The 6 Best Shallow Well Pumps

Updated April 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

6 Best Shallow Well Pumps
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. For rural homes and businesses without access to city water lines, you gotta dig. Then to deliver the water to your premises, you'll need one of these tough and long-lasting shallow well pumps. We've searched through the crowded field and found the best and most durable options for the average homeowner. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shallow well pump on Amazon.

6. Wayne SWS100

The Wayne SWS100 comes with a high-efficiency, square flange motor with built-in thermal protection that is housed in a durable, cast iron volute. It can pump 630 gallons per hour, however, the included mounting bracket is rather flimsy.
  • can also be used as a booster pump
  • assembled in the usa
  • threads are too coarse
Brand Wayne
Model SWS100
Weight 44.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Superior Pump 94505

The Superior Pump 94505 has a fully adjustable pressure switch that is premounted from the factory, and a glass-filled, thermoplastic diffuser and impeller. It can be hooked up to a 120 or 240V power supply for versatile connection options.
  • built-in thermal overload protection
  • straightforward installation
  • doesn't have a check valve
Brand Superior Pump
Model 94505
Weight 37.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Goulds J5S

The Goulds J5S is pricey, but feels very well-built and should last through years of regular use without failing. It runs super quietly, so it shouldn't annoy homeowners whether they are inside our enjoying their outdoor space.
  • produces consistent water pressure
  • built-in well adapter
  • can handle continuous operation
Brand Goulds Pump
Model J5S
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Sta-Rite FSNCH-L

The pump body and base of the Sta-Rite FSNCH-L are both constructed from close-grained cast iron, so it's heavy, but very durable. This pump also features a dustproof cover for superior protection of all of its electrical components against insects and debris.
  • pressure switch is prewired
  • built-in check valve
  • relatively easy to install
Brand Sta-Rite
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Flotec FP4012

The Flotec FP4012 offers a 10 gallon-per-minute flow capacity at 40 PSI, making it strong enough to handle the demands of most homes. Also, its fiberglass-reinforced, corrosion-resistant, thermoplastic body allows it to stand up to years of regular use.
  • motor windings are insulated
  • capable of self-priming
  • sturdy stainless steel shaft
Brand Flotec
Model FP4012-10
Weight 23.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Red Lion RJS-100

Good for large rural homes, cottages, and farms, the Red Lion RJS-100 has a convenient voltage selector for quick and simple connection to your home's existing power sources. It can produce up to 50 PSI of water pressure and pump from depths of up to 25 feet.
  • operates very quietly
  • premium rust-resistant components
  • extremely durable and well-built
Brand Red Lion
Model 602208
Weight 41.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Hydration For The Home: Establishing A Working Well

In most temperate regions of North America, ground water is one of the most reliable sources of potable water, and it accumulates in underground aquifers that are usually close enough to the earth's surface to be tapped with relative ease by digging an extraction well.

There are many reasons why ground water is a viable, and sometimes even preferable, source of water for human and agricultural use. Except in times of drought, ground water tends to be a dependable water source thanks to the natural water table, or the saturation levels of the subterranean rock and soil layers. Ground water also resists pollution better than surface sources such as streams, lakes, or even man made reservoirs. Thus ground water is tapped as the single largest source of water for many municipalities.

Ground water can also be sourced on a much smaller scale. Individual properties can sink and establish their own working wells, tapping into their local ground water aquifers as either the primary or backup source of water for their home, farm, or other property type. And if the property in question is located in an area with a water table near the surface, a basic shallow well should be more than sufficient to supply the needed water. For wells dug down to depths no deeper than 25 feet below the surface, a shallow well pump should be more than adequate to move the water up and into the property's plumbing system.

Installing a well at your property is a process best left to professionals, and it is likely you will need to complete a permitting process prior to the commencement of its construction. In general, the installation of a well should cost less than $10,000, and in some regions may be completed for half that figure, with the digging, well casing, screens, pumps, and all the other materials and equipment factored in. A well is a substantial initial investment, but the opportunity for reliable, locally sourced water is well worth the expense.

Choosing A Shallow Well Pump

The single most important factor involved in establishing a reliable well is the presence of plentiful ground water. But after that, the shallow well pump you choose for your well is the next critical consideration. A shallow well pump, sometimes referred to as a jet pump, is an electrically powered impeller system wherein a propeller-shaped unit draws water up and through the water tight shaft leading from the aquifer to the property's plumbing system. Once water has begun to flow up and past this impeller (these systems require initial "priming," or filling with water) the natural properties of a vacuum keep the water flowing as needed.

Shallow well pumps range in price from around two hundred on the lower end, to around four hundred for more powerful models; so all units are relatively affordable, especially given the critical function they perform. First and foremost in your decision making process must be a consideration of the volume of water your property needs. For a single family residence, most lower-priced pumps will suffice. For a property needing water for the home and for an irrigation system that will serve gardens or even fields of edibles, more water -- thus a more powerful pump -- must be extracted.

Next consider the power source to which your shallow well pump will connect. Most units can work with the standard 120 volt electrical outlets found in most American homes; some shallow well pumps can also be adjusted to connect with the unique power supply arrangements of a property, such as for homes powered by solar panels, generators, or other setups.

Finally, consider the elements of the area in which your pump will run. If dust and debris are common around your property, make sure to find a unit with a dust shield. If the pump is likely to see heavy use, consider a unit with thermal overload protection. These and other considerations will help you establish the ideal well for your specific needs.

Shallow Well Pump Use And Maintenance

Keeping your property's well in good working order isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. If your well uses a well screen, make sure to periodically inspect and clean it so you ensure continual consistence in water flow volume. Also check any grouted areas from time to time, as cracks can waste water and compromise well function.

Try to keep organic materials, ranging from mulch to compost to leaves, away from the well as much as possible, as they increase the potential for debris in the system. This is also true for hazardous materials like paint or fuel. Watch for any changes in water appearance, taste, or smell, as these and other signs may indicate a potentially dangerous issue.

And think beyond the well itself: while initial well installation is limited by setbacks such as a 10 foot distance from electric lines, a 50 foot distance from grave sites, and a 75 foot setback from septic pits, also remember where your well is when you install other elements such as these. Just as you can't safely sink a well right next to a gas line, you can't later run a gas line right next to your well.

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Last updated on April 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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