what size well pump do i need

The well pump extracts water from below the earth’s surface for both domestic and industrial use. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that over 15 million households in the US, for example, depend on privately owned wells for water. The typical well water system works by lifting water from a source located underground and delivering it to a tank. From there the water is stored and pressurized until it’s needed. The majority of well water pumps are electric-powered and use suction for drawing the vital liquid through pipes.

Types Of Well Pumps

There are basically three types of well pumps each with its pros and cons. Although they share lots of common features, they are installed differently and also deliver water differently.

Centrifugal Pumps

centrifugal well pump

These pumps make use of an internal fan in generating suction that draws water from the well. They typically cost less than the others and are installed above ground near the wellhead in a shed which also makes servicing them easy. Their weak point is that they are not capable of creating enough draw if your well is very deep.

Submersible Pumps

submersible well pump

By far the most widely used, submersible pumps are extremely versatile. They work effectively irrespective of the depth of your water well. They are installed below and have to be fully submerged under water. Submersible pumps rarely require repair and can last for years.

Jet Pumps

jet well pump

The most powerful, jet pumps are capable of delivering more water and faster. They will work well no matter the well depth. While more expensive, in the long run, operating jet pumps can be cheaper and servicing them is easier.

How To Determine Your Well Pump Needs

Whether you are changing the pump or installing a new one, there are several critical factors to take into account.

Depth Of The Well

The first critical consideration is how far the water has to travel from the underground to the surface. An area with a high water table will be much easier compared to deeper wells and may require additional pump strength considerations.

Current Pump

If you are just replacing an already installed pump, find out its type and other product specifications. Unless the one you are replacing was underperforming, get a pump with similar voltage and horsepower. If your household water needs have grown, perhaps due to new members or additional appliances, consider upgrading to a larger pump.

Pump Size

No matter the type of pump you choose, remember that before you finalize the purchase it’s important to ensure that the particular pump choice is capable of meeting the daily water needs of your household. In other words, it must be capable of delivering the required gallons per minute (GPM) consumed by your household during peak periods.

Water Pressure

Another equally important consideration is water pressure. This is measured in terms of pounds per square inch (PSI). Under normal circumstances, a 1/2-horsepower standard well pump is capable of providing enough pressure for most residential settings, although it could be a mistake to simply assume it will be all you need.


Selecting the right well pump can be quite easy if you are simply replacing an old one. However, even that will require some care if you are to get the most out of your new pump, especially if the one being replaced was underperforming. A first time well pump selection is certainly more demanding but with the above tips, you cannot get it wrong.