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With over 13 million American homes relying on private wells for drinking water, choosing the right type of well pump is an important consideration. From the different types of pumps available, shallow well pumps (also known as jet pumps) are one of the most popular options.
Shallow well pumps have excellent functionality and suit most private wells up to a depth of 25 feet. They are typically easy to maintain, are affordable and have good durability. However, when choosing a shallow well pump, picking the right device for your situation is important.
In this article, we review the top 8 shallow well pumps and what makes them the best. The second section of the article provides information on how to choose a shallow well pump for your situation.
Goulds J5S ½ HP Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Thermal protected
- Quiet and smooth running
- Solid shaft
- Meets NEMA standards
- Overload protection system
- Corrosion resistant
- The pressure switch is fragile
This unit is known to be one of the most efficient and convenient jet pumps for shallow wells which is what makes it such a popular choice among many people. We were highly impressed by the Goulds HP Shallow Well Jet Pump since it comes with many great features, high quality housing material and exceptional performance.
The Gould’s J5S is the install-and-forget type of pump which means that once it’s installed, it require next to no maintenance and it will automatically do its job. The motor is powerful with ½ horsepower, a high flow rate and the ability to pump 16.5 GPH at 5 feet which is impressive.
This pump has a cast-iron housing that is corrosion-resistant and the model is suitable for most households since it has a dual voltage system of 115 and 230-volts. It comes with a glass-filled Noryl impeller and you will find it’s very reliable and durable. It also offers noise free operation, which is important if you plan to house the pump in your home.
What sets this jet pump apart from others is its built-in overload protection, meaning that it can virtually operate on its own. The overload protection resets automatically so that the motor won’t overheat, preventing it from getting damaged. If you’re someone whose not familiar with jet pumps and don’t know how to maintain one, this is the pump for you. All you have to do is get it installed and let it do its job.
Burcam 506547SS Stainless Steel ¾ HP Shallow Well Jet Pump System
- Stainless steel construction
- High powered motor
- Minimal maintenance
- Condensation free performance
- Lightweight and portable
- Unable to adequately serve large households
- Not effective for shallow wells over 25 feet
One of the best shallow well pumps for smaller households, the Burcam 506547SS with its ¾ HP motor is the best choice for shallow wells less than 25 feet in depth. The dual voltage system of this pump produces 65 psi with maximum pressure and its designed for both intermittent and continuous use.
This Burcam can move an impressive 472 GPH at a maximum depth of 25 feet, making it ideal for farms, homes and even cabins. One of the most unique features about this pump is that it eliminates rust contamination from your pumping system, providing you with rust-free, clean and better quality water which is what makes it stand out from other shallow well jet pumps on the market.
We loved the design of this jet pump and the stainless steel housing. This makes it more resistant to corrosion than most other units which are typically made of cast iron. The unit is also easier to prime.
Although it comes with a powerful motor, it’s extremely quiet that you wouldn’t even be able to tell when it’s running. Installing the pump is easy since it comes factory assembled, so it takes up less time. It also requires minimal maintenance.
Goplus 1200W Shallow Well Pump
- Sturdy plastic housing and solid base
- Solid construction
- Affordable pricing
- Easy to install and operate
- Versatile applications
- Takes time to set the pressure
If you’re on the look-out for a high-quality, long-lasting shallow well pump for garden irrigation, then this unit will surely make the cut.
Goplus Shallow Well pump has an attractive design and a 1.6 horsepower motor. The horsepower increases the functionality of this unit, making it extremely versatile which is one of the things we liked most about it. It also gives it the ability to pump water 50 meters high at an impressive flow rate of 3,000 liters per hour.
This shallow well pump has many uses, and is designed to supply well water for gardens, farms and other agricultural purposes. The motor is made of rugged copper which is corrosion and wear-resistant meaning that you will be able to use it for years to come. Ordinary water pumps which use a metal structure generate rust after some years, but this won’t happen with the Burcam pump due to its ceramic enclosed motor shafts and sturdy plastic housing.
With its powerful thermal protection, this Burcam jet pump gives you an excellent quality water system and working supply at a reasonable price. You can rest assured that it will provide you with a never-ending supply of clean, rust free water.
Happybuy Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Ideal for both domestic and commercial use
- Adjustable pressure switch
- Suitable for larger households
- Sturdy construction
- Wide applications
- Does not come with instructions
The Happybuy Shallow Well ¾ HP Jet Pump is specially designed to offer longevity and hassle-free pumping. This pump is perfect for shallow wells up to 25 feet and is suitable for multiple purposes including shower and faucet pressurization as well as farmland irrigation.
The pump comes with a built-in thermal overload protection that stops it automatically when its card machine is overloaded. This prevents the motor from burning out. The device uses a stainless steel rotor which makes it smoother and quieter when operational. It has a powerful 110-volt motor with a speed of 3420 RPM and the ability to pump up to 70L/h to fully meet your daily water needs. The device adopts a full copper coil to provide safety protection and prolong the service life of the pump.
This unit is made of cast iron which means that it’s resistant to both rust and corrosion and has carbon/ceramic seals for durability which enable the machine to provide excellent water delivery even for the largest households. You’ll be pleased to find that it’s very easy to install and requires minimal maintenance.
Flotec FP4012-10 ½ HP Shallow Well Pump Jet
- CSA certified
- Built-in pressure switch
- Easy to use priming ports
- Insulated winding and balanced motor shaft for maximum performance
- Dust-proof cover
- Corrosion and sandy-water resistance
- May not be as powerful as its competitors
This shallow well pump is one of our top picks due to its reliability, top-quality performance and its ability to lift from up to a 25-foot depth.
We were really impressed by the design of this unit as it’s made from fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic which is resistant to corrosion. At the same time, it’s lightweight and easy to carry around if needed. All the electrical components of this pump are protected by a dust-proof cover so you won’t need to worry about dust or insects getting in and damaging the unit.
This Flotec shallow well pump jet has the capacity to pull up to 10 gallons (38 liters) of water per minute at 40 PSI, making it a very powerful unit. One of its special features include self-priming after the housing of the unit is initially filled with water. This means that if there’s air in its passages, it will clear it on its own and start pumping, without requiring manual priming.
Overall, we found the quality of this product to be high and found it to be extremely user-friendly. Although it’s a little on the pricey side, it makes up for this with the excellent performance and durability.
Red Lion RJS-100 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump
11 used from $270.89
- Automatic shut off
- Highly efficient impeller and diffuser
- Voltage selector
- Corrosion- and rust-resistance
- Works for wells up to 25 feet deep
- Flimsy pressure switch
Here’s an excellent product if you’re looking for a shallow well jet pump that provides great value for its price. The Red Lion Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump offers reliability, durability and top-quality performance. It’s designed to supply fresh water from shallow wells of up to 25 feet in depth to large homes, cabins and even farms.
This jet pump comes with a 115/230-volt motor, a capacitor and a cast iron casing which is corrosion and rust-resistant. It also has a glass-filled thermoplastic impeller and a diffuser which allows higher performance and highly efficient water flow. It provides 50 psi at a capacity of 23 GPM. Unlike most other shallow well pumps, the unit comes with a voltage selector to keep the motor safe from damage.
We were highly impressed with the features of the Red Lion jet pump and its top-notch performance. It’s an excellent option to keep your home, cabin or farm supplied with fresh water at all times.
WAYNE SWS50 Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Assembled in the US
- Runs very quietly
- Easy installation
- Pre-set pressure switch
- Self-priming unit
- No switch for low suction
- The pressure switch is fragile
This Cast-Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump from WAYNE is well built with a traditional design. It pumps up to 420 gallons per hour making it an excellent choice if you have several appliances attached to the pump. It also has an automatic pressure switch which is pre-set at 30-50 psi.
This unit is suitable for shallow wells up to 24 feet and its cast iron housing makes it highly durable and resistant to ruptures. Once the housing is filled up with water, the pump self-primes whenever necessary to ensure uninterrupted delivery of water. It has the capacity to pump up to 384 gallons per hour at a 24-foot lift and you can run it at 230 or 115 volts using the quick change voltage selection switch.
There’s no danger of this machine overheating and burning out since it has its own built-in thermal protect to prevent this from happening. We liked that this shallow well jet pump is very convenient, easy to install and comes with a detailed instruction manual which makes the process even easier. The motor is quiet and runs smoothly so you won’t be disturbing anyone whenever this device is operational. In fact, you will hardly be able to hear it yourself.
Acquaer SJC075 ¾ HP Dual-Voltage Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
- 900 gph capacity
- Dual voltage motor
- Resistant to corrosion and rust
- Two-year warranty
- Compact design
- Easy installation
- The pump is loud
The Acquaer Dual-Voltage Cast Iron Shallow well jet pump is a great choice if you need a powerful, high performance pump for any shallow well up to 25 feet. This unit has ¾ HP and a flow rate that reaches 900 gallons per hour which is especially useful especially if you have about 6-8 appliances connected to your water pump.
This pump features a dual voltage motor that runs at 115 or 230 volts with its quick-change voltage selection switch. It also has a pressure switch that’s set to 30 psi on and 50 psi off for high-pressure delivery of water. It takes just under a minute to fill a standard tank with water completely.
Made entirely from durable cast iron and designed for regular use, this shallow well jet pump is so easy to install. It can be done as a DIY project by referring to the detailed instruction manual that’s included in the box.
What is a Shallow Well Pump?
A shallow well pump is the ideal option if you have a well that’s not too deep. While traditionally these pumps were not highly functional, and often had many issues, today shallow well pumps are advanced devices that require minimal maintenance and can work for years. The average shallow well pump works with depths up to 25 feet, which is not as shallow as you might think.
Shallow well pumps are versatile and can be used for a variety of functions. Apart from pumping water out of a well and into a tank, these pumps can also be used for functions like sprinkler irrigation, farms, ponds and fountains. They can also work well in industrial and commercial settings, sewage plumbing and drainage.
While shallow well pumps don’t have the capacity of submersible pumps, they offer excellent functionality for the average home and well.
Is a Shallow Well Pump Right for My Well?
The first consideration in answering this question is to factor in the depth of your well. If you have a well that’s over 25 feet, a shallow well pump will be an ineffective option.
In this case, choose a submersible pump. Some shallow well pumps can only work with depths up to 20 feet, so carefully check the model prior to purchase.
Most pumps have a pump rate of around 8 to 12 gallons per minute, which is sufficient for the average household. However, to pick the right model for your home, consider your water usage and compare that against the specifics of your home.
The average person uses around 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. Multiply that number by the number of people in your household and you’ll get a close figure of your household’s water usage.
Features to Look For
When purchasing your shallow well pump, look for the following basic features:
- Overload and thermal protection – these features ensure that the motor is running safely, with reduced risk of damage. They will ensure the durability of your device and give it a longer life. An overheated motor can burn out easily but by having in-built protection, you can prevent this from happening.
- Foot valve – this feature keeps the water in the pipes, reducing the need for priming. If the foot valve is faulty, the pipes will drain back into the well and remain empty.
- Water pressure switch – this will give you control of the device’s water pressure. This is a relatively new addition to shallow well pumps and most modern units have them.
- Dirt protection – because shallow well pumps are typically installed outdoors or next to the well, protecting it from dirt, insects and rodents is important to prevent unnecessary damage to the device. Some models come with dust proof coverings, which protects the device.
- Materials – to use the pump for the longest time possible, it’s important to ensure that the device you purchase is built to last. Look for sturdy construction and durable materials. These include cast iron, stainless steel or other metal construction. Some shallow well pumps are made using inexpensive plastics, but avoid these as they tend to break and need more maintenance.
How to Install a Shallow Well Pump
Jet pumps are typically easy to install and will require a few basic tools. These include:
- A screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- Pipe clamps
Ensure that the pump is placed on a flat surface, where it can be bolted down and held in place. This ensures that the device doesn’t move around with usage.
If available and preferable, you can also have the pump mounted to the bracket on your water storage tank.
Make all the necessary pipe fittings, with one pipeline going between the pump and the well.
Once the jet pump has been primed, water will remain in the pipe by the foot valve. Next, connect the pipes that go from the pump to the storage tank.
Finally, connect the pump to its power source. If the pump needs priming manually, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get that done.
Ensure that all the necessary pipe connections have been made and that the system is plugged in.
Submersible Well Pumps vs. Shallow Well Pumps
Both shallow well and submersible pumps are useful devices with different applications. Which you choose will depend on your specific requirements.
- Location of installation: Shallow well pumps are installed outside of the well, sometimes even in the house. Submersible pumps are installed directly in the well, and have to be submerged in water.
- Well depth: The average shallow well pump only works with wells of up to 25 feet depth. A submersible pump can pull water from depths of 25 to 400 feet.
- Performance: Submersible wells don’t require priming and typically have a higher capacity, pressure and flow rate. Shallow well pumps typically require priming and can have a slower flow rate and lower capacity.
- Energy Consumption: Submersible pumps use energy more efficiently by pushing water out using a pressure-boosting process. Shallow well pumps have to suck water out of the well, typically using atmospheric pressure. This makes them less efficient.
- Durability: Submersible pumps use leak-proof gasket seals which prevent leaks and have stronger casings and construction which last up to 20 years. On the downside, though, they are more challenging when they need to be repaired. Shallow well pumps are susceptible to cavitation which can damage the machine. They also need to be constantly maintained which includes oiling as well. These normally last from 5-19 years.
- Price: Shallow well pumps are less expensive compared to submersible pumps. The latter are more complicated in design and while they require minimal maintenance and ongoing costs, they require a bigger up-front investment.
The Bottom Line
A shallow well pump can be the best option for your home and private well, ensuring that you have access to clean water whenever you need it. Prior to purchasing, ensure that a shallow well pump is what you require by measuring the depth of your well and checking the performance you require.
With so many well pumps on the market, we hope that the above guide gives you useful pointers in choosing the right jet pump for your home. If you want to learn more about well pumps, check out our related articles: