Submersible Well Pump: Five Tips to Choose The Right One

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If you live in an area without access to a local water system, a well pump is probably the best way to get water into your home. According to a US census, over 15 million households depend on private wells for water consumption.

The submersible well pump is an excellent option for anyone looking to draw clean water from deep underground. Equipped with a suction opening, these pumps take in water, which is then pushed up hundreds of feet through a hose into your home’s plumbing system. Generally, submersible pumps are known for their reliability, efficiency, low maintenance and an optimal performance of up to 25 years without servicing.

Submersible Well Pump System

If you’re looking to install a new submersible pump, or simply replace your old one, here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you:

1. Consider the mechanics of the installation procedure

The installation and removal of a submersible pump is complex and should only be done by a professional. Submersible pumps can extract water from wells with a depth of 25 or up to 400 feet. These pumps feature propellers at the top for pushing the water upwards, and at the bottom, a sealed motor that’s connected to a power source above ground. The long cylinder along with a pipe, is submerged in water enclosed in a well casing. The process of installing or detaching the pump requires a boom truck, to attach or separate the sections of
the pipe.

2. The well depth and water ratio

Determine the depth of your well and the level of water that’s actually in it. You can do this by checking out the initial report provided by your well driller. In case you don’t have one at hand, simply lower a line with a small fishing bobber attached to the end, down the well. Where the bobber starts floating, mark the line on ground level. Retrieve it and measure the length from bobber to the mark.

A routine well inspection may also be a worthy investment, for some accuracy. This is important to get the pipe fit for your pump. Note that, the installed pump needs to be at least 10 feet below the water surface.

3. Specifications of your existing pump

Looking for submersible pump replacement? Use your current pump as a reference to purchase a new one. You need to install one that’s identical or similar. Check out the original installation paperwork, or consider pulling out the existing well pump. Look out for the identification plate on the pump’s body, to confirm the diameter, maximum discharge flow, horsepower, voltage and any other specifications.

Be sure to check the number of wires attached. Two-wire pumps have built-in controls, whereas there three-wired counterparts use a separate control panel.

water well system

4. Pump Size: Gallons Per Minute

Installing the right seized pump is paramount for proper distribution of water throughout your property. Submersible well pumps are measured by gallons per minute. On average, a home with 3 or 4 bedrooms will need a pump that can handle at least 8 to 12 gallons of water per minute.

For a precise pump size for your home, count all the water fixtures that your property makes use of. Take into account those used in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, for outside irrigation, water-using appliances, the pool and any other fixtures in and around your home. Each fixture should be considered as needing one gallon per minute of water flow.

5. Size of the well casing

To function properly, the pump is usually slid into a larger steel pipe, referred to as a well casing. The diameter of this well casing is important when selecting the best submersible well pump for you. Most well casings have diameter of 5 or 6 inches. You need to ensure that the clearance between the pump and well casing is no less than an inch. For instance, a 3-inch diameter submersible pump may be ideal, if you the casing is 5-inches or less.


When it comes to choosing a submersible well pump, the one size fits all principle does not apply. Even though the basic design is similar, different variants offer different benefits.

For instance, while a 2-wire deep well pump is easier to install, a 3-wire variant includes a separate control box which makes maintenance and repairs convenient. In addition, some options can achieve a maximum depth of 90 feet, while others go as deep as 400 feet. The right pump for you largely depends on your water requirements.

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