Best Hand Pumps For Shallow and Deep Wells | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • The Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump is the best overall hand pump for shallow wells.
  • If you need a hand pump for a deep well, the Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System is the best option.
  • Shallow pumps should be used for wells 25 feet deep or less. Anything deeper needs a deep well hand pump.

Water supply is crucial for our daily lives, and having a reliable hand pump for our wells can ensure access to clean water, especially in emergencies.

The best hand water pumps for shallow and deep wells are:

  1. Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump
  2. Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System
  3. Lehman's Deep Double Action Force Pump
  4. 55" Tall Shallow Well Pitcher Pump
  5. VEVOR Hand Water Pump
  6. Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump

I’ve spent hours testing and researching various pumps to find the best option for shallow and deep wells. This guide will discuss the key features and specifications to consider when searching for the perfect hand pump. Whether you have a shallow or deep well, a hand pump out there will suit your needs.

Table of contents


6 Best Hand Pumps for Shallow and Deep Wells: Your Ultimate Guide

For many people, access to water is as simple as turning on a tap, but what if you need to pump water manually from a well? This is where a high-quality hand pump comes into play.

Whether you're off-grid, preparing for emergencies, or simply have a rural property with a well, a reliable hand pump can be a lifesaver. There’s also a big difference between a submersible pump, deep well pumps, and a shallow well pump that needs to be considered.

1. Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump - Best Shallow Well Pump

Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump
Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump

Built with high-quality, lead-free stainless steel, the Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump is designed for longevity and safety. Using premium materials eliminates the risk of corrosion over time, ensuring the quality of your water remains intact.

This pump sports an elegant yet robust design engineered for optimal performance while keeping aesthetics in mind. It’s optimal for all shallow wells up to 25 feet of static water level, and no electricity is needed.

It’s made of high-quality stainless steel and can work alongside submersible pumps. Because of these features, this ranks as one of the best shallow well pumps available today.

What Sets This Pump Apart

This shallow well hand pump is designed to operate smoothly and efficiently. Despite its strong performance, it requires less human effort than many other hand pump models. This ease of use is a significant advantage, especially for households where it may be used frequently.

Another fantastic feature of the Simple Pump Shallow Well Suction Pump is its versatility. It can be used as a primary water source, a backup to an electric pump, or an off-grid solution.


  • Excellent long-term durability
  • Made of high-quality stainless steel
  • Requires less pumping effort
  • Standard 3/4" hose or 3/4" FNPT pipe connections included


  • Requires custom installation at premium pricing

2. Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System - Best Deep Well Pump

Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System
Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System

The Bison Pumps Standard Deep Well Pump System Is constructed from surgical-grade, lead-free stainless steel that resists corrosion and ensures longevity. Its design embodies a blend of style and strength, creating a sturdy and appealing look.

This water pump can seamlessly coexist with your existing electric submersible pump system in the same well casing. This allows you to have a dependable backup pump in case of power failures while using the highest quality hand pump.

The freeze-proof and pressurized system provides flexibility for everyday and emergency use. Bison Pumps offer long-lasting performance, even in the most demanding environments.

What Sets This Pump Apart

Deep well hand pumps like this can pump static water levels of 250 feet or less. Despite the depth, the pump operation remains relatively smooth and does not require significant effort, a testament to its superior engineering.

This Bison pump can be installed alongside an existing electric submersible pump, making it an excellent backup water source during power outages. For off-grid living with unreliable power, this Bison stainless steel deep pump can serve as a primary water source, ensuring access to water no matter the circumstances.


  • Stainless steel construction for durability
  • Built-in pressure relief valve
  • Hand-operated pump handle
  • Capable of pumping from depths up to 250 feet


  • Higher initial cost compared to some alternatives

3. Lehman's Deep Double Action Force Pump - Best Heavy-Duty Pump

Lehman's Deep Double Action Force Pump
Lehman's Deep Double Action Force Pump

For those seeking a heavy-duty pump that can take a beating and keep on delivering, look no further than Lehman's Deep Well Double Action Force Pump.

It is built with a cast iron body and machined brass internal components, creating a robust, heavy-duty structure that can withstand rigorous use. But be prepared to spend a pretty penny on this premium option.

The durable materials used in its construction provide the pump with excellent resistance to corrosion and wear, ensuring longevity and reliability. It has a maximum depth of 200 feet and can work with an existing electrical pump.

What Sets This Pump Apart

Where this pump truly stands out is in its double-action feature. Unlike conventional pumps, which only draw water on the upstroke, this pump draws water on both the up and down strokes with better well-depth and improved water supply access.

This translates to a continuous water supply with half the effort, a significant advantage for heavy-duty applications. Its performance and design make it ideal for farming, irrigation, and other heavy-duty tasks.


  • Maximum depth of 200 feet
  • 36-1/4"L handle
  • Adjustable stroke with three levels including 4", 6" and 9"
  • Ideal for heavy-duty applications


  • Expensive

4. 55" Tall Shallow Well Pitcher Pump - Best Cast Iron Pump

55" Tall Shallow Well Pitcher Pump
55" Tall Shallow Well Pitcher Pump

If you're looking for a traditional yet effective solution to your shallow well water needs, the 55" Tall Shallow Well Pitcher Pump is an excellent choice. It’s incredibly affordable and easy to use.

Reminiscent of a bygone era, this pump combines classic design with modern manufacturing techniques, resulting in a product that is as attractive as it is functional. Made from durable cast iron, it is built to last and withstand harsh weather conditions.

Its tall design contributes to its old-world charm and makes it easier to fill larger containers without the need for stooping or bending. Plus, the long handle makes pumping easier, reducing physical effort.

What Sets This Pump Apart

This hand-operated pump features a 25" handle, which makes pumping water a breeze. Its tall design ensures it is suitable for various installation setups. The cast iron material adds sturdiness and longevity to the pump.

Not only is it practical for drawing water, but it also makes a charming addition to your yard or garden. It can draw water from shallow wells 26 feet deep or less.

While it may not have the advanced mechanisms of some other pumps, its simple yet effective operation ensures a steady flow of water for daily needs.


  • Low-cost entry-level hand pump
  • Easy installation
  • Super durable cast iron finish
  • Antique design adds charm to any garden or yard


  • Not suitable for deep wells

5. VEVOR Hand Water Pump - Best Antique Design Pump

VEVOR Hand Water Pump
VEVOR Hand Water Pump

We love the VEVOR Hand Water Pump for its versatility and durable construction. It's suitable for shallow and deep wells, making it an excellent choice for various water sources.

Crafted from premium cast iron, the pump is robust and resistant to wear and weather, ensuring it will stand up to the test of time. The pump's beautiful, rustic aesthetic makes it a charming addition to any garden, yard, or homestead.

Despite its antique look, it is produced using modern manufacturing processes to ensure functionality and durability. It provides a steady flow of water, suitable for watering plants, personal washing, or other basic water needs.

What Sets This Pump Apart

In addition to its practical functionality, the VEVOR Hand Water Pump is a delightful decorative piece. It can be used to create a rustic aesthetic in a garden or yard, making it not just a tool but an attractive feature.

It's ideal for those who want to maintain a traditional look while ensuring access to water, whether as a primary or backup source. Plus, it can be installed using a screwdriver in 2-3 minutes.


  • Beautiful antique design
  • Easy installation process
  • High water flow rate of 2.64 gallons per minute
  • Maximum distance of 25 or 50 feet


  • Some users may find the handle a bit heavy or bulky

6. Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump - Cheapest Shallow Pump Option

Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump
Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump

Constructed from robust, weather-resistant cast iron and coated in resilient green paint, the Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump is built to endure. Despite its budget-friendly price, Lehman's hasn't compromised on the quality of materials or construction.

This pump is designed to deliver consistent, reliable performance. Suitable for shallow wells and cisterns up to 20 feet deep, this pump can provide a steady water flow for your basic needs, be it watering plants, personal hygiene, or household cleaning.

Installation is a breeze, even for DIY novices, with clear instructions provided by Lehman's. Regular maintenance is minimal, making this pump an appealing option for those seeking a straightforward, hassle-free water solution.

What Sets This Pump Apart

We love the Lehman's Green Hand Cistern Pump for its simplicity and durability. It's an excellent choice for emergencies and works efficiently to lift water from up to 20 feet down. It's easy to install and prime, making it a convenient option for those needing a reliable hand pump.

This pump's flexibility extends to its various applications. It is ideal for rural properties, gardens, and off-grid environments, and it can serve as a primary water source or as a backup during power outages. All of this comes without putting a dent in your wallet.


  • Easy to install and prime
  • Durable construction
  • Lifts water from up to 20 feet down
  • Great for emergencies


  • Imported, not locally made
  • It may require an additional drop-pipe for installation

How to Choose a Well Pump

When selecting a well pump, it's essential to consider the depth of your well. If your well is less than 30 feet deep, we recommend opting for a shallow well pump. On the other hand, if the well is deeper than that, you should choose a deep well pump.

We can choose from three main types of well pumps: shallow well pumps, deep well pumps, and convertible jet pumps. Shallow well pumps are suitable for wells less than 25 feet deep. These pumps are installed above-ground, in well housing just outside the well.

On the other hand, deep well pumps are designed for wells with greater depths. These powerful pumps can extract water from depths of up to 300 feet. It's essential to know the exact depth of your well to ensure you're getting the right type of pump.

It's essential to choose a pump with the appropriate capacity to meet our water usage requirements. Additionally, selecting a pump with a manual hand pump option can ensure

access to water during emergencies or power outages.

What Is The Ideal Flow Rate For a Hand Pump?

The flow rate is the amount of water the pump can draw and deliver per minute. It's essential for meeting our daily water needs for drinking, cooking, washing, and other activities.

For domestic use in a small household, a flow rate of 1 to 3 gallons per minute (GPM) is usually sufficient for shallow well pumps. A higher flow rate may be necessary for larger households, farms, or commercial settings.

For instance, in a shallow well where static water levels are less than 25 feet deep, a lower flow rate pump may suffice for a small household. However, deep wells with static water levels sinking to around 250 feet might require a more powerful hand pump to maintain a reasonable flow rate.

What Size Pump Do I Need For A Shallow Well?

Shallow well pumps are designed to work effectively with wells up to 25 feet deep. This is the standard differentiator between shallow and deep wells.

Next, we must look at the flow rate. This refers to the amount of water the pump can move per minute. For most homes, a flow rate of 6 to 12 gallons per minute (GPM) is sufficient.

This ensures that we have enough water pressure to meet our daily needs, such as showering, washing dishes, and watering the lawn.

We also need to think about the total dynamic head (TDH), which is the total vertical distance the water needs to travel from the well to its final destination. This measurement includes the vertical lift, horizontal distance, and any resistance from pipes and fittings.

Difference Between Shallow & Deep Well Pumps

Shallow well pumps, or cistern pumps, are designed to draw water from sources less than 25 feet below ground. They're typically easier to install and more affordable than deep well pumps.

These pumps are often used for homes with wells with a relatively high water table. They're not submersible, so they're installed above ground and connected to the well through a pipe.

On the other hand, deep well pumps are designed to retrieve water from depths several hundred feet below ground. They're more expensive and powerful than shallow well pumps, as they need to overcome the challenges of lifting water from great depths.

The efficiency of a pump depends on the depth of the well and the daily water requirements. For example, if we have a deep well, but low water usage, a shallow well pump might not provide adequate pressure and flow. It's important to consider the specific needs of our well and household before making a decision.