Well pumps push water from a well into a storage tank where it sits until you need it. To do this, well pumps use a pressure tank system that sends water from the reservoir or storage tank into your home’s plumbing.

As water pumps into the tank, its air pressure increases until it reaches a specific, preset level. When it reaches that point, the air pressure will push water through your home’s plumbing system. Air quality will lower as you use the water in the tank, and the pump will turn back on when the air pressure lowers to a certain point. That ensures that you always have the water you need at the ready.

Typically, well pumps fall into one of two categories: jet or submersible. Jet well pumps are located above ground and use a motor and suction pipe to pull water above ground. Submersible well pumps operate below the ground and use pressurized water to push water to the surface and into an above-ground storage tank.

There are also centrifugal and hand pumps that work best for homes with more shallow wells where a jet or submersible well pump may not work, or on properties that work off the grid. These pumps sit above ground, drawing water out through a single pipe, kind of like a straw.