Master List of the Best Submersible Well Pumps Experts Trust

Jeremiah Castelo Well Water 2 Comments

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The best submersible well pumps for residential use have precision-molded impellers housed in a stainless-steel casing and come with a 1/2, 3/4, or 1 HP motor. Some of the top brands are Grundfos, Burcam, Goulds, and Flotec.

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The submersible well pump is the heart of any modern well water system.

Well owners know, a good submersible well pump can be left unattended and out of sight, and provide the entire household with reliable running water for 20+ years.

On the flip side, a poorly chosen or improperly sized pump can cause hours of maintenance and cost hundreds of dollars in repairs.

But how does one go about selecting the best submersible pump for their particular application?

Factors such as sizing, voltage, horsepower, and flow rate all play an important role.

This article breaks down all the major factors that you'd need to be aware of before selecting the best type and brand for your household.


This article will discuss the following:

  • A review of the best submersible well pump manufacturers and where to buy them
  • How to correctly size a pump and choose the best one for your system
  • The mechanics behind how a submersible pump works
  • Benefits to using a submersible pump vs. a jet pump
  • Troubleshooting tips





Editor's Choice for Best Submersible Pump Brand



  • 1/2 HP
  • 2-Wire
The FP-2212 is an energy efficient, economic, and very reliable submersible pump for residential well use.

View Price

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Model Specs Vendor

Ace - Ace Submersible Pump

CountyLine
3/4 HP
2 Wire

ECO-Flo submersible pump

Eco-Flo
1/2 HP
2 Wire

Red Lion Submersibe Pump

Red Lion
1/2 HP
2 Wire

zoro.com

Dayton
1/2 HP
2 Wire

zoro.com

Flint and Walling Submersible Pump

Flint and Walling
1/2 HP
2 Wire

zoro.com

Burcam Submersible Pump

Burcam
1/2 HP
3-Wire

amazon logo

Grundfos Submersibe Pump

Grundfos
3/4 HP
2-Wire

amazon logo

Goulds Submersible Pump

Goulds
1 HP
3-Wire

amazon logo

Franklin Submersible Pump

Franklin
1 HP
3-Wire

amazon logo






Because submersible pumps are working to provide water from a distance sometimes several hundreds of feet underneath the home, it is imperative that the pump be reliable, efficient, and long-lasting.

The brands we've reviewed are experts in the water well pumping industry and are trusted by professional well drillers, contractors, and well owners alike.

Important: Be sure to size your water system before purchasing a submersible pump

All water pumps work best when sized to a particular water system. Your water well combined with your home's plumbing system will have its own specific requirements and therefore the correct pump will be needed to meet those requirements.

Each pump manufacturer will have specific ratings for GPM and PSI, but keep in mind that the pump will only perform at these ratings when the right conditions are met. If a pump is mismatched for a water system, the pump can either underperform or overperform. The result may be poor water flow or worse, long-term damage.

Learn the basics of pump sizing before selecting a pump.







Our Top Choice





  • 1/2 HP
  • 2-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel

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Flotec remains a leader in residential water products for over 30 years.

Their brand covers a wide variety of water pumps for multiple purposes including wells, water storage and movement, pressure tanks, and pressure boosters. Flotec is a trusted American brand in home improvement due to its manufacturing quality and customer service.

The FP-2212 is an energy-efficient, economic, and very reliable submersible pump for residential well use. At ½ HP, it pumps at depths of up to 150 ft and operates at 230 volts.

Its corrosion-resistant, stainless steel housing keeps it well protected and also has a floating stack design for sand resistance and reduced sand locking.











  • 3/4 HP
  • 2-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Maximum Depth to Water: 200 ft.

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CountyLine is Tractor Supply’s premier well pump brand of high quality, competitively priced irrigation products.

CountyLine submersible well pumps are well-designed, well-built, superior-performing pumps encased in heavy-duty stainless steel with proven floating stack impeller design for sand resistance and reduced sand locking.

All CountyLine pumps come with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.













  • 230 Volt
  • 1 HP
  • Stainless Steel
  • 3-wire
  • 2 Year Warranty

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ECO-FLO is pump manufacturer from Ashland, OH dedicated to providing environmentally-conscious products for the modern household. Their submersible pump features a 1-1/4 in. FNPT discharge connection and includes a built-in check valve that provides smooth water passage for maximum efficiency.

It contains precision-molded impellers and diffusers housed in a precision-ground stainless steel pump shaft for exact bearing fit and straightness.




More Pumps by ECO-Flo:










  • 1/2 HP
  • 2-Wire
  • 115 Volt
  • Stainless Steel

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We've selected the submersible pumps by Red Lion as our top choice because of their build quality and durability, customer support, and name brand trust among well owners. 

Red Lion has been a trusted company in the well water industry for generations. Founded in 1935, Red Lion has recently merged with Little Giant resulting in a submersible pump product line based on extensive research and experience. Along with innovative submersible pump design, Red Line boasts high-quality customer service for all of their products.

The RL12G05-2W1V Submersible Pump is ideal for rural homes and farms with 4" diameter drilled wells. It features a built in check-valve to prevent backflow and suction screen to protect the motor. This 2-wire pump houses all of the components safely in a stainless-steel case.













  • 1/2 HP
  • 2-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel

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Dayton is an American manufacturing company that produces a large catalog of high-quality industrial and residential machines including water pumps, motors, filters, and a range of parts and accessories. Dayton’s submersible pump line sets a standard for residential deep well pumps for their reliability and build quality.

The ½ HP submersible pump for residential wells is made of stainless steel and has a max operating temperature of 86 degrees F. With these settings, this pump can provide reliable, potable water access for a small family.




More Pumps by Dayton:









  • 1 HP
  • 3-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel

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Flint and Walling is an American company based out Kendallville, Indiana that has been making water pumps since 1866. Starting out as a manufacturer of hand-operated water pumps, Flint and Walling has grown into a producer of high-quality submersible pumps, jet pumps, and pressure boosters for the home and farm industries.

The 1 HP, 3-wire submersible well pump is made of stainless steel and is a quality-built well pump for home application. It works at tank pressures of 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 PSI and has a max operating temperature of 86 degrees F.













  • 3/4 HP
  • 2-Wire
  • 240 Volt
  • Stainless Steel
  • 3" Diameter

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Grundfos is a global leader and industry standard not only submersible well pumping, but in world water development. They focus on innovation and sustainability in helping the water industry and in combating the world's water problems.

Grundfos has an extensive selection of submersible pumps to fit every specific need. The SQ series are compact, multistage, centrifugal pumps which use energy efficient motors to reliably pump water at all times. This 2-wire pump houses the components in the stainless steel case allowing for easy installation and durability.

The SQ is a multistage pump that can be installed in a borehole no larger than the pump itself. This pump is very easy to install and operate due to its built-in electronics. Uses flexible, magnet motors for better efficiency levels.











  • 1 HP
  • 3-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel
  • 4" Diameter
  • Control Box Included
  • 12 Month Warranty

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Goulds Water Technologies, a brand of Xylem Industries, has been a trusted company in the residential, agricultural, industrial, and municipal water sectors for 150 years. Well-known and respected in over 150 countries, Goulds uses research and technology to improve on their ever-expanding product line.

The Goulds 3-Wire pump includes the control where the internal components can be accessed above ground. At 1 HP, this submersible pump is sufficient to meet all the water requirements of a large family. Goulds offers a 12-month warranty from the date of purchase for their submersible pumps.











  • 1 HP
  • 3-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel
  • 4" Diameter

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Franklin Electric has been a leader in residential and commercial water movement for 75 years. Their wide array of submersible pumps are designed to withstand harsh conditions and provide superior performance.

This 1 HP pump is powerful enough to sustain the demands of a large household. The 3-Wire pump is compatible with a control box to access the components from above ground.











  • 1/2 HP
  • 3-Wire
  • 230 Volt
  • Stainless Steel
  • 4" Diameter

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Burcam, the product line of Burke Water Systems, was founded in 1978 and continues to be one of North America's premier water systems manufacturer. Offering superior products and customer service to 15 countries, Burcam is expanding in development and growth in the well water industry.

The 1/2 HP submersible pump by Burcam features control-box capability with 3-wire design. Perfect for rural homes and cabins, this stainless steel pump is reliable, well-designed, and highly efficient. All components are made of 316 precision stainless steel.











How to Properly Size a Submersible Pump for Your Particular System




Submersible Pump Basic-Sizing / AY McDonald

Each water well system is unique. There are varying depths to the water table and each home has its own unique plumbing system and network of pipes.

Because of these differences, not all well pumps will work properly for all systems. Each system should be sized properly and matched with the correct pump.

When hiring professional well drillers for pump installation, your contractor will typically determine the correct pump size for the well and household by applying a series of mathematical formulas based on water needs and the nature of the environment. But whether you're hiring contractors or installing a pump yourself, it is important as a well owner to understand the logic behind pump sizing.

The well contractors may ask you to provide some of these numbers so it'll be helpful to understand how to get them.


Calculating the numbers

There are two important numbers needed in order to determine the correct pump size for a well system, known as GPM and TDH. GPM refers to the required amount of water the household needs, measured in Gallons per Minute. TDH (total dynamic head) refers to the total amount of resistance the pump will encounter when attempting to push the water upward.


Determine required flow rate in GPM

It is important to measure the average amount of water the household will be using in order to determine the correct pump size. Water needs will vary depending on family size and other factors. There are two common methods for determining GPM for a residential pump system, both giving similar results.


Capacity based on fixture count - Flow rate can be determined in gallons per minute based on the number of fixtures in the home. A fixture can be considered any appliance that provides an outlet for water including sinks, toilets, showers, faucets, outside irrigation, the pool, and other special fixtures such as a hot tub.

For this method, each fixture equates to 1 gallon per minute. For example, a home with two bathrooms having 3 fixtures each, a kitchen sink, dishwasher, washing machine, laundry tub, and two outside hose outlets equates to a total of 12 fixtures. With 12 fixtures in total, a capacity of 12 GPM will be required for the entire household.


Internet Archive Book Images / Wiki Commons


Capacity based on peak demand - This model calculates the capacity based on a seven-minute peak demand. The peak times for water use in households are usually in the morning when the family rises to prepare for the day, and in the evening, when all family members are at home. Seven minutes is the average timeframe of high water use for a shower or automatic washer.

The average peak demand for a 2-bathroom home is 98 gallons which translates to a requirement of 14 gallons per minute. You can source your required gallons per minute online based on various scenarios - 2 baths, 3 baths, etc.


Note that these are rough estimates and won't provide an exact account for water demand. For a more accurate account, consult more in-depth flow rate guides.


Total Dynamic Head

The total dynamic head (TDH) is the sum of a series of measurements that represents the amount of "work" that the pump will have to endure in order to provide the required amount of water at the other end. TDH is typically calculated by the drilling company or the contractors responsible for pump installation. As a well owner, it is important to understand the basics of TDH.

Because TDH refers to the total amount of resistance a pump will encounter, it involves a series of factors including friction, well-depth, and the distance the water must travel. In order to understand TDH, there are a few basic concepts which must be defined.


Drawdown level - The level at which the water remains when the pump is not on is referred to as the static level. When the pump is turned on, the water level typically drops.

This is referred to as the drawdown level or pumping level. In order to calculate TDH, one would need the distance (in feet) from the top of the well to the drawdown level.


Didiervberghe / Wiki Commons


Vertical lift - The elevation difference, or vertical lift, is the distance (in feet) from the top of the well to the highest point of the pressure tank. The pressure tank is the highest point above ground where the pump will cause water to rise.

Friction loss - Friction loss refers to the amount of resistance the water will encounter when flowing through the various sizes of piping. By referencing a friction loss chart, total friction loss can be determined by factoring in pipe material, pipe width, and pipe length.

Service pressure - Service pressure, also known as operating pressure, refers to the amount of water pressure released at the outlet. Most homes operate at a pressure range between 30 to 80 psi.


After the drawdown level, vertical lift, friction loss, and service pressure have been determined, TDH can be calculated by combining them:

TDH = drawdown level + vertical lift + friction loss + service pressure


Determine pump according to manufacturer's curve chart

After the flow rate in GPM and the TDH have been calculated, an appropriate pump may be selected by referencing the manufacturer's curve chart. Each pump manufacturer will have its own chart system for referencing their specific pump models. By noting the TDH and GPM, the exact pump model and HP required can be determined.


Franklin Water

Consult the help of your contractors

Unless you're a licensed driller yourself, you'll likely be consulting the help of professional pump installers when drilling or installing a pump for the first time. They'll be able to provide you with help in determining your GPM and TDH. Nevertheless, it is important as a well owner to understand how to size a submersible well pump.

For a more in-depth guide on how to size a pump, check out A.Y. McDonald's excellent pump sizing guide.




Video: Sizing a Submersible Pump

Watch this great video by Franklin Electric on how to properly size a submersible pump.







How Do Submersible Pumps Work?



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Centrifugal Force

Rather than sucking water out of the ground like above-ground well water pumps, submersible pumps use centrifugal force to push water to the surface.

By harnessing the laws of physics rather than working against it, submersible pumps typically have fewer mechanical problems than jet pumps and can last up to 25 years before needing replacement.

They are cylindrically shaped, about 3 to 5 inches in diameter, and 2 to 4 feet long. The airtight-sealed, close-coupled motor prevents the water from getting in and causing a short circuit. A waterproof electrical cable runs power from the power source all the way down to the pump.


Impellers in the Well Pump

When the pressure switch is turned on, an electric current is sent down the electrical cable connected to the motor. This causes the impellers within the body of the pump to start rotating. Once the impellers start rotating, they will suck water into the pump body.

The impellers will then push the water upwards through the well casing and into the water tank. When the pressure switch is turned off, the electric current stops flowing to the pump, thus shutting it back off.


2-Wire vs 3-Wire

The main difference between 2-wire and 3-wire pumps is the fact that 3-wire pumps are accessed by a control box while 2-wire pumps are not. The advantage of having a control box is that some of the major starting components are housed in the above-ground control box and not in the pump itself.

These components can be accessed and replaced individually without the need of having to pull up the entire pump should anything break down.

In a 2-wire pump, the starting components are housed inside the pump itself. The main advantage to 2-wire pumps is that installation is much easier and because the components are housed together, breakdown is less likely than a pump with a control box.


Horsepower

Residential submersible pumps typically come in 1/2 HP, 1 HP, or 3/4 HP settings.  In general, the greater the depth of the well, the harder the pump has to work to lift water to the surface.

The higher the HP, the greater the flow rate at greater depths. The required HP for your system will be determined by following the manufacturer's curve chart after GPM and TDH have been established.


GPM/Flow Rate

Each pump has a potential flow rate that may be achieved depending on the depth of the well. The deeper the well, the harder the pump has to work in order to lift it up.

The pump manufacturer may list settings such as 12 GPM @ 80 ft. and 14 GPM @ 40 ft. Notice that the flow rate differs depending on the depth.

Because flow rate is dependent on the depth of the well along with various other factors, it is important to have your well system properly sized before purchasing a pump.


Voltage

The standard voltage for a submersible pump is 230V. Anything less could be inefficient and could be potentially hazardous.


Max PSI

Some manufacturers will state the pump's maximum PSI. This means that the pump will not operate at pressure higher than what's listed.




Video: 2 Wire and 3 Wire Well Pump Motors

Watch this informative video by RC Worst explaining the difference between 2 and 3 wire motors.








Main Advantages of Using a Submersible Pump Over a Jet Pump



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As the name implies, submersible pumps stay submerged underwater and work to push water up the well. They remain underground and out of sight, and are only resurfaced when in need of repair or replacement.

Over the last several decades, many well owners have switched from jet pumps to submersible pumps. Listed below are some of the reasons why.


Durability

Submersible pumps, because of their inaccessibility after installation, are designed to function without the need for frequent maintenance. The internal components are kept safe inside the metal casing allowing for long-term, undisturbed performance.

Submerged 90 to 300 feet underground, the only outside element the pump will come into contact with is water. While occasional inspection is encouraged, a good submersible pump that is properly installed and sized could last up to 25 years before needing replacement.


No Need for Priming

Prior to using an above-ground jet pump, it must be properly primed with running water in order to function properly. Priming is a time-consuming process and can often take several attempts before successfully activating the jet pump. A submersible pump, because it is already submerged in water has no need for the priming process.

Above-ground pumps are also prone to cavitation, a problematic situation where excess air and gas enter the mechanical components of the pump. Submersible pumps do not have this problem.


Efficient Design

The entire mechanism is housed in a tightly constructed cylinder that pushes water upward rather than sucking it from above. The rapidly spinning impellers use centrifugal force to drive water up the shaft – a much more effective way of challenging the downward force of gravity.

Because of the physics involved in the design, submersible pumps have a lighter mechanical workload than that of the lifting motion of jet pumps and are therefore less prone to breakdown.


Greater Depth Range

While above-ground jet pumps are used for more shallow well depths of less than 25 feet, submersible pumps are used for deeper wells and cover ranges of 90 to 300 feet and greater.


Out of Sight / Out of Earshot

Jet pumps can be quite loud and unsightly, especially large ones with greater GPM. Submersible pumps are underground and therefore can't be seen or heard.











Submersible Well Pump Troubleshooting Tips



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As submersible well pumps are enclosed, they generally have a long productive life. Failures are typically due to corrosion of the seal. The pump's seal can corrode over time which allows water to seep into the motor, leading to motor failure. Once this happens, the most cost-effective choice is to replace the pump.

There are several signs of pump failure. These are some signs along with steps you can take to troubleshoot.


Absence of Water at the Faucet

When there is an absence of water, first check the circuit breaker. If it is switched off, switch it back on and check the faucet. If there is still no water, the problem may lie with the pump or the pressure switch on your storage tank. In this case, it will be best to contact your well water professional.


Aerated at the Faucet

If your water is aerated at the faucet, it can result in sputtering which may signal a pump failure. It may also indicate that your pump is above a lowered water table, or there is a bad check valve or a cracked pipe. In this case, the best solution is to contact your well water professional.


Sudden Change in Water Quality

Sudden changes in water quality, like cloudiness or muddiness, indicate that sediment is entering the pump which can wear down the pump's internal elements. This issue can be resolved by lowering the pump deeper.


A Spike in Your Electric Bill

A spike in your electric bill may indicate that your pump is working overtime, which may in turn indicate a pump failure.

Note that abrupt pump failures are not common. Certain weather conditions like drought can lower the water table in your well, which can affect how the pump operates. You can check this by not using your water for several hours to allow your well to replenish. If the water flow returns to normal, the wells replenishment rate is low due to natural conditions. The issue may be resolved by lowering the pump deeper into the well or hydrofracturing to increase replenishment rates.

Make sure to schedule annual preventive maintenance inspections to reduce the possibility of a failure. Discovering the problem early will result in a lower-cost repair as opposed to a complete replacement.




Conclusion



The pump is the heart of any well water system. As is the case with any circulatory system, it is imperative that the heart be strong, efficient, and long-lasting. Selecting a proper submersible pump is one of the most important decisions a well owner can make. Be sure to become familiar with the mechanics behind well pumping and the nature of the environment around you. Communicate closely with the well drillers and those responsible for installation of the pump. With good preparation and proper maintenance, your submersible pump should last a long time.






Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the best submersible pump brands for domestic use. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. If you've found this article to be useful and are interested in learning more, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.


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References


Home Tips. (2018, November 8). All About Submersible Well Water Pumps. Retrieved from https://www.hometips.com/articles/submersible-water-pumps.html

Mr Rooter. (2016, March 9). Choosing the Right Water Well Pump for You. Retrieved from https://www.mrrooter.com/greater-syracuse/about-us/blog/2016/march/choosing-the-right-water-well-pump-for-you/

National Well Pumps. (n.d.). Submersible pump sizing and selection. Retrieved from https://www.ihs.gov/EHSCT/documents/sfc

Pump Products. (2018, September 7). What's the Difference: 2 Wire vs 3 Wire Submersible Well Pumps. Retrieved from https://www.pumpproducts.com/wp1/whats-the-difference-2-wire-vs-3-wire-submersible-well-pumps/

Red Lion. (n.d.). Easy guide to pump and tank selection. Retrieved from http://www.redlionproducts.com/media/33881/

Steve Maxwell |. (2018, June 5). INSTALL A SUBMERSIBLE PUMP: 6 Lessons for doing it right. Retrieved from https://baileylineroad.com/the-right-way-to-install-a-submersible-pump-in-your-water-well/

Water Pumps Direct. (2012, May 24). Well Pump Buyer's Guide. Retrieved from https://www.waterpumpsdirect.com/stories/274-How-to-Pick-the-Perfect-Well-Pump.html

Water Systems Council. (n.d.). Sizing a well pump. Retrieved from https://www.watersystemscouncil.org/download/

I'm Jeremiah Castelo, the owner of World Water Reserve. I'm a writer and researcher with a particular interest in sustainability and rural living, water scarcity, and innovative water purification methods. I utilize my multimedia and communication experience in the NGO and humanitarian fields to bring light to important topics. My passion is to educate others on the reality of the global water crisis and on ways to sustain themselves and their families in the midst of it.
Jeremiah Castelo

Comments

  1. Ellie Davis

    Wow, It’s interesting that you mentioned submersible water pump is less prone to breakdown due to their efficient design. When it comes to having clean water you have to make sure having a lot of options available. You did a great job explaining the benefits of using a submersible pump, and I will take your advice into consideration for future references.

  2. Abdul K Cofie

    l am glad to think about global water conservation, l need some help, because l am from rural area in Africa and we need water,help us with your NGO thanks

Leave a Reply to Ellie Davis Cancel reply