by Peter Lombardi
Quality Specialist, Consultant
> 3 min read
For those living in major metropolitan areas, water flows directly from the tap. However, for people living in rural areas, sometimes their primary water source comes from a shallow well. Many people may use a bucket and rope to get water, but this can be labor-intensive and tiring.
Instead of manually pulling up buckets of water daily, a shallow well pump will do that work for you, pumping water to where you need it. There are many pumps available, each with different points of efficiency. To get the best shallow well pump for your needs, cross-reference some shallow well water pump reviews to choose the one that works best for you.
Top Choices on the Market
How to Pick the Perfect Pump for Your Needs
When shopping for a new shallow well pump, there are multiple factors to take into account, each specific to every buyer and their usage.
The primary consideration to think about is what you'll be using it for and how much water you need it to pump. For farms or large households, pumping capacity and motor power may be the most important factor to ensure the consistent supply of water.
Pumps with motors with higher horsepower and flow rates fill with water more quickly.
If you are connecting multiple appliances to the pump, make sure the pump you choose is compatible and has multiple ports. Different appliances may require a varied rate of flow. Selecting a pump that can handle that amount of water needed is important.
Larger pumps may also likely make more noise. On farms, this may not be an important consideration but may be a dealbreaker for some homes. Pumps with high-quality construction and casing run more quietly than comparable pumps their size due to added insulation.
Solid construction made from good quality material also ensures your pump runs flawlessly for years to come. Smaller plastic pumps may be more affordable, but they do not last as long. Thermoplastic pumps with cast iron or stainless-steel casings combine affordability and reliability.
You can find these pumps, as well as many more, from online stores or local hardware and plumbing stores. If you are generally handy and know how to work with basic tools and follow instructions, you can buy a pump online. Most of the pumps are easy to install and following the instruction manual provides all the information you need.
For additional support with installation, there are many guides online that provide detailed instructions and video. Reading through shallow well jet pump reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect, its features, and other user experiences.
For those living in big towns and cities, you may not be able to think of a use for these. However, those who live in rural areas, off-the-grid, and other areas with limited access know the value of a shallow well pump.
A shallow well pump is an excellent way to move water from one place to another quickly and efficiently.
1. For Irrigation Systems
Shallow well pumps can create makeshift irrigation and plumbing systems. They can be a necessity for survival in some cases, providing water to entire households, ranches, or farms. When water is needed in many locations for multiple reasons, a shallow well pump can provide uninterrupted water access for people living in rural areas.
2. Hot Water Distribution
In rural areas, water is usually heated at one source by a hot water heater or radiator. A shallow well pump can easily deliver hot water to other areas of the house or ranch. This can be especially helpful for larger families living in multi-level houses.
3. Gardening Solutions
Shallow well pumps can also be used for gardening, delivering consistent watering cycles at correct pressure. For large gardens that require more watering, these pumps can easily provide the right amount of water to your plants automatically. If your garden is further away from your house, or in a secluded area, this can be a great way to make sure it stays watered.
4. For Drainage
Shallow water jet pumps can also be used to drain unwanted areas. A jet pump can easily pull water out of a pond, pool, or flooded basement. Large amounts of water can quickly be removed this way, which is especially helpful in the case of flooding.
5. Easy Use and Operation
A shallow well jet pump needs to be installed and set once and runs autonomously for long periods. While regular maintenance and winterization are both important, the pump does not require much attention once it is running.
How Does It Work?
- A shallow well of up to 25 feet is found or dug, and a shallow well jet pump is placed above the well, either directly in the home or in a well house.
- When the pump is turned on, the motor runs the impeller, which is a centrifugal pump. The impeller pulls water into the jet, which creates a high-pressure vacuum that pulls more water up.
- As the additional water is drawn, its pressure is gradually increased and combined with the water from the jet.
- This combined stream feeds into the plumbing system at a high flow rate, ensuring pressure and consistency.
Why Do You Need It?
You need a shallow well pump if you have a well under 25-feet deep and want to pull water up from it. This allows for consistent water delivery in rural areas. Instead of collecting water by bucket, a shallow well pump delivers hundreds of gallons of water per hour.
A shallow water pump can be an excellent solution for off-the-grid living if a well is nearby. You can get access to clean, fresh water delivered right to your house for no cost other than the pump.
You need a shallow well jet pump if you intend to distribute water to multiple locations. These pumps allow for a continuous and reliable flow of water for irrigation, gardening, household appliances, and plumbing. By setting the pressure and flow rates correctly once, these pumps provide running water for many years.
A shallow water pump can also be used for automatic water systems. If you need to provide water to a garden or farm automatically consistently, a shallow pump can do that for you. Whether you need it to operate on a timer or a kind of remote control, you can set the pump to deliver the correct amount of water at the right times.
How to Install
To install a shallow well pump, you first need to make sure your well is free from sand. Before installation, turn off all water and power.
Next, install or locate the suction pipe and foot valve, which run into the well. The pump's inlet is then connected to the other end of that pipe. The pressure switch of the pump is then connected to the electrical disconnect.
The pump's outlet is then connected by pipe to the output source or pump tank. A primer is installed inline, in case manual pumping is needed. Once this is complete, and all your connections are checked and turned on, the pump is ready to use.
1. How long does a shallow well pump last?
On average, a good quality pump lasts about 10 years. Regular maintenance, cleanings, and winterization can help shallow well pumps last longer.
Most pumps that do not last as long are usually damaged by sand in the pump. To prevent this common issue, make sure your well is properly sealed off before installing the pump.
2. How deep will a shallow well pump work?
Shallow well pumps refer to pumps that work for wells between 5 and 25 feet deep and are pressurized accordingly. Anything further than that may require a submersible well pump, which operates slightly differently.
3. How do you troubleshoot a shallow well pump?
A common issue with many pumps is dirt, sand, mud, or debris getting into the pump, but a thorough cleaning can rectify this. If your pump is not pumping a correct flow of water, you may have your pressure regulator set for an incorrect depth.
4. How can you tell if your well pump is bad?
A leaking pump is the first indicator of a faulty pump and can be the result of a failure of the motor casing or something more serious. If your pump is operating irregularly, not providing consistent flow, or sputtering, and is not corrected by a cleaning, there may be blockage somewhere in the system. You may need to replace your pump in such cases, as fixing them may not always be possible.
5. How do I replace my pressure switch?
Each shallow well jet pump has directions and guidelines for replacing a pressure switch. Some pumps do not have replacement pressure switches and will need to be replaced if damaged.
If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, hire an electrician or plumber to assist you.
Best Shallow Well Pump Reviews
1. Flotec FP4012-10 1/2 HP Shallow Well Pump Jet
- Ideal for wells of 25ft or less
- Fiberglass-Reinforced Thermoplastic Pump Housing
- Corded-Electric Power Source
- 1 Year Limited Warranty
Engine Horsepower: 0.5 Hp
The pump's durable construction and materials provide resistance against corrosion as well as sand or dirt in the water. This also keeps it lightweight and easily moveable. This is great for winterization or storage; in the case, you need to move the pump.
Built-in Shallow Well Jet Pump
This ½ HP shallow well jet pump from is the perfect companion for wells up to 25 feet deep. Its most optimum performance pumps 10 gallons per minute at 40 PSI. It is a high-performance pump that is an excellent choice for your off-grid water pumping solutions.
This powerful pump has a dust-proof cover that keeps debris, insects, and dirt out of the electronic components, making sure the pump lasts many years. It also comes with a dust-proof cover that prevents debris, insects, and other contaminants from getting into the pump. It's perfect for any rural area of off-the-grid living situation.
- Highly resistant to corrosion due to its reliable material
- Easy to use, allowing you to set it once and forget it
- Motor is well-built and appropriately insulated to prevent overheating
- Fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic provides additional protection
- Plastic construction makes its operation a little noisy
- Some customers have trouble adjusting to the pressure
2. Goulds J10S Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Two Compartment Motor for Easy Access to Wiring
- Corrosion Resistant
- Provides a compact design w/o the need for a separate adapter
- 1 Year Limited Warranty
- Shallow Well Adapter Built In
Engine Horsepower: 1 Hp
Iron Casing and Stainless-Steel Shaft
The pump is built out of cast iron casing and features a stainless-steel shaft. This makes for a very durable pump meant to last for years with regular maintenance. It's durable casing also makes for hushed operation.
Built-in Overload with Automatic Reset
The pump has a built-in overload at 63 PSI, which means it will shut down and reset to prevent overheating the motor. This assures that once you set the pump correctly, you can leave it and risk no damage to the motor.
Adjustable Pressure Regulator
The pressure regulator works for wells 5 to 25 feet deep, and its flow can be set based on how deep you need to go. The pressure switch ranges from 30 to 50 PSI, which can create the correct pressure and flow rate for your well depth.
- Durable motor with built-in overheat protection
- Pump itself runs very quietly, and you will hardly notice when it's on
- Cast iron construction and solid stainless-steel shaft ensures efficient running for a long time
- The pressure switch is not as good quality as the rest of the pump and may need to be replaced more often
3. Acquaer SJC075 3/4 HP Dual-Voltage Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump, Black
- Durable cast iron construction
- Built-in automatic thermal overload protector
- For wells 0ft. - 25ft. in depth
- Pressure switch is pre-set at 30-50 PSI for automatic operation
- 2-Year Limited Warranty
Engine Horsepower: 0.75 Hp
A voltage switch allows the pump to be changed between 115 and 230 volts. Since some houses aren't capable of providing 230V, the 115V setting makes this pump a safe buy for almost any home.
900 Gallons per Hour
Even large homes rarely use more than 15 gallons of water per minute, and that much water is typically only used for a short period. Nine hundred gallons per hour is sufficient for all but the largest homes. Pair the pump with a large pressure tank for even better water supply during peak demand.
50% More Horsepower
Most well pumps have ½ horsepower, which limits their gallons per hour. This pump uses ¾ horsepower to get more water quickly when you need it. It can fill up pressure tanks more quickly, reducing or eliminating drops in water pressure during peak demand, and provide high pressure water flow to multiple appliances.
- 900 gallons per hour for consistent supply and strong water pressure
- ¾ horsepower makes it stronger than most pumps
- Dual voltage switch provides flexibility for use at 115V or 230V
- Larger pump motor is louder than other models
- Pressure switch is not replaceable in the case of permanent damage
4. Sta-Rite Industries SNE-L 1HP Shallow Well Jet Pump
- High-quality corrosion-resistant Housing
- Heavy-duty ball bearings which provides extended life and smooth, quiet operation
- Excellent performance with strong pressure wells up to 25' deep
Engine Horsepower: 1 Hp
Quality Body and Motor Windings Construction
The high-quality cast-iron body and motor windings are meant to last, preventing the excessive moisture from getting into the motor. It features a drain port as well to make winterization easy. These protective features prevent corrosion and keep the pump working great for many years.
Precision Molded Diffuser
Featuring a 1 HP motor, this pump allows for higher flow. Its multiport design and precision molded diffuser primes the pump faster and lets it handle more air. This is great for irrigation systems that connect to multiple appliances, providing pressure and consistency.
Heavy-duty Ball Bearings
In addition to its solid construction, the pump uses shielded bearings that stay permanently lubricated. This allows the pump to continue operating efficiently and seamlessly while making the least amount of sound possible. Smooth continuous operation means this pump lasts for a long time.
- Quiet operation despite having a larger 1 HP motor
- 1 HP motor provides a lot of flow, suitable for bigger homes
- Supports dual voltage operation for 115V and 230V
- Multiport design allows easy connection to multiple locations
- Easy to prime in case of power failure or disconnect
- Startup of larger motor may trip circuit breaker
5. WAYNE SWS50 1/2 HP Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Provides fresh and clean water for family
- Self-priming and designed for well 25ft or less
- Durable Cast Iron Volute
- Pressure switch is pre-set at 30-50 PSI for automatic operation
Engine Horsepower: 0.5 Hp
The pump uses a highly efficient square flange motor with options for both 120V and 240V operation. It comes factory set at 240V but can easily be switched. This makes it a great option for homes unable to run at 240V.
High Power Operation
This device pumps over 400 gallons an hour, making it a perfect option if you are connecting the pump to multiple sources. The motor is very quiet and won't be heard even in the backyard, which suits homes with nearby shallow wells. This pump is also available in ¾ HP and 1 HP configurations for those that need more power.
Automatic Pressure Switch
The unit comes with a pre-set pressure switch, making it ready to go after installing. The pressure is set at 30 to 50 PSI and pumping between 375 and 450 gallons per hour. At 51 PSI, the pump shuts off and resets, protecting the motor from any damage.
- High output suitable for household irrigation
- Easy installation and detailed user manual allows for quick setup
- Pump runs very quietly
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Motor may not be as long lasting as competitors
- Initial power draw can be high for some circuits
6. Red Lion 602207 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
- Glass-filled thermoplastic impeller and diffuser
- Includes factory pre-set 30/50 pressure switch
- able to handle the water demands of large homes, cottages, and farms
- Rugged cast iron casing
- Heavy-duty dual voltage
Engine Horsepower: 1 Hp
Glass-filled Thermoplastic Impeller and Diffuser
This high-performance shallow well pump provides consistent and efficient flow. It is excellent for handling large water distribution. It is built using glass-filled thermoplastic and heavy-duty cast iron casing, so the pump lasts for many years under continuous operation and regular maintenance. This ¾ pump is also available in ½ HP and 1 HP models, providing 16, 12, and 23 gallons per minute, respectively.
Factory Set 30-50 Pressure Switch
The pump comes with its pressure switch factory set to 30-50 PSI, allowing for low pressure and high-pressure pumping. At 51 PSI, the pump automatically shuts off and resets to prevent overheating or motor damage.
Motor with Built-In Capacitor
Not all homes have the ability to support motors with large start up power draws. This motor has a capacitor to assist with startup. This can help prevent circuits from overloading and breaking.
- Highly durable construction lasts for years and withstands exposure to the elements
- Fast and efficient pumping for continuous water supply
- Parts can easily be interchanged
- Simple and straightforward installation with detailed instruction manual
- Pump produces a large amount of noise compared to others
- Pressure switch is weak and can break and need to be replaced often
7. BurCam 506547SS SW Stainless Steel Jet Pump
- Noryl Impeller & Injector
- 16 Gallon Stainless Steel Air Pressure Tank
- Ideal for use in pumping depths of 25' or less
- Stainless Steel Pump Body, Shaft & Rotary Mechanical Seal
Engine Horsepower: 0.75 Hp
Stainless Steel Construction
This high-quality pump is built out of stainless steel, in comparison to most pumps that are made out of thermoplastic and cast iron, which, over time, is susceptible to rust. Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion. This pump provides rust-free clear water for a long time.
Lightweight and Portable
Due to its construction, this unit is easy to install and remove, allowing you to store it easily for winter. A lot of pumps are damaged by the cold weather and storing during the colder months can prolong its life. It's lightweight makes moving and carrying an easy task.
Bladder Style Pressure Tank
The butyl bladder style tank eliminates waterlogging and condensation. This can help unwanted moisture build-up in your pump, and in the long run, makes sure your pump runs efficiently. The bladder is made out of high-grade materials that provide consistently clean water.
- Unique design and high-quality construction
- Quiet, unnoticeable operation, even when placed near the house
- Ensures continuous rust-free water delivery due to stainless steel construction
- Bladder style tank prevents condensation and waterlogging
- Motor housing may corrode quicker than the rest of the pump
- Instructions detail pump features only, not the entire unit's operation
Flotec Shallow Well Pump Jet
A shallow well pump can be a useful and necessary tool for retrieving, distributing and dispensing water for rural or off-the-grid living. It is essential to buy a high-quality and reliable pump that can last you many years.
Construction quality, motor size, operation noise, and cost are some considerations to take into account. The number of appliances you wish to connect to it may also be a factor in your decision.
The Flotec FP4012-10 ½ HP Shallow Well Pump Jet is the best all-around solution for a shallow well pump, providing reliability, cost efficiency, and simple operation for all pumping needs. It has a well-insulated motor to prevent water damage as well as fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic construction to protect it further.
It pumps about 600 gallons per minute, providing sufficient flow for most applications.
If you are looking for an affordable water plumbing or irrigation system, the Flotec FP4012 is a great product that allows you to enjoy fresh running water for years to come.This highly reliable asset for rural living has received wonderful feedback from its many users. For a completely self-sufficient off-the-grid water distribution system, buy your Flotec FP4012 and enjoy the convenience of a shallow well pump.
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About the Author
Peter is a Los Angeles based water quality specialist, and works as a surveyor for businesses and communities looking to be informed and active about the quality of their water. He shares his expertise with 64 oz. to ensure everything is accurate, and to prevent the spread of misinformation about water contaminants.