Home / The Types of Well Pumps Explained / The Above Ground Well Pump – Everything You Need to Know

The Above Ground Well Pump – Everything You Need to Know

There are literally dozens of well pumps out there and the above ground well pump happens to be one of them. As its name suggests, it refers to a pump type that is usually stationed above the well. Just like other essential pumps, it can be used for many purposes besides supplying water from wells and springs. The pump can be used to: unload barges, pump natural gas or oil, remove hazardous materials, remove wastewater, and many others.

How to Choose the Right Pump

You have various options to choose from when it comes to the types of well pumps. The jet pump is the kind of pump that is stationed above ground or in the basement. It draws water from the well using either one or two pipes that are linked to the well. This type of pump works hand-in-hand with a pressure tank.

The shallow well jet pump is the type of well pump that has one pipe that draws the water from the well. For the deep well another pipe is added and you have a deep well jet pump. The submersible pump on the other hand is the type of pump that has a single pipe that directs the water to your household. The pipe is connected a pressure tank and the pump lies submerged in the well.

How Pumps are Powered

Well pumps may be powered by a wide variety of sources. These include: AC or DC power sources, fuel powered engines, pneumatic or hydraulic power, solar power, or hand-held or manual power.

While choosing your pump, you have to consider factors such as flow requirements, suction requirements, and head conditions. If you make a mistake when procuring your pump then the success of your project will never be guaranteed.

The Above Ground Well Pump

Well pumps are ideally grouped into two categories: deep well pumps and shallow well pumps. The shallow well pumps are stationed above the ground and hence are also referred to as above ground well pumps. They lift the water from the well through a suction pipe.

The maximum lift limit for the typical above ground well pump is 33.9 feet at sea level. However, some other shallow well pumps have the capability of lifting up to greater feet. The deep well pumps on the other hand operate by forcing the water up the well. They are submersible and are never limited by suction lift drawbacks. Some other well pumps available include the well stimulation pumps that are non-water well pumps. These are used for restoring old or wells that yield little or nothing. These pumps are used in oil and fuel production. They have similar specifications to deep well water pumps.

Borehole pumps are also popular well pumps. They can either be vertical or inclined. This pump is a fully sealed unit and can be fully submerged. They come in various sizes and capabilities and are used in areas with free draining water and where a low flow rate is required.

Pump Size

To determine the size of your pump, simply check on the identification on the pump which shows its horsepower (HP). The submersible well pump comes with its size indicated on the paperwork that is included by the manufacturer. You may as well pull the pump out of the well and check it out.

The size of your pump should be taken into serious consideration. This is precisely due to the fact that there is a direct correlation between size and longevity. Models that offer more power generally last longer since they run less. The motor is never overworked and that is why the pump lasts longer.

The submersible pumps are available in both two and three wire options with the three-wire built without a control panel. The two wire pumps come with an inbuilt control panel.

Defining Depth to Water

The depth to water determines the type and size of the pump to use. To get the exact depth to water rate check out the well driller’s report. Alternatively, take a small fishing bobber and tie it to the end of a piece of string. You can then lower the string into the well and mark the string when it is floating on the water. You can then pull out the string and measure the length from the mark to the bobber.

To get the right pump for your depth to water consider this:

  • For less than 25 inch – buy a shallow well jet pump.
  • 25 inches to 110 inches – get a deep well jet pump.
  • 25 inches to 400 inches – buy 4 inch submersible pump.

When determining the size of pump needed for household purposes, you take into account the gallons per hour as indicated on the pump. For a 3 to 4 bedroom home, a pump that has a rating of 8 to 12 GPM will be ideal.

Major Concerns with Above Ground Well Pumps

An above ground well pump is made up of various parts and major assemblies that make up the entire pumping system. Its major components include the electric motor which is the main driver of the pump. The second component is the actual pumping assembly which directs the water from the well to water pressure tank then to the building.

Some of the major issues encountered with the pumping system include the accumulation of sediments, dirt, little stones, and some debris. All these can damage the pumping system. They may accumulate drastically over time without notice and eventually begin to show signs when it might be too late. Initially the pump motor may work well with less pressure or flow then eventually stops pumping.

A Final Word

Different pumps might have similar intake and outlet but their head characteristics and flow capacity will differ greatly. If you desire to get the right above ground well pump, then your first step should be to acquaint yourself with the implements.