What are jet pumps?
One of the most common types of residential well pumps. They are used to draw water up from a dug or bored well. Jet pumps are a type of centrifugal end suction pump, but they have a special attachment to generate a vacuum, which helps draw water up the well. Unlike submersible pumps, they are located at grade level and usually work from the basement of the building or in a separate pump house.
They are generally work within the following ranges:
- Flow rate ranges between 1 and 70 gpm
- Total head (pressure) ranges between 20 and 200 ft
- Horsepower ranges between .5 and 5 hp
How do they work?
Most are powered by AC electric motors. The motor drives the impeller of the, which moves the liquid through the pump casing and pressurizes the liquid. The discharge from the pump then goes into an ejector or eductor that is attached to the pump. The ejector is a type of venture -- a tubular device that has a converging area, a throat section and a diverging area. As the pumped fluid goes through the narrow ejector throat, it creates a vacuum at the throat. Also connected at the ejector throat is a line that runs down the well to the water level. The vacuum in the ejector throat draws water up this line from the bottom of the well. At the throat the well water mixes with the drive water, and all of the water exits the diverging area of the ejector and on to the home or to the water storage tank. The vacuum created at the throat of a pump ejector is similar to creating a vacuum by sucking on a straw. However, the longer the straw, the more difficult it becomes to fill the vacuum. That’s why the pump becomes less effective as the distance between the pump and the well water increases. There are some types that have the ejector located farther down in the well, which allows them to be used in deeper settings.
Where are they used?
In general, standard jet pumps work for shallow domestic wells. Shallow well versions, with the ejector mounted on the pump, usually are limited to a depth of 25 feet. Deep well versions, with the ejector located down in the well, can go to depths of about 120 feet. For even deeper wells, submersible pumps are generally used.
Here are a few jet pump manufacturers to consider.
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