How Long Does It Take To Replace A Well Pump?

There are many reasons that a homeowner may choose to install a private well, but when one relies on this for their water, there can be issues that arise with the well's equipment, including its pump. Like all plumbing mishaps, this can be quite an interruption to daily life. And you may be wondering just how long of a wait it will be during your well pump replacement. We've done the research to tell you exactly that.

Both submersible and above-ground well pumps take 2-4 hours to replace. Submersible well pumps may take longer to replace than above-ground well pumps, as they are more difficult for the service technician to access.

So now you know how long you can expect the process of replacing your well pump to take, but perhaps you have more questions about the process. Keep reading to learn more.

A submersible water pump being used in removing water in a flooded area of the construction site, How Long Does It Take To Replace A Well Pump?

Submersible Pumps

Submersible well pumps are meant for wells of a depth of 75 feet or more. They are produced with high-quality, soldered metals to ensure that their mechanical aspects are sealed and impermeable to water damage.

They are submerged under the water line in the well. Using the water from the surface, the pump creates pressure and pulls fluid from deep in the well, delivering it to the storage tank, which will then send it to the faucets in the home.

An isolated photo of a submersible water pump


There are several advantages to choosing a submersible pump. As previously mentioned, manufacturers use superior materials and production methods to create submersible pumps so that they are as water-tight and as durable as possible.

This doesn't only create a waterproof product, though. It also creates a product with a higher-level design, which will not be easily damaged or fail. Due to its direct pressure function, a submersible well pump is a great option for those homes which need a lot of water.

Perhaps a large family lives in the home, which could mean many loads of laundry, several people using baths or showers, and that the dishwasher being run more than once per day. A submersible pump can consistently provide large amounts of water to a home with stable pressure.

In addition to all of this, submersible pumps are also exceptionally energy efficient. Even as large amounts of water are being moved, a submersible pump is able to do this using less electricity. This, of course, results in lower utility bills for the homeowner.


The disadvantages of purchasing or owning a submersible well pump are few, but they are worth noting. A submersible well pump does cost more to buy and install, and this could be a drawback for those who are on a tight budget.

They are also more difficult to service than above well pumps because of their location within the well. Overheating of the well pump is also a concern, but it's unlikely to occur because of its immersion in the well water.

The Replacement Process

Replacing a submersible well pump is a somewhat complicated, complex procedure. A service technician will begin by opening the well pipe and retrieving the pump. This may sound easy enough, but it is quite a chore depending on how far down the water table is and could take quite a while.

Once the technician has retrieved the pump, they will disconnect it from the piping and pitless adapter valve. Then, they will connect these features to the new well pump. After they complete this part of the process, they will put the well pump back in place.

The technician will then disinfect the well by pumping bleach or chlorine throughout it. After this is complete, they will replace the wellhead.

Removing the pump from the well is often the most time-consuming and challenging part of the process, making the replacement of this type of pump often land on the higher end of the 2-4 hour time estimate.

Above-Ground Well Pumps

A sumbersible water pump set up outside a concrete next to a flooded portion of the construction site

Above-ground well pumps are also known as jet pumps. These devices may be located in the home or in a well house.

While submersible pumps use direct pressure to deliver the water from the well, these types of pumps use a vacuum, pulling the water through a nozzle. These units are created for use in shallow wells less than 75 feet in depth.


Above-ground well pumps have some advantages worth noting. These devices are quite powerful and are able to move water over long distances. If the well is far away from the home, this type of pump may be preferable to a submersible pump.

Another advantage to this type of pump is its accessibility. Because it is not inside the well, homeowners and technicians can easily reach it for maintenance and replacement. This also tends to make maintenance less costly than that for submersible pumps.

Above-ground pumps are also less expensive to purchase or install. This may be an attractive option for those who are on a tight budget.


A great disadvantage for above-ground pumps is that, because it is not in direct contact with the well water, it must pull the water to the pump before delivering it to the home. This means that water will not come instantly, and that may be a considerable drawback for some homeowners.

Another important aspect is that the pump can often be quite loud when turned on, and this may be another annoyance if it is in or near the home.

The Replacement Process

Replacing an above-ground well pump is much easier than replacing a submersible pump. Either the service technician or homeowner will first remove the connections from the existing pump. These are the inlet and outlet ports and the pressure switch wires. Once this is complete, you can remove the existing pump.

The service technician or homeowner will then reconnect the ports and wires to the new pump, paying close attention to the pump's installation instructions.

After this is complete, the pump will be primed and tested to ensure its functionality. As you can see, this process is fairly simple and will most likely take far less than four hours to complete.

How Much Should It Cost To Replace A Well Pump?

Replacing a well pump may cost a homeowner between $200-$5,000. This is a large range and can be influenced by both the type and brand of the new unit as well as the technical services you might have to use.

The Unit Cost

The average shallow above-well pump costs around $270, while the average shallow submersible pump costs around $475. These are for well that are below 50 feet in depth, though.

Take a look at this shallow above-well pump on Amazon.

For deep above-well pumps, one can expect to pay between $675-$745, while deep submersible pumps will run between $700-$1200.

The Service Cost

Above-well pumps cost less to install by a professional technician because they are so easily accessible. In fact, many homeowners may be capable of installing these units on their own.

Submersible pumps, however, are quite costly to exchange. Service technicians may give homeowners estimates in the thousands, and this could include parts that are bought to properly put the new pump in place, such as additional piping.

Can I Replace My Well Pump Myself?

It is certainly feasible for a homeowner to replace an above-ground well pump on their own, but the process of replacing a submersible well pump is much more involved.

While we understand the desire to save money on service fees, it will be worth the extra cost to have a submersible pump installed by a professional.

Functionality Of A Well Pump

Of course, no homeowner wants to deal with the hassle of servicing or replacing their well pump. Part of preventing issues from occurring is knowing how you should expect your well pump to function and signs of issues to watch out for.

How Often Should Your Well Pump Turn On?

How often your well pump turns on depends on the home's water usage. A family of six will certainly notice that their well pump turns on more often than that of a family of two. A well pump can cycle on and off between 10-300 times per day. Anywhere within this range is acceptable.

How Long Can A Well Pump Run Continuously?

Since you don't need to prime a submersible pump, it can run continuously for as long as needed. A jet pump, however, can only run continuously for up to 20 minutes.

What Are The Signs Of A Well Pump Going Bad?

There are many signs of a well pump requiring service or replacement to be aware of. These include:

  • The water appears cloudy or tastes bad.
  • You are experiencing low water pressure.
  • The pump cycles too often.
  • It's very loud when the water turns on.
  • The water pressure is inconsistent.
  • The electric bills are very high.

In Closing

A well is often a valuable commodity in a home, but if something fails in the well's system, such as the pump, this can be quite an upset to your daily routine. So it's natural to wonder how long it will take to have a well pump replaced.

As we explained above, the process of replacing the pump will take anywhere from 2-4 hours, with above-well pumps being shorter and submersible pumps being longer. We know this can be frustrating. We hope you will resolve your plumbing issues quickly and with ease!

Want to learn more about your home's plumbing? Visit these related posts:

Does A Well Pump Affect Water Pressure?

Does PEX Plumbing Need To Be Grounded?

Can Plumbing Be On Exterior Wall?

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