How Do Deep Well Water Pumps Work?


If you rely on a well water system for your household water supply, understanding how it functions can be both intriguing and practical. A deep well water pump is at the heart of this system, whether it’s a jet pump or a submersible pump. This article will elucidate the mechanics of these pumps, shedding light on their operation, types, and significance.

Types of Well Water Pumps

The method of obtaining water can range from a simple hole in the ground to a more complex system, depending on the local water table. A deep well, which involves drawing water from a greater depth due to a lower water table, requires a more intricate setup.

  1. Shallow Well Pumps:
    Shallow well pumps are employed for relatively shallow water sources. They utilize a jet pump that can be installed either inside a building or in a dedicated well house. The pump operates by creating suction to draw water up. It is equipped with an electric motor that generates a partial vacuum to facilitate water movement.
  2. Submersible Pumps:
    In cases where deeper water sources are necessary, submersible pumps come into play. These pumps are inserted into deep wells and are sealed within a casing. Wires connect them to a power source, which propels the water upward. Due to their submerged location, submersible pumps are more challenging to repair, but they are designed to function reliably for up to two decades without major maintenance.

Operational Mechanism

Once a well is drilled, the appropriate pump is installed. The size of the pump depends on factors such as the size of the residence, the number of plumbing fixtures, and water demand. A typical domestic pump can deliver around 10 gallons of water per minute. Here’s how the operation works:

  1. Maintaining Pressure:
    When the pressure in the plumbing system drops below a specific level, the pump automatically activates. Water is drawn into the house until the desired pressure is reestablished.
  2. Faucet Activation:
    Turning on a faucet triggers the release of water. Air pressure pushes the water through the plumbing system until the pressure within the pump reaches the predetermined trigger level.
  3. Continuous Supply:
    The pump responds by drawing water into the house and into a storage tank, while the water flows from the faucet. As the pressure builds up to the default shutoff level, water and air remain separated, ensuring a consistent water pressure.


Although a professional is typically responsible for the installation of your well water pump, having a basic understanding of how it operates can prove beneficial. This knowledge allows you to comprehend the installation process better and identify potential issues with your well water pump.

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