The Difference in Deep and Shallow Wells

A&T Well and Pump specializes in the installation, repair, and replacement of well pumps and wells. We know what kind of well you need and the appropriate well pump for your individual situation. Not all wells are the same, and not all well pumps are created equally. In this article, we wanted to compare a few well water pumps so you can see some of the differences. We compare two pumps in each category, deep and shallow. When you hire A&T to work with your well, we will make a recommendation that takes into consideration the factors that make up your specific environment and use. In the meantime, here is some basic comparison information we hope you find helpful in gaining general knowledge about well pumps.

Well Water Pumps: Comparing Popular Models

As you can tell by the names, deep and shallow wells are dug to different depths underground. The well drilling contractor will know the exact depth your well should be based on the terrain and water table. Shallow wells are generally for water less than 25 feet from the surface, and deep wells can go down hundreds of feet.

Wells use pumps to draw water up to the surface. Because shallow wells don’t have a lot of room, their pumps are above the ground, usually inside a well housing. Pumps for deep wells are submersible and buried deep underground with the controls are above ground.

The water from a shallow well is drawn from a higher level than the water from a deep well. This creates the potential for the shallow well water to have more contamination than water from a deep well, simply because the shallow well is nearer to the ground surface.

If the well is less than 25 feet deep, use a shallow well jet pump. If the well is 25′ to 110′, use a deep well jet pump. And, if the well is 25′ to 400′ deep, use a 4″ submersible pump. A jet pump pulls water and a submersible pump pushes water upward. Pushing water takes less energy, so a submersible pump is more efficient for deep wells.

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Deep Well Pumps

A deep well pump should be chosen for anything deeper than 25′. This comparison is for two very popular pumps for deep wells–Red Lion and Hallmark Industries.

Red Lion 14942402 Submersible Deep Well Pump

This deep well pump comes with a rating of four stars (out of five). It is powered by what has become a standard in the industry, 2- or 3-wire motors. On Amazon, this pump has 118 reviews, a rating of 4.5, and is priced at $301.99.

The shell of the pump is made from stainless steel and features a control box on the 3-wire pump models. This particular pump also comes with a motor bracket and thermoplastic discharge. You can choose between a 12 GPM and a 22 GPM pump. Both models feature a check valve, as well as a built-in suction screen. The well cabin must be 4″ or greater in diameter to fit this pump. You can submerse this pump as deep as 250′.

Pros:

  • 2- or 3- wire models available
  • Stainless steel pump shell
  • Control box
  • Built-in suction screen

Cons:

  • Reportedly, the pump’s impeller doesn’t last as long as it should
  • Some users reported that the package did not come with waterproofing sleeves and butt splice

Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7

This deep well pump is a 2-wire pump that features a built-in control box. It does not require an external control box. It is a highly resilient product made of stainless steel and heavy-duty cast iron. On Amazon, this pump has 846 reviews and a rating of 4.4. It is priced at around $145.00

The pump is 4″ and fits in 5″ or bigger well casing. It also features a built-in 1HP capacitor start with a thermal protection switch. Additionally, it has a built-in check valve and a hermetically sealed, high-efficiency motor that is also thermally protected to prevent overheating and, therefore, uses less energy.

Pros:

  • 2-wire pump with 3 wires–2 wires plus a ground wire
  • High-quality UL approved motor
  • Thermal protection switch
  • Stainless steel and heavy-duty cast iron

Cons:

  • The top steel cap may start to build rust and leave rust residue in the water.
  • Reportedly, the pump may start getting hot or shut off, probably due to factory issues

Red Lion

Red Lion model #14942402 is a 4″ submersible deep well pump (2-wire 230V), powered by an industry standard motor.

  • Dimensions: 24 x 6 x 5″
  • Weight: 21.1 pounds
  • Horsepower: 0.50
  • Maximum Flow: 12 GPM
  • Voltage: 230 volts

Hallmark Industries

Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7A is a 4″ submersible deep well pump with a 150 feet max head for 5″ or larger well casing.

  • Dimensions: 31 x 6 x 6″
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Horsepower: 1
  • Maximum Flow: 33 GPM
  • Voltage: 115 volts

Shallow Well Pumps

A shallow well pump, also referred to as a “jet” pump, should be used for a well with depth up to 25′. This comparison is for two very popular pumps for shallow wells–Red Lion and .

Considerations When Purchasing a Shallow Well Pump

The most important consideration is the horsepower and gallons per minute the pump can handle. Here are some other important aspects when shopping for a shallow well pump.

Housing Material

Shallow well pumps use a variety of materials for their housing, including plastic, stainless steel, and cast iron. Plastic is the most affordable, but it is also the least durable. Therefore, even though a plastic pump may cost less up-front, it will more than likely require replacement sooner than a stainless steel or cast-iron pump.

Pressure Switch

The pressure switch functions as the on/off button for the pump by detecting the amount of pressure in the home’s pressurized water supply tank. The switch automatically turns on the pump when the pressure falls below a certain low psi (pounds per square inch) and off when the water pressure reaches a preset high psi. The optimal water pressure for most homes is 40 to 50 psi, which is enough to provide adequate water pressure for most water receptacles in a home. As such , most manufacturers set pressure switches to turn on when they drop to 30 psi and off when they reach 50 psi.

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Tank and Plumbing Options

Shallow well pumps work together with a pressurized tank. The tank functions as the home’s pressurized water supply, so the pump doesn’t turn on every time someone opens a faucet. Shallow well pumps work with either pre-charged storage tanks or air-to-water tanks. A pre-charged storage tank has a bladder inside the tank. As water fills the bladder, the air around it is compressed. When someone opens a faucet, the compressed air squeezes the bladder which sends water to the faucet.

Air-to-water tanks work similarly, except they have no bladder. As the pump forces water into the tank, it compresses the existing air inside it, creating the pressure necessary to expel water when someone opens a faucet.

Horsepower and Gallons Per Minute

Shallow well pumps are rated by the number of gallons they can deliver per minute. Since a pump is responsible for supplying all the water a home uses, getting the right size is critical. The general rule is that a pump should be able to supply 1 gallon per minute per water fixture for bathtubs, showers, and sinks. For most homes, a pump that can move about 7 gallons per minute is adequate.

Horsepower dictates the number of gallons per minute (GPM) a pump can move. Pumps come in 1/2-, 3/4-, and 1-horsepower models. Most 1/2-horsepower pumps can move about 7 to 9 gallons of water per hour, which is suitable for most homes.

Overload Protection

Most shallow well pumps have an overload relay that protects the pump by shutting it off before it overheats, damaging the motor. For instance, without overload protection, should a leak occur in the supply tank that prevents the pump pressure switch from reaching the cutoff of 50 psi, the pump could continually work to reach that threshold and burn out the motor. If you have overload protection, it senses that the motor is overloaded and shuts off the pump.

Red Lion 602206 RJS-50-PREM 50 PSI Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump

This is a shallow well jet pump with 1/2-Horsepower suitable for supplying fresh water to large homes and farms. This particular model is a 1-HP with a maximum flow of 23 GPM. There is also a model that is 1-HP with 23 GPM and one that is 3/4-HP with 16 GPM. This pump has a glass-filled thermoplastic impeller and diffuser for high performance and efficient water flow. On Amazon, this pump is rated 4 stars, has 529 ratings, and is priced at $239.

Pros:

  • Durable construction that doesn’t break after years of continuous use and exposure to the elements
  • Efficiently pumps a fair amount of water so you don’t run out of freshwater
  • Parts that are damageable are easily replaced
  • Easy to install but reading the directions is recommended

Cons:

  • Pump is noisy, according to some users
  • Pressure switch is weak and needs the spring replaced every so often

Acquaer SJC050 Dual Voltage Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump

The Acquaer SJC050 is a 1/2 HP shallow well jet pump designed for wells up to 25 feet deep. The pump can run at either 115 or 230 volts with the quick change voltage selection switch. The pressure switch is set to 30 psi on and 50 psi off for high-pressure delivery. On Amazon, this pump has 4 1/2 stars, 144 ratings, and is priced at $90.

Pros:

  • A high flow rate that allows you to connect a number of fixtures
  • Fairly compact and straightforward to install
  • Durable and generally functions well over the warranty period
  • Water tank fills quickly, and you will never run out of water

Cons:

  • Loud compared to other similar models
  • Must purchase a pressurized tank separately

Red Lion Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump

  • Dimensions: 9.0 x 17.75 x 9.05″
  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Horsepower: 1/2
  • Maximum Flow: 12 GPM
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: either 115 or 230 volts
  • Color: Red

Acquaer 1/2 HP Dual-Voltage Cast Iron Pump

  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 8.8 x 7.9″
  • Weight: 19.8 pounds
  • Horsepower: 1/2
  • Maximum Flow: 11.83 GPM
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: either 115 or 230 volts, factory wired for 230V
  • Color: Black

Contact A&T Well and Pump for All Your Well Pump Needs

A&T is ready to assist you in choosing the right well pump for your specific needs. Call our professional, experienced team at (919) 291-4063 or complete our easy form below to get a quote from our licensed water well pump professionals.

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