The average lifespan of a well water pump is about 8 to 10 years.
Take that number with a grain of salt, however. It depends on a number of factors like pump type and what your well water is like.
You can also extend that number by a few years by doing some preventive maintenance on your pump.
If your pump is new and you wonder how long you’ll have it, or your pump is getting old and may need replacing, then this article was written with you in mind.
Read on to find out how long your pump should last and what you can do about it.
In this article:
- Factors in your well pump life expectancy
- Water Pump Duty Cycle
- Horsepower or Motor Size
- Pump Motor Quality
- Water Sediment
- Well Pump Capacity
- How long do different types of water pump last?
- Jet Pump Life Expectancy
- Submersible Water Pump Life Expectancy
- Shallow Well aka Centrifugal Pump
- How to extend the life of a well water pump
- Follow a maintenance schedule
- Get the right size pump
- Add a pressure tank
- Install a check valve
- FAQ About Well Water Pump Lifespan
- Wrapping It Up
Factors in your well pump life expectancy
Not all pumps are the same. Some last longer than others. Not all wells are the same either. How long your pump will last depends on the type of well, too.
In this section, I will highlight some of the factors that determine how long your pump lifespan could be.
Water Pump Duty Cycle
How long a pump needs to run per day is one of the biggest factors in its life expectancy.
If your pump is running continuously all day then eventually the wear and tear will catch up with it. And, if the pump is cycling on and off frequently, then that also affects its lifespan.
In either scenario, the pump is heating up and will lead to a failure sooner rather than later.
A captive-air bladder-type water pressure tank is essential if you want your pump to live a full life. With the tank, the pump only runs long enough to fill the tank and then shuts off.
Horsepower or Motor Size
How much power your pump has also has an effect. A smaller horsepower pump has to work much harder than a bigger one to extract the water. This struggle heats up the motor and leads to parts wearing out.
A pump with a horsepower of ¾ up to 1HP is recommended even if it seems like it may be more than you need. If your well water level gets low due to drought or other factors, then you’ll need that extra horsepower.
Pump Motor Quality
Any motor is only as good as the individual parts it is made from. A water pump made with a cast iron body will last longer than one made with inferior metal. The bearings should be stainless steel and there shouldn’t be any aluminum used in the parts or casing.
You get what you pay for so going for the cheapest pump is not always the best idea.
If you have a lot of sediment in your well that enters the pump, then this will severely impact the lifespan of even the best well pump. The sand acts like sandpaper and will wear down the bearings and moving parts very quickly.
I’ll go over some of the ways to prevent sediment from ruining your pump further down in the article.
Well Pump Capacity
Each pump is designed to work within a certain threshold of water flow rate. If you are asking your pump to handle more than it is designed for, it will struggle and eventually fail.
Make sure you understand how many gallons per minute you are using at the peak time of day. If your pump is showing signs of problems, then check the manual to see what the GPM is and what you are currently asking it to do.
The pipe size will also put a strain on the motor of the pump if the diameter is too low. A narrow pipe means that the pressure to pump the water is higher. A high-pressure pump is required if the pipe is narrow.
How long do different types of water pump last?
Your type of well should match the type of pump. There are three primary types and each works best for a specific type of well. Matching the well with the right pump will ensure that your pump lasts as long as advertised.
Jet Pump Life Expectancy
The average lifespan is around 10 years. Jet pumps can be above ground with one line for shallow wells or two line for deep wells.
How long yours will last is up to how well you matched your well to the pump. If you have a deep well with a high capacity needed, then a deep well or convertible jet pump will last longer.
Don’t be tempted to use a deep well jet pump with a shallow well as the strength of the pump may stir up sediment or silt in your well.
How you use your well water also matters. If you need to use sprinklers to water your lawn then you’ll need a high horsepower and high pressure deep well jet pump.
For your average well water needs then a 20GPM is usually enough.
Submersible Water Pump Life Expectancy
A submersible pump can last up to 15 years on average. The fact that they are under water keeps them cool so the motor is able to last a long time. The biggest deciding factor on how long a submersible pump lasts, however, is the amount of sediment in the well. Seeing as how the pump is in the well borehole itself, there could be a lot of sediment wearing down the moving parts.
Most submersible pumps are heavy duty and can handle the sediment in the well and still last a while. It is important to check the grain size that the pump can handle.
This pump shown below has a capacity of up to 25 grains per square meter.
Shallow Well aka Centrifugal Pump
A shallow well pump is also called a centrifugal pump and is used above ground on wells with a high water table. These pumps generally last for 8 to ten years as they don’t have much pressure put on them to perform.
It highly depends on how it’s used. For residential expect to get over 10 years and for irrigation a little under 10.
How to extend the life of a well water pump
All of the above information is highly dependant on how well you take care of your water pump for wells. You can extend the lifespan by doing a few simple things.
Follow a maintenance schedule
Regular maintenance of your pump will keep it running for years to come. Just make a schedule fr certain procedures and stick to it every year.
- Clean the cooling fan – Debris can be caught up in the mesh surrounding the fan. Keeping this clear regularly will prevent your pump from overheating.
- Check flanges for leaks – If you see any signs of water collecting around the pump then you need to see where it is coming from.
- Lubricate – Check your owner’s manual as this procedure changes from model to model. The bearings should be moving freely and require lubricating from time to time.
- Check seals for wear – O-rings and gaskets tend to dry out and eventually crack. Keep an eye on these and replace when they seem to be crumbling.
- Call a technician – Once a year you should have a professional come and do some routine servicing.
Get the right size pump
Having a pump that is too small or not powerful enough for your water needs is going to put it in an early grave. Likewise, a pump that is too big can stir up sediment that will eventually wear down the parts in your pump causing it to die young.
Make sure you check the GPM that it is capable of, how deep the well can be and what size pipe they need. Horsepower should be high for deep wells and lower for shallow wells.
Add a pressure tank
I think every well owner needs a pressure tank. Having one reduces the need for the pump to cycle as long and also to turn on and off too frequently.
Since the tank helps regulate pressure and delivers water at a set rate, it helps to control how often the pump is on. Generally, you want your water pressure to the house around 40 to 60psi. When the water is turned on the pressure drops. Once the pressure in the tank hits the lowest setting, it turns the pump on to fill the tank back to full.
Without the tank, the pump s cycling on and off 24 hours a day and will lead to burn out.
Install a check valve
A check valve is a primer that keeps your pump filled with water. This relieves the pressure needed for suction. The less power the pump needs to suction the water, the longer the motor will last.
There are different types from spring loaded to poppet-style. It’s important to check with your owner manual for the type that works for your specific model.
FAQ About Well Water Pump Lifespan
There are so many factors that it needs its own article. If you are having problems drawing water, it could be your pump is old, has some problems, or it could be other parts of your well. You’ll need to check your well water level, the pressure tank and all the electrical connections to the pump to determine if you need a new pump or if it just needs servicing.
For shallow wells, it could cost anywhere around $1,000 for the new pump plus the cost of installation. A deep well increases the price. Expect to pay around $2,000 for a well with a depth over 100 feet.
Once you are around the 8 year mark of having a pump, then start looking for signs that it is getting old. You can get a few more years depending on the type of pump but if you see signs like the pump is cycling often or you get poor water pressure, then it pays to have it inspected to determine if you need a new one. Keeping your pump serviced and maintained will extend its lifespan.
If your pump is short cycling then it is likely the pressure tank. If your tank is older and doesn’t have a bladder then this is surely the reason. Your tank may need cleaning or replacing.
Wrapping It Up
Keeping a well operating efficiently is every owner’s top priority. The crux of it is your pump. It is one of the downsides of well water vs city as it requires upkeep.
Knowing how long a water well pump lasts and how to keep it running is one of the most important things to learn.
I hope this article helped you understand your well water pump lifespan a little bit more. If you have any questions then just leave a message in the box below!