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A Comparative Analysis of 1HP vs. 3/4 HP: Choosing the Right Well Pump

Many factors, such as flow rate and pressure, determine a well pump’s performance. However, most pump manufacturers use horsepower (HP) to rate a well pump’s performance and size. While different horsepower sizes are available, 1 HP and 3/4HP are the most common sizes for residential use.

So, 1HP Vs. 3/4 HP well pump, which one is right for you? The answer isn’t straightforward, as there are different factors to consider, such as well specs, flow rate, energy consumption, and water usage.

To help you, we’ll conduct a comparative analysis of 1 HP and 3/4 HP well pumps. We’ll compare their specifications and performance to give you valuable insight when choosing the next well pump for your resident. Let’s get started.

Understanding Well Pumps

1HP vs 3-4 HP well pump

To decide between 1 hp and ¾ well pumps, clearly understanding the well pumps is crucial. The understanding includes the types of well pumps, components of pumps, how they work, and factors that affect the performance of pumps.

Types of Well Pumps

Submersible pumps, jet pumps, and centrifugal pumps are the three types you can use to pump water from a well. But how do the three pumps compare? Let’s find out.

1. Submersible pumps

A submersible pump sits underwater, hence the name. It has impellers at the bottom to push up water through a pipe. A significant advantage of submersible pumps is that they’re self-priming.

Therefore, they don’t need external assistance to start the pumping process. Also, because the pump is submerged, it doesn’t spend energy drawing water into the pump, making it energy efficient.

Moreover, being underwater offers quiet operation. Plus, there’s no rapid rise or drop in pressure, meaning cavitation is never an issue. Again, a submersible pump has the highest pumping head of up to 400 feet, making it ideal for both shallow and deep wells.

However, the underwater setup may require professional installation to avoid electrical shock.

2. Jet pumps

A jet pump sits above the ground. It uses suction to draw water from the well through a pipe. Essentially, it’s more of a centrifugal pump but with a venturi nozzle at the discharge outlet. This narrow nozzle increases water velocity, which reduces pressure to provide suction.

The high water velocity makes jet pumps ideal for many applications, including irrigation. Also, the high flow rate makes them suitable for draining ponds or removing flood water. Moreover, you can adjust the flow rate to suit your needs. Furthermore, you can offset the pump away from the well for easy access, especially during repairs.

Since it spends more energy drawing water into the pump, a jet pump is less energy efficient than a submersible pump. Again, it’s only suitable for shallow residential wells up to 25 feet. Even the convertible jet pump with an ejector kit is limited to depths of up to 120 feet.

3. Centrifugal pumps

A centrifugal pump has a rotating impeller that creates low pressure, drawing the water through the suction pipe. The rotation energy then expels the water through the discharge pipe. You can mount a centrifugal pump above the ground or just above the waterline.

Also, centrifugal pumps have a less frictional loss of power, making them more energy efficient than jet pumps. Lack of drive seals means no leakage and that they can handle some silt without considerable wear.

Though they can lift water to several hundred feet, centrifugal pumps only have an effective suction of up to 25 feet. Also, centrifugal pumps are more prone to cavitation.

Components of Well Pumps

Different essential components make up the overall well pump system.

  • The pump: It’s the primary component that draws water from the well, pushing it to the surface. The main parts of the pump are the impeller, motor, and pump housing.
  • Foot valve and check valve: Both prevent backflow. In addition, the foot valve keeps your pump primed, lessening the risk of pump damage.
  • Pressure tank: This storage tank holds the water coming in from the well. It’s often at a higher level from the ground to supply water at an adequate pressure.
  • Pressure switch: This switch monitors the water pressure in the pressure tank. It powers the pump when the pressure falls below the minimum PSI rating, allowing more water into the pressure tank. It turns off the pump once the maximum PSI is reached.
  • Piping: Pipes channel water from the well into the pump and out to the pressure tank.

How Well Pumps Work

Well-pumps use a rotating impeller to create suction that draws water from the well. The rotating energy then pushes the water through a delivery pipe to a storage tank or your home’s plumbing system.

The following video may help you to understand the suction of a water pump:

Factors Affecting Well Pump Performance

Here are factors that impact the efficiency and reliability of well pumps.

  • Well depth: The deeper the well, the more power the pump requires to lift water to the surface
  • Pump type: Different well pumps have varying flow rates and head heights that can impact their efficiency.
  • Pump size/Horsepower: A larger well pump pushes more water at a faster rate, but at the expense of more power usage.
  • Motor type: A high-quality, low-maintenance motor increases the longevity of the pump and reduces energy consumption.
  • Water quality: Debris and water contaminants can potentially damage the pump’s mechanical parts.
  • Water quantity: If the well doesn’t have enough water, it can strain the pump, leading to decreased performance.

1 HP Well Pumps

Let’s explore the features of the 1 HP pump, including ideal uses and its advantages and disadvantages over the 3/4 HP pump.

Features of 1 HP well pumps

  • Maximum flow rate: Up to 37 gallons per minute
  • Maximum head: Up to 434 feet
  • No-load wattage: 745W
  • Estimated starting wattage at full load: 3000W
  • Estimated running wattage at full load: 1000W


  • Higher flow rate
  • It offers better performance at greater depths


  • Typically more expensive
  • Higher energy consumption

Ideal Uses of 1 HP Well Pumps

  • Domestic water supply
  • Irrigation
  • Commercial and industrial uses
  • Municipal water supply
  • Groundwater remediation

Examples of Popular 1 HP Well Pumps

Popular 1 HP well pumps include Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7A and the Red Lion RL12G10.

3/4 HP Well Pumps

Let’s explore the 3/4 HP pumps, including ideal uses and their advantages and disadvantages over the 1 HP pump.

Features of 3/4 HP Well Pumps

  • Maximum flow rate: Up to 25.5 gallons per minute
  • Maximum head: Up to 333 feet
  • No-load wattage: 560W
  • Estimated starting wattage at full load: 2235W
  • Estimated running wattage at full load: 745W


  • Lower energy consumption
  • Typically less expensive


  • Lower flow rate
  • Limited performance in deeper wells

Ideal Uses of 3/4 HP Well Pumps

  • Domestic water supply
  • Irrigation
  • Livestock watering
  • Commercial use

Examples of Popular 3/4 HP Well Pumps

Some of the most popular 3/4 HP well pumps are Red Lion RL12G07 and Hallmark Industries MA0459X.

Comparison Between 1 HP and 3/4 HP Well Pumps

Many variables can affect the comparison between these two well pump types. Therefore, we’ll make a comparison on the assumption that both pumps are of the same model, type, and manufacturer.

Power Consumption

The horsepower rating of a motor represents its output power. For this reason, it doesn’t indicate the amount of power it consumes.

Nevertheless, pump manufacturers use horsepower ratings to refer to power input. So the more horsepower, the more electricity it uses. 1HP equals 746 watts. So, the 1 HP pump consumes 746 watts of electricity, while the 3/4 HP pump requires approximately 560 watts.

However, according to the Motor Fact Sheet, actual power consumption considers other factors, such as efficiency and load. So, your pump will consume up to 75% more power than the rated power.  For instance, 1 HP and 3/4 HP pumps may require a running power consumption of 1000 watts and 850 watts, respectively.

Flow Rate

How much water the pump moves per minute depends on the lifting height, pipe diameter, and the distance to the point of use. However, if everything is fixed, the 1HP pump will have a higher water flow rate than the 3/4HP well pump. This is because it has a larger impeller that moves more water per minute.

Maximum Head

The pump head is how high the pump can lift water through the delivery pipe. And yes, horsepower affects how high a pump can lift water. More horsepower equals more lift.

For example, the Red Lion submersible pump is available in both 1 HP and 3/4 HP.  The 1 HP version has a maximum lift of 434 feet compared to 333 feet for the 3/4 HP pump.


The 1 HP pump will cost more than a 3/4 HP pump because of the more powerful motor. The price of the well pump largely depends on the brand and model.

But to give you an idea, the average price range for a high-quality quality 1 HP well pump is $300 to $1500. On the other hand, a 3/4 HP pump may cost $200 to $800. However, note that higher-end well pumps with more advanced features may cost even more.

Remember these are purchasing costs. They don’t include the installation cost of the well pump.


Some might argue that the 1 HP pump is more durable because it’s designed for more heavy-duty applications. But it’s not always the case. Both pumps can be equally durable, provided they have the same design and construction material.

Pump Maintenance

Horsepower rating only measures the power output. Hence, it doesn’t affect pump maintenance. That said, it’s difficult to tell which one requires more maintenance.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Well Pump

Several key factors will help to choose a well pump that’s tailored to your specific needs.

Water Needs

What’s your household’s water consumption? Essentially, you want to consider the number of individuals in the household and their water usage habits.

Also, don’t forget to include any outdoor water usage, such as irrigation. This will determine the flow rate and horsepower required for your well pump. Generally, you’ll need a 1 HP pump for high water demands.

Depth of The Well

A deeper well requires a more powerful well pump to overcome the high water column. Therefore, the 1 HP pump will typically have a higher maximum head than the 3/4 HP well pump.

Most 1 HP pumps have a maximum effective lifting height of 207 feet, and up to 400 feet on more advanced models. The 3/4 HP pumps would typically lift water to around 150 feet, with higher-end pumps lifting up to 300 feet.

Pumping Distance

What’s the distance between your well and the point of use? Generally, a 1 HP pump will push water to longer distances than the 3/4 horsepower pump. However, the distance will depend on the specifications of your well and the plumbing system.

Available Power Supply

What’s your existing power source? Both 1 HP and 3/4 HP well pumps have different options for different power sources. You can get an AC pump that operates on electricity or a DC well pump that runs on solar power.


Get a well pump that fits within your means. Choose a 3/4 HP pump if you’re on a tight budget and a 1 HP pump if you’re willing to spend a little more on a powerful well pump. However, don’t be tempted to choose a cheaper model at the expense of quality and water needs.

Maintenance Requirements

Both the 1-horsepower and 3/4 horsepower pumps have the same maintenance requirements. The difference may only come if the two pumps are of different builds and materials.


Comparing 1 HP Vs. 3/4 HP well pumps require careful consideration of key factors. These include performance metrics, well specifications, water needs, and budget.

While the 1 HP pump offers a higher flow rate, it costs more and consumes more energy. On the other hand, the 3/4 HP pump consumes less energy. So, it comes at a lower expense with a lower water flow rate.

Ultimately, the better pump depends on water usage and the specific requirements of your well. Choose the 1 HP well pump for deeper water tables with high water demand. However, if you have a shallow well with typical household needs, a 3/4 HP well pump will do.