versions can manage depths of up to 150 feet.
Simmons Pitcher Pump
This pitcher pump can pull water from depths of 25 feet. It's made from durable cast iron for a long-lasting product.
What Is A Jet Pump?
A jet pump, or shallow well pump, is a non-submersible well pump that works great for more shallow driven wells feeding off groundwater aquifers.
These pumps sit on top of the pipe that leads to the water and sucks the liquid to the surface. Jet pumps work great for driven wells, but they won't cut it for deep drilled wells.
Redlion Jet Pump
This jet pump runs on 3/4 horsepower providing 16 gallons of water per minute. It's a great option for shallow driven wells.
What Is A Submersible Pump?
A submersible well pump is placed deep into a drilled well where the water is located and forces the water up to the surface.
Submersible pumps can push water from greater depths than the other options, but higher horsepower may be required for deeper wells. Submersible pumps can pull water from the deepest wells.
Hallmark Industries Submersible Pump
This submersible pump is capable of pulling water from depths of up to about 200 feet. It's a great option for drilled wells which tend to be very deep.
What Type Of Well Do I Need?
Drilled wells are the best option for home use since they are deeper, cleaner, and less likely to become contaminated. Shallow wells that tap into aquifers are another faithful option for home use, but their proximity to the surface creates concerns over easy contamination.
Dug wells are not recommended for home use since contamination is very easy and obtaining water becomes more time consuming. Dug wells are typically more suitable for gardens and livestock. If you must consume water from a dug well, make sure to boil it first.
How Far Can A Well Pump Pull Water Horizontally?
A well pump will be able to pull water horizontally the same distance that it can pull water vertically.
For instance, a jet pump that can pull water from 25 feet deep can also push water a distance of 25 feet horizontally. From the well, you will need to connect the piping to a pressure tank that will hold water from the well to direct into your home.
Amtrol 20-Gallon Pressure Tank
This pressure tank will hold the water pulled up by your well pump and send it into your home's plumbing system for use. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for homes with two to three people.
Should Well Pumps Run Nonstop?
No, well pumps are not supposed to run nonstop. Your well pump should stop running once your pressure tank is full.
When you run water to run your home, it will take it from the pressure tank, then your pump will work to refill the tank. If your pump is running nonstop, there may be an issue somewhere in your plumbing system.
How Long Do Well Pumps Last?
Most well pumps will last between eight and 15 years, with some models lasting up to 30 years. Well pump issues are usually noticeable and will result in slowed or stopped water, noises from the well, or dirty-looking water.
When determining the issue with your pump, you should also consider whether or not your well could be drying up.
Can A Well Dry Up?
Yes, wells can dry up, and their average life spans between 20 years to multiple decades.
The amount of use the well sees as well as the location, amount of rainfall, and other geographic details can affect the overall lifetime of the well too. Wells can replenish themselves provided an appropriate amount of time and precipitation.
What To Do If Well Dries Up?
If your well dries up, you can try to cut back on your water use while you wait to see if it will replenish itself. Wells typically accumulate five gallons of water per minute from ground filtration provided by precipitation.
Give it a few days to a week to see if there is any improvement. If you don't see an improvement or the issue returns, you may have to have your well drilled deeper, have your well hydrofracked, or have a new well drilled.
Now that you know all about wells and the appropriate types of pumps required for them, you're ready to determine which option is best for you.
Don't forget to consult with the company that will install your well system when making plans, since they can provide you with information on water depth in your area. Good luck, and have fun planning your home or well construction!
If you're trying to determine why your well pump isn't working, read this article: Well Pump Running But No Water – What’s Wrong?
If you're having problems with your water heater and need to know if you still get water, read this article: Can You Still Use Water If Water Heater Is Off?