Shallow Well and Deep Well Pumps - A Buyers Guide

We are often asked questions regarding the difference between shallow well water pumps and deep well water pumps. In this article and buyers guide we will answer many of these questions to help you with your choice of well pump for your application.

What is the difference between a shallow well pump and a deep well pump?

A shallow well pump will pump water in a well or tank up to 25 feet (7.62m) and a deep well pump is used for wells generally up to 50 feet ( 24.38m) or even 80 feet deep. The pump will draw water from the well up to the surface and then pump the water to the required point.

Deep well pumps are often submersible pumps which push the water upwards to ground level whilst being controlled from ground level. A jet pressure pump which is a deep well pump will use two lines. One line will push water down into the well and the other will draw it out.


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Can I use a deep well pump on a shallow well?

Always choose the pump which has the best suited specifications and features for your shallow well application. A pump with higher capabilities will ultimately cost more to run and affect the lifespan of the pump and the pump system over time.

How far should a well pump be from the bottom of the well?

Centrifugal and jet pressure pumps will sit above the well. When using a submersible pump for a well you require a long, thin pump which will sit deeply into the well but not right at the bottom. Submersible pumps used in domestic pressure systems are typically ½ to ¾ hp and will push the water from the well or water tank up into a pressure tank which will sit beside the well and then via a pipe run into and through the house to the outlets.

What do I use a deep well water pump for?

Typical applications for deep well pumps are not just wells but also for long suction lines up to 50m from a tank to a pump, when drawing water from dams, creeks, and rivers in hilly areas, for irrigation, tank filling or transferring water.

What do I use a shallow well water pump for?

Applications for the use of shallow well pumps is very diverse, with high performing irrigation pumps and house pressure pumps all requiring a pump that can lift water up to 9m from tanks, wells, dams, creeks, and rivers. Shallow well pumps are predominantly designed to pump clean water in domestic, civil, and agricultural pressure systems.

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What pump do I need for a deep well?

For deep well applications, either a centrifugal water pump or deep well jet pump are ideal with submersible pumps also used. Centrifugal or jet pumps are mounted at the surface of the well, and are self-priming with an external injector kit and are made of anti-corrosive material for long service life.

How do I know what size well pump I need?

Pump selection should be based on the required litres per minute flow required to meet peak periods or maximum usage for your application. A rule to always follow is you never install a pump which has a greater capacity than the well you are using whether it is a jet, submersible, or centrifugal pump.

In a household application the pump is required to cater for the number of fixtures both in the home and in the garden which could be open and operating at any one time.

Our buyers guide to choosing a house pressure pump explains this in more detail. Click here.

Can you oversize a well pump?

A pressure pump which is too big for your application will cost you a lot more in energy costs to run it, will affect the lifespan of the pump and the overall efficiency of the pump over time.

A pressure pump which is undersized for its application will cause low water pressure at the outlets which will cause excessive wear and tear on the pump system over time.

What is a good deep well or shallow pump?

There are many pumps on the market so it can be very confusing.

Water Pumps Now recommendations for shallow well pumps are:

What Jet Pumps does water Pumps Now recommend for Domestic use?

PRJE series of European made jet pressure pumps.

There are four pumps in this range in our store available to purchase with a pressure controller for ease of use. These pumps can also be supplied as rain to mains pressure systems or with or without pressure tanks, controllers, switches, gauges and tees. There are many options available on the market for house pumps, with some models quieter than others and some with higher pressure boosting abilities. Contact us for all options or visit our house pressure pump range instore.

What Submersible Pumps does Water Pumps Now recommend for Domestic use?

For shallow well submersible use we recommend either the RPS34E or RPS57E pumps with choices dependant on the maximum head and litres per minute required with pumps with bigger flow rate also available instore.

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Can you use a Jet Pressure Pump for Shallow well Irrigation use?

Highly popular the EJP range of irrigation pumps are self priming and all come with an injector kit. Available in store as a pump only unit, with a controller or with a pressure tank, switch, gauge and tee. Popular with farmers due to the solid performance and great price point the EJP300E.PTS delivers up to 150 L/min with maximum head of 60m and 9m suction lift and is available as a pump only, with controller, or with pressure tank, switch, gauge and tee.

What pumps do Water Pumps Now recommend for deep well pumps?

The RDW range of pump with 3 sizes in the range available as a pump only, with a controller or with a pressure tank, gauge, switch and tee. All pumps in this quality pump range come with an injector kit.

What is the best submersible well pump brand?

Water Pumps Now recommend the Reefe submersible pump range for shallow well applications for domestic use. High quality pumps made in Europe which come with a two year warranty and feature an integrated pressure controller. RPS57E delivering 90 L/min with a maximum head of 57m. Reefe pumps back their full pump and accessories range with exceptional back up service, rarely seen in business today.

Can you drink water from a shallow well?

If the source of water from your well is groundwater,  have it tested every now and then to ensure it is not contaminated in any way. A water tank is also a shallow well. It is good practice to test your tank water regularly for impurities and have you tank cleaned out every now and then by a professional in this field. A filtered lid on your tank will prevent leaves, twigs and bird droppings from your roof water supply entering the tank.

How long does a well pump last?

A well pump which is sized correctly for its purpose will last for years and years.

Our well pumps are primarily made in Europe to exacting standards to provide the end user with a guaranteed quality product which is further backed by long manufacturer warranty for peace of mind.

How much does a well pump cost?

There is a lot of price variation across the market for well pumps dependant on pump type, size, quality, features and specifications. If you are unsure of which pump is best suited for your application contact us and our pump engineers will size the best pump for you and give you a price including GST to best meet both your requirements and your budget.

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Paul Girdler

Paul Girdler, Managing Director/ Sales
Water Pumps Now Your Online Pump Shop

We welcome your enquiry. Check out Water Pumps Now full range of pump products.