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How Does a Well Pump Work?

Finding out how different well water systems work is incredibly important when picking the well pump that is best for your home. Learn more about the different types of well pumps, how they function with a well pump pressure tank, and the regular well pump maintenance you should follow to help maintain the integrity of your well pump over time.

The Different Types of Well Pumps

There are a variety of well pumps on the market. They range in size and purpose and can be narrowed down to two different types: jet pumps and submersible pumps.

How does a well pump work? Ultimately, both types work as part of a well pump pressure tank system that maintains constant water pressure for the house, and keeps water and air in the plumbing system separated.

What Is a Jet Pump?

A jet pump is the type of well pump you need if you have a shallow well. It is located above ground and designed to pull water up from the ground or a body of water through a suction pipe. Jet pumps are an older technology but have been trusted for decades to lift water out of the ground.   

Jet pumps are often part of a well pump pressure tank system. If your jet pump only has one pipe, it is a shallow well jet pump (for wells under 25 feet), while a jet pump with two pipes is meant for wells up to 100 feet deep.

How Does a Jet Pump Work?

For a jet pump to create suction and operate, its electric-powered impeller moves water through a narrow jet that is in front of the impeller, and this causes the water to move quickly. Ultimately, a vacuum is created and additional water is drawn up. All the water that is moved up the pipe is stored in the plumbing system.

What Is a Submersible Pump?

If you need your well to reach depths of 100 to 400 feet, you want a submersible pump. The latest submersible pumps are becoming more frequently used and are more energy-efficient than jet pumps. However, if you have a shallow well, you will still want to use a jet pump because they are designed specifically for shallow wells.  

Known for delivering a higher volume of water with better water pressure, submersible pumps push the water rather than using suction like a jet pump.

How Does a Submersible Pump Work?

For a submersible pump to operate, it must first be fully submerged in water. Then you can turn on the pressure switch for the impeller to start moving water into the pump. The water collected in the pump is then moved to the surface and stored in a water storage tank.

Jet Pump vs. Submersible Pump

Either type of pump can successfully bring water into your home, though there are a few differences between the two. Explore additional differences between jet pumps and submersible pumps below:

  • Jet pumps need to be filled with water before first use and submersible pumps must be completely submerged in water to work.
  • Jet pumps use suction to get water out of the well, while submersible pumps push water upwards.
  • Jet pumps use more energy than submersible pumps.
  • Jet pumps are normally located above ground, while submersible pumps are completely submerged and operate underground.

How to Properly Maintain a Well Pump System

If you are experiencing issues with your well pump, or simply want to ensure the longevity of your well pump, we DO NOT recommend attempting to service the pump on your own. This type of job is best left to a licensed plumber.

To prevent issues from occurring, we recommend scheduling yearly plumbing inspections. Regular plumbing inspections will provide you with peace of mind and save you money by pinpointing and addressing small issues quickly, before they turn into full-blown disasters.

Professional Well Pump Installation & Repair

Experiencing issues with your jet pump or submersible pump? Is your well pump pressure tank system simply not performing like it once did? With upfront flat-rate pricing and no overtime charges, Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is the licensed plumber to schedule an appointment with. Call us today at (855) 982-2028 or request an estimate online.

Regular inspections and maintenance aren’t just for well pumps, they’re also necessary for your appliances. If your appliances also need repair services, we recommend calling Mr. Appliance. Just like Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Mr. Appliance is part of the Neighborly®  community of trusted home service professionals. Your local Mr. Appliance can help you with everything from kitchen appliance repair to laundry room appliance repair.