Fifteen million homes in the United States rely on a well for their water supply. And if you're one of them, you know better than to take your water for granted.
As visually appealing as it may be, a well pump in your yard is more than just having to deal with an eyesore constantly. It's an essential piece of equipment that helps make your everyday life go as smoothly as it can be.
Once you notice the well pump is acting up, you will better fix or replace it at once before the problem grows into something more serious.
Installing or replacing a well pump costs $977 to $2,587 on average. The upfront costs of the pump alone run from $115 to $1,200, with the labor costs ranging between $230 and $5,000.
Remember that the total costs will depend on a well's depth, the chosen well pump type, and several other factors that we'll discuss in detail below.
Well Pump Installation/Replacement Cost Overview
Considerably a crucial part of your home water system, a well pump collects water from your well and distributes it throughout the entire house. Homeowners looking to install a well at home will need a pump for its smooth operation. Installing a well pump costs $1,700 on average, ranging between $977 and $2,587. (Related: Well Drilling: The Homeowner's Cost Guide)
Total well water pump costs depend on your chosen pump type, along with the location, depth, and size of the well. If your primary water source at home is a well, you will need to replace a malfunctioning pump as soon as possible.
Heavy-duty well pumps may last long, around 10 to 25 years of use, but keep in mind that these units do not last forever. You will need to fix these or replace them with a new one at some point.
Factors Affecting Well Pump Costs, According to a Contractor
The average cost to replace a well pump will vary on a couple of factors. Let's discuss the different things that will home the costs of your new pump at home.
Type of Well Pump
Your preferred type of well pump will significantly affect its overall installation costs. Jet pumps are easier to install compared to submersible options– decreasing their installation costs.
These types may have a couple of similarities, but each style has its unique installation and water transmission ways. Basic pump models for shallow wells start at $130, while high-pressure submersible well pumps cost up to $1,200. Simply put, more powerful pumps that can draw water more efficiently will cost you more.
Let's discuss the most popular types of well pumps, their average costs, and some Frequently Asked Questions answered by a local contractor.
Well Pump Type
Submersible Pump (3/4 - 5 horsepower)
$230 - $1,200
Deep Jet Pump
$175 - $800
Shallow Jet Pump
$115 - $500
True to its name, submersible pumps are located below the water. It is more powerful than the jet pump type, suitable for deeper wells with a depth of 25 to 150 feet.
Submersible pumps are the most popular type because of their versatility. You can use it for any well, either shallow or deep ones. Lower horsepower units cost between $230 to $500, while more powerful submersible pumps are priced from $700 to $1,200.
The installation costs will depend on the size of the well, motor size, and material. It is available in cast iron or stainless-steel material, with a motor size starting from three-quarters to five horsepower.
Although it is considerably more expensive to install, submersible pumps are more reliable, versatile, and quieter operation.
Are there extra costs we need to consider in installing submersible pumps?
Contractor's Answer: This type of pump often requires additional piping work done to a home. If that's the case, expect the installation costs to increase from $250 to $2,500. Of course, this will depend on the project's scope as well.
Maintenance-wise, do submersible pumps have costly upkeep?
Contractor's Answer: Well, submersible pumps are known to need fewer repairs since they are durable and watertight. If you ever need to repair it, note that you will need to take it out of the well for proper fixing at the surface level.
Jet or Centrifugal Pumps
Jet (centrifugal) pumps are located above ground level. Typically, it makes a vacuum to draw water through the system efficiently. The water pressure for this system varies.
This type of pump costs $270 for shallow well pumps accommodating 25 feet or less, while deep motors (for 150 feet) have a rough cost of up to $675 to $745.
Standard jet pumps are available in carbon-ceramic, cast iron, stainless steel, and thermoplastic materials. The motors range from one-half and two horsepower.
Considering that example, what would cost the pumps on the high side at $675 to $745, or the low side near $270?
Contractor's Answer: Well, the lower side ($270) can buy you a pump with a smaller motor made from cheaper materials such as thermoplastic. More expensive jet pumps up to $675 to $745 are usually made of high-quality materials like cast iron.
There are claims about how jet pumps are less efficient than submersible pumps. Is there any truth to this?
Contractor's Answer: Since jet pumps are regarded as old tech well pumps, they deliver less pressure and volume than their submersible counterparts. Some jet pumps also stop functioning once it loses their prime. It is a stark contrast to submersible pumps as they have a self-priming capacity.
Homeowners looking for green alternatives can benefit from solar-powered well pumps. It will cost you somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000.
These units tend to have higher upfront costs, although they will help you cut costs on daily operation expenses in the long run. If you're looking for a well pump that's cost-effective on the energy bills, solar pumps are a great option to consider.
What would cost solar pumps on the high side up to $4,000 or the low side at $2,000?
Contractor's Answer: Solar pumps with stainless steel housing will cost you more. The $3,000 to $4,000 benchmark refers to high-end models that pump through various well depths at a higher gallon-per-minute rate. Meanwhile, basic pump configurations (such as those in plastic housing) start at $2,000. These pumps can still pump water from both shallow and deep wells, though.
Pro tip: For your reference, both submersible and jet-type well pumps can be powered by solar energy.
Before we discuss what hand pumps are, let's make one thing clear– these aren't ideally used as your primary well pump at home.
If anything, hand pumps are only installed at home as a backup. Hand-operated pumps are affordable, costing around $150 on average. It is suitable for shallow wells. Since these pumps have a manual operation, it doesn't require power to run.
What would cost solar pumps to be higher than the average $150 price?
Contractor's Answer: The $150 average price refers to shallow hand well pumps made in plastic. Stainless material may cost you more than the estimated figure, but this will significantly depend on the well's design and size.
Can you give one advantage and one disadvantage of hand pumps for well use?
Contractor's Answer: Well, well, well… (No pun intended) These hand pumps take a toll on you, so it's pretty physically tiring. One advantage would be its efficiency – for sure. Regardless of the weather, it'll work!
The depth and size of your well at home is another determining factor in the total project costs. Since shallow wells need less work than deeper, wider ones, pump installation costs will be less.
In choosing a pump, depth is what matters the most. Trust me. If your well at home measures less than 30 feet, a shallow well pump will do. These are far more affordable, by the way.
Otherwise, you will need a deep well pump for wells with a depth of up to 150 feet. Since this will cost you more, it’s best to prepare your budget accordingly.
Well Pump Sizing
Now, before you purchase a new well pump – ensure that it will sufficiently meet the daily water needs of everyone in the household.
For instance, if one family member showers in the morning, your well pump must ideally deliver the same gallons per minute (GPM) as the entire household consumes.
There’s no one well pump size that fits all for this matter, but most single-family homes in the country can benefit from pumps with a flow rate between 6 and 12 gallons per minute.
Another crucial sizing consideration is the water pressure– usually measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Standard well pumps with 1/2-horsepower may give enough pressure for residential use, but it’s unwise to believe it’s all you need.
As per our contractor, note all the PSI requirements of every household appliance and system that uses water (dishwashers, sprinkler irrigation, and washing machines).
Then, consult with an expert to determine the suitable capacity for your individual home needs.
Labor and Other Expenses
Professional labor expenses will undoubtedly add to the total well pump replacement cost– around less than half of the entire installation fees, at $230 to $5,000. Actual costs will still depend on the well's depth and the complexity of the project's scope.
Let's say the tank needs replacement or electrical wiring work is required. In that case, the total costs will also increase accordingly.
Should I Repair or Replace My Well Pump?
Even high-end submersible pumps may fail in the long run, mainly due to clogging problems or lower water pressure.
Generally, well pump repair costs less than the average cost to replace a well pump. If you only need a new pressure switch or a bit of rewiring work, you may only need to spend $750.
However, you may have no choice but to opt for well pump replacement in some cases. If you live in an older home, the jet pump that came with the property might be quite outdated. As such, you will benefit from a submersible pump or a solar pump with better energy efficiency.
When to do Well Pump Repair, According to a Contractor
If the pump has some minor hardware damage, engine issues, or well problems– this may only need a quick pump repair, costing $300 to $1,300.
When to do Well Pump Replacement, According to a Contractor
However, if you're dealing with a significant engine, mechanical, or well problem– you may have no choice but to opt for a total replacement.
What are Some Signs of Well Pump Trouble?
Some telling signs of well pump problems are:
Most pump problems point to a specific electrical or mechanical part failure. If you're dealing with any of these issues, it's best to contact a pump professional near you. They can help you assess the problem and provide different options or solutions to fix your well pump at once.
Keep in mind that most well pump units can last a decade– unless the surrounding water is sediment-rich. Spending on upfront well pump repair or replacement costs can save you from expensive, severe related problems in the long run.
Should I Hire a Professional?
It is essential to hire a professional to service your well pump for many reasons. They can help you locate the problem and, at the same time, provide the right solution. It is also a great idea to hire a professional if you don't know the depth of your well or the type of pump you currently have.
Some of the common pump problems you may encounter include shut-off issues, motor ignition, and lack of water pressure. These problems are sometimes a result of electrical malfunctions and should require help from the power company if it is too low in voltage.
Overall, problems in your pump consist of electrical and water issues, which can be dangerous to deal with without enough experience.