Help with installing hand pump : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our house has 3 wells to it. We only use the drilled one, but, of course, it requires electric to use. We are looking to use one of the others for back-up purposes.

The one we will is in the basement (root cellar part). It is rather shallow (we can see the water with flashlight). It is not hooked up to anything; it just has a big metal pipe coming up and sticking out of the floor (not very good with descriptions,eh?)

How do we go about connecting our hand pump to it? We've been told that those hand pumps (or any for that matter) can only pull up to 25'.

Thanks for the help!


-- Tracey (, January 24, 2001


You can muddle by with pitcher pump (short handle pump) if water is around 20 foot. These were designed to be used with a shallow cistern although I used one for many years with a 1.25 inch driven well point. I had no other option since my well was in effect 1.25inch diameter. They usually require priming each time you use them. The pump cylinder/leathers sit above ground. I however would suggest finding what used to be referred to as a long handle pump. With these the pump cylinder with leathers and foot valve sits down in water and can be used even on a deep well. They connect to handle and spout housing (sits above ground) with steel pipe, usually 1.25 or 1.5 inch pipe. A sucker rod then connects piston in pump cylinder to the handle. The sucker rod goes inside the forementioned pipe. When you move the handle up and down, you are moving this "piston" which has cup leather bolted to it by way of the sucker rod. This along with the foot valve allows you to gradually force water from near bottom of well to the spout and into your bucket. No priming needed with one of these pumps assuming leathers are in good condition. The deeper the well the more effort needed to move the handle.

-- Hermit John (, January 24, 2001.

See the descriptions of well pumps in the Lehman's catalog and the Water category in the archives.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, January 24, 2001.

Good answer, Hermit John.

A couple of more points, Tracey. A pitcher pump is much easier to install and maintain. You can avoid having to pump a few extra strokes each time you want water if you install a foot valve at the bottom of the drop pipe.You may not even have to prime the pump with a foot valve in place; I'm not sure. I've never bothered to put one in, since all it takes is to dump a cup of water into the pump to prime it.

If you do have to put in a "ranch pump", as we call John's "long handle pump", it is a lot easier to service the pump leathers if you get a piston and drop pipe which are designed to allow you to pull out the pump rod and leathers without removing the drop pipe.

Another really good source of hand pumps (also windmills), is Dempster Pump Company, in Beatrice (Nebraska?)


-- jumpoffjoe (, January 25, 2001.

Only comment I might make to JOJ's answer is that if you live in cold climate like i did in norther Michigan, water held in above ground pitcher pump from extra foot valve is likely to freeze and crack the cast iron casting. Or at least make you use blow torch to thaw it out. Priming before each use is probably better way. The flapper leather (primative foot valve) used in these pitcher pumps was designed so it is efficient enough to allow pumping, but also inefficient enough that water can seep out after use to prevent freezing. (by way if flapper leather wears out, you can make one out of piece of old innertube. I did and thought it worked better than leather did.) And if your pump is exposed outdoors, doesnt hurt to throw an old 5 gallon plastic bucket over it to prevent contamination from birds, etc.

-- Hermit John (, January 26, 2001.

Hermit, the well Tracey wants to put the hand pump on is in her cellar. I'm in a mile climate, so I could be out of line here, but I can't imagine a well freezing in a cellar. Unless she's in an area of permafrost?

-- jumpoffjoe (, January 30, 2001.

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