Most surface pumps require wells with a maximum depth of 25 feet. However, if you live in a dry or mountainous landscape, water is usually found incredibly deep within the ground. So, what could a surface pump do in a well that’s more than 100 or 200 feet deep? Well, literally nothing – you couldn’t access water with a basic pump. This is why we have the so-called submersible well pumps. Long story short, such pumps can be fit into wells that are even 400 feet deep into the ground.
Given the aforementioned, it goes without saying why you would want to find the best submersible well pump. When you have to go as deep as 400 for water, you would like your pump to work perfectly at all times and not run into issues in a week or a month.
In this respect, today we will be taking a look at some submersible well pump reviews, hoping that the information we provide you with will help you make a good purchase. On top of that, we’ve prepared a lot of information about submersible well pumps – if you’re going to use one, it is best if you know as much as you can about such a product!
Best Submersible Well Pump Reviews – Top-Picks
1. Red Lion 14942402 Submersible Deep Well Pump
This deep well pump from Red Lion comes with a rating of four stars and it is also Amazon’s Choice in terms of well pumps. The pump itself is powered by what has become a standard in this industry, namely 2- or 3-wire motors.
The shell of the pump is made from stainless steel and features a control box on the 3-wire pump models. This particular product also comes with a motor bracket and thermoplastic discharge.
In terms of available models, you can choose between a 12 GPM and 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’.
- 2- or 3- wire models available
- Stainless steel pump shell
- Control box
- Built-in suction screen
- 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 – be sure to check for these.
2. Hallmark Industries MA0419X-12A Deep Well Submersible Pump
This submersible well pump from Hallmark Industries is just a little short from having a four-star rating. However, 57% of its buyers left a 5-star rating for the product, so it must work as expected.
In terms of specifications, the pump features 1HP, 33 GPM, 110V, and 60HZ. It is made of stainless steel and is fit for wells bigger than 5’’ in diameter.
The pump’s system is 2-wired and features a built-in control box. Keep in mind that this model does not require an external control box – making its use rather convenient. On top of that, the product is fitted with thermal protection and is reportedly designed for home usage – industrial grade heavy duty.
- 2-wire model with control box
- Thermal protection
- Industrial grade heavy duty
- Stainless steel shell
- Patented impeller
- Limited, 30-day warranty
- Reportedly, parts show signs of corrosion after a couple of months
3. Little Giant WE20G05P4-21 Submersible Pump
This product from Little Giant comes with a five-star rating. The pump has a capacity of 20 gallons, features a 10-foot long extension, and is made out of stainless steel. It operates on a frequency of 60HZ and has a corded-electric power source. As special features, it is worth noting the 20 GPM at 100’ head.
Reportedly, the product is designed for septic effluent and has a high head effluent style. It features a Franklin Electric submersible motor, which is a heavy-duty, 300V piece of equipment. The pump’s built-in check valve is also removable.
On top of that, the Little Giant pump comes with non-corrosive thermoplastic discharge and motor brackets. Due to its proven PPO staging, the pump allows increased performance and close tolerances.
- Franklin Electric submersible motor
- Removable, built-in check valve
- High-quality top bearing – increased durability
- Hex rubber bearing with an extra-large surface for multiple flow channels and shaft stability
- Reportedly, the pump may be a little tall for certain septic tanks.
4. Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7 Deep Well Submersible Pump
Yet another Hallmark Industries pump on our entry, this specific model is a 2-wire pump that features a built-in control box. Once again, it does not require an external control box, so make sure that you don’t buy any if you plan on purchasing this pump.
Moreover, it is a highly resilient product, as it is made of stainless steel and heavy-duty cast iron. The pump is 4’’ and can fit in 5’’ or bigger well casing. It also features a built-in 1HP capacitor start with a thermal protection switch.
On top of that, by purchasing this pump, you will also enjoy a built-in check valve and a hermetically sealed, high-efficiency motor, which is also thermally protected – so, it prevents overheating and uses less energy.
- 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
- 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.
5. Hallmark Industries MA0343X-4 Deep Well Submersible Pump
The final product on this list is yet another Hallmark Industries submersible well pump. This brand is quite popular, and customers are generally happy with their products. Apart from some minor issues, a pump from this manufacturer could be the one to last more than you intend to use it.
This specific model is fit for 5’’ or bigger wells and it features 33 GPM. The pump covers from 100V to 130V, but it is recommended that you power it with 115V, as 110V is a nominal voltage.
This pump has a 150-feet max head and can be used to pump into an open tank – mind this, it cannot pump into a pressure tank. The material of the body is stainless steel and so is the product’s finish. Its maximum flow rate is of 25 gallons per minute and features a 0.5 horsepower motor.
- Stainless steel body material and finish
- 33 GPM, 110V, 60HZ
- 2-wire pump with built-in control box
- Doesn’t require an external control box
- Industrial grade heavy duty
- Reportedly, some users get as low as 4 GPM from this pump
- Some users stated that it lacks the power for more demanding tasks.
Why Are Submersible Pumps Being Used?
First of all, a submersible well pump is specially designed to be submerged in a fluid, without having any difficulties in running properly. One could say that they are waterproof.
Such pumps are also called electric submersible pumps – or ESPs. One major advantage of such products is the fact that they are not prone to pump cavitation. This happens when there’s a high disparity between the pump and the fluid surface.
But what exactly are these pumps being used for? What are the purposes that they serve?
- The most common use of a submersible well pump is pumping water out of a basement, within households.
- However, they can also be used for pumping sewage. Such products are highly efficient when it comes to pumping out septic tanks. The fluid within the septic tank is transferred, via hoses, into storage tanks and then shipped to a treatment facility.
- Submersible well pumps are also used to pump the excess water from flooded basements in construction sites or from work sites. On top of that, you can use such a pump to pump slurries.
- They come with great uses for the oil industry as well. Pumps can be used in offshore or inland oil wells in order to pump oil from the ground all the way to treatment and holding facilities that are located above ground.
- You can also use a submersible (borehole) pump when you drill deep for water near your home. Such products can be used to pump water from great depths into homes or holding tanks.
- Naturally, a submersible well pump can be the best friend for an irrigation system. If connected in series, submersible pumps can be used for agricultural and industrial irrigation.
In short, submersible water pumps are mostly used to pump out water from great depths. For example, there are states in which city water is rather expensive and residents often choose to dig their own well and purchase a submersible water pump to provide their households with water.
Therefore, a submersible well pump can also be a great way to save some money, given the proper circumstances.
Submersible Well Pump Buying Guide
You might think that you only have to buy a submersible well pump, throw it into the water, plug it in, and then enjoy its benefits. However, that’s not the case! As you’ve seen earlier, such pumps have lots of uses.
Basically, you will want to choose the pump that’s perfect for your needs. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy a pump meant for dirty water and use it to pump clean water from a well.
In this respect, here are the things that you must take into account before buying a submersible water pump. Naturally, some of the following aspects will vary depending on your personal circumstances.
How to Buy the Perfect Submersible Well Pump – Factors to Consider
Nevertheless, the information we are about to present you is vital when buying a submersible well pump!
- Submersible Well Pumps for Clean WaterMost types of pumps are actually built for use in clean water only. You can use such pumps to pump water from a rainwater tank or barrel into another container or into a hose that you may use to water your garden.
It is important to check whether your pump of choice is made for clean water or not because you may find yourself in the situation where you have to pump water resulted from flooding from your basement, for example.
Such water usually comes with debris and dirt that cannot be handled by clean water submersible well pumps. If you run water with silt or dirt through such a pump, it will most likely jam and even break, depending on the amount of debris. Therefore, make sure that you buy a pump that will fit your needs!
- Submersible Well Pumps for Dirty WaterNaturally, submersible well pumps designed for dirty water won’t have any issue pumping water with heavy dirt deposits. Such pumps are designed to be extremely sturdy and not clog when faced with water containing mud or even dirt pieces.
This type of pump is perfect if you have to deal with flooding situations more than once a year. On top of that, they can be used to clean out septic systems or sewage. However, there is one thing that you have to check when buying such a pump – the pump’s maximum grain size. This value will tell you how large the debris in the water can be and still be able to pass through the pump’s system.
- Maximum Discharge HeadAs you may already know, submersible well pumps are used to transport all sorts of liquids from a lower location to a higher one. However, keep in mind that the difference in height that the pump can handle will always be limited.
To figure out how great this difference can be, you will have to take a look at the pump’s discharge head. For example, if you want to use such a pump to move water from a barrel into another container which is on the same level with the previous one, then you need a pump with a minimal level of discharge head.
On the other hand, if you want to pump water from your basement or from a deep well, then you’ll need a significantly higher discharge head. As a rule of thumb, you will need a pump with a very high discharge head for very deep wells.
- Discharge RateBy definition, the discharge rate shows you how much water the device can pump per minute or per hour. This value is used to determine the power level of the pump. You have to take into account this power level by what you want to use the pump for – including the depth you want to submerge it at.
For example, if you pump water from a deep well and you’ll use that water for personal use – potable or domestic – you’ll need a pump with roughly 20 to 30 gallons per minute discharge rate. This is more than enough to supply yourself with water when you need it.
On the other hand, if you have to deal with flooding situations – such as a flooded basement – or you just need to empty a well into a tank, you will need a pump with a discharge rate of roughly 2000 gallons per hour.
- Float SwitchA very important detail that you have to take into consideration is whether the pump is equipped with a float switch or not. Wells in dry or mountainous areas usually self-refill themselves. This means that the spring supplying the well with water is in good shape and the water’s level won’t decrease.
However, if you suspect that the water level may decrease overnight or over a couple of days, then you will want a pump equipped with a float switch. This feature stops the pump from pumping when there is no more water around it.
If the water level decreases and your pump is still running, major damage can be caused to the product.
In short, a float switch ensures that the pump will instantly turn off when the water level is low. Most models also allow you to set the float switch to turn the pump back on when the water level rises again.
How to Correctly Size a Pump?
Naturally, proper sizing, as well as the selection of the components that will comprise your water well system is essential when it comes to ensuring your water needs. The size of the pump is determined by the yield of the well, and also by the household’s needs.
Here is what you have to do to properly size a pump.
- Determine the Required Gallons per MinuteAs mentioned earlier in the article, knowing how many gallons per minute can the pump move is very important. Moreover, to know if a pump is fit for your needs, you must determine the gallons per minute of water that your household requires at peak hours.
The submersible well pump should be selected following a household’s normal peak demand, and not for average use. In order to properly size a pump, you can use two very common methods:
- Residential Capacity Based on Fixture Count– for this method, keep in mind that the pump’s capacity, in gallons per minute, should be equal to the number of fixtures within your home. For example, 12 outlets or fixtures would require a pump with a capacity of 12 gallons per minute.
- Residential Capacity Based on Peak Demand– for this method, capacity is based on a peak demand period of seven minutes. The peak time is usually in the morning, when people wake up, or in the evening. A seven-minute period is used because this is the average timeframe for an automatic washer or shower.
- Address Low Well CapacityBesides determining the gallons per minute that you need, you will also have to address low well capacity. If your well has a low capacity, the peak water demand of your household may exceed the maximum rate of water available.
Because of this, the pump must also be properly sized within the capacity of the well, while the peak demand should be reached via the use of additional storage capacity.
For example, using a large-size pressure tank can not only provide your household with water during peak demand but may also increase the pump’s life.
With a water tank, the pump will have to cycle less – therefore, it will not wear down as fast as when it would run daily. You may also have to deal with a scenario where you will have to set up a 2-pump system in order to handle a well capacity that is too low. In this scenario, the secondary pump is usually a shallow well pump.
- Ensure an Adequate Water PressureWater pressure is the final thing that you have to take into account when sizing your submersible well pump.
Pressure must be high enough to force the water through the pipe system all the way to the highest outlet. On top of that, it has to be able to properly operate your modern appliances, in a continuous manner, even when other outlets are in use.
Most appliances within your home won’t require pressure higher than 10 psi, while lawn sprinklers and such can require 20, or even 40 psi.
Keep in mind that any additional equipment that deals with water conditioning, such as a water softener or a water recirculating pump, will decrease the overall pressure and have to be taken into account when sizing the pump!
2-Wire vs. 3-Wire Submersible Well Pumps
As you may already know, your submersible well pump may be either a 2-wire or 3-wire model. But what’s the difference between them?
For starters, it’s important to mention that both pumps work exactly in the same way. The main and only difference is the location of the start capacitor and relay, as well as how many wires have to go out to the pump.
- 2-wire submersible pumps have their start capacitor and the relay inside the pump itself while it is being submerged in the well.
- 3-wire submersible pumps have their start capacitor and relay in a basement or similar interior and inside a control box. Naturally, even if the pump is submerged in the water, you still have access to the relay and start capacitor.
Basically, the pump’s capacitor needs electricity in order to start. The power comes from the pressure switch that is located near the pressure tank. When the pressure switch is activated, it will send a signal to the start capacitor – the latter can be either in the pump or in a control box.
A 2-wire pump has three wires coming out of it, while a 3-wire pump has four wires.
- Benefits of a 2-Wire Pump2-Wire pumps are believed to be more robust and reliable. On top of that, the pump and the wire are less expensive.
The biggest downside is the fact that if the pump’s start capacitor fails, then you will have to replace the entire pump. Moreover, 2-wire pumps are known to be limited to 1 ½ HP.
- Benefits of a 3-Wire PumpOn the other hand, if the start capacitor of a 3-wire pump fails, you will have to replace only the control box of the pump. However, according to reviews and professional users, it is very likely that, when the control box is damaged, the pump will get damaged as well and ultimately fail too.
- Pump ConversionYou can easily install a 2-wire pump on a 3-wire setup, as you won’t need to run any new wires. A professional will be needed to cap the extra wire of the 3-wire setup.
However, if you want to replace a 2-wire system pump with a 3-wire one, you will need new wire, as well as a control box to be installed.
The Benefits of Using a Submersible Well Pump
If you are not sure whether you should take the time to buy and install a submersible well pump, here are some of the benefits of using such a device:
- Longer Life Span – a submersible pump lasts much longer when compared to any other pumps on the market. This is mainly due to the fact that its engine is constantly submerged in cool well water.
- Maintenance-Free – given that the pump’s engine is sealed, you won’t be required to check or repair it that often. Regular maintenance is not something you will have on your mind.
- Greater Water Yield – compared to any other type of pumps, the submersible well pumps are known to have the greatest water yield. They are also ideal for all types of water needs – small, medium, large.
- Energy Savings – such pumps work hand in hand with gravity, so they save you energy. On top of that, submersible pumps are capable of 30% faster pressure when compared to jet pumps.
- Self-Primed – the fact that all submersible well pumps are primed will save you a lot of time.
- Quieter – obviously, since they are entirely submerged in water, they don’t make as much noise as pumps placed on grass, for example.
- Efficiency – given that submersible pumps are exactly in the environment they need to be – water – it goes without saying that they are far more efficient than non-submersible pumps. Plus, you don’t need to worry about water damage!
How Does a Submersible Well Pump’s System Work?
A submersible well pump is able to provide you with water in as little as 4 steps.
- As the pump is turned on, the motor will start spinning the shaft, which forces the impellers to turn.
- The impellers have fins and, when they turn, an upward driving force will be created. This force will then suck the water through the available opening.
- The water will then be forced upwards through the well pipe.
- Finally, through a hose system, the water will be guided to a storage tank or straight to your home appliances – depending on your setup.
Which Is Better: Submersible or Jet Pump?
At first, you’d think that there is no better pump because both of these are used in completely different circumstances. However, you will soon see that there are a couple of things that make a pump better than the other.
- Jet PumpJet pumps are known to be ideal for shallow wells and for areas where the water table is high, and you don’t need a deep well to reach the water. On top of that, the main parts of a jet pump are placed on the ground near the well and are not submerged.
This type of pump uses a diffuser and an impeller to literally vacuum the water out of the well and into a pipe.
- Submersible PumpYou already know almost everything about submersible well pumps. These are submerged near the bottom of the well and use the existing pressure to push water out of the well and go into a tank or into your home.
One of the parts of a submersible pump is a sealed motor pump, while the other is made up of stacked impellers. The water is pushed up to the surface by the continuous up and down movement of these impellers.
- Which One Is Better?First of all, as we mentioned earlier, a submersible well pump is self-primed. Obviously, a jet pump will have to be primed before effectively using it. Therefore, choosing the submersible pump will save you a lot of time.
On top of that, jet pumps are known to stop working because they’ve lost their prime!
Moreover, submersible pumps can make pressure 30% faster than jet pumps. In this respect, you will save more energy with a submersible pump than with a jet pump. The former also doesn’t have to fight gravity – instead, it actively uses it – nor atmospheric pressure. This makes for an energy-saving, quiet pump.
Lastly, because a submersible pump features a sealed pump and motor, it is practically maintenance-free. There will be no corrosion to form inside of a submersible pump, thus saving you a lot of money that you would spend on maintenance.
Naturally, a jet pump will most likely be affected by corrosion or by leakage along the rotating shaft – and many more issues.
The Best Way to Clean and Maintain Your Submersible Well Pump
We did mention that a submersible well pump is practically maintenance fee. Well, that is completely true – you don’t have to check its motor, valves, and so on.
However, there is one thing that you will have to clean once in a while to make sure that the pump maintains its steady flow.
- First, you need to turn off the main electrical switch of your submersible well pump. This eliminates the danger of an electric shock while you remove and clean the pump.
- After that, you have to remove the pump. Yes – this means manually removing it. You will need the help of another person who will pull up the rope that secures the pump. On top of that, you will have to go up at the same pace as the pump, to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged.
- You will then have to find the water inlet. This part of the pump looks like a screen that filters debris and prevents it from getting inside the pump. The water inlet may not be visible due to debris and moss that might be sticking to it. Most pumps have their water inlets midway between the top and bottom of the product.
- As soon as you find the water inlet, you will start cleaning your submersible well pump. This specific inlet can get clogged with debris, sand, or other types of garbage that gets stuck to it. This may cause the pump to malfunction. Your job now is to gently clean the inlet.
- Once you’ve cleaned the water inlet, it’s time for you to return the pump where it belongs – under the water. Have your companion with you and slowly re-submerge the pump in the water.
- Lastly, check if the pump is working properly. If it is, then you have successfully cleaned and maintained your submersible well pump!
It’s true – this is pretty much everything you have to do to keep your submersible well pump healthy. You don’t need to check the motor, the wires, the shell, the interior of the shell, or anything else except the water inlet.
FAQ about Submersible Well Pumps
- What pump pressure do homes generally require?
Most homes use a 30-50 psi setting. This is the so-called average. However, homes that have automatic appliances which require higher pressure for proper operation may need 40 to 60 psi settings.
- What is sleeving a submersible well pump?
The process of sleeving implies placing the pump into a 4’’ diameter piece of PCV pipe that is just a little longer than the pump’s length. Then, you put a 4’’ well seal on the PVC pipe’s top.
By doing so, you force water to enter around the pump from the bottom and up, past the motor, thus cooling it. This also makes the pump usable in a cistern, when you want to draw water from it.
- How far down should I put the submersible pump in the well?
Most, if not all submersible well pumps have to be set at a depth of minimum 5’ off of the well’s bottom. If the well comes with a sandy bottom, then you will need to set the pump 15’ to 20’ off the bottom, in order to prevent sand from being picked up by the pump.
- What are the things that I should know before purchasing a submersible well pump?
Before purchasing a submersible well pump, it is vital that you know how much water your household requires for daily use and if the well you have available can produce enough water to meet the daily requirements.
Best Submersible Well Pump Comparison Chart
|Red Lion 14942402 Submersible Deep Well Pump||$$$$||24 x 6 x 5″||21.1 pounds||0.50||12 GPM||230 volts|
|Hallmark Industries MA0419X-12A Deep Well Submersible Pump||$$$||39 x 6 x 6″||38 pounds||2 HP||35 GPM||220 volts|
|Little Giant WE20G05P4-21 Submersible Pump||$$$$$||7 x 9 x 7″||9.8 pounds||0.50||20 GPM||115 volts|
|Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7 Deep Well Submersible Pump||$$$||31 x 6 x 6″||27 pounds||1||33 GPM||115 volts|
|Hallmark Industries MA0343X-4 Deep Well Submersible Pump||$$||29 x 8.5 x 5.5″||23.5 pounds||0.5||25 GPM||115 volts|
Long story short, submersible well pumps are used mainly to push water out of a well so that you can benefit from it in your home. However, as you’ve seen, they are multi-purpose tools.
Now, it is very likely that you know almost everything about submersible well pumps. We have shown you how to identify and choose the best submersible well pump for your needs, how to clean it, as well as the benefits of using such a product.
On top of that, we’ve got into some submersible well pump reviews so that you get an idea of the perfect product, in terms of brand and required features.
In short, we hope that our article has been useful to you and that it will help you make a wise purchase if you ever wish to buy such a product.