Well Pumps 101

Submersible well pump or well jet pump? Do you know which one you have?

Submersible Well Pump

A submersible well pump is the type of well pump that is actually placed below ground, down the well to a certain depth. These are only for deeper wells.

Well Jet Pump

A well jet pump is a pump that is placed above ground, either inside of your house, or near the well tank. This can either be a deep well jet pump, or a shallow well jet pump, depending on the depth of your well.

As plumbers, we have to tell you that we think submersible well pumps are superior because they require less maintenance, you never need to prime them, you can get far better water pressure, and more. However, not all wells can handle a submersible pump. To determine whether your well can handle a submersible well pump requires some investigation and testing.

The main difference in function between a well jet pump and a submersible well pump is that, while a jet pump pulls the water, a submersible pump pushes the water upward. Because of the energy that is required to pull liquid rather than push it upward, submersible well pumps tend to be more efficient, which is part of the reason why they are selected when the well is deep enough.

Well Tank Basics

If you have a well jet pump, you also have a well tank located inside your home. It’s generally in your basement or a utility closet, and has a pipe from your well pump connected to it on one side, and a cold water pipe that carries water to your home connected to the other side.

The pressure switch on your well tank measures the water pressure in the tank. When the well pump has filled the tank to the appropriate pressure (60 psi), the pressure switch cuts off the electric current to the pump, shutting the well pump off. Now, if someone fills a bathtub, takes a shower or does the dishes, the water comes from the tank, reducing the pressure in the tank. When the pressure drops to 40 psi, the pressure switch sends an electric current to the well pump, turning it back on. And so the cycle repeats.

Well pumps and well tanks are the main components of your well system, but of course there are many smaller parts as well. Make sure you have a plumber who knows all the ins and outs of well pumps and well systems. Not all plumbers have that training or experience.

If you’re having issues with your well pump, give us a call at 410-836-0118 7 days a week for immediate service. We serve residential, commercial and agricultural clients throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Cecil County and Howard County.