Although wells can go deep into the ground, today we’re going to be looking at the best shallow well pumps. These models are built for systems around 25 feet or so, meaning that they are going to be more compact and user-friendly than those intended for deeper water.
If you’re new to shallow well pumps, we’ll also go over the top features to pay attention to when making your decision so that you know you’re getting the right model.
The Best Shallow Well Pumps
Red Lion 97080503 Shallow Well Jet Pump
Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump for Wells
Goulds J5S Shallow Well Jet Pump
WAYNE SWS75 Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
ECO-FLO Products EFSWJ7P Shallow Water Well Jet Pump
Review of the Best Shallow Well Pumps
1. Red Lion 97080503 Shallow Well Jet Pump
For the most part, when searching for the best shallow well pump, you can find models that are single units. However, if you want to minimize the wear and tear on the internal mechanics while also stabilizing the water pressure into your system, you may want to get a unit with a tank.
The Red Lion Jet Pump and tank is designed for homes that need pressurized water more reliably than standard jet pumps. However, the size of this tank is relatively small, meaning that it may still cycle often, depending on your water usage.
When talking about pressure, there is a 30/50 switch built in. If you’re not familiar with those numbers, they refer to the maximum and minimum pressure. When the unit falls below 30 psi, the pump turns on automatically to keep everything running smoothly.
Overall, this is a fantastic compact jet pump. We like the cast iron construction, and the inclusion of a pressure tank means that everything should last longer than other units. Nonetheless, it does come with a two-year limited warranty to provide you with peace of mind.
2. Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump for Wells
As we’ve seen, Red Lion is a brand that makes some of the best quality jet pumps for shallow wells. No matter which model you get, you know that it’s going to be built to last with cast iron components. Because jet pumps sit outside, having this rugged durability is much better overall.
While the outside is obvious, we should also mention that the internal workings are just as well designed. As with most jet pumps, this unit comes with an impeller and a diffuser. Diffusers are there to help make the water flow through more smoothly, making the machine more efficient and reducing wear and tear.
To make this pump even better, it uses glass-filled thermoplastic for both the impeller and the diffuser. Other manufacturers will use lesser-quality materials for these parts, which means that you have to get repairs more often. That’s not an issue with Red Lion.
Since this is designed for shallow wells, it can draw water from 25 feet or less. Also, it has a standard 30/50 pressure switch inside so that you can maintain the right psi when running water. The one-horsepower motor also delivers up to 23 gallons per minute, making it ideal for most cabins or rural homes. Best of all, it also has an automatic shutoff sensor so that you don’t waste water or energy. Wear and tear are reduced as well.
3. Goulds J5S Shallow Well Jet Pump
If the size of the pump matters to you, then you will love this compact design from Goulds. The J5S is one of the smaller shallow well pumps we’ve seen, making it an ideal choice for many homeowners.
When comparing power, however, this unit has a 1/2 horsepower motor and operates at 3500 rpm, so don’t let its size fool you into thinking it doesn’t have the same capacity as other pumps.
Also, this model is still made of cast iron for durability, which is covered in a protective coating to ensure that it will last even longer.
One thing that we like about this pump is that it can re-prime itself. Although you will have to fill the unit with water initially, it can get back to normal if air gets into the system. This will save you a lot of hassle of having to go out and check the pump because the water level was too low.
To make the pump even more reliable, it comes with an overload sensor and automatic reset. Thus, if something does happen, it won’t damage the internal components, and it will come back to life on its own.
4. WAYNE SWS75 Cast Iron Shallow Well Jet Pump
When choosing the best shallow well pump, the flow rate is one of the most critical factors. Depending on your water usage needs, you may require something that can deliver a lot more than the competition.
Compared to the other pumps we’ve seen, this unit from Wayne has a much better flow rate than the rest.
It can deliver up to 510 gallons per hour - even at 50 psi. If you need less water pressure, you can get up to 840 GPM. Considering its overall size, this is impressive.
The other thing about the Wayne Shallow Well Jet Pump is that it can work with more standard voltage ratings. Usually, well pumps are set for either 115 or 230 volts, but this one works with either 120 or 240. In fact, it’s critical that you make sure your electric setup is at those levels because if you are operating with a 115/230 voltage system, it could cause sparks and cause the motor to shut off.
Overall, this is a high-efficiency jet pump that will work for most cabins and households. As with other units, it can draw from up to 25 feet down, and it’s made of heavy-duty cast iron. It also has a three-year limited warranty on parts.
5. ECO-FLO Products EFSWJ7P Shallow Water Well Jet Pump
As the name suggests, this next shallow well jet pump is designed to be both energy-efficient and eco-friendly. If you care about having a low-flow, high-pressure system for your house or cabin, then you might want to get this instead of other well pumps.
In this case, you can either get a plastic or a cast iron housing for this machine. Plastic models should be enclosed to withstand the elements, but if you choose a metal casing, it’ll be okay for the most part.
Being energy efficient, it still comes with a high-powered 3/4 horsepower motor. Also, all of the internal components are metal (stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron), so it’s built to last. It also comes with an overload sensor to protect against any electric problems.
How to Choose a Shallow Well Pump
For a well pump, the amount of horsepower you get can be a little misleading. For the most part, more HP means that the pump can deliver more water, but that’s not always the case. Overall, while you should pay attention to the horsepower rating, just remember that it’s not all that matters.
For shallow wells, you will need at least 1/2 HP, although you can go up to a full horsepower if necessary. We recommend 3/4 if you want more power without being too energy inefficient in the process. Otherwise, a 1/2 HP motor should be sufficient for most users.
As we’ve seen, not that many jet pumps come with a tank installed. However, they can offer some tangible benefits if you have space for them. If you use a pump house, you may not be able to fit a tank inside, but if your machine sits out in the elements, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Overall, pressure tanks are there to help keep the motor running smoothly. They also reduce the wear and tear it experiences because it enables the pump to cycle less frequently. Cycling is when the motor turns on and off, so the more it happens, the faster it wears out.
If you decide to get a pressure tank, size does matter. Depending on your home water usage, you may need something massive (like 40 gallons), but you can get away with 10 gallons or less if you are water efficient.
Just because you depend on a well doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all the comforts of indoor plumbing. When picking out the best shallow well pump, you want to pay attention to the flow rate. What you also have to look at is the water pressure for that rate.
As a rule, the higher the water pressure is (in PSI), the less you will get. For example, the pump may deliver 500 gallons per hour at 50 PSI, but then it will increase to 800 GPH when the pressure drops to 30.
There is no set minimum for flow rate, but it will affect how quickly the water level will drop in the well, so keep that in mind when making your final decision.
There are a lot of moving parts in a well pump, so you may choose to get one that has a lot of extra features. Here are some other elements to watch out for when making a comparison.
Material: for the most part, you want a cast iron pump. This material is built to withstand the elements, and it will last longer.
Connectors: make sure that the connections will fit with your pipes. Although you can get adapters, it’s better to secure the pump directly if possible.
Power Requirements: most well pumps can operate at either 115 or 230 volts. However, some units will use 120 and 240 volts. Make sure that you know your electricity output so that they are compatible. Otherwise, it could cause short-circuiting and damage the pump.
Priming: all well pumps require you to fill them with water before activating them. Some models have a dedicated input for this purpose, while others don’t. Also, some units may be able to refill themselves if air gets into the system. Otherwise, you will have to do so manually, which can be a hassle.
Overall, we like Red Lion Well Pumps better than any other brand. The construction, reliability, and efficiency of these pumps are perfect for most households. If you want to keep the machine in better working condition, we suggest getting the model with the pressure tank. However, the one-horsepower option is still rugged and can last for years without any problems.