A Guide to Deep Well Pumps
If you're looking for an alternative to expensive municipal water bills, look no further than your neighborhood well. With the installation of a deep well pump, you can bring water up from below your home and have it delivered to your hydrants. The process is simple enough when using a manual pump, but powered deep well pumps make the job even simpler.
Without a doubt, powering a well has its benefits. But how do they work? How much does one cost? What part does each component play? How do you know when one needs to be replaced or repaired? This comprehensive guide will answer all of these questions and more.
The Basic Parts of a Deep Well Pump
Every deep well pump is made up of three main components: the casing, the standpipe, and the submersible motor. Each plays an important part in the pumping process.
Components of a Deep Well Pump
- The casing is the primary component of a deep well pump; it's what everything else attaches to and through which water flows. It's cylindrical, typically made of metal or plastic, and must be strongly anchored in the ground. The casing includes an upper section that sits just below the well's surface and a lower section, which is where it attaches to the standpipe.
- The standpipe - as its name suggests, the standpipe is a hollow pipe that stands vertically next to or inside of the deep well pump's casing. It's the simplest component to install, acting simply as a pathway for water.
- The submersible motor - This part is located at the top of the casing and includes an electric motor that spins a propeller inside of its chamber. This, in turn, draws up well water through the opening near its base and pushes it towards the top of the pump, where it flows into the standpipe and then up to your home or business.
- The water source - once you've assembled all three parts—casing, standpipe, and submersible motor—you'll need to decide on the water source. There are two types of wells to choose from—shallow and deep. Shallow wells are dug down about 20 feet, while deep wells must be at least 100-feet in-depth to operate properly. Because the portion of a well that's allowed to remain above ground shrinks with each additional foot of depth, it's important to understand how this affects your pump's performance.
How To use a Deep Well Pump
Now that you've secured the casing, standpipe, and submersible motor, it's time to attach them and prepare for installation. The first step is attaching the submersible motor to the top of the deep well pump's lower section. Next, you pour around 40 lbs of gravel into the well's casing. As it settles from the bottom up, take care to ensure that your standpipe sits about two feet underwater and is centered in the middle of the gravel pile.
The gravel itself serves a few functions—it secures both standpipe and pumps in place, it allows the pump to move freely and adds stability in case of an earthquake or other movement.
At this point, you're ready to attach your garden hose to the submersible pump's nozzle. All that's left is connecting the power cord to an electrical outlet, turning on the pump, and watching it work its magic.
For most pumps, all you need to do is plug them in and turn them on. For higher horsepower pumps (above 1/2 HP) you may also need to adjust the center-of-gravity switch inside of the casing if the unit appears to be leaning in either direction.
In addition to standard maintenance, there's much you can do now to prepare your pump for use many years down the line. One proactive measure is purchasing an extended warranty. If you do decide to sell your deep well pump after it's been in service for some time, a longer warranty can increase its resale value.
In addition, as water levels rise and fall with the seasons, take care to remove any debris from around the outside of your casing so that it doesn't enter through the opening near the pump's base. Be aware of extreme weather conditions, which can affect the pump in profound ways—the freeze-thaw cycle in winter and periods of heavy rainfall are especially taxing on your well pump.
Plenty of homeowners with shallow wells successfully use them year-round. Remember that only deep wells need to be shut off during seasons when water levels are lowest.
But with proper care, a deep well pump will serve you faithfully every day of the year for many years to come.
How to install a Deep Well Pump
No doubt, the companies selling these products should be able to give you all the information you need. Do you know the difference between a submersible pump and a jet pump? Are you going to need any additional tools to get everything up and running? Are you going to be adding a float switch? Are you going to need help getting everything installed? The installation steps for deep well pumps are indeed rather involved, so be sure you know what you're doing.
Types of Deep Well Pumps
There are three types of deep well pumps: submersible, jet, and surface well. A submersible pump is the most commonly used type, as it can be effectively installed in a wide variety of wells.
Submersible pumps are the most common type of deep well pump, in terms of both sales and applications. They can be fitted to a wide range of wells, including cased, open-bore, and many others.
These pumps use a high-speed jet of water to eject water from the well. They can be used in wells with relatively low yields, but require an air space of at least 10 feet below the pump's opening for them to work properly.
Surface-mounted pumps are the least common type, but they're also one of the most effective types of deep wells. They require a small homebuilt structure to be mounted above the well itself, which is beneficial in areas where space is at a premium.
The majority of wells are between 50 and 200 feet deep, but there are exceptions to every rule. If you live in an area where the well is too shallow to work for your purposes, don't be discouraged—a pump isn't the only alternative for bringing water up from underground.
A cistern can store surface runoff, which you can use to irrigate outdoor plants and refill the well if its level drops too low—just be sure that you have a proper storage container. The important thing is not to let your well run dry for any length of time, or else it may never recover.
In cases where the water table is too high for surface pump installation, you can opt instead to draw water from an underground source (e.g., a spring or aquifer) through a pipe that's accessible at the earth's surface.
You'll also want to consult with your local health department before drilling a new well, as there may be certain restrictions on where and how deep you can drill.
Benefits from Deep Well Pumps
The main benefit to deep well pumps is that they are efficient, working without electricity. They can be used in homes and commercial buildings for water sources including wells and reservoirs at higher elevations. While traditional pumps need an electrical source (power grid or generator) to run, deep well pumps rely on gravity to pump water from any source with high-level pressure.
How to Maintain and Repair Your Deep Well Pump
No matter how well your pump works when it's installed, there are certain things you can do to keep it in the best condition possible.
If you have a submersible pump, you should clean its water intake filter regularly so that debris doesn't build up inside the unit. Most filters are accessible by unscrewing the round cap located on top of the pump.
If you're having trouble with water flow, check to make sure that your garden hose is properly connected. Never run your pump without a hose attached as it can damage the impeller and motor. If you notice any unusual vibrations or noise coming from the pump, unplug it immediately to avoid further damage—it may be time to get a new one.
If you suspect that your pump is about to give out, it's best not to wait until it stops working altogether. It might be more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a new well pump instead of paying for expensive repair costs.
Helpful Tips for Using Deep Well Pumps
Deep wells pumps are those types of water pumps that can be used in the depth of 100 feet and even more without any problem. Mainly this kind of pump finds its usage for domestic purposes like gardens, swimming pools, etc. However, it's not possible to maintain very low profiles daily hence there is a need for having some tools for maintaining these at an easy level. A few of the tips are given below:
1) Oil is inside in pump's motor so it will be better to have that checked once per month for oil leakage or any other problems. If everything is found okay then you can continue with your work otherwise there might be something wrong and should go for servicing.
2) Not only the motor but you should also check for oil in the gearbox of deep wells pumps. If that is leaked then a proper remedy must be done to get rid of any future problems. It's better to have these checked once per half-year or annually based on your usage of the pump.
4) Make sure all the gears are well connected and there is no need for tightening them again and again. This might damage your pump in a very bad condition which can affect further performance as well.
5) The best thing is to have only those chemicals that are approved as per standards to ensure proper water quality as it will be used for daily use. In case if you are not aware of any such brands, consult with your pump dealer who will provide you with the right suggestion in this regard.
6) Always buy the best quality deep wells pumps instead of compromising on its standards. Low cost might be a very tempting option but it does not last long and you end up buying that same pump after a few months or years.
7) If you want to save your pump from corrosion then always use G.I or SS material for it which is a kind of protective coating that ensures safety in long run. In addition to that make sure the process of galvanizing is done properly to ensure rust-free life.
8) Always keep your pumps away from direct sunlight as it might cause damages at a faster rate. If you cannot avoid that, make sure there is a proper coating on your pump and no sun rays can reach directly to its surface.
9) Never think of reducing the size of deep wells pumps for domestic purposes if you are using more than 3 horsepower pumps and also try to ensure the flow of water is more than 10L/second. In case if you want to save some bucks on a pump then it's better to have a new one.
10) Last but not least make sure your pump is installed at the proper height to ensure free air passing inside which helps in the long run. If there are chances of any water leakage then you will have to face the problem of the pump motor getting rusted. So keep these points in mind for better performance of deep wells pumps.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Deep Well Pump?
Many of the questions we get about our water wells and pumps come from people who would like to know how long does deep well pump lasts. Perhaps, the most frequent question they ask is if their deep well pump will last a minimum of 12 years.
Well, there's no general rule that says it will or won't. However, most deep well pumps installed in homes today have a life span between 20 and 40 years. Hence, most people who ask this question are secretly asking how long does deep well pump last.
To answer this question, not only do you need to know the kind of water well you have, but also how old it is and how often it's used. If your home has a shallow-well type that utilizes groundwater, then your pump lasts only for about six years on average. So if it's been seven years, then your only option is to look for a new water well system.
When it comes to deep wells or those that tap into aquifers or underground rivers – the life of the pump varies from one place to another – and usually between 20 and 40 years. In general, high-quality pumps last longer than those with lower quality.
Water well pumps with very high quality can last up to 50 years, but those that are just mediocre only last half as long as that – which is still an average of 20 years. Also, if your home uses the water pump more often than others do, then expect it to correspondingly wear out faster.
Well pumps are not designed to run continuously so you should expect periods where the pump is not running.
The higher the level of water in the well, the more frequently the pump will have to run. If you have a deep well with water levels that are often near or below your equipment's minimum possible operating depth, your equipment is designed to operate for shorter periods and is intended to operate intermittently. In contrast, if you have a shallow well with water levels that are sometimes near the top of your equipment's minimum possible operating depth, your equipment might be designed to operate for longer periods and is intended to operate continuously.
If you have a continuous duty pump and the pump must run frequently, it might indicate:
1) The water level in your well is too low. Why is it too low? Does your well need to be deepened or do you have a leak that needs repair?
2) Your equipment's minimum possible operating depth is set incorrectly. Has the pump run continuously recently due to unusually high water levels in the well? If so, your equipment was running in an extremely shallow setting. If you raise the minimum possible operating depth setting and the pump only runs occasionally, it indicates that your well water level is now too high. The current water level in your well might be higher than usual due to a series of heavy rain events or other temporary conditions that drawdown local well levels.
3) You are pumping into a pressurized system. This is most common with deep wells that pump into pressurized systems holding water at the top of the well casing, or for shallow wells that are pumped into pressurized storage tanks - sometimes referred to as cisterns. (As a rule of thumb, if you can hear your pump running when standing near your well, it's likely pumping into a pressurized system.) If the well is pumped into a pressurized storage tank, your equipment's minimum possible operating depth will be set too high. Decrease the minimum possible operating depth setting so the pump runs more often.