Submersible Well Pump vs Jet Pump: The Overall Differences to Know

A well pump has the only purpose of extracting water from a well and delivering into the plumbing system of a house or facility. While this seems simple – it’s not.

That’s why there are several types to consider. Here, we’re going over the differences between submersible well pump vs jet pump - so you can learn more about the two main types of well pumps out there.

Want to know what sets them apart and which one delivers the best performance? Then come further and find out!

Submersible Well Pump vs Jet Pump: An Overall Comparison

What is a Submersible Pump?


A submersible pump is a machine that doesn’t suck water from the outside but instead pushes water from the inside.

As its name says, it is installed inside the well as a submersible. So it goes directly into water to pump the water out of the well instead of sucking it out.

They are often called the deep well submersible pump because they are usually used in the deepest wells out there. They are ideal for wells that go between 90 feet deep and up to several hundred.

Apart from that, they offer high-pressure capacity and deliver fast results directly from the well.

This comes with several advantages – such as less maintenance, less noise, and way more volume of water and pressure.

Hallmark Industries MA0343X-4 Deep Well Submersible Pump, 1/2 hp, 110V, 60 Hz, 25 GPM, 150' Head, Stainless Steel, 4"
  • Pump, Deep Well Submersible Pump, 1/2HP, 110V 60HZ, 25 Gpm, Stainless Steel, for 5" or bigger well, long life
  • 2 wire pump with built in control box- DOES NOT require external control box; Industrial grade heavy duty, good for home usage; Built in thermal protection
  • American company
  • Use 115V power to run the pump. 110V is a nominal voltage - covers from 100 V to 130V.
  • This pump has a max head of 150feet, which is to pump into an open tank, not a pressure tank. Please read the Pump Selection Guide provided under the product details.
Red Lion 14942402 RL12G05-2W2V 4-inch Submersible Deep Well Pump, 1/2 HP, 12 GPM, 2-Wire, 230 Volt, Steel
  • Powered by industry standard 2- or 3-wire motors
  • Thermoplastic discharge and motor bracket
  • Stainless steel pump shell, control box included with all 3-wire pumps (1/2 HP to 1 HP)
  • Built-in suction screen and check valve
  • 12 gpm and 22 gpm models available

What is a Jet Pump?

Jet Pump

In contrast with submersible models, the jet pump is located above the ground. That means they don’t push water out of the pump, but suck it up.

It is an effective way to get water out of wells, especially those between 25 and 50 feet deep. But some models can offer way more than that.

This comes downs to the two different types of jet pumps you may encounter:

GOULDS Pumps GT15 IRRI-Gator Self-Priming Single Phase Centrifugal Pump, 1.5 hp, Blue
  • Self-Priming Design
  • Fully Serviceable
  • FDA Compliant Impeller
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Powered for Continuous Operation
Red Lion RJS-100-PREM 602208 Premium Cast Iron Shallow Jet Pump for Wells up to 25 ft, 9.1 x 17.8 x 9.1 inches
  • 1 HP SHALLOW WELL JET PUMP: Premium 1-HP jet pump is used for supplying fresh water to large homes, farms, and cabins
  • HEAVY-DUTY CAST IRON CONSTRUCTION: This heavy-duty pump is designed with a 115/230-volt motor with capacitor as well as corrosion and rust-resistant cast iron casing to ensure years of service and reliability
  • GLASS-FILLED THERMOPLASTIC IMPELLER AND DIFFUSER: It has a glass-filled thermoplastic impeller and diffuser for high performance and efficient water flow
  • SHALLOW JET PUMP: Ideal for shallow wells up to 25 feet in depth, the Red Lion RJS-100 1-HP Premium Shallow Well Jet Pump will get the job done
  • 115/230 VOLT HEAVY-DUTY CENTURY MOTOR PUMP: It also features 50 PSI and a 23 GPM flow rate with automatic shut-off, voltage selector for simple connection to existing power sources, a factory pre-set 30/50 pressure switch

One Line / Shallow Jet Pump

A shallow well pump uses only one line to reach wells and draw water from it. This is an effective way to do so with waters that aren’t deeper than 25 feet.

Of course, these are located outside the well, often in high ground, to provide proper sucking capacity. Yet, it all comes down to their jet-pumping system that boosts the pressure & volume once the water starts getting inside the machine.

They need to be primed with water to work.

Two Line / Convertible Jet Pump

A deep well jet pump or convertible model has two lines instead of just one. This makes it possible for the pump to reach the water in the well, and provide a somewhat stronger suction.

It is ideal for wells between 25 and 90 feet deep. Yet, it needs to be installed in ideal positions to work correctly, or else the water flow will decrease, and the machine won’t do its job correctly.

Luckily, it needs less priming than its one-line cousin. But the machine still demands a complicated installation to work correctly.

Submersible Well Pump vs Jet Pump: Key Differences

By now, you should be somewhat familiar with what each model offer. But still, to get the winner between the submersible pump vs jet pump – you need to look at their difference in-depth. Here are some of them:


The first thing to consider is installation.

Here, you’ll find that the submersible pump demands a slightly more complicated installation because it needs to go directly into the well.

While the process tends to be fast, it is not so easy. Most of the time, it requires experts to do so. But it saves space outside the well, as well as extra installation efforts above the ground such as utility rooms or protective sheds.

With jet pumps, the installation is totally different. They need to be strategically installed above the well, especially when considering the various models available.

Otherwise, they won’t pump water out as effectively, and more installation efforts will be needed.

But the installation is not easy still. Sometimes it requires expert hands as well, especially for two-line models that are slightly more complicated. And sure enough, they may also need extra sheds and/or cabins as protection above ground.


When it comes to performance, submersible models are usually way better.

Being installed directly on the pump allows them to use a more straightforward water-pushing method instead of suction. That makes the entire water-pumping process way more productive and fast – achieving immense flow rate and pressure.

In contrast, jet pumps rely heavily on priming. This means the pump will need to fill with water before starting to flow. Of course, this means a way slower pumping process, as well as less overall pumping capacity, flow rate, and pressure.

Apart from all that, submersible models do not make any noise as they’re installed inside pumps. But jet pumps do make a lot of noise, especially when set up inside homes.


When it comes to energy use, you’ll find that both types of pumps use around the same kind of power. But even though they use similar amounts, they use it differently.

This happens because submersible pumps push water instead of suctioning it. Of course, this is a way more efficient, flow-oriented, and pressure-boosting process that pumps the water out of the well with more ease. So, submersible pumps use the same power to produce way better water delivery.

On the other hand, you have jet pumps. They use the same energy but have to fight against gravity and atmospheric pressure – so they’re often less efficient. While they still use energy well, they don’t offer the same efficiency as submersible pumps.


While submersible pumps use energy better, they also provide higher durability.

This happens because submersible pumps use leak-proof gasket seals that prevent leaks. This goes well with the fact that they’re totally submersible, so you won’t have to worry about any electrical problem or any other water-related issue.

Sadly, they are often more challenging to repair when needed. But being so well-made, submersible models rarely break – and they don’t need any maintenance.

When it comes to jet pumps, they have several problems to consider. One is that being reliant on water pressure makes them susceptible to cavitation that blocks the machine when the water inside gets bubbles. Also, they need constant maintenance, including oiling.

For overall durability, you may find submersible pumps lasting between 10 and 20 years. For jet pumps, you may get between 5 and 10 years – probably a little more if you’re lucky.


Now comes the cost factor. Here, the submersible well pump cost is a little higher at first because they’re somewhat more complicated machines than others. Needing submersible builds, they can be pretty expensive. Luckily, this makes them less reliant on maintenance, so you won’t have to spend any on that.

As for jet pumps, they are often less expensive at first. But installation can be somewhat costly, and they need constant maintenance efforts to work correctly. That’s why they can be pricier over time, especially if you consider that they are less durable.

Bottom Line: Which One to Pick?

When considering which one to go for between the submersible well pump vs jet pump – you’ll have to go for the one that best matches your needs.

As you can see, it is not necessary to spend a fortune in a submersible model when you’re working on a small well at 10 or 20 feet deep. But if you need something that offers maximum pressure at the highest depth – then don’t hesitate and get one of these.

And if you’re going smaller and more affordable – a jet pump is your way to go. As long as you’re using it on a shallow well at about 20 to 30 feet and don’t need much power, then a jet pump will work wonders. Just remember, they require more maintenance and are often less durable.

So, what are you going for? Pick the one you find ideal for your requirements and you won’t regret it.

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