You may damage your well pump or reduce its lifespan if you overuse it. Many pumps can easily break down if run continuously for longer than recommended. If you have a well pump, it helps to know its maximum continuous runtime.
Submersible pumps can run many hours nonstop as long as the well has enough water to draw out and cover the machine. Jet pumps and centrifugal pumps have shorter continuous runtimes.
Your well pump may need to run nonstop if you constantly use water, so the storage tank can’t stay full. This article will help you understand your pump’s maximum runtime so that you don’t overwork it.
Different Well Pumps and How Long They Can Run Continuously
A well pump draws water from the well into a water tank that supplies your home’s water fixtures and appliances.
Well pumps are available in varieties for different well depths and installation methods.
Here are the common well pump types and the continuous runtimes you can expect from them:
1. Submersible Well Pumps
These are the most popular types of well pumps.
As the name implies, these pumps are installed inside the well and operate underwater.
These pumps are suitable for both shallow and deep wells up to hundreds of feet.
The pumps have a motor that draws water from the well and pushes it to a storage tank or reservoir.
They’re long-lasting and can serve you for up to 25 years.
Overheating can reduce the lifespan of a machine.
Since submersible pumps operate underwater, they don’t overheat.
However, there’s a risk of the pump overheating if the well runs dry and it keeps running.
Besides their long lifespan, submersible pumps also require little maintenance.
The problem is that when it comes to the repair time, the work can be complicated and expensive.
The pump unit must be pulled from the well to the surface for repairs.
A professional can fix your broken submersible pump and return it to service quickly to avoid long water supply inconveniences.
How Long Can a Submersible Pump Run Continuously?
A submersible well pump in great shape can run continuously for 24 hours every day for as long as you want it to.
However, the well should produce enough water for the pump to operate as long as needed without issues.
You don’t want to run the pump dry because that can damage the equipment or shorten its lifespan.
While a submersible pump can operate continuously as long as needed, it would serve you longer if you don’t overwork it.
2. Jet Pumps
These pumps are available in “single-drop” and “double-drop” options. The installation method depends on the pump’s model.
The single-drop jet pump model is ideal for shallow wells.
The pump is installed in a sheltered environment, such as a house or outbuilding.
The double-drop model is suitable for deep wells up to 100 feet (30.48 meters). As the name suggests, it has a double installation structure.
The motor stays above the ground while the jet unit goes inside the well.
Although jet pumps are more expensive than submersible pumps, they’re more powerful and cheaper to maintain.
How Long Can a Jet Pump Run Continuously?
Jet pumps move water rapidly. As a result, jet pumps can fill a storage tank in a shorter time than submersible pumps.
These tanks can run nonstop for about 20 minutes.
If you’re draining the tank so fast, the pump may need to run continuously to provide the water.
The pump may break down if it operates longer than its recommended maximum continuous runtime.
3. Centrifugal Pumps
These pumps have an internal fan that rotates to produce a suction force that pulls water from the well.
There’s a mechanism that sends the water to the storage tank or into the house.
Centrifugal pumps don’t go inside the well.
Instead, they’re installed in a mechanical housing next to the well. Because they sit above the ground, these pumps are convenient to maintain.
Moreover, centrifugal pumps cost less than most other pumps.
However, these pumps are only ideal for shallow wells up to 25 feet deep (7.62 meters).
How Long Can a Centrifugal Well Pump Run Continuously?
Since this type of pump is typically used in shallow wells that can run out of water quickly, it has a shorter continuous runtime than deep well pumps.
Centrifugal pumps should only run continuously for a maximum of 20 minutes.
The pump can break down from overheating if it runs nonstop for longer than the recommended duration.
Will a Submersible Pump Automatically Shut Off?
A submersible pump with a pressure control switch system will automatically turn on and off as needed. The pump will turn on and run until the tank is full or the required water volume is attained. It will shut off once it has delivered enough water to the tank.
Well pumps generally work in cycles.
They run to replenish the water tank and stop when the tank is full.
The on-and-off cycle of the pump ensures a steady water supply.
How Long Should a Well Pump Run Per Cycle?
A well pump’s runtime per cycle usually ranges from a few seconds to a few minutes. How long exactly a pumping cycle lasts depends on the volume that needs to be refilled in the storage tank and the pump’s delivery rate.
A control switch regulates a pump’s run cycle in a pressure tank system.
As a result, the machine runs and stops depending on the water level in the tank.
The switch’s settings can be adjusted to cause the pump to run at certain intervals depending on water usage.
A pumping cycle should last at least a minute to ensure a long pump lifespan.
What Are the Signs of a Weak Well Pump?
A pump with a too frequent cycle may signal a problem. For example, indicate a malfunctioning pump. You may need a professional to investigate and fix the problem if your well pump’s run cycle is too short.
A pump running nonstop may also indicate a problem if that isn’t your preferred setting for the pump.
For example, plumbing leaks can prevent the storage tank from holding water, forcing the pump to run continuously to try to fill it.
You should control your water usage or get a larger tank so that the pump doesn’t have to run nonstop for longer than recommended.
Choosing the Right Well Pump for Your Home
A well pump’s delivery rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
Therefore, the choice of a pump depends on the storage tank size and the home’s water demand.
You want a pump that can keep up with the household’s peak demand periods.
Most households require 6-12 GPM.
You may calculate your water demand and pump requirements by estimating 1 GPM consumption for each water appliance and fixture.
Another important factor to consider when selecting a well pump is water pressure.
This is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).
Water appliances can have varying pressure requirements.
You should seek professional advice on the best water pressure for your home.
Your well pump may run continuously as long as you need water, but overworking the pump may damage it.
Submersible pumps offer the longest continuous runtime and are ideal for deep wells.
Jet pumps and centrifugal pumps offer shorter continuous runtimes.