Deep Well Pump Selection: A Comprehensive Guide

Selecting the right deep well pump is crucial for efficient and reliable water extraction. This comprehensive guide delves into the key measurable and quantifiable data points to consider, ensuring you make an informed decision that optimizes performance and minimizes energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Well Depth and Water Level

The depth of the well is a critical factor in pump selection. It determines the minimum pump depth required for efficient water extraction. Typically, deep wells range from 100 to 1,000 feet (30 to 300 meters) in depth, with some reaching even deeper.

The static water level (SWL) and dynamic water level (DWL) in the well are essential for determining the pump’s suction lift and total dynamic head (TDH). The SWL is the level of the water when the well is not being pumped, while the DWL is the level of the water when the pump is operating at a specific flow rate. These water levels can vary significantly depending on the well’s geology, aquifer characteristics, and pumping rate.

Pump Flow Rate and Total Dynamic Head (TDH)

deep well pump selection

The desired flow rate (Q) is another crucial factor in pump selection. It determines the pump’s capacity to meet the water demand, which can range from a few gallons per minute (GPM) for residential use to hundreds of GPM for agricultural or industrial applications.

The total dynamic head (TDH) is the sum of the static head (vertical lift), friction loss head (due to water flow through pipes and fittings), and any additional pressure requirements. Calculating the TDH accurately is essential for selecting the right pump, as it directly affects the pump’s power requirements and efficiency.

To calculate the TDH, you’ll need to consider the following:

  1. Static Head: The vertical distance from the water level to the point of discharge.
  2. Friction Loss Head: The head loss due to the flow of water through the pipes and fittings. This can be calculated using the Hazen-Williams or Darcy-Weisbach equations, taking into account the pipe diameter, length, and material.
  3. Additional Pressure Requirements: Any additional pressure requirements, such as those needed for a sprinkler system or a pressurized storage tank.

Pump Power and Efficiency

The required power (P) for the pump depends on the flow rate and TDH. It is usually expressed in horsepower (HP) or watts (W). The power requirement can be calculated using the formula:

P = (Q × TDH × SG) / (3,960 × η)

– P = Pump power (HP)
– Q = Flow rate (GPM)
– TDH = Total dynamic head (feet)
– SG = Specific gravity of the liquid (dimensionless)
– η = Pump efficiency (decimal)

The efficiency (η) of a pump is the ratio of the output power (useful work) to the input power (electrical energy). It is usually expressed as a percentage and can range from 50% to 85% for deep well pumps, depending on the pump type and operating conditions.

Motor Insulation Class and Liquid Properties

The insulation class of the motor windings should match the maximum water temperature to ensure reliable operation and prevent damage. Common insulation classes for deep well pumps include Class B (130°C), Class F (155°C), and Class H (180°C).

The specific gravity (S.G.) and viscosity of the liquid being pumped can also affect pump performance. High specific gravity liquids, such as brine or heavy oils, may require special pump designs to maintain efficiency and prevent cavitation.

Duty Point and Best Efficiency Point (BEP)

The duty point is the operating point of the pump in a particular application, while the BEP is the point of maximum efficiency. Running pumps outside the recommended range can lead to higher running costs, cavitation damage, excessive vibration, and reduced mechanical seal life.

To ensure the pump operates at or near the BEP, it’s essential to match the pump’s performance curve with the system’s requirements. This can be done by analyzing the pump curve, which is a graphical representation of the pump’s performance at different flow rates and heads.

Pump Curve Analysis

The pump curve provides valuable information for selecting the right pump for a specific application. It typically includes the following data:

  • Flow rate (Q)
  • Total dynamic head (TDH)
  • Pump efficiency (η)
  • Net positive suction head required (NPSHR)
  • Shaft power (P)

By analyzing the pump curve, you can determine the pump’s operating characteristics, such as the maximum flow rate, maximum head, and the point of maximum efficiency. This information can then be used to select the most appropriate pump for the application, ensuring optimal performance and energy efficiency.


Deep well pump selection involves a comprehensive analysis of various measurable and quantifiable data points, including well depth, water levels, pump flow rate, TDH, pump power, efficiency, motor insulation class, specific gravity and viscosity, duty point and BEP, and pump curve. By considering these factors, you can ensure efficient and reliable water extraction, minimizing energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Remember, proper pump selection is crucial for the success of your deep well project. Take the time to carefully evaluate each of the data points discussed in this guide, and consult with experienced professionals if needed. With the right deep well pump, you can enjoy a reliable and cost-effective water supply for years to come.

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