Gone are the days of using a bucket and rope to retrieve water from a well. Today, you can make use of a well pump technology — submersible well pump, shallow well pump, or an above-ground well pump — to do it for you. 

In this article, we’ll explore the third type of well pump in detail. Also known as a jet pump, an above-ground well pump helps to draw groundwater into your home. That is to say, if you’re planning to have a well drilled or install a new pump, this type of well pump will help to provide water from nearby underground sources to your home. 

Keep in mind that while choosing between a shallow well pump, a submersible well pump, or an above-ground well pump, you need to look into factors such as the depth of the water of your well, the diameter of the well casing, and the amount of available water.

Different types of well pumps are designed for different requirements. An above ground well pump is generally the preferred choice of homeowners as it’s easier to install than a below-ground one. It’s best for houses that have shallow wells that run less than 75 feet deep.

Well pumps typically last between 8 to 15 years. Of course, it depends on the equipment type and model. And how you’ve maintained it over the years.

What is an above ground well pump?

water pump system

An above ground well pump is equipped with a suction pipe to draw water from the ground. It pulls water up through a nozzle by creating a vacuum. Deep-well jet pumps are usually quite powerful as a good amount of energy is needed to pull the water up. 

As the name suggests, an above ground pump is installed above a well. It’s placed either inside the house or in a separately built well house. 

Interestingly, it can be used for purposes other than supplying water to your home from wells and springs. You can unload barges, pump natural gas or oil, remove hazardous materials, or pump out wastewater from your yard.

How does an above ground well pump work?

An above ground well pump uses an electric motor and a suction pipe. It moves water from the underground reservoir into the plumbing system of your home. The best feature is that it maintains your water pressure.

A jet well pump is a lot like manual well pumps as opposed to submersible well pumps that use pressurized water to push water to the surface instead of suction. They fill the water through a single pipe into a pressure tank that then pumps the water into your house.

How to prime a well pump

Even the best well pumps need priming for them to work properly. Basically, priming a well pump means removing the air out before using it. This practice helps prevent damage from running a dry pump. While most submersible well pumps are self-priming and only require priming at the time of installation, non-submersible well pumps or above ground well pumps do need to be primed. Especially, after a power outage or other issues that may cause the pump to run dry. Fortunately, it only requires a bucket, a few tools, and a little time to prime a pump.

Advantages of a jet pump system

water pump checking

An above-ground well pump comes with many benefits. The inexpensive pump provides a steady water flow. Moreover, it can move water across a long distance. So even if your well is a little farther away from your house, it doesn’t pose a problem. Another plus point is that an above-ground well pump requires minimal maintenance.

Disadvantages of an above ground well pump

A jet pump needs to be primed in order to function properly. Moreover, it doesn’t provide instant water at the click of a button or a pressure switch. That is to say, the water has to be drawn up into the well first and then sent into the house. 

Keep in mind that the deeper the well, the less is the efficiency of a jet pump. Also, the presence of sediments, sand, debris, and plant matter can damage the workings of your pump’s motor. Another disadvantage of a shallow well jet pump is the loud noise it makes. 

Read more: Sump pump maintenance

How much does it cost to replace an above ground well pump?

The average cost of replacing a well pump is between $850 and $2,500. Keep in mind that the exact cost depends on the well size, type of pump it is, the pump size, additional materials used, and the pump installation. Replacing an above ground well pump is less expensive than replacing a deep well pump or a submersible pump.

Last thoughts

Over 15 million households in the United States still rely on the well system for their water supply. And, well pumps help to supply the power required to get this water to the inside of your home or water storage tank. Remember that a well pump provides your home with clean, safe water. So, choose wisely. 

Read more: What is a sump pump and why is it important?

Everything you need to know about an above ground well pump was last modified: October 14th, 2022 by Ramona Sinha
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I still use a well-pump and I agree with all its advantages! Thank you for sharing this. The disadvantages, however, don’t feel like a burden. Must be because I’ve gotten used to a well-pump system.