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Today we will learn how to create a PVC hand pump to get the water from your well when you have no power and how it all works. I have a few plans to show you on how to make them, which we will get to later, but first let’s understand how a PVC hand pump would work, or most any pump for that matter.

If you look at the picture below you can see for yourself how it works.
hand pump in action
First you start with a pipe, for visual effect we’ll say that it is a 3/4″ in diameter. We need to be able to put this 3/4″ piece of pipe down a water well and bring water up through it into our awaiting bucket. The second thing you need is what’s called a cylinder. This cylinder is attached to the end of the 3/4″ pipe. It allows water to go up the pipe, but stops it from draining back down. How it works is when the pipe is thrust down into the well, water is allowed to enter the pipe from the bottom. When you pull the pipe back up, probably about 2 1/2 foot or so, the water stays in the pipe as you gain distance to thrust the it back down which will in turn push more water into the pipe. You do this over and over again until the water in the pipe spills over into your awaiting bucket. Simple enough. The deeper the well, the heavier the pipe will be as the water inches its way up. Depending on your well depth and strength level, you may need to figure out something to help you pump the pipe up and down. That is on my to do list but for now it will work and that is our focus, to getting the water out of that well and into your bucket.

Here are a few plans I found along with a couple of videos:

To construct a hand pump like this one created by Keith Hendricks, I have compiled the plans into an easy to print pdf. You can download it here.how to build a hand pump - kendericks

Here is a video of another hand pump used in impoverished countries. This works as a simple piston water system.

This plan and video are on how to construct the a cylinder for the end of a well pipe. You will need to figure out some kind of hand pump for the top which I plan on exploring more and will report back with my findings. So between the video above and below you can visualize how it all works and how you might construct something similar for your own well.

A PDF of the cylinder can be found here. It is from Hydromissions. The following video is the fourth in a series a couple made of the construction of their new well that they had dug themselves. We will get into drilling your own well in the future.

I love this video of a 6 year old constructing a smaller type hand pump. It is a different kind of piston type system and how it can be constructed. This is my favorite pump because it is so easy and has lots of possibilities. This summer will be a great time to experiment with this and many other type systems for deep well usage. We want to create the simplest, cheapest and the most efficient pump possible.

On my YouTube channel I have add all these and a few other videos to my favorites, you can take a look by clicking here. But beware when you start looking at videos, watching one leads to another and to another. It amazes me at the wealth of knowledge that can be learned from watching them and is truly mind blowing, but the best part is that is all free.

****A couple of things to keep in mind when you are working on your well system.
1. If possible don’t pull your existing electric pump. Try to work around it.
2. Sanitize your well after you have worked on it in any way. More on this to come.
3. If possible, figure out your water backup system now while you have electricity. At least start picking up the parts you will need little by little so that you are prepared when and if an emergency comes.

Well, we have learned how a hand pump works and how to create one. The whole purpose of this site is to educate you on the many different ways to get to a single result and in this case it is to get water into that bucket of yours. I will start a “Water Resources” page at the top to put all the information I find about water and all the different things that go along with it. Check it out when I get it set up. It never hurts to learn all that you can about a single subject because the more you learn, the more you understand and you know what I say, “Knowledge is Power!”

More to come,

Lady Apprentice :)

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