Author Topic: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump  (Read 4955 times)

RSL

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Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« on: February 10, 2009, 11:29:23 PM »

If I lose power, I lose water - the well's there, but I can't draw from it.  We've got a high water table and I'm not worried about the well running dry, it's being able to get the water if necessary.  To solve this dilemma, I'm thinking of installing a hand pump before the jet pump on the upright in the photo.  If the power was off, I could still draw water from the well.  The line travels horizontally 10' from the pump through the foundation of the house and 4' below grade to the drilled well housing.  It then goes down horizontally about 20' to water.  I investigated this option with a plumber and his opinion was that installing such a setup would compromise the normal use of the water line by creating an area where an air leak might occur and affect water pressure and force the pump to work harder, prematurely wearing it out.

Here's the existing setup:



Taking this into consideration, I was thinking of first installing a ball valve to shut off water to the jet pump if necessary.  This would be open during normal usage and only closed in the event of power loss and use of the hand pump.

Secondly, to address the possible loss of pressure with a hand pump installed but not being used, I figured two valves might be placed between the existing water line and the hand pump.  When not using the hand pump, any loss of pressure would be minimized by the two valves - we're not talking major distance here between line and pump.

Thirdly, I should install some kind of support underneath the line to take some strain off the actual pipe if I'm using the pump, or mount the pump in some way above the floor to eliminate strain on the line.

My thought was to try and set it up using a cheaper poly pump to see if it works and then possibly upgrading the pump if all seems well.  This is only an emergency plan, but I think it makes more economic sense than installing a freestanding pump outside and having to open the well housing again and figure out how to mount a full size pump.  The poly pumps I've come across are described as being for shallow wells about 15' deep or so.  I've got about 20' to pull the water up and then the 12' into the house.  Might work, or it might not...  The pump in the photo below is about $80 which I'd be willing to spend to test the system.



Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.  What am I missing here?  When I've tried to explain to people the need to have access to water if the power goes out, a lot of folks just look at me like I've just grown a third eye - and we live in a rural area where power outages DO occur.  Guys who work for local pump companies don't get requests for hand pumps, and they've even questioned why I'd want one....

An aside:  We had to replace our water line last year.  It was suggested that the jet pump be replaced with a submersible when the pump eventually gives up at some time in the future.  I've got no problems with the water pressure or flow into the house - it's working just fine and I like not having to go outside and remove a big tile and open up the well itself to extract a submersible pump if there's a problem.  With the jet pump, everything can be replaced indoors regardless of weather.  Point being:  I don't concur with the professional advice I received in this situation, however well intentioned.  I come here, where folks realize that wanting access to water makes sense...

Offline Amos

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 07:58:25 AM »
There's a lot of good info on here:
http://www.survivalunlimited.com/waterpumps.htm

I'm researching the same thing, after relying on a genny for a few days in the ice storm.

RSL

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 08:14:34 AM »
Thanks for the referral.  ;)  That's where I found the poly shallow well pump.  Something like I'm trying to set up seems like such a no-brainer.  It seems like it's not that commonly done, and I'm frankly surprised...   :-\

Offline Stein

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 01:17:57 PM »
We had a manual and electric pump at our cabin growing up.  If I were you, I would "T" into the copper and use some type of flexible pipe or hose.  Pumping on that thing will shake the heck out of the piping which will put stress on the other joints.  Best option is to mount the pump on something sturdy and use a food grade hose if in doubt.  A shutoff valve just after the "T" would be a good idea as well.

RSL

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 09:55:37 PM »
That makes good sense.  Any thoughts on the type of pump?

Greenjeans

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 06:57:45 PM »
We had an ice storm several years ago, and were without power for about two weeks...I got very tired of "sponge baths"  I'm in the process of solving that problem with a manual hand pump in addition to our deep well pump.  The attached website is the one I've chosen.  My friend has installed several of these exact pumps and when I can get to the well head (covered with snow) this spring it will be hooked up so I can charge my pressure tank and/or I can take the water right out of the pump. 

http://www.simplepump.com/hand_pumps.html

I'll post a pictorial record of the conversion.

RSL

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 08:03:31 PM »
My biggest concern with the Simple Pump is its price tag - It's definitely a solid item.  Since I'm thinking emergency use, the $700 price tag gives me pause...  I'm looking forward to seeing your setup after the thaw.

Offline digger

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 08:19:04 PM »
All hand pumps that I have seen, that were installed in existing pump wells, were used with a submersible pump. There was still enough head of water above the submersible pump for the hand pump to draw from.

In your case, attempting to use a hand pump with a surface jet pump, may present problems. If your pump is consistent with the ones used around here, it will have a foot valve and utilize pressurized water from the pump thru the casing, to help bring the water to the surface.

But, in looking at the pic, the pump appears to be a straight suction pump, which may well be with your high water table. You need to know what is at the bottom of the suction tube. If it is open, allowing for straight suction, I don't see how an additional in-line pump as you propose would result in less efficiency.

If, however, the suction utilizes the foot valve and jet action, I don't think the hand pump would work in the position you want. But, if the well casing extends to ground level outside your home, it could be set up there, with it's own suction tube.

cautoris

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Re: Hand Pump To Well ? - Water When There's No Electric Pump
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 03:36:12 PM »
I've seen several piston pumps on eBay and Craigslist that are quite a bit less expensive than $700.00. Does anyone have any thoughts on getting one used, buying PVC and doing it yourself. My well is 148' deep. I don't know exactly how far down my electric pump is or the water table. My concern (esp. since I've never this before) is that I might hit the electric pump with the PVC while installing it. I've found a few things on-line describing well hand pumps but not so much on the installation for the DIYer. Thank you.