Choose the Best Shallow Well Pump: Tips and Tricks
A stable water supply is a basic necessity for any home. When you’re far away from the city, you might have lesser access to water. You need water to do even the most basic chores, so the lack of it can hinder your daily life.
Here, we will discuss just what shallow well pumps are and what you should look for in them. Afterward, we will be showing you a few products to help you pick the best shallow well pump.
Last update on 2018-02-18 at 08:27 PST - Details
Things to Consider When Buying Shallow Well Pumps
What is a shallow well pump?
A shallow well pump is primarily used for wells as deep as 25ft. Any deeper than that, you’ll have to use a deep well submersible pump. It’s usually placed in the well; they can go inside or sit inside a well house. A well house is necessary if it’ll be situated outside, so it’ll be protected from different elements.
Shallow well pumps typically need priming. Priming is when you fill the pump with water so it can start to gather water from the well. A lot of models nowadays only need to be primed once. After these pumps are primed, they’ll keep on repriming themselves.
Pumps are not supposed to keep on running for a long time. The pump collects water from the well and stores it in a tank. The fuller this tank gets, the more pressure there is. When it accumulates enough pressure, around 40-60 psi, some pumps will automatically stop.
Water collection will resume once the pressure drops again to around 20 psi as a result of using the stored water. The cycle repeats automatically, so you don’t have to worry about turning the pump on or off when needed.
What are the features of a shallow well pump?
Pumps are pretty similar to one another, feature-wise. Pumps primarily differ in how strong their motors are. Usually, they come in ½ HP, but there are also more powerful variants out there. Some have handier features such as the ability to switch voltages, or having mechanisms like thermal protection.
Dual voltage pumps
Most pumps are dual voltage. Pumps are usually hardwired to your breaker. Before installing a pump, it’s best to check what voltage it’s set to. Even if the manufacturer says it’s preset to, say 230V, it wouldn’t hurt to check anyway.
The switchable voltage setting makes it safe for use in any country that uses different voltage outputs. It’s usually pretty easy to change the voltage too since some pumps now just have a switch for it.
This feature is quite handy as it can potentially lengthen the lifespan of your pump. It automatically shuts off the motor to prevent overheating when it reaches a certain temperature. An engine can overheat because of debris in the machine, an overloaded motor, or some other kind of impediment.
Getting a pump with this feature is a sound investment. It’s better to pay extra for this feature than having to replace a burnt-out motor, or worse, the pump itself.
A quiet pump is a huge plus especially if it’ll be operating near your house. Since you’ll have it running for extended amounts of time, it’s good if it’s quiet. If it disrupts your daily life or makes it, so you have to adjust around it, it might be hard to live with.
No pump is ever truly silent though. At most, its noise will be reduced to an almost inaudible humming. Your concerns should just be that it shouldn’t keep you awake, or hinder other activities like socializing or watching TV.
Most well pumps are made out of cast iron and have steel parts, but some are also made out of thermoplastic. While this might not necessarily be a bad thing, plastic is more prone to breakage. Cast iron is sturdier.
If you’re a bit tight on cash, getting one made out of plastic may appeal more to you as it is cheaper than cast iron pumps. You’ll just have to handle it more carefully, taking the material into consideration.
Pressure Switch and Gauge
Well, pumps have a pressure switch built-in already, so it’s one less thing to think about. But if it doesn’t, you will still have to buy it separately. For most units, the pressure is adjusted by turning the nut.
A pressure gauge is less commonly included and usually bought separately. It’s a handy accessory to have when you want to know the pressure in the tank. This isn’t something entirely necessary so that it can be overlooked, but it’s good to have nonetheless.
It’s expected most of the time that if your pump is not indoors, then you must build a well house for it. But if you’re in the process of making one or you don’t plan to, some pumps are advertised to be dust-resistant. Dust can hinder its performance and even break it in the long run.
Some pumps have dust-proof covers or even an added layer of protection to their exterior to shield itself from the elements. These include, but are not limited to, insects, sand, and dust, among others. Protection against these means lengthening the lifespan of your pump.
Getting something with a longer warranty is more of a bonus since it doesn’t directly contribute to the overall performance of the pump. However, it’s still insurance against defects or when it just breaks down on you. It’s the buyer’s prerogative whether they’ll even mind the warranty or not.
Our Top 5 Picks
This 1-horsepower shallow well pump by WAYNE can be used for wells up to 25 ft. deep. It is dual voltage, preset at 240V, but you can set it to 120V as well. It measures 50 psi and can pump up to 630 gallons per hour.
The discharge measures ¾ in. and the suction is 1 ¼ in. Overheating is not a problem since the square flange motor is specifically protected to prevent this. It is made out of cast iron, so you can be sure it is durable. Best of all, this well pump comes with a 3-year parts warranty.
- It has a 3-year warranty.
- This only covers parts.
- It operates quietly.
- The pressure is adjustable.
- No need to install a separate switch to adjust the pressure.
- It is effortless to install.
- It is not self-priming.
- You risk damage to the pump if you use it without priming.
- Threads might leak.
- You can try to fix this yourself with some tape or sealant.
The Goulds J5S Shallow Well Jet Pump runs on ½ HP and can be adjusted between 115 and 230 volts. The discharge measures 1 in. and the suction is 1 ¼ in. The pressure is adjustable from 30-50 psi and has a built-in switch to achieve this.
It’s made durable, made out of cast iron. It is also resistant to corrosion thanks to its Electro-coat paint. It’s single phase and runs at 3500 RPM. With this pump, you only have to prime it once, and then it’ll do it for you each time afterward.
- It has an 18-month warranty.
- You only need to prime it once.
- After it’s primed, it’ll reprime even if air gets inside the pump.
- It not noisy at all.
- Does not have a pressure gauge.
- It does not come with an electrical cord.
- It is typically hardwired into a breaker, but you can make your cord.
This shallow well pump from Flotec can deliver 10 gallons per minute or 600 gallons per hour at 40 psi. It runs at ½ horsepower. It’s resistant to corrosion and other elements due to its thermoplastic reinforced with fiberglass and a dust-proof cover.
This is preset to 115V, but it can be switched to 230V if necessary. It also comes with a shaft made out of stainless steel. It comes pre-wired with a 30-50 psi pressure switch. The discharge is 1 in. and the suction is one ¼ in.
- Like the Goulds pump, you only need to prime this once.
- After that, it will self-prime.
- It is resistant to most of the elements.
- This is thanks to its fiberglass-reinforced exterior and dust-proof cover.
- It is quiet.
- Installing it should be relatively easy, even for amateurs.
- It does not have a pressure gauge.
- It’s made out of plastic.
- It’s easier to break so you should handle it with care.
The Red Lion PWJet50 pump can be used either in 115 or 230V. It comes with a factory pre-set pressure switch at 30/50 psi. It also has an automatic shut-off. It’s made out of cast iron, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking easily.
The motor runs at ½ HP. The discharge measures 1 in. and the suction is 1 ¼ in. You can run it from 20-60 psi at a 5 ft. suction lift. It has a max flow of 7 GPM. This pump self-primes after priming it the first time after you get it.
- Switching from one voltage to another is easy.
- No need to rewire since it comes with a voltage switch under the top cover.
- It’s very quiet.
- It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Does not come with an electrical cord.
- You will have to provide your own.
- It does not have a function to protect itself from overheating.
- It’ll become more prone to motor burn out.
This shallow well pump by XtremepowerUS pumps up to a whopping 1003 gallons per hour, running on a 1.6 HP motor. It’s very sturdy with its tank hose made out of steel, and a body of cast iron. It has a steel pressure tank and a gauge. The NPT sizes are 1 in.
Furthermore, this well pump is self-priming and has thermal protection to prevent it from excessively heating up. It uses 110V and can run either in the ground or above ground. Moreover, it has a max pressure of 72.5 psi. It has a max flow of 16.71 gallons per minute.
- Comes with a four ft. power cord.
- It has an automatic shut-off function.
- The pump automatically shuts off when the pressure becomes high, and resumes when pressure decreases again.
- It comes with thermal protection.
- No need to worry about it overheating.
- It is only available in 110V.
- It only has a 30-day warranty.
The XtremepowerUS pump emerges as the winner. It’s the strongest pump out of the five, so if you need something with a little more kick, this is the best choice. Aside from packing a punch, it’s also pretty sturdy as its parts are made of steel and cast iron.
It’s also the only pump that has a power cord, which would be more convenient for a lot of people. Other pumps don’t have one, so you would still need to buy or make a cord. Furthermore, it also has an auto shut-off function and thermal protection.
The cons are reconcilable and easy to work around with. The 30-day warranty might be a turnoff for some. If you’re looking for a product with more assurance, other products offer a much longer warranty.
All-in-all, a shallow well pump is still a huge purchase, and it would be wise to do enough research before buying. It’s true that a lot of them are similar features-wise, but some also offer things other pumps don’t have.