7 Best Shallow Well Pumps in 2021 [An Essential Guide for a Perfect Purchase]

Are you looking for a permanent solution to the everyday troubles that you have to face due to running out of water? Are you still wondering how the neighbors manage to keep their taps running even when you cannot? Well, the answer might be as simple as a water pump. Shallow water pumps with their unique designs come within an affordable range and can be the perfect solution you are looking for. However, the world of shallow well pumps can be a confounding place to dwell in. This guide will certainly give you the required insight to land up with a perfect purchase.

Shallow Well Pumps

There are a variety of well pumps that might pose as best suited for you. However, there are some crucial features that you should consider before going in for a purchase. Buyers must go through the basics of a shallow water pump and how it functions. Moreover, the material with which the pump is made, availability of a pressure switch, weight of the jet pump, and other crucial features will also have to be considered so that the buyer gets a fair deal.

From explaining the fundamental specifications of the different shallow well pumps to describing their prerequisites in a detailed manner, this guide answers it all. It aims to give you clarity on what not to buy and eventually arrive at your perfect purchase. So go through the guide to make your shallow well pump buying experience smooth and easy.

7 Best Shallow Well Pumps in 2021

What are the different types of Well Pumps?

Well pumps are one of the best-discovered solutions for potable water. The mechanism that these water pumps follow is that they make use of suction and pressure to extract water from the underground water table. Shallow well pumps or jet pumps can be used for a variety of uses ranging from gardening to supplying water for the entire house. The type of well pump needed by the buyer depends solely upon the requirement for which he is getting it. For instance, a house comprising of two bathrooms and three bedrooms will roughly make use of water at a rate of 14 gallons per minute. Thus, the selected pump system should come with a storage unit and a motor that can operate smoothly with the maximum amount of water.

Now, let us get an overview of the broad categories of well pumps. There are three types of well pumps which are as follows:

1. Centrifugal pump

A centrifugal pump has an impeller installed in its system which makes use of the suction and pressure mechanism to pump water out at an enhanced flow rate and high pressure.

2. Submersible pump

As the name suggests, a submersible pump is submerged in water with a sealed motor. This type of pump can lift the water to increased heights as it does not depend on atmospheric pressure for the process and can also pump large volumes of water.

3. Jet pumps

These are the most commonly used pump. Jet pumps are a better version of the centrifugal pump as it comes with more than one impeller and an added feature of a jet ejector. Jet pumps can be further divided into two types namely the shallow well pumps and the deep well pumps. The shallow well pumps can draw water from a well that is less than 25 feet deep. However, deep well jet pumps can extract water from a depth ranging from 90 to 300 feet.

Which type of Water Pump is the right choice for you?

Centrifugal pumps are small and lightweight but they are not able to pump enough water. Moreover, they run on a single impeller which puts much pressure on it and can malfunction easily. Submersible pumps on the other hand are always exposed to the risk that the seal will eventually be affected by corrosion and rust which will ultimately let the water seep in and make the motor useless.

Thus jet pumps have been the most popular choice for household use. The buyer has to roughly measure the depth of the well or the height of the water table to choose between a shallow well pump or a deep well pump. However, it will be considered a rare occurrence if the water table is more than 25 feet deep. In case you have a fluctuating water table a convertible jet pump might come in handy because these jet pumps can be used for both deep and shallow wells.

Shallow Well Pump – Everything you need to know

A shallow well pump or a jet pump is usually fixed on the surface and is used for supplying water by transporting it over a distance to the household. The shallow well jet pump makes use of the suction mechanism to draw water from the well or underground water table. The electric motor of the pump runs the impeller which steers the water through the jet ejector fixed in the housing of the jet pump.

The jet ejector increases the velocity of the moving water which results in the formation of a partial vacuum. This partial vacuum sucks the remaining water from the water table. The Venturi tube affixed at the back of the jet ejector increases the water pressure. This water pressure is used to pump the water into the household plumbing system.

A shallow well pump makes use of water to draw water from the well. Therefore, it should be loaded with water beforehand. Moreover, buyers might wonder that once the pump is switched off whether the water extracted from the well goes back down into the water table or not? Well, the answer is no because the shallow well jet pump comes with a unidirectional valve that restricts the water from flowing back down.

Now, that you know how a shallow well or a jet pump works, let us dive into the key features that should be considered before selecting an ideal shallow well pump.

What are the advantages of using a shallow well jet pump?

  • Shallow well pumps can be used for a variety of purposes like gardening, supplying water for your sprinklers, industrial facilities and even running your household plumbing system.
  • A shallow well pump becomes extremely useful in terms of location because it is surface mounted and can be placed anywhere according to the convenience of the buyer irrespective of the location of the well.
  • Moreover, the jet pumps due to their lightweight and portable nature can be easily accessed and moved around.
  • A shallow well pump can also be adjusted according to the depth of the water table
  • Shallow well pumps come within a range of affordable prices and are easily available in the market

How to pick the best shallow well pump?

There are several crucial features that you have to think about before making a purchase. It is always advisable to get a detailed overview of the different features that these shallow well pumps come with to understand which would be the best suitable option for you.

pick the best shallow well pump

We have compiled a list of imperative pointers that a buyer must go through before making the final decision.

1. Depth Determination

The first step in selecting the best shallow well pump is determining the depth of the well or the water table around your house. An easy way to find out about the depth of the water table is by checking the well report provided by the well driller. If the well is less than 25 feet deep then a shallow well pump might be used. However, if the depth of the well is more than 25 feet then a deep well pump has to be used.

BurCam 506547SS SW Stainless Steel Jet Pump/Tank, Ml25H 3/4 hp, 115V/230V

The best jet pump for shallow wells is one having a single drop jet pump system. These pumps come in with a check valve that stops the water from flowing back down. It follows simple mechanics which makes them less prone to a breakdown. The burcam 506547ss with a maximum flow rate of 16 gallons per minute seems to be a perfect fit for a single drop jet pump system. It is also considered one of the best shallow well pumps.

However, if the water table is more than 25 feet deep then a double drop jet pump system has to be installed.

2. Housing Material

There is a range of materials that are used to make the housing of a shallow well pump. The buyer must be cautious as different housing materials might become useful in different situations. Stainless steel, cast iron, and plastic are some of the most common housing materials used. One of the most affordable housing materials among the above mentioned is plastic. However, the durability of plastic is less than any other material. A buyer might go for plastic as the housing material because it is much less expensive but no doubt it will require replacement sooner than a model made up of stainless steel or cast iron.

Stainless steel is the most popular option as a housing material. This is because it comes within an affordable range and is also not exposed to the risk of rust and corrosion. The burcam 506547ss needs to be mentioned here again. This shallow well pump is a stainless steel model with a 3/4 HP and 115/230 volt seems like the right choice for a buyer with an optimal budget.

Lastly, the cast iron build models are the most expensive and has the highest durability. A cast-iron build shallow well pump might be apparently look like one of the most expensive shallow well pumps but it certainly compensates for the cost in the long run. However, wells that have a significant amount of sand or sediment in their construction shall eventually lead to rust and corrosion even of the cast housing. So, in such cases, a thermoplastic housing is recommended to make the pump corrosion resistant.

Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump for Wells up to 25 ft, 9.1 x 17.8 x 9.1 inches

One of the best examples of the shallow well pump with a cast iron casing is the Red Lion RJS 100. The Red RJS 100 is a sturdy cast iron build model with a maximum flow rate of 23 GPM. It is one of the best shallow well pumps available in the market.

3. Pressure Switch

Lanchez 1.6 HP Shallow Well Pump with Pressure Tank 1030GPH Stainless Steel Jet Pump Automatic Booster System

A pressure switch is another considerable factor that the buyer should understand before going in for the purchase. In a shallow well pump, a pressure switch is installed to measure the water pressure in the storage unit. When the water pressure in the storage unit recedes to a certain level the switch is turned on automatically. When the pressure reaches a certain scale the pressure switch turns off itself. The average pressure for most household storage systems falls between 40 and 50 psi. In an industry setting the water pressure might vary between 30 to 50 psi.

For instance, The Lanchez 1.6 HP Shallow Well Pump with a stainless steel body looks like the perfect model with a pressure switch.

4. Storage Tank

When buying a shallow well pump buyers should also keep in mind that one of the prerequisites of a shallow pump is a pressurized tank. The pump extracts water from the well and transports it into the storage tank till the pump pressure reaches a maximum of 50 psi. A pressure tank is an essential unit as it maintains the required pressure for the entire plumbing system. Shallow well pumps come with two types of pressure tanks – pre-charged storage tank and Air-to-water tank.

A pre-charged pressure tank incorporates a bladder. When the bladder is filled with water, the air surrounding it gets compressed. The mechanism with which the pre-charged pressure tank works is that once a faucet is opened, the air around the bladder gets compressed automatically creating the required pressure.

Wayne SWS50-8.5FX, 59501-WYN2, 1/2 HP Pre-Charged Well Air Tank System, Black

The air-to-water tanks unlike the pre-charged tanks do not come with a bladder. In the case of an air-to-water tank, the pump ejects water in the storage tank which results in compressing the air inside it which in turn results in the creation of maximum pressure which is needed to pump water through a tap. For instance, the Wayne sws50 looks like a perfect example of an air-to-water tank. The Wayne sws50 is a shallow well pump that has an air tank with a 1/2 hp motor and can supply 8.5 gallons per minute.

The piping of a shallow well pump should also take into consideration. Some of the well-known materials that should be used for piping are plastic that might be rigid or flexible and copper.

5. Booster Pump

BACOENG Auto ON/OFF Stainless Steel Pressure Booster Pump w/ Smart Controller for Tankless Water Supply Pressurization

A booster pump is one of the unique features of a shallow well pump. Some buyers might decide on purchasing a shallow well jet pump for the pressure with which the local municipal body pumps water to the household plumbing system is very low. A booster pump is a perfect solution to such a problem. The pump helps to enhance the pressure and drive it to the household plumbing system. With these pumps extracting water from a deep well with maximum pressure also becomes easy. Moreover, booster pumps can also be used for a variety of purposes like irrigation or cleaning the swimming pool. The BACOENG Stainless Steel Pump is a perfect example of a booster pump with a maximum flow rate of 700 gallons per hour.

6. Gallons per minute

Another considerable factor is the amount of water that a shallow well pump should deliver in terms of gallons of water per minute. This essentially depends on the size of the pump. In case a shallow well pump is used to transport water to the plumbing system then it should supply seven gallons of water per minute.

7. Horsepower

BURCAM 506227P 3/4 HP Noryl Shallow Well Jet Pump System

The shallow well pump runs on horsepower. There are different horsepower models like 1/2 hp, 3/4 hp, and 1 hp. A 1/2 hp motor supplies around 960 gallons per hour. A normal household can run on a water supply of seven gallons of water per minute.

The BURCAM 506227P is a stainless steel shallow well pump that comes with a corrosion-resistant body and a 3/4 hp motor. It can supply around 850 gallons per hour.

8. Overload Protection

Goulds Pump J5S Shallow Well Jet Pump, 115/230 volt, 1/2 hp

This is one of the features that all the best shallow well pumps comprise. Buyers should ensure that the shallow well pump that they go for has this feature in it. The overload protection feature ensures that the pump does not get overheated and damage the motor in turn. This feature becomes immensely helpful in case of a leak when the pressure does not reach a requisite of 50 psi and the pump continues to run which damages the motor. The overload protection feature immediately shuts the jet pumps once it gets overloaded thus protecting the motor.

Buyers can refer to the stainless steel Goulds Pump J5S Shallow Well Jet Pump for getting a better understanding of a shallow pump with the overload protection feature. It also has a dual voltage motor of 115/230 volt.

Ideal features to look out for in the Best Shallow Well Pumps

  • Pressure Tank – Buyers should be careful to ensure that the shallow well pump precludes a pressure tank in the system. Although the exclusion of a pressure tank subsequently reduces the price of shallow well pumps, the best shallow well pumps always come with a pressure tank. The maximum pressure that a good shallow well needs to run a household is 50 psi.
  • Horsepower – The horsepower on which the motor runs should be checked and accordingly the decision should be made to buy the best shallow well pumps.
  • Voltage consumption – The power consumption made by the motor should also be checked while buying the shallow well pump. Some shallow well pumps have dual voltage motors. This means that the motor can run on two different power grids. A common dual voltage rating might be 115/230 volts.
  • Pressure Switch – The pressure switch is another crucial feature that is present in all shallow well pumps.
  • Overload Protection – The buyer should also look out for this essential feature in the shallow well jet pump.
  • Maximum flow rate – With an optimum pressure of 50 psi, the buyer should also check the flow rate of the shallow well jet pump.

How long do shallow well pumps last?

The life expectancy of a shallow well jet pump depends on the material the pump and tank are made up of. For instance, if the pump and tank are made up of durable cast iron or stainless steel then the shallow water jet pump will remain corrosion resistant and will continue to function for quite a several years.

Moreover, if the pump is being run continuously through the day without any rest or being frequently switched on and off, this will lead to wear and tear and also excess heating up which will certainly reduce the life expectancy of the shallow well jet pump.

A shallow well jet pump that runs on a lower horsepower has to do more work in comparison to a higher horsepower shallow pump. Therefore, an optimal horsepower of 3/4 to 1 HP is recommended.

One of the major reasons behind the decrease in the life expectancy rate of the pump in the presence of sand and sediments in the well which eventually enters the shallow well jet pump and damages it. It is highly recommendable to make the well sediment-free.

Lastly, the buyer needs to make use of the shallow well jet pump according to its flow rate. This means that if the flow rate has a certain capacity then exceeding that capacity will affect the pump.

Taking into consideration all the above points if a shallow well pump is handled well then it might last for a good seven to ten years.


1. How to determine the size of the pump for purchase?

The horsepower of a pump determines the maximum flow rate that is the water it will be able to pump in terms of gallons per minute. A bigger sized pump comes with more horsepower. It is recommended to get a 3/4 to 1 HP shallow water pump for running a normal household plumbing system.

2. Can the height of the water table change?

Yes if water is extracted from an underground water table then the height of the same might change due to drought or the shallow pump might suck water at a lower rate in comparison to the water seeping further into a deeper water table. In such a case if the waterfalls below a depth of 25 feet then it will be difficult for the shallow well to extract water.

3. Can the pump be affected by freezing temperatures?

Yes, it is highly recommended that the water from the pump must be drained out and the pump must be protected against such temperatures.


This is precisely what a buyer should know before going in for the perfect purchase. The different elements of a shallow well pump and the essential features that make the best shallow well pump have been discussed. Buyers should be very mindful of the features and should check each one of them before buying the product. Above all, it should be factored in here that the life expectancy of a shallow well pump depends on the care with which it is handled. This article provides you with all the details about the do’s and dont’s of a shallow well pump. So, wishing you all the best. Happy purchasing!

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