Gopher Utility Services
1511 N. Main Street
P.O. Box 965
Kannapolis, NC 28082-0965

704-932-7662 Office
704-933-1538 Fax




North Carolina Ground Water Association



North Carolina Rural Water Association



North Carolina Water Operators Association



National Ground Water Association



North Carolina American Water Works Association





Water Pump


Water well pump installation and repair is a specialty of Gopher Utility Services, both new well pump installation and repair of older water pumps. After the hole is drilled the heart of each water well system is a water pump, and the most common types of water pumps are jet pumps and submersible pumps. Depending on how deep you must drill to reach the water table will determine the type of pump you will need. Shallow well pumps are limited to depths of approximately 25 feet maximum due to the physical design and limitations of the well pump system, usually jet pumps. Wells deeper than 25 feet require a different water pumping system to extract water from the underground aquifer. Jet pumps can be used with adaptations but most frequently a submersible pump system is used.

Shallow Well Pumps

Jet pumps that are used for shallow wells are mounted above the well, either in the home or in a well house, and draw the water up from the well through suction. In a shallow well application, a single pipe is connected to the inlet of the injector and extended down into the well. The depth limit of a jet-pump-operated shallow well is roughly approximately 25 ft and is dependant on atmospheric pressure to help force the water upward. A jet pump actually is two pumps in one: a centrifugal pump and a jet assembly, commonly called an injector. The initial suction of the jet pump is created by a pump, powered by an electric motor, that drives an impeller (this centrifugal pump). The impeller forces the water from the well through a narrow orifice (jet) built into the pump housing in front of the impeller. This constriction at the jet causes the speed of the moving water to increase. As the water leaves the jet, a partial vacuum is created that sucks water from the well. Directly behind the jet is a Venturi tube that increases in diameter. IThe Venturi tube slows down the water flow and increases the pressure. The pumped water– water that's drawn from the well by the suction at the jet–then combines with the drive water to discharge into the home's water system at high pressure. Shallow-well jet pumps generally need to be primed (filled with water) before they will work.

Deep Well Pumps

Deep well jet pumps - Deep well jet pump systems are broken down into two sub-types, double-pipe and single-pipe. When the well casing is four inches or larger in diameter, a double-pipe system normally is preferred. Where the well casing is smaller than four inches in diameter, a single-pipe deep well injector can be used. Deep well jets pumps have their jet injector down in the well below the water level, so they push the water to the surface. Deep well jet pumps are not limited by atmospheric pressure to 25 feet of lift. A good deep well jet can pump water from as deep as 200 feet. In a typical deep-well jet-pump configuration, one pipe mounted to the impeller housing drives water down into the jet body that's located about 10 to 20 ft. below the minimum well water level. A second pipe connects the output side of the jet body back to the pump. At the jet, the increase in water velocity creates the partial vacuum that draws standing well water into the second pipe and then back into the pump and plumbing system. Deep-well jet pumps use both the suction at the jet to bring water into the system and pressure applied by the impeller to lift the water. Like shallow-well systems, a jet pump in a deep-well system needs to be primed to operate. A foot valve at the bottom of the well piping prevents water from draining from the pipes and pump. Jet pumps that have two or more impellers are called multistage pumps.

Submersible pumps - A typical submersible well pump is characterized by a long cylindrical shape that fits inside the well casing. The bottom half is made up of a sealed pump motor that is connected to the aboveground power source and controlled by wires. The actual pump half of the unit is comprised of a stacked series of impellers-each separated by a diffuser-that drives the water up the pipe to the plumbing system. While submersible pumps are more efficient than jet pumps in delivering more water for the same size motor, pump or motor problems will necessitate pulling the unit from the well casing-a job that's best left to a pro. However, submersibles are known for their reliability and often perform their role 20 to 25 years without servicing. Submersible pumps may also be used in shallow wells. However, silt, sand, algae and other contaminants can shorten the pump's life.

Well pumps are not intended to run continuously. In order to provide consistent water pressure throughout the homes plumbing, the water pump first pumps water to a storage/pressure tank. Inside the storage/pressure tank is an air bladder that becomes compressed as the water is pumped in. The pressure in the pressure tank is what provides the water pressure throughout the home's water piping system. When the pressure reaches a preset level, usually from 40 to 60 psi, a pressure switch stops the pump. As water is used in the home, pressure decreases in the storage/pressure tank, after a drop of about 20 psi, the pressure switch senses the pressure drop and signals the pump to turn on and the cycle is continually repeated.

Do you have well pump related questions? Call us at 704-932-7662 - we have your answers!