Comparing Pumps

Deep well water pumps can be confusing. We have the questions you need to get the best water pump for your well.

How do I choose a well pump?

When it comes to the type of hand pump you need, there are really only two main considerations. The first is whether you have a deep well or shallow well. Deep well pumps have been designed to lift water from several hundred feet below ground. On the flip side, shallow well pumps are meant for pumping water from sources less than 25 feet underground.

When shopping for a hand pump, it is important to learn how deep your well is.

  • 25 feet or less = Shallow Well Pump
  • 25 feet or more = Deep Well Pump

Remember that there are only a few deep well hand pumps (e.g., Bison Pumps and Simple Pump) that are capable of pumping from a depth of over 150 feet. The quality of components (stainless steel) of both of these pump manufacturers allows for the strength and capability to lift that amount of water. Bison Pumps has a max static water level of 300 feet while the Simple Pump's max static water level is 325 feet.

Well Depth, Static Water Level, and Recovery Rate

Understanding some key terms will help you compare well pumps for the specific conditions of your well.

  • Well depth is defined as the full depth from ground level to the solid bottom of your well shaft.
  • Static water level is the difference in vertical feet between the ground level and the level of water in your well when the water isn't being pumped.
  • The water levels recover slowly after pumping, and this is called the recovery rate of a well. 
  • Pump depth is the distance in vertical feet between the ground level and the hand pump cylinder at the end of the pump system.
  • Submersible Pump Position set/depth is the distance between the ground level and the submersible pump position in the well.

Submersible Pumps or Other Existing Electric Pumps

When shopping for a hand well pump, you should consider whether the hand pump can run alongside your existing submersible pump, jet pump, or another electrical pump. Some hand-powered well pumps can use the existing infrastructure of your powered well pump and are installed quickly without additional help. Others may require additional help, drilling, or components to complete the installation.

Higher quality well pumps offer a replacement well cap that is specifically sized to your well's dimensions. This replacement well cap has features that let you install the hand pump components next to your submersible pump components so that both pumps can be operated next to each other.

Pump Specifics and Comparison Factors

Once you understand the specifics of your well, you should be able to easily and quickly compare the deep well hand pumps that are capable of pumping at the depth you need for your well. Here are some additional points to consider about the hand pump and 

  1. What is the full price of the pump system? Remember to include the initial cost of the pump system, any installation costs, and maintenance costs over the life of the pump. Learn if the pump requires a professional installation or if it is DIY; the same information is needed for the maintenance of the pump. The Simple Pump deep well hand pump has very little maintenance (a few o-ring seals that only need replacement every 3 to 12 years depending on the usage and the types of weather the pump is subjected to). Simple Pump installs by hand in most wells, with a few simple, standard tools – e.g. Allen wrenches and vice grips. See our installation video to see how easy it is to install the Simple Pump.
  2. How much effort is required for pumping from your water level? How much water is pumped per stroke? Can the pump deliver water at pressure into a household plumbing or irrigation system? Or is it only spill-over delivery into a reservoir or bucket? See our pumping effort comparison of the Simple Pump deep well hand pump and the Bison Pumps hand pump.
  3. What is the maximum water level the pump can comfortably pump from? Most hand-operated pumps can only in shallow wells. A few can operate to 150 to 200 feet — and even then only with great effort. Simple Pump is still usable by the average person at 325 feet water level.
  4. Is the pump designed to share a casing with a submersible?….or must it be installed in a dedicated well? The Simple Pump can be installed next to a submersible pump in wells as small in diameter as 4 inches.
  5. Do the pump materials comply with the safe drinking water regulations? All Simple Pump water pumps are Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) compliant and meet the stringent requirements to ensure safe use.
  6. Is the pump freeze-proof? The Simple Pump utilizes a weep hole positioned below the frost line of the installation location to prevent the hand pump from freezing. Installation can also be completed with a pitless adaptor that also provides freeze protection.
  7. Is the pump made in the USA? The Simple Pump is manufactured in Minden, NV with pump parts being CNC manufactured to create a precise fit and finish.