How to build a water hand pump

Introduction: Hand-powered Water Pump

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

For some reason the photos are upside down here, but rightside up on my computer. Hmmm.

I needed a hand-powered water pump for a kid’s toy, but the hardware store version cost $30 and was the wrong size. This one costs around $10, depending on what scrap supplies you have lying around.

The basic problem is to make two “check valves” as cheaply as possible. These are 1-way valves, in this case operated by superballs I liberated from the kids’ toy basket.

Here’s your parts list, most bought from Home Depot. Total cost: $10.47.
– 1 1/4″ x 1/2″ PVC bushing, screw type on 1/2″ end (2)
– 1 1/4″ PVC Tee (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 1″ PVC bushing, pressure fit both ends (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 1/2″ PVC bushing SPGXS (1)
– 1/2″ x 3/4″ PVC male adapter SXMPT (1)
– 1 1/4″ PVC elbow (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 2′ PVC pipe

Scrounged:
– superballs, small enough to fit inside 1 1/4″ PVC pipe with some room to play (2)
– dowel rod or square wood rod to serve as plunger, as large as possible to fit easily inside 1 1/4″ PVC pipe
– rubber or rubberized foam source to seal plunger. I cut up an old foam floor mat. An old sandal would work, too.
– screws to hold superballs and plunger seal in place (3)
– Optional: PVC primer and cement, depending on how permanent you want your pump to be

Step 1: Layout of Parts

This shows the relative position of parts prior to assembly.

Step 2: Secure Balls in Place

Drill holes for screws to keep the balls from straying far from their bushings. You want some room to move, for water to go by in the forward direction, but not so much that it takes long for the ball to get back to sealing position.

1/2-way through the T and the elbow worked well for me.

Step 3: Assembly

Follow the pics in order.
After each step, use a rubber mallet to tap pieces into tight fit.
If you plan to cement it together, I recommend dry fitting first, about 1/2-way inserting each part to test you have it all right.
Look to notes in the photo mouse-overs for details on how each piece fits.

Step 4: Making the Plunger

Cut a circle of foam or rubber scrap just larger than the inner diameter of your plunger pipe.
Screw it to the end of your dowel.
Trim it stepwise until it fits snug, so no water can escape around the plunger but so it’s still easy to slide. A disk or drum sander will make this trimming easy, if you have one.

You may wish to drive a screw into the side of your plunger dowel rod to limit how deeply it can pass into the plunger pipe.

This gives you a general purpose pump, that can be adapted with screw-in fittings for any other pipe or hose you wish to attach. Though I started this for a children’s toy, it’s actually quite robust, and with the rubber balls as valves, should last for years. The plunger is the most fail-prone part I bet, but also the easiest to replace/repair.

I see no reason this could not be scaled up to whatever volume of pump you want, by extending the length of the plunge pipe or using different diameter PVC pipes with larger balls.

Step 5: Fully Assembled

I won’t go into detail of how to build a housing and hand lever for the pump , since the guts of the project are meant to be generally applicable.

This is just a photo of how I put it to use, in a toy pump for my kids. It easily squirts water 20′.

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12 Comments

How to build a water hand pump

Thanks for the inspiration, mine it’s not as pretty as yours but it’s functional

How to build a water hand pump

Turn them upside down on your computer and re-upload. Maybe that will fix the problem.

How to build a water hand pump

Anybody else carsick?

Just teasing, of course! Great tutorial; can’t wait to try it!

How to build a water hand pump

This seems an interesting and useful instructable, but I don’t understand it fully.
Where goes the plunger? Maybe a video?

How to build a water hand pump

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Added a video of it in use. The plunger goes into the long empty pipe (If you view what you’ve made as an upside-down “T”, then put it in the long vertical part. You can see my son moving the plunger up and down to work the pump.

How to build a water hand pump

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Yes, the video carify all. The photos are upside down, as you mentioned, but I didn’t realize that. Well done!

Join the Community

How to build a water hand pump

A hand pump is a pump that uses power supplied by the user’s own muscles for its operation. The most common types of hand pumps are those used to pump water and air, though water pumps have become increasingly more automated over the years. Hand pumps for air remain very popular, especially when inflating things like athletic balls and bicycle tires.

The air hand pump works by drawing air into the pump and then forcing it through the nozzle and into the desired object. Air is drawn in via one of two ways. The first way is for the air to sucked in when the pump handle is pulled upward. The other way, for a bulb hand pump, is simply to squeeze and release the bulb. The bulb naturally fills up with air as it is squeezed.

The hand pump may not be able to deliver as much air pressure as is required for some inner tubes and therefore should only be used with things it is recommended for. Automated pumps are able to provide much more pressure for products that demand it. Still, the air hand pump can be used for many applications and may be more convenient, or at least the preferred option, for many of them.

The hand water pump is a truly simple device that uses the power of suction to draw water up from an underground well. As the hand is pushed down, the fulcrum causes the piston rod to go up, thus taking with it the piston and its sealing O-rings. That upward suction causes a check valve at the bottom of the pump, often referred to as a foot valve, to open and draws water. When the piston goes back down, that pressure causes the check valve to close, thus trapping the water above the piston (through the use of another check valve). This cycle repeats itself as long as the hand pump is in use.

While most water pumps operated by hand are considered relics of years that have already passed, they may still be in use, especially as a backup when electricity is not available. They may also be used in more rural areas of Third World countries as a primary source of water. So despite the fact they have mainly disappeared from the public consciousness, they still may provide the only access to clean water in some areas.

The hand pump is usually a cheap device, which can be operated with very little experience. The only thing that may take a little skill is the priming of a water pump. Other than that, most pumps can be operated by most people, even if they are of limited mechanical abilities.

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Discussion Comments

I personally prefer water and air that comes without all of this work, but sometimes a hand pump is the best and most convenient thing to use. I have a pump for the bikes and the balls and all the kids’ toys that need to be blown up all the time. They work no matter where you’re at – there doesn’t have to be electric hookups close by and you can take them practically wherever you go (down to the beach, out to the park). I keep one in the trunk of the car and in the camper so that we always have one when we need one. I have recently discovered that there are electric pumps you can plug into a cigarette lighter which is pretty cool, too. blackDagger April 18, 2011

When I was a little kid one of my favorite things in the whole wide world was for my grandparent’s to take me to the ‘big woods.’ I thought it was far out in the middle of nowhere and that there were giants and witches everywhere. (Come to find out, it’s about 10 minutes outside of town.) Regardless, there was this great old deep well hand pump. People who come by and used it while they were camping or whatever knew that the glass mason jar next to the pump had to be filled with water before they were finished, and that’s how we primed the pump. After we got it going, and let it run a minute or two (all the while pumping away) you could drink the coldest, best-tasting water. These pumps are so outdated now, I don’t know where you could find one – but I think every kid should get to use one at least once!

Introduction: Hand-powered Water Pump

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

For some reason the photos are upside down here, but rightside up on my computer. Hmmm.

I needed a hand-powered water pump for a kid’s toy, but the hardware store version cost $30 and was the wrong size. This one costs around $10, depending on what scrap supplies you have lying around.

The basic problem is to make two “check valves” as cheaply as possible. These are 1-way valves, in this case operated by superballs I liberated from the kids’ toy basket.

Here’s your parts list, most bought from Home Depot. Total cost: $10.47.
– 1 1/4″ x 1/2″ PVC bushing, screw type on 1/2″ end (2)
– 1 1/4″ PVC Tee (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 1″ PVC bushing, pressure fit both ends (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 1/2″ PVC bushing SPGXS (1)
– 1/2″ x 3/4″ PVC male adapter SXMPT (1)
– 1 1/4″ PVC elbow (1)
– 1 1/4″ x 2′ PVC pipe

Scrounged:
– superballs, small enough to fit inside 1 1/4″ PVC pipe with some room to play (2)
– dowel rod or square wood rod to serve as plunger, as large as possible to fit easily inside 1 1/4″ PVC pipe
– rubber or rubberized foam source to seal plunger. I cut up an old foam floor mat. An old sandal would work, too.
– screws to hold superballs and plunger seal in place (3)
– Optional: PVC primer and cement, depending on how permanent you want your pump to be

Step 1: Layout of Parts

This shows the relative position of parts prior to assembly.

Step 2: Secure Balls in Place

Drill holes for screws to keep the balls from straying far from their bushings. You want some room to move, for water to go by in the forward direction, but not so much that it takes long for the ball to get back to sealing position.

1/2-way through the T and the elbow worked well for me.

Step 3: Assembly

Follow the pics in order.
After each step, use a rubber mallet to tap pieces into tight fit.
If you plan to cement it together, I recommend dry fitting first, about 1/2-way inserting each part to test you have it all right.
Look to notes in the photo mouse-overs for details on how each piece fits.

Step 4: Making the Plunger

Cut a circle of foam or rubber scrap just larger than the inner diameter of your plunger pipe.
Screw it to the end of your dowel.
Trim it stepwise until it fits snug, so no water can escape around the plunger but so it’s still easy to slide. A disk or drum sander will make this trimming easy, if you have one.

You may wish to drive a screw into the side of your plunger dowel rod to limit how deeply it can pass into the plunger pipe.

This gives you a general purpose pump, that can be adapted with screw-in fittings for any other pipe or hose you wish to attach. Though I started this for a children’s toy, it’s actually quite robust, and with the rubber balls as valves, should last for years. The plunger is the most fail-prone part I bet, but also the easiest to replace/repair.

I see no reason this could not be scaled up to whatever volume of pump you want, by extending the length of the plunge pipe or using different diameter PVC pipes with larger balls.

Step 5: Fully Assembled

I won’t go into detail of how to build a housing and hand lever for the pump , since the guts of the project are meant to be generally applicable.

This is just a photo of how I put it to use, in a toy pump for my kids. It easily squirts water 20′.

Be the First to Share

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

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How to build a water hand pump

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12 Comments

How to build a water hand pump

Thanks for the inspiration, mine it’s not as pretty as yours but it’s functional

How to build a water hand pump

Turn them upside down on your computer and re-upload. Maybe that will fix the problem.

How to build a water hand pump

Anybody else carsick?

Just teasing, of course! Great tutorial; can’t wait to try it!

How to build a water hand pump

This seems an interesting and useful instructable, but I don’t understand it fully.
Where goes the plunger? Maybe a video?

How to build a water hand pump

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Added a video of it in use. The plunger goes into the long empty pipe (If you view what you’ve made as an upside-down “T”, then put it in the long vertical part. You can see my son moving the plunger up and down to work the pump.

How to build a water hand pump

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Yes, the video carify all. The photos are upside down, as you mentioned, but I didn’t realize that. Well done!

In many developing countries, there is an increasing need for affordable water gathering systems. The main system currently used in several developing countries is a hand-operated pump since they are the most sustainable low cost option for safe water supply in resource poor settings. They are used for many purposes, industrial, marine, irrigation, and leisure activities.

The hand pump being analyzed in this report is very cheap and easy to make, it can be seen in figure 1 below. It utilizes the water hammer effect to pump water. The water hammer effect is a pressure surge or wave resulting when fluid in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly. Water hammer commonly occurs when a valve is closed suddenly at an end of a pipeline system, and a pressure wave propagates in the pipe. [1]

Figure 1: Hand Pump

Содержание

  • 1 Engineering
    • 1.1 Functionality
    • 1.2 Calculations
  • 2 Regional Considerations
  • 3 Required Materials
  • 4 Required Tools
  • 5 Hand Pump Design
    • 5.1 Suggested Design
    • 5.2 Prototype
  • 6 Cost Analysis
  • 7 References

Functionality [ править | править код ]

A diagram of the system can be seen in figure 2 below. When the hose moves down, the foot valve on the end of the garden hose opens allowing the flow of water. When the garden hose moves up, the foot valve on the garden hose closes and more water is pulled into the PVC schedule 40 pipe.

Figure 2: Function of the hand pump

Calculations [ править | править код ]

As mentioned earlier this pump utilizes the water hammer effect. In most practical cases, this effect occurs at very high flow rates and pressures so compressibility of the fluid should be considered. For the hand pump being created, incompressibility can be assumed because very low flow rates and pressures are being considered.

The density of water at atmospheric conditions is ρ=1000kg/m 3 . This factor can be used in the calculation of the pressure of the water entering the foot valve at the end of the hose. The pressure of the water entering at the end of the hose, P1, can be found using equation (1).

Where the gravitational constant is g=9.81m/s 2 and the atmospheric pressure is 101,325Pa. The velocity of the water entering the pump will be the same as the velocity at which the user propels the hose downward into the well. Assuming in each downward motion the hose travels a distance of 0.15m and this motion takes 0.5 seconds to execute than the velocity at which the hose is moving is 0.3m/s. Therefore the velocity of the water entering the hose is V1=0.3m/s. Since compressibility effects can be ignored the Bernoulli equation, equation (2), can be used to calculate the exiting velocity.

Where h2-h1 is the difference in height between the top and bottom of the hose and this is indicated in figure 3 below. P2 can be taken as zero since it is equal to the atmospheric pressure. Note a control volume was taken around the hose and this is indicated in figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Demonstration of flow

Using the exiting velocity, V2, the volumetric flow rate of the system can be found with equation (3).

Where

Flow rate for different well lengths can be seen in table 1 below.

style=”text-align:center; font-weight:bold; background:#CEF2CE;”

Table 1: Flow rates for different well lengths

Well Depth (ft) 10 20 50 100 150
Density of Water (kg/m 3 ) 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Gravity (m/s 2 ) 9.81 9.81 9.81 9.81 9.81
Atmospheric Pressure (Pa) 101,325 101,325 101,325 101,325 101,325
Pressure at Intake (Pa) 131,226 161,127 250,829 400,334 549,838
Exiting Velocity (m/s) 5.50 7.76 12.25 17.32 21.21
Exiting Area (m 2 ) 0.000198 0.000198 0.000198 0.000198 0.000198
Volumetric Flow Rate (m 3 /s) 0.001089 0.001536 0.002425 0.003428 0.004197

Community participation in rural water supply is essential for the successful implementation of hand-powered pumps. As the number of hand pumps installed in a country increases the demand for mobile maintenance teams increases also, unless the village assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the hand-pump. For this to occur the hand-pump technology has to be suitable for village maintenance, there has to be a designated and trained caretaker of the pump and there must be spare parts that are readily available. To purchase spare parts the village can set up a cash collection fund and possibly receive backup from the government or other local agencies. [2]

Plastic materials are increasingly used in hand-pump designs because of low costs and corrosion resistance. However, manufacturing processes to make high quality plastic products are often lacking in developing countries. [2]

This pump is limited to regions with wells that have deep water levels to allow for the pumping action. Water quality plays an important role in water supply from wells. Problems that are frequently encountered are corrosivity (affecting the pump parts and the rising main if made of iron), excess minerals (possibly resulting in a taste that is objectionable to the users), and surface pollution (i.e. organic materials or agriculture chemicals). Where such problems are suspected to exist, the water quality should be appropriately monitored and the design and completion of the wells corrected to avoid problems to the degree possible. [2]

Here is a list of the required materials needed to build this pump:

Last Updated: May 14, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.

There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 10,035 times.

While a fully functional water pump used to draw water from an underground well requires a lot of material, equipment, and technical know-how, you can build your own mini-water pump as a DIY project. You’ll need PVC pipes, a small strip of sheet metal and a bicycle spoke to make the impeller that drives the water through the pump, a 12V DC motor, a small rotor, a 12V battery, and a soldering iron.

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

Tip: Use a hacksaw or a pipe cutter to cut longer lengths of PVC pipe down to size for your water pump.

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

How to build a water hand pump

Warning: Soldering irons heat up to very high temperatures and are a potential fire hazard. Be very careful when you’re using one and don’t place it down on a flammable surface while it’s still on.

How to build a water hand pump

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Few things are more charming in a cottage garden than an antique or old-fashioned hand pump surrounded by old-time flower favorites. Add the musical sound of splashing water and you have a near perfect garden ornament. Birds, insects and other wildlife will also be drawn to this fresh-water oasis among the plants. Best of all, it’s an inexpensive and easy to build project that requires simple tools and only a few hours work.

Preparing the Reservoir and Fountain Pump

Position a reservoir — anything that holds water, such as a whiskey barrel, plastic tub or a pool will work — in whatever place you want your fountain.

Level the reservoir by placing a carpenter’s level across the top from side to side and adjusting the reservoir until the bubble lines up in the center of the leveling tube.

Set the fountain pump in the bottom of the reservoir and arrange the electrical cord and pump tubing so they run smoothly across the bottom of the reservoir and up the side close to the spot where you will place your hand pump.

Place a pump cover over the fountain pump in the reservoir to protect it from whatever river rocks, pebbles or other decorative substrate you plan to use.

Spread a decorative substrate in place over the fountain pump, tubing and electrical cord.

Setting the Hand Pump

Remove any fittings or pipe remaining within your old hand pump so that it is smooth and hollow inside from base to spout. You may need wrenches, screwdrivers or other tools for this — depending upon the type and condition of the fittings inside the pump.

Choose a base to support your hand pump. Anything from a simple board to a wooden box or large stone to raise the pump spout above the rim of the reservoir will work. The hand pump should sit directly above the reservoir, or just outside it, so that water from the spout enters the reservoir as it falls.

Drill a hole the same diameter as the fountain pump tubing through the base support and thread the end of the tubing up through the bottom.

Set the base in place above or behind the reservoir. Fasten the hand pump by placing appropriate screws or bolts through the holes in the base of the pump.

Pull enough tubing up through the hole in the base to enable you to thread the remainder through the inside of the old pump and into the back of the spout. If the tubing is too loose, wedge a scrap piece of PVC pipe inside the pump first, and thread the tubing through that to fix it in place.

Fill the reservoir with water.

Plug the electrical cord into a GFCI outlet to test that the water flows unobstructed through the tubing and out the spout. Adjust the position of the pump or tubing as necessary, and enjoy your new fountain.

How to build a water hand pump

There are many instances when you may need to pump water, but you find yourself without electricity.

Some of these instances could be a natural weather disaster, power outages, or attempting to live as “off-grid” as possible.

You may need water out of a well or attempting to pump from a pond, creek, or some other outside water source. Today we will discuss how to pump water without electricity with this step by step guide.

Different Methods for pumping water without electricity

  • Solar powered pump to get water from a well
  • Manual water pump to get water from a well
  • Water-powered water pumps
  • Wind powered water pumps

There are benefits and uses for each type of electricity-free pumping methods. Many of the options require access to a well.

Today we will be discussing how to pump water without electricity with the use of water-powered water pumps; specifically a hydraulic ram pump.

What is a hydraulic ram pump?

According to a North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service report, a hydraulic ram pump “is a simple, motorless device for pumping water at low flow rates.

How to build a water hand pump

It uses the energy of flowing water to lift water from a stream, pond, or spring to an elevated storage tank or to a discharge point. It is suitable for use where small quantities of water are required and power supplies are limited, such as for household, garden, or livestock water supply.

A hydraulic ram pump is useful where the water source flows constantly and the usable fall from the water source to the pump location is at least 3 feet.”

How to build a water hand pump

Here is an excellent step-by-step guide with photos on how to build a hydraulic pump. This one costs about $50 in parts, requires no electricity, and relies on gravity and pressure to function.

How to use a water-powered water pump (Hydraulic ram pump)?

There are two basic requirements for building a hydraulic ram pump:

  • You will need a continuous source of water from a pool or natural spring of sorts that is situated above the pump so the water can flow/”fall” down into it.
  • You need enough water that no less than 3 gallons of water per minute can flow into the troupe.

How to build a water hand pump

To install the pump:

  • Install the ram at least a foot and a half below the source of water. The length of the tubing from the water supply to the pump, known as the drive pipe, should be around 10 to 15 times greater than the distance of where it falls.
  • Place a filter screen over the drive pipe’s inlet opening to avoid pulling in foreign matter.
  • Now run the necessary length of flexible polyethylene tubing from the pump outlet to your storage tank. Watch out for any sharp bends or kinks in the house that would disrupt the flow of water.

How to build a water hand pump

How to get the water pump working?

  • Once you have installed your water pump, you are ready to try it out.
  • Manually push the valve stem up and down around 30 to 40 times to fill the pressure tank until it starts to cycle on its own.
  • Once it starts to cycle on its own, screw the adjuster cap up or down to adjust how often it cycles; you will want the cycles to be between 60 and 150 cycles per minute.
  • Experiment with this cycle frequency until the pump delivers the most water that you need. Trial and error will most likely be required to get it flowing just right.

How does the gravity-powered water pump work?

  • Water from the source falls down into the drive pipe until there is enough pressure built up to start pumping. This pressure naturally increases as the fall increases from the feed pool becomes greater.
  • When the waste valve closes, water is driven through a check valve and into an air chamber. The fluid then compresses the air and forces it to kick back, closes the check valve, and pumps the water out of the delivery pipe into your own tank or reservoir.
  • When the check valve closes, the water in the drive pipe bounces back momentarily which creates a partial vacuum that opens the waste valve again. Excess liquid flows out of the waste opening and can be directed elsewhere or returned to the water source.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages of using a hydraulic ram pump.

An obvious advantage is that this gravity-powered pump requires no electricity. This pump makes less noise, and also has less moving parts which results in less wear and tear. One potential advantage is that there is a lot of wasted water, but this can be remedied by channeling the wastewater back into your main source of water.

Here is a great illustrated video of how the ram pump works.

There are tons of options out there for pumping water, many requiring the use of electricity. If you are looking for a pump that requires zero electricity than the hydraulic ram pump may be your best choice when you are needing to draw out a lot of water for different uses.

  • How to build a water hand pump

  • How to build a water hand pump

A few years back, a severe ice storm knocked out my family’s electricity for a couple of days . . . and we suddenly found ourselves without the use of our electric well pump. As we groped about the candlelit house — unable to make coffee, prepare meals, wash dishes, flush the toilet, or even take a sip of tap water (yet all the while keenly aware that just 15 feet below us was all the thirst quenching liquid we could ever want) — we felt like the shipmates becalmed at sea in the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, with “water, water, everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink”!

I remembered then that when I was a youngster one of our neighbors had attached a working hand pump to his electric well pump . . . and I wished I’d had the foresight and know-how to install a similar fixture on our unit. I made up my mind — then and there — to at least investigate the possibility. It’s fortunate that I did, too, because putting a hand pump on our well turned out to be an easy task (even for an amateur do-it-yourselfer like me!).

And if you’re looking for a low-cost, nonelectric backup design for a “juice powered” pumping system, my solution just might do the job for you!

Low-Cost Pumping Parts

As shown in the accompanying diagram, our hand pump and its related components are totally separate from the electric unit. The two pumps merely share the same well casing (in this instance, a 6″-diameter pipe that extends 125 feet into the ground). In addition, because the water table is only about 13 feet below the top of our well casing, we were able to choose a simple, shallow-drawn hand pump for our purposes rather than having to buy a more expensive, deep-reaching machine. (To calculate the height of the water table, I just lowered a string that had a small piece of wood tied to the end of it into the well casing until the wood floated and the string went slack, and then I marked and measured the string.)

To set up the hand-operated unit, we gathered the following materials: a Sears, Roebuck & Co. “pitcher spout” hand pump, 25 feet of 1 1/4″ plastic pipe, one plastic screw-type adapter (for attaching the drop pipe to the pump), and two 1 1/4″ hose clamps (I used one to secure the drop pipe onto the plastic adapter and the other to temporarily affix the drop pipe to the well cap so that the tubing wouldn’t “accidentally” fall down into the well casing while we were putting the system together). The total bill for these components, including the pump, came to just under $50. And when you consider that our original well setup cost us a hefty $2,000, this manual backup system was quite a bargain!

The only special tool I needed to install the apparatus was a hole saw with a 1 1/4″ bit, which I used to bore a circle through the well cap. And though I opted to build a small wooden pump house out of scrap lumber to mount the water hauler on, you could simply attach the pump to a picnic table or even directly onto the well cap itself.

Hand Pump Payoff

We’ve had our hand pump setup almost three years now, and it’s proved to be a huge success. We initially thought we might resort to it only occasionally during an emergency, but it actually gets used almost every day. Why, the neighborhood children actually wore out our original pump the very first summer we had it in operation! (Even on the hottest days, the water it produced was clear and ice-cold.)

We now have a more expensive “force” pump. This machine has a pressure chamber and two faucets, allowing us to pump an icy shower or — by connecting a garden hose to one of the spigots — to water our flowers and vegetables. But best of all, we no longer have to haul buckets to the house during a power outage, as we did with the earlier-model pump. By running a hose between the well and a nearby outdoor faucet, we’re able to refill our water storage and heater tanks and/or pump water directly to any tap in the house! And although we still don’t actually welcome those occasional periods of temporary electrical power failure, when they do occur we no longer anxiously await the dripping of the faucets.

Now if we could just remember to restock that box of emergency candles, we’d be all set!