Best Shallow Well Pump: Reviews and Buying Guide (2018 Updates)

Top 5 Best Shallow Well Pumps: Reviews and Buying Guide

Your home needs running water, and if you aren’t connected to a municipal system, a private well is the best way to get that water. An electric pump will lift the water from the well and supply it to your faucets and fixtures. If your well is less than 25 feet deep, the best shallow well pump can help ensure that you always have a steady supply of freshwater.

Best Shallow Well Pumps Comparison Chart:



Further information

Red Lion RJS-100-PREM

- Brand: Red Lion
- Material: Cast Iron
- Style: 1-HP 23-GPM
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 9.1 x 17.8 x 9.1 inches
- Item Weight: 41 Pounds
- Maximum Pressure PSI: 50
- Maximum Flow Rate: 23 Gallons Per Minute
- Volts: 115/230v
- Amps: 17.6A @ 115V 8.8A @ 230V
- Intake: 1-1/4" FNPT
- Discharge: 1" FNPT
- Horsepower: 1.00
- Pumping Levels: 25 feet

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Goulds J10S

- Brand: Goulds Pump
- Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
- Style: 1 HP
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 18.75 x 9.88 x 8.75 inches
- Item Weight: 50 Pounds
- Maximum Pressure PSI: 30-50 PSI
- Maximum Flow Rate: 24.8 Gallons Per Minute
- Volts: 115/230 V
- Intake: 11. 25" Npt
- Discharge: 1" Npt
- Horsepower: 1.00
- Pumping Levels: 5 feet

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Burcam 506221P

- Brand: Bur-Cam
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Style: 3/4 HP
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 16.75 x 9.25 x 8.25 inches
- Item Weight: 20 Pounds
- Maximum Pressure PSI: 60 PSI
- Maximum Flow Rate: 850 Gallons Per Minute
- Volts: 115 Volts
- Intake: 1-1/4'' NPT
- Discharge: 1" NPT
- Horsepower: 1
- Pumping Levels: 25 feet

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Wayne SWS50

- Brand: Wayne
- Material: Cast Iron
- Style: 0.5 HP
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 22 x 12 x 11 inches
- Item Weight: 37.4 pounds
- Maximum Pressure PSI: 60 PSI
- Maximum Flow Rate: 850 Gallons Per Minute
- Volts: 120 Volts
- Intake: 1-1/4'' NPT
- Discharge: 1" NPT
- Horsepower: 0.5
- Pumping Levels: 25 feet

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Flotec FP4012-10

- Brand: Flotec
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Style: 1/2 HP
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 22.81 x 11.2 x 10.48 inches
- Item Weight: 23.13 Pounds
- Maximum Pressure PSI: 40 PSI
- Maximum Flow Rate: 10 Gallons Per Minute
- Volts: 100 Volts
- Intake: 1-1/4'' NPT
- Discharge: 1" NPT
- Horsepower: 1.00
- Pumping Levels: 25 feet

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Reviews Of 5 Recommended Pumps 

1. Red Lion RJS-100-PREM

This shallow well pump from Red Lion is housed in a cast iron case. This sturdy metal will help keep it from rusting or corroding. A bright red finish gives it a distinctive look. Inside, the impeller and diffuser are made of glass and thermoplastic.

The Red Lion shallow well pump is rated for both 115-volt and 230-volt electricity. Therefore, you can connect it to a household power supply or run it off a generator. The device features a voltage selector, so you can easily switch back and forth between the two power levels.

The RJS-100-PREM moves 23 gallons of water per minute, has a built-in pressure switch, and boasts 1 horsepower. For those with lower power needs, Red Lion offers similar pumps with 1/2 or 3/4 horsepower. No matter which model you choose, you’ll be pleased with the pressure that goes up to 50 psi and the quiet operation.

2. Goulds J10S

The Goulds water pump is made of cast iron parts that are treated with a special electrophoretic painting process that uses electricity to bond the wet paint to the metal. This treatment is design to reduce the chances of any component developing rust.

Designed with easy service in mind, the back of this pump pulls out in order to access the Goulds shallow well pump parts. There are two different components that comprise the motor, which further improves the access to internal parts. The pump’s impeller is made of a glass-filled resin. The diffuser is made of a different type of glass-filled polycarbonate resin.

This 1-horsepower unit produces a maximum of 24 gallons of water per minute. It is equipped with a 30/50 pressure switch and runs on both 115 volts and 230 volts. As with the Red Lion jet pump, the Gould product is also available in similar models with higher or lower horsepower.

3. Burcam 506221P

Instead of a metal case, the Burcam unit has a case that is made of thermoplastic, so there is no way that it can rust. The plastic case is strengthened with fiberglass. The impeller is made of the same thermoplastic material, and the motor shaft is made of stainless steel.

This pump is best for mid-size houses, cabins, or cottages. It is a 3/4-horsepower shallow well pump that can produce up to 14 gallons of water per minute.

It includes a 30/50 pressure switch and has overload protection to ensure that the motor doesn’t burn out. It can run on 115-volt power or 230-volt power.

4. Wayne SWS50

For your small house, consider installing the Wayne pump. This is a cast iron pump, so you know that you can depend on it to be sturdy and durable.

This reliable pump is a good choice for individuals or small families without a high demand for water. It produces up to 6.25 gallons of water per minute when it is operating at 50 psi.

The pressure switch is included, and it is preset for 30/50-psi operation. The pump is a 1/2-horsepower unit. It has dual voltage options, so you can use it at 115 volts or 230 volts. A switch makes it easy to select the correct voltage. This is a self-priming unit, and it has a special port for adding water to the casing.

5. Flotec FP4012-10

Flotec makes this pump for shallow wells up to 25 feet in depth, and it can handle both clear and sandy water. It has a thermoplastic case that won’t rust or be quickly damaged by sand, and it keeps dust out of the inner components. The plastic body is reinforced with fiberglass, and the unit has a shaft made out of stainless steel.

This is a 1/2-horsepower pump, and it is runs at up to 8 gallons per minute. Flotec has similar models with higher horsepower options. The 1/2-horsepower unit’s dual-voltage motor is preset at 115 volts, but you can switch it to 230 volts. After you fill the unit with water, it will self-prime.

About Shallow Wells

Best Shallow Well Pump: Reviews and Buying Guide (2018 Updates)

Since ancient times, people have drawn water from wells. Even today, wells are valuable sources of this precious resource.

Although open holes often come to mind when picturing a well, this image doesn’t fit the true design of many wells. Rather, wells come in all shapes and sizes. The location of the underground water table determines how deep a well must be.

Often, the water table is fairly close to the ground level, so only a shallow well is required. Shallow wells are those that go no more than 25 feet deep.

Advantages of a shallow well include:

  • Lower cost to build and maintain.
  • Shorter distance to move the water.
  • Easier access to the pump for repairs or replacement.

However, there may also be some concerns with a shallow well, such as:

  • Higher chance of running out of water during drought conditions.
  • Greater risk of water contamination from ground-level pollutants.

The best way to know which type of well is best for your property is to consult a water treatment company that specializes in well installation and maintenance.

Why Use a Well Pump

Modern wells don’t use a string-and-bucket operation to draw up water. You don’t even have to stand at the well and prime a handle to start the flow of water. Instead, an electric well pump can take care of all of those jobs for you.

Consider these four tasks that a modern well system can handle:

  • Moving water out of the ground and up to surface level.
  • Connecting to the household plumbing system.
  • Storing water in a tank so it is ready for household use.
  • Gauging the water level in the tank and refilling as necessary.

Shallow Well Pump Distinctions

Best Shallow Well Pump: Reviews and Buying Guide (2018 Updates)

Pumps that draw water from depths of less than 25 feet use different operating mechanisms than those that dig down deeper into the earth. These are often jet pump wells. They take advantage of the air pressure that is available at this level and use it to help draw the water upward.

Other components of a shallow well jet pump include an electric motor, an impeller and a Venturi tube. Together, these parts create pressure and suction that moves the water from the ground into the holding tank.

The pumps used for shallow wells typically sit outside of the well. They can lift the water out without having to be down under the ground or in the water. Sometimes, they are placed inside the home or another building on the property. Usually, however, they stay outside and are protected with a well housing.

There are submersible shallow well pumps, as well, but they are not as common. Submersible pumps often have a long operational life, but the sediment and algae at shallow levels may reduce their lifespan.

When to Use a Shallow Well Pump

As a general rule, shallow well pumps are intended for wells that are up to 25 feet deep. Past that depth, a shallow well jet pump cannot typically function effectively.

However, this rule of thumb can vary by location. Air pressure, which is an essential component of shallow well jet pumps, changes based on elevation. In some places, shallow well pumps will work only at depths of less than 25 feet. In other areas, these pumps might be able to go deeper.

If you are unsure whether your well requires a shallow pump or a deep one, it is best to consult an expert in your area who can advise you on the best style for your needs.

Important Features for a Shallow Well Pump

When you are shopping for a jet pump for a shallow well, consider purchasing one with the following features:

  • Durable housing material: Stainless steel and cast iron are common metals used for shallow well pumps. Other units have tough plastic outers.
  • Pressure switch: This allows the pump to start automatically whenever more water is needed. When the amount of water in the tank reaches a certain level, the pressure switch triggers the pump to start operating.
  • Tank options: A well pump may work with a air to water tank or a precharged storage tank. Some pumps are compatible with both types. There are also some pumps that use tankless operation methods.
  • Pipe options: Piping for wells may be comprised of rigid plastic, flexible plastic or copper. A versatile pump will work with all types.
  • Booster pump option: Low water pressure can require the use of a booster pump. Some shallow well pumps can also be installed for use as pressure booster pumps.
  • Horsepower: A pump with a higher horsepower rating will cost more, but it won’t need to run as often. If you already have a well pump, by one with the same horsepower rating or one step up from that.
  • Gallons per minute: Make sure that your pump can accommodate all of your water fixtures. As a general rule of thumb, the number of fixtures that you have is the number of gallons per minute that your pump should be capable of supplying.
  • Overload protection: This protects your motor by guarding it excessive heat that can burn out the system.

How to Install a Shallow Well Pump

Installation methods vary depending on the type of shallow well that you have and the type of pump that you purchase. The following directions provide an overview of how to hook a shallow well jet pump up to a drilled well. For further details and other installation types, be sure to review your pump’s owner’s manual or consult a professional.

  1. Place a foot valve on the section of vertical pipe that will be inserted into the well first.
  2. Stick this piece down into the well.
  3. Keep adding pieces the pipe until the required length is achieved. The pipe must go 5 feet below than the lowest possible water level. However, it must be at least 1.5 feet higher than the bottom of the well.
  4. Seal the well at the top.
  5. Connect the pipe to the pump with a horizontal section of pipe.

Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare a shallow well pump for use:

  • This type of pump must be primed before use. Be sure to position it in a place where you will be able to access it for this purpose.
  • These pumps do not typically require a wide well opening.
  • The horizontal piping between the pump and the well should sit at an angle. It should slope downward as you approach the well. This is to prevent air from becoming trapped.
  • In cold climates, it is important to insulate a well pump system from freezing temperatures.


A well pump isn’t something that you should have to think about every time that you get a drink or run a bath. Choose wisely when selecting a shallow well pump, so that you’ll have a reliable, uninterrupted supply of water to your home. Day after day, the best shallow well pump will operate quietly in the background to fulfill your family’s many water needs.

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Shallow Well Pumps: Reviews and Buying Guide”

  1. It was helpful when you explained that well pumps should have strong housing materials like steel or iron. My sister and her husband just bought an older home with a water well, and they want to have a new pump installed for it before moving in. I’ll share this info so they know what features to look for once they start shopping for a well pump soon.

  2. I agree that a well pump isn’t something that you should have to think about every time you take a drink or run the water. This is true for any well, even a shallow one. Hiring a professional for drilling, testing, and repair is the best option, rather than doing it yourself.

    1. Thanks for your comment! There are many people who like to do everything for their own garden, so this article is only for reference but still ensures safety when doing it.

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