What Is the Difference Between A Shallow and Deep Well Pump?

Sure, you have an adequate supply of water? Even if you don’t, you can get a pump quickly to help your daily chores, but the question is, what is the right pump for you?

The age-old battle between shallow and deep well pump can catch a newbie walking into the realm of sump pumps off guard. Therefore, before you decide, you need to be aware- if your well needs a shallow or deep well pump.

What Is the Difference Between A Shallow and Deep Well Pump?

A quick look-

  • Shallow Well Pump: It is not submersible and needs to be positioned outside the well
  • Deep Well Pump: It is possible to submerge the pump inside the well

It is easy to be in a dilemma. Don’t worry- the motive of this article is to enlighten you about all the details regarding both pumps. So, let’s pump it up.

First: Meet the Pumps

In this section, you will get to know both shallow and deep well pumps so that you have an idea of what’s ahead.

1) Shallow Well Pump

It is a water pump that extracts from the shallow water body and consists of three sections:

  • The upper part is provided with a powerful engine, either a vertical motor or internal combustion engine.
  • The middle part has a pipe for a water outlet and a transmission shaft.
  • The lower part is supplied with the mixed flow or 2-8 centrifugal impellers and water filter in the inlet pipe.

2) Deep Well Pump

It is a vertical, single-suction, and multistage centrifugal pump that extracts water from deeper water bodies.

  • The upper part is equipped with a pump base, motor engine, transmission device, and so on.
  • The middle part consists of bearings, water pipes, transmission shafts, etc.
  • The lower part is the pump body, including the impeller, diversion shell, filter screen, and so on.

Second: Find the Depths’ Difference

Both the pumps require different depths; therefore, you need to know your well’s depth and diameter.

For shallow wells, jet pumps work from the depth of 0′ to 25,’ and deep well pumps are placed at the bottom of the drop pipe and pump water from 20′ to 300′ deep in the well.

It is easier if the water supply is near the surface as it requires less work, unlike deep wells. However, here are some depth considerations for you to figure out.

  • You need a shallow well jet pump if the depth is less than 25.’
  • Select a deep well jet pump if the depth of your well is between 25′ to 110.’
  • A 4″ submersible pump works for the depth of 25′ to 400.’

The kind of well pump required depends on the diameter of the well casing as well. In case you well is lacking a well casing, then your well is shallow.

Often, you find well casings with 2″, then you must have unique accessories for a convertible jet pump. For a well casing with 4″ or more, you need a deep well or jet well submersible pump.

Third: Know the Technical Differences

Usually, jet pumps are referred to as shallow well pumps as it can be used in mostly shallow and occasionally in deep wells, but it is preferable to use it in a shallow well.

Also, submersible pumps are used for deep wells only, referred to as deep well pumps.

Jet Pumps/Shallow Well Pumps

This pump is filled with water beforehand, mounted on top of the well, and pulls up water through suction. With an impeller, the pressure is created so that the impeller shifts the water past a narrow opening staged in a housing before the impeller. It increases the water speed.

As soon as the water moves away, the vacuum pulls away excess water from the well, which mixes with the drive water and is released at high pressure into the home.

Moreover, it has one-way check valves that keep the water from running back down, meaning it has a singular pipe that can draw water from 25 ft.

Submersible Pumps/Deep Well Pumps

This pump must be submerged in water for it to work. Its shape is cylindrical, with its lower part made into a sealed motor that pumps water and is fused with a power source above the surface.

A series of impellers are driven by this motor to push the water up. It pushes the water up when the pressure button is switched on. The water moves into a storage tank situated above ground.

It has a dual-pipe system, drawing water from 100 ft. To regulate the approach to the pipe system through the casing of a well, an adapter is used, and it directs the water to the plumbing system inside the home.

Fourth: Type of Shallow & Deep Well Pump Systems

Shallow Well: Single Drop Jet Pump System

This type of pump is the most efficient shallow well pump.


  • One way check valves; makes sure the pumps are primed.
  • External pump system; can place the pump above ground.
  • Single inlet pipe; used to draw water.
  • Straight-forward mechanics.
  • Less maintenance.

Deep Well: Double Drop Jet Pump System

As deep well requires the pump to be more potent as it has more depth, this type of pump works best.


  • An external pump system; can be positioned above the surface.
  • Two pipe systems; one is used for drawing water from the well and another for pushing water upward.
  • High water extraction level; designed to extract water from 110 ft depth.
  • Tailpipe; a 25-foot long pipe makes sure the well is never over-pumped.
  • Place to install a foot valve; you may need it to prime the pipe.

Side Note: if the distance of the pump is far from the water level, then the pumping will be more efficient.

Deep Well: Submersible Pump System

For more depth, this type of pump is required as other pump systems will not work if the well has more depth.


  • Pressure tank; uses to draw water from depths up to 400 ft.
  • Single pipe; connects the inside well to home and passes water.
  • Two-wire pumps; has a built-in control.
  • Adapter; regulates the access of the well’s piping to the well’s casing, routes water from the pump to the plumbing system in the home.
  • Fewer problems/Low maintenance.
  • Needs no priming.
  • No cavitation.
  • Durable up to 25 years.

Fifth: Key Components in Shallow & Deep Well Pumps

In both pumps, certain elements need to be considered. Therefore, you should be aware of the following.

  • Check Valve: It prevents the water from dropping back after it’s pumped.
  • Foot Valve: When the deep well pump is switched off, this valve ensures water from dropping back to the water source.
  • Pressure Switch: It is designed to operate automatically according to the pressure settings. When the pump is malfunctioning, such as it does not switch off, there’s a problem with the settings of the pressure switch.

In case the water level in the well is too low, or the drop line has a leak, then the pump may not turn off.

  • Pressure Tank: It regulates the flow of water, maintains the pressure of the water so that all appliances are operating smoothly. It is necessary to keep the water pressure consistent.

In case the pump keeps on restarting often, there is a possibility of a leak or a need for recharging.

  • Safety Rope: If maintenance is needed, it recovers pumps so that there’s easy access.
  • Pressure Sensitive Pumps: It works to boost water without a pressure tank

Final Decision

For installing a pump system, it’s natural to surf the net. Thus, we brought you sections filled with a contrast between two types of pumps. All you need to do is make a choice based on the pumps’ requirements and features.

Ask yourself- what is your well’s depth? What diameter is the well casing? From what depth do you need to draw water? Once the answers are there, you can look through the detailed breakdown in this article and put your finger on a pump type.

Hopefully, you can pump it up soon with the pump of your choice and get a fresh supply of water.

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