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Replacing a Shallow Well Pump

This DIY project guide will help you with installing or replacing a shallow well pump. These pumps deliver water from an underground source to our homes. They are usually located outside the well or well housing as they are not submersible.

The shallow well pump is installed at the wells which are 25-feet deep or less. These are simple machines as they have one pipe between the water source and pump. Considering the simplicity they are also easy to maintain and install.  Check out the blog on where you can find many DIY articles about water systems.

Tools Required

To install a shallow well pump, you will need the following tools.

  • Pipe wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screw driver
  • Teflon tape
  • Wiring plier

And most importantly, the right size and horsepower shallow well pump.

Skills Required

  • Beginner’s level plumbing and electrical skills.

Installation Steps to Replace a Shallow Well Pump

  • Step 1: Turn off the breaker at the main circuit to cut off the power of your pump. Do note the voltages written on the breaker (110/120 or 240 volts). You will need those readings to put the power wires at the right terminals on the electrical panel of the pump.

In-case you are replacing an existing pump follow step 2 to step 5. In-case of new pump installation, skip these steps. Also, new pump installation steps are provided below considering all the piping works along with the valves are already in place.

  • Step 2: Drain the water from your faucet or hose out as well as the pressure from the holding tank.
  • Step  3: Take off the inlet (the pipe coming out of the well) and outlet (the pipe going towards the home / storage tank) pipes using the pipe wrench.
  • Step 4: Unscrew the electrical wires from the power terminal on the shallow well pump using a screwdriver.
  • Step 5: Open the mounting nuts of the shallow well pump located at the base of the pump using an adjustable wrench and remove the pump.
  • Step 6: In order to prevent the leakage from the inlet and outlet pipes, apply teflon tape to the threads of these pipes. It is recommended to wrap the teflon tape at-least 5 times for a proper seal.
  • Step 7: In case of new pump installation find out a proper place to put the pump near the inlet and outlet pipes. The shallow well pump should be placed on a concrete or wooden base. That base needs to be a little higher than the ground. In case of replacement, put the pump at the same place where the existing pump was present.
  • Step 8: Screw the pipe coming from the well to the inlet pipe of the shallow well pump. Tighten the pipe using a pipe wrench well enough so that there is no leakage. The inlet pipe is usually located near the bottom of the shallow water pump.
  • Step 9: Now screw the pipe going towards the water tank of the house to the outlet pipe of the pump. Tighten the pipe using a pipe wrench well enough to avoid leakage. The inlet pipe is usually located at the top of the pump.
  • Step 10: Connect the electrical wires on the power terminal of the pump using the screwdriver. Make sure that the wires are connected to the right terminal by checking the required power voltage of the shallow pump and comparing it with the breaker in the main circuit. If that is not the case, then rewire the pump to the right voltage configuration. You can find these details on the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer.
  • Step 11: Open the priming plug using the adjustable wrench. The priming plug is a nut located at the top of the pump.
  • Step 12: Pour water in the hole till it starts overflowing. As shallow well pumps use water to draw water; hence, the pump needs to be primed before use. If not then it will not pump the water from the well to the tank.
  • Step 13: Put the priming plug on and tighten it with the adjustable wrench.
  • Step 14: Once again check if the inlet, outlet & prime plug nut is tightened properly. Also check the power cables for any loose connection.
  • Step 15: Switch the breaker on at the main circuit. Test your pump. 
  • Step 16: Check for the leakages from the inlet and outlet pipes. Also, check if the water is being pumped. The storage tank will take time to fill hence, for immediate checking, hold the outlet pipe and feel if it is cooler than usual. If yes, then water is definitely being pumped.


The installation of the shallow well pump does not require any professional help. Anyone with beginner’s level skills in plumbing and electrical work with the right tools can do it. 

However, when it comes to determining the volume of horsepower and the type of shallow pump, some expert level research would be required. The shallow well pump size is dependent on the water needed at home. The pumps are rated in gallons per minute (GPM). The horsepower is dependent on the distance that water needs to travel.

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