If you live in the deep rural settings, chances are high you won’t benefit or rather access municipal water supply. Other than living in rural areas, there are a variety of cities and towns across the globe that don’t have access to clean drinking water. Since water is a basic necessity, most residences turn to private wells to access fresh groundwater for drinking and other domestic purposes. If you’re the one I’m talking to, one of the crucial components that form the backbone of your home’s plumbing system is a well pump. Unless you’re ready to tirelessly draw water from your well using a bucket, thinking about the various types of well pumps is quite inevitable if you have a huge residence that requires a lot of water daily.
Now, when you think of a well pump, not just any pump can help you to efficiently draw water from your private well. Pumps come in different variations depending on the depth of the well. So, finding a pump that will perfectly handle all your water needs while still drawing water from the right depth is highly necessary when budgeting for your plumbing project. Thankfully, this short guide has felt your pain and has gathered some inspiration from professional plumbers to discuss three main types of well pumps that can solve this rhetoric.
Different Types of Well Pumps
1. Centrifugal Well Pumps
One of the simplest and most common types of well pumps you’re likely to find in most residential homes is the centrifugal well pump. Just as its name suggests, this type of pump is designed to convert rotational kinetic energy into hydrodynamic energy to allow it to pump water from a well to the storage tanks above. Since they use rotational energy instead of suction energy like most other pumps, they’re usually less powerful thus limiting them to shallow wells with depths no more than 25 ft.
How Do They Work?
Now, centrifugal pumps are usually fitted with a motor that rotates a shaft-driven impeller to draw water. The impeller is usually housed in a case and submerged in water (inside the well). When the pump is turned on, the motor rotates the impeller at a speed range of 1750 – 3500 rpm forcing water through a suction port in between the impeller. The velocity imparted to the water by the impeller is converted to pressure energy to push the water through the outlet pipe to the overhead tanks.
The best thing about centrifugal pumps is that they have less moving parts thus allowing them to rotate at much higher speeds without requesting for regular maintenance. They also have a steady output and are less costly as compared to most other pumps. The disadvantage, however, is their low suction power since they rely on rotational energy rather than suction energy. That’s the main reason why they’re intentionally immersed in water.
2. Submersible Well Pumps
This is another popular option among most residential homes that rely on wells to access clean water for domestic use. Just as their name suggests, these pumps are strictly designed to be submerged in water for them to operate. Unlike their above-ground counterparts that mechanically suck water from a well, these ones are designed to push water out rather than suck it making them more powerful and efficient.
Due to this unique working mechanism, submersible well pumps are usually considered for pumping water in wells with depths ranging from 110 ft. to about 400 ft. without losing consistency.
How Do They Work?
First and foremost, since they’re submersible units, these pumps usually have watertight properties that prevent the motor, the wiring, or any other electrical component from getting into contact with water. Now, a submersible pump consists of a long 2 – 4-inch cylinder that has a diameter of around 3 – 5 inches. Inside the cylinder, there’s a motor whose task is to rotate an impeller.
When the pump is switched on, the motor rotates the impeller at a rapid pace to draw water inside a discharge line/pipe inside the pump. Once the water is in the pump, it’s then pushed into the surface through the connected pipes into your home’s plumbing line.
When shopping for a submersible pump, it’s always advisable to find a pump that meets the daily water requirements of your home as well as your well’s yield.
3. Jet Well Pumps
Also known as ejector pumps, jet pumps are the next type of well pumps you’re likely to find in most homes. Now, unlike submersible and centrifugal well pumps, these ones use a more mechanical working principle when drawing water from the wells. First, they rely on the sucking or pulling mechanism that’s quite different from the pushing principal of the submersible pumps. Another characteristic of these pumps is that they’re fitted above the ground rather than being submerged in water.
Therefore, the main unit (that consists of the motor, gear reducer, controller, and other electronic accessories) alongside the high-pressure lines and the power fluid conditioning unit are secured on the surface inside a housing to protect them from any contact with the elements.
Now before we get to the working principle of this pump, allow me to mention that jet pumps are available in three main variations that are the shallow well pumps, the deep well pumps, and the convertible well pumps. Shallow well pumps are designed to pump water at shallow depths no more than 25 ft. while deep well pumps can draw water from depths of 110 ft. to about 200 or 300 ft. Convertible jet pumps on the other hand work as both shallow and deep well pumps meaning they can handle the job of both pumps simultaneously.
Their Working Principle
Now, the working principle of jet well pumps follows the Bernoulli’s theorem of pumping fluids through a nozzle at high pressure from the surface to activate a downhole pump that sucks water to the surface. Now, to function perfectly, jet pumps rely on three components, which are the nozzle, throat, and the diffuser. The nozzle and the throat are two main components that determine the performance of any jet well pump.
Now, during operation, this pump starts by pushing the power fluid through the nozzle at high pressure and velocity. This causes the Venturi effect where low static pressure is created in a space (annular area) between the nozzle and the throat.
This low pressure generates suction power that forces reservoir fluid, in this case, water from the well, to get inside the pump. As the water gets inside the pump, a reverse energy transformation occurs where the speed of the power fluid decreases causing an increase in pressure that pushes the water up to the surface.
So, are you struggling to find the right well pump to cater to your home’s water needs? Well, this short guide has offered you everything that’s needed to get started. As you can see, there are various types of well pumps available in the market today. These pumps vary greatly depending on the depth of your well and the amount of water you’ll need to supply throughout your home.
Another type of well pump we didn’t mention in our roundup is a solar-powered well pump. These pumps are ideal in situations where there’s limited access to power lines especially for the case of rural and remote regions. They’re easy to install and are highly efficient as they don’t require any electric power to operate. So, whichever situation you might be, this guide has offered you some well pump alternatives that will work with your home’s plumbing system.