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Deep Well Submersible Pumps Quick Guide - Install, Replace, & Cost
How much does a well pump cost?
$100 - $10,000 - Most people living off a well do not need to spend 10 grand on a pump but spending only $100 for a well pump, seems like you might be coming back to this guide to see how to replace your well pump sooner than you would like. Like most things the cost usually corresponds to quality. But do you need a Rolls-Royce, most likely not? A regular car will do just fine. Some things to consider when it comes to the cost of a well pump are the materials. Is the discharge head; Cast iron, brass, or stainless steel? What are the impellers made out of; plastic/Noryl, or stainless steel? Is the casing of the pump stainless steel? Is it 304 or 201? The materials should dictate the price and quality. The last factor in determining the price is the horsepower and the size of the body pump(the top part of the pump that has the stages/ impellers) more impellers, mean more materials, which increases the price but also increases the Head/Lift.
Are you replacing a pump?
If you are replacing a pump, the easiest way to choose your replacement is to get the information from your old pump and try and match it up. (If it was working properly for you). Sometimes model numbers change but what the pump can do will not.
The first thing to figure out is what “Head” you need. How far down the well you are plus how far to your pressure tank or furthest sprinkler. Then determine what PSI you need. Convert PSI to foot head, then add that plus your actual head. An easier way to do it is to just figure out how many feet down you are in the well then get a pump that does double that.
How to pick the correct submersible well pump.
The trick for longevity with a submersible deep well pump is to try and have it operate at around 50%-75%. For example, you buy a brand-new car and the speedometer says the top speed is 140mph. If you go 140 every day, something is bound to go wrong with that car. But if you cruise at 60-70mph in that same car. It will easily last 100,000 miles with very little maintenance. It is similar logic with a well pump. If you need to put the pump at 200ft down the well, do not buy a pump that says 200ft max, because it will not work properly or for a long time. You want to buy a pump that says 300-400ft max so that it can work properly.
The next thing is determining the gallons per minute or flow rate. Most residential homes on a well do not need a high gallon-per-minute pump. If your pressure tank holds 30 gallons, it will typically want to refill at around half, so all you really need is to put 15 gallons in there. So if the pump gives you 20,15,10, 5, or even 1 gallon a minute, it is not a big deal. At most the pump is running for 15 minutes. But more than likely it is turning on and pumping for about 1-3 minutes. ( Well pumps can typically run for 6 hours continuously before needing a 1 hour rest period) (Well pumps are also not meant to turn on more than 5-6 times per hour)
So what GPM do you actually need?
The best way is to figure out your static water level. (the distance from the top of the well to where the water comes up to or starts. Then figure out how deep your well is. You take those numbers and minus/subtract them. That is how many feet of water you have. For a 4-inch casing, every foot is 1 gallon (easy math). For a 6-inch casing, every foot is 1.5 gallons. For instance, if you have a 100-foot well, you determine your static water level is 10 feet. That means you have 90 feet of water, or at minimum 90 gallons of water just sitting there. You can comfortably put the pump at 80 or 90 feet. ( Submersible well pump rule of thumb, is to be at least 10 feet off the bottom). So you put the pump at 80 feet, you have 70 gallons of water sitting on top of the pump and you only need to put out 15 gallons at a time. You are good with pretty much any GPM, keeping in mind that the head of the pump is at least 120 ft. And also that your well refills.
Submersible well pump installation.
Keep in mind this is a quick guide.
Before you start, you will need a well pump, submersible wire (2 wire + ground), or (3 wire+ ground, with a control box) depending on which pump and wire you have, pipe to connect from the pump all the way to your tank, a check valve to add in the first piece of pipe right above the pump, nylon rope or steel cable to attach to the pump to lower it down the well and/or to bring the pump back up, then anchored at the wellhead, underwater splice kit, (optional torque arrestor). Then depending on your personal setup, a pitless adapter, pressure tank, pressure, switch, and cable ties or tape.
You should always test all submersible deep well pumps above ground before dropping them down the well.
You want to splice your roll of wire to the pump's wires.
Attach the nipple and/or adapter to the pump's discharge. Attach the first piece of pipe and external check valve. And tie a nylon rope to the hooks at the head of the pump.
Start lowering the pump down the well, attaching 10-20 foot sections of pipe as you go.
Keep repeating this process until you hit your predetermined spot of how far down you want to set the pump.
Double-check all above-ground pipes are connected to the tank. Then fire up the pump.
Water should begin to flow within a few seconds. Sometimes you might need to override the pressure switch to start the pump the first time since the tank is empty. But after that, the pressure switch will regulate and turn the pump on and off for you.
Any questions, concerns, or clarity, please reach out to us.
Disclaimer: This is a quick guide and quick overview of how to buy, replace, or instaklll a well pump.