Tuesday, July 22, 2014

handy well pump

we have two wells on our property, a deep well with a submersible pump (this is the one staal set up with the storage tank) and a shallow well on the east side of the property that looks like it had a jet pump in it at one point but was abandoned some time ago.  it's about 80ft deep with the water level somewhere around 30ft.  staal's been thinking about ways to use this well for a while and recently decided a hand-operated pump was the way to go.  the submersible pump we have in the deep well needs electricity to pump water so if the power goes out we have to rely solely on the water in the storage tank---the hand pump is a nice emergency water source.
the pump staal bought is made by a guy in fort bragg, who sells his pumps online (here:http://handywellpump.com/  ) and ships them to his customers with instructions on how to install them.  we bought pvc pipe locally but you can also buy it with your pump kit.

examining all the pieces and parts

the installation (instaalation) went pretty quickly---just part of a day and some of that time was spent waiting for the glue to dry on pvc connections.

all of the above ground pump parts are metal (galvanized and stainless steel) but the pipe that goes down the well and carries the water is pvc.  there is 1/2" pipe that attaches the pumping mechanism that sits in the water to the pump handle above ground---this is the pipe that actually carries the water.  the 1/2" pipe is run inside 1 1/4" pipe which acts as a guide as the 1/2" pipe moves up and down during pumping.

1/2" pvc pipe inside 1 1/4" pvc pipe with fittings glued on to attach lengths together

gluing the threaded connectors to the pipe ends

once the glue had set the installation could begin.  the first length of pipe was screwed on to the pump cylinder and a safety cable attached to the base of the foot valve.

attaching safety cable to the foot valve at the base of the pump cylinder

i helped staal raise the pipes into position above the well.

20 ft length of pipe positioned to go down the well

each pipe was set upright and secured to a tripod (that staal built) so that the lengths could be screwed together before being lowered into the well.

pipe secured to tripod

lifting the outer pipe out of the way so staal can connect the inner pipes

connecting the outer pipes

staal cut a slot in a piece of wood to hold each section of pipe by its fitting until it was ready to be lowered into the well---commercial well drillers use a similar contraption made out of metal.

we put 50ft of pvc down the well and then attached the upper pump assembly and well seal which connects the stuff in the well to the stuff above ground and keeps debris out of the well.

well seal with attachment point for upper end of safety cable

upper pump assembly and well seal

attaching upper end of safety cable to bottom of well seal

at first the well seal was getting hung up on a tight spot in the well casing and we couldn't get it all the way in.  staal trimmed the lower section of the seal with a saw and i worked on it a little with a router bit in my dremel---between the two of us we removed enough material to get the seal past the tight spot and seated properly.

trimming lower section of well seal

well seal in place

with the well seal in place and the upper pump assembly secured we couldn't wait to try it out...

staal making water

the pump arm is adjustable and takes very little effort to operate even in the full stroke position.  it produces quite a bit of water in a short time---staal filled a five gallon bucket while he was lubricating the joints on the pump arm.  
hopefully we'll never be in a situation forcing us to use this pump but it feels good knowing it's there if we need it and i'm sure we'll use it now and then anyway just because it's fun.

pump glamor shot