Wells require pumps to get water from your well into your home. There are two types of pumps used for residential wells; these are jet pumps and submersible pumps. The major difference between the two is that jet pumps stay above ground while submersible pumps are submerged.
Throughout this guide, you’ll learn about both types of pumps, how they work, which creates the best water pressure, and how to get a pump installed in your well. Here’s what you need to know about submersible pumps vs. jet pumps.
What is a Submersible Pump?
Submersible pumps need to be submerged in the well water. It includes a sealed motor pump which is the part that goes underwater. The power for the motor is located above the well.
Submersible pumps use impellers, like the jet pump, to push water into the pipes in your home. This is controlled by a pressure switch. Submersible pumps use a pitless adapter to connect the well pump discharge to the pipe entering the house.
It’s worth noting that more households are using submersible pumps now over jet pumps. While jet pumps were a functional choice during their peak, they’re an older and somewhat outdated technology now. Submersible pumps are newer and more practical in modern wells.
What is a Jet Pump?
Jet pumps need to be full of water to work. They use suction to draw water up from the well below. They are mounted above rather than inside the well. An impeller or centrifugal pump is used to draw the water up by making pressure. It pushes water through a small hole in the impeller housing.
A vacuum is created as the water exits the jet, creating the water pressure you feel in your home when you turn on the shower. Jet pumps use a one-way check valve. This keeps water moving in one direction.
Best Water Pressure Recommendations
For a full-sized well for a home, a submersible pump is always the optimal choice for water pressure. Jet pumps, like storage tanks, are a fine choice for small water supplies. A submersible pump works best for daily use, like showering, washing dishes and laundry, and watering the grass.
Submersible pumps move water about 30% faster than a jet pump. This intensified pressure is part of what makes submersible pumps more energy efficient. Jet pumps work harder to pump water at a reduced pressure. Submersible pumps use less energy to reach maximum pressure. This is reflected in your energy bill.
Submersible pumps work best at low depths. The deeper it can be placed in your well, the more pressure it can create. They will continue to work as long as they’re fully submerged in water. On the other hand, if you have a particularly shallow well, a jet pump might be useful.
Downsides of a Jet Pump
Jet pumps are older and tend to underperform compared to submersible pumps. They are especially inefficient in terms of energy expenditure. You’ll notice a worthwhile decrease in your energy bill with a submersible pump.
Jet pumps are also more susceptible to freezing in the winter. The pumps are constantly full of water and are located above ground, keeping them cold enough to freeze. Frozen jet pumps often need to be repaired or replaced because of damage to the motor.
Over time jet pumps wear out. Often, homeowners with jet pumps lose water pressure gradually. This could be due to many causes, including a leak or obstruction.
How Do I Choose?
Usually, the answer is simple. Submersible pumps are better suited for most wells. If you’re having problems deciding if it’s time to swap out your jet pump for an updated model, speak to a professional.
Experienced professionals in the pump industry understand the fine points of wells, water pressure, and pumps. They can help you find the right pump for your well based on well location, depth, and use.
In rare cases, jet pumps are suitable for residential wells. Especially if the well is especially shallow or used as a backup water source, talking to a pro will help you identify these rare cases. Chances are, even if your well is shallow, there’s an optimal solution in a newer model of the pump to work with your well’s shortcomings.
Contact Blue Heron Today
If you live in Buck’s County or surrounding areas and want to know more about upgrading your jet pump to a submersible pump, we can help. Call Blue Heron today to speak to our experienced professionals.