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PREP How to get water from a drilled well when the power is off
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  1. #1
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    How to get water from a drilled well when the power is off

    all things considered, might be useful knowledge right now.. CG



    How to get water from a drilled well when the power is off

    By Steve Belanger
    Countryside Staff







    Most homesteaders get their water from private, drilled wells. Most private wells use electric pumps. Ordinary buckets won’t fit in a (commonly) 6" well casing. Therefore, without electricity, most homesteaders won’t have water.







    The well bucket on the left took weeks to arrive and with shipping, cost more than $50. The one on the right was put together in under an hour, for $9.80.



    We thought the solution to this would be a "well bucket" that fits drilled wells as small as 5". Apparently, many others had the same thought. The item was backordered and it took almost a month to get delivery.

    By then I had put together a homemade one, from parts available at the local hardware store.

    Then we discovered that neither one would work in our well. Although both easily fit into the casing, they did not fit past the plumbing.

    What now?

    At the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair last summer, an anonymous visitor dropped a sheet of plans for an interesting-looking simple hand pump on the table at the Countryside booth. We built one.

    It consisted of an off-the-shelf foot valve and some PVC pipe and fittings. The only tool needed was a saw, to cut one section of pipe to length. (The water level in the well was at 20 feet. We made the total length of the pipe, including foot valve and fittings, about three feet longer, so the foot valve would be under water and there would still be a foot or so of pipe above the top of the well casing.)

    We uncapped the well and inserted the pipe and foot valve. It went past the electric pump with room to spare.

    To pump water, we grasped the top of the pipe, and plunged it up and down.

    On the downstroke, water entered the pipe via the foot valve. On the upstroke, the foot valve held the water in the pipe. On the next downstroke, the water level inside the pipe rose. Eventually, it rose high enough to spill out the top, where it ran into a hose and down into our waiting container.

    Once the flow started, it took about a minute-and-a-half to pump a gallon. (It pumps on the downstroke only.) It was work, but it was the solution we were looking for.

    By attaching a hook near the top, this pump can be stored in the well without interfering with the electric pump and regular plumbing. If the power goes out, all we have to do is remove the well cap and start pumping.

    If the power is off for a long period, or if larger quantities of water are needed for livestock or other uses, it would be helpful to have this pump rigged to some kind of wind or pedal power. But even hand-operated, it’s an amazingly simple solution to a perplexing problem.







    Figure 1



    Ed. note: We have learned that this pump was designed by Keith Hendricks, who lives in "northwestern Ohio." He has distributed thousands of copies of the plans at survival expos (and the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair). This is exactly the kind of ingenuity — and community spirit — we’ve been saying will be an essential part of homesteading in the future!

    How to make a well bucket

    1 ea. 3" PVC pipe 36" long $1.93
    1 ea. PVC couple 1-1/2" x 3" (reducer) 2.79
    1 seat, disk screw type (toilet tank) 2.89
    1-1/2" x 1/8" x 48" flat bar stock 2.19
    1 ea. 24" heavy wire (for handle)
    1 ea. 6" piece valley tin (for seat disk bar guide) .00
    Total $9.80

    Drill a 1/8" hole in the bar stock, 1/2" from one end, and put a 90° bend 1" from that end.

    Make 90° bends 3" and 1" from the other end to form a handle.

    Screw seat disk to handle.

    In PVC pipe, drill 1/4" hole 1" from end, all the way through, for the wire handle. Bend the valley tin to fit inside the PVC and drill holes to match those in the PVC. Make a slot about 1/4" x 3/4" in middle of valley tin to slide over handle to hold it in place.

    Assemble all the pieces and glue the reducer to the bottom of the PVC. Be sure the disk seat moves up and down.

    Use your imagination and whatever you have laying around and I’m sure you can improve on this.

    How to make a hand pump

    The hand pump [in Figure 1] is as simple as a paper clip — and just as ingenius. Just buy the parts, put them together, and start pumping! It took us about 20 minutes to put one together — and it cost less than $20.

    The exploded view at left shows the (from top) hose adaptor; pipe adaptor; pipe (the short section here is for demonstration: it must be long enough to reach the water level in your well); another adaptor; and the foot valve.

    Not shown is the guide sleeve (which increases efficiency, and keeps the pump away from the regular plumbing and wiring in the well), and the hooks and cord that enable you to leave this pump in the well, ready to use in an emergency.

    Diagram description:

    A. 5/8 or larger ID garden hose
    B. 3/4 NPT to garden hose adapter
    C. Open eye hook, washers, nuts
    D. Well cap
    E. 1/8" nylon hanging cord
    F. 3/4" PVC schedule 40 to 3/4 NPT adapter
    G. 1/2" carriage bolts, washers, nuts
    H. 1-1/2" ID PVC schedule 40 collar
    I. Ground level
    J. Electric power pump wiring
    K. 3/4" ID PVC sched. 40 pipe collar
    L. 3/4" ID PVC sched. 40 pipe section
    M. Electric power pump feed line
    N. Water table
    O. 1-1/2" ID PVC sched. 40 pipe
    P. 1/2" holes in 1-1/2" PVC pipe sleeve
    Q. 1/8" diam. weep hole
    R. 3/4" foot valve
    S. 1-1/2" PVC shed. 40 pipe cap
    T. Metal well casing



    Notes: The weep hole is drilled above the foot valve, but a good distance below the frost line. When the pumping stops, the water slowly drains out to prevent freezing.

    Disinfect all pump parts before placing them in the well. Disinfect your hands before using the pump.

    http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues..._Belanger.html

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  2. #2
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    another option is rope pumps.. more info at link

    Rope pumps


    Modern low-cost water pumps for shallow and deep wells.
    For community wells, domestic use, cattle watering and irrigation.
    Pumping from 1 to 90 meters deep.
    Modern Rope pumps are more efficient than the ancient “Rope and Washer” pumps and motorised versions can pump from hand-dug or tube wells as deep as 90 meters.*
    Of the hand pump model, over 70.000 are sold in Latin America and thousands in Asia and Africa. In 2008 there were over 3 million people who used the ropepump. In Zimbabwe the number of uses will go from 0.5 million to 5 million before the year 2015. With this increase Zimbabwe may reach the water millenium goal. The pump is an attractive product for local small-scale enterprises, produced with standard materials and so simple that the users can repair it. Evaluations show that more than 95% of these pumps stay working,

    even after many years of operation.**
    Due to the change from Piston pumps to Rope pumps (on wells to 60 meters deep), the rural water supply in Nicaragua increased 23% in ten years, 3 times faster than other countries. Its low-cost makes it also fit as a family pump where it proves to be a “money-maker”.
    Even for domestic use, a US$ 60 pump generates additional net income of US$ 220 per annum.*** Motorised Rope pumps for irrigation cost US$ 350 and generate US$ 1000 per annum or more.

    Related Youtube videos:
    Ropepump documentary part 1
    Ropepump documentary part 2
    Small scale irrigation using ropepumps

    Manual:
    Ropepump A model manual


    Recognition

    Royal Award
    Ropepump promoter, Henk Holtslag, has received a Royal Award. An article about this can be found on the Connect International website.

    Price
    For its potential to improve rural water supply and generate income, the Rope pump, won a shared first prize at the World Water Contest in Kyoto in March 2003. (Winner: Bombas de Mecate SA , Nicaragua) www.worldwaterforum.org

    "Este Rope pump es un miraclo". For communal wells it is 10 times cheaper than piston pumps and much easier to maintain. For rural families it is affordable and makes money! (Opinion of M. Gnecco, Director of FDTA Columbia)


    This website is supported by "Kerkinactie", PRACTICA foundation and Connect International.



    http://www.ropepumps.org/

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  3. #3
    Great post, it's on my list of water things to build (sort of). I was just thinking of doing the foot valve and a 3' or so section of pipe with a handle tied to a rope. Then lower it down, let the pipe fill and bring back up. We have a 4" well so I figure a 3" pipe should do. The only trick is if we're in that deep of trouble we'd have to pull the pump and hose out of the well.....that'll be work.

  4. #4
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    More than one way to skin a cat for sure. I went with a well bucket from Lehman's. It's built like a tank and Amish made so you know it's quality. It was about $60 and was probably the well bucket that the article referred to.
    What is the lake of fire? What is it's purpose? Is the lake of fire eternal hell? Is there any hope of escape for those cast into this lake?
    http://bible-truths.com/lake1.html

  5. #5
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    Actually, found a pdf that details a lot more the last diagram in post #1...

    http://preppers.info/uploads/Water_-..._Hand_Pump.pdf

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hfcomms View Post
    More than one way to skin a cat for sure. I went with a well bucket from Lehman's. It's built like a tank and Amish made so you know it's quality. It was about $60 and was probably the well bucket that the article referred to.
    This ? :

    http://www.lehmans.com/store/Water__..._550202#550202

    You really like it? I wasn't sure, but I've looked at it.

  7. #7
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    I've been looking around for solutions for us but our well is really deep, 350 feet. For now I've stocked gas for a generator that can produce enough power to run the well pump but that won't last forever.
    "Send lawyers, guns and money - the s**t has hit the fan" --Warren Zevon

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakette View Post
    I've been looking around for solutions for us but our well is really deep, 350 feet. For now I've stocked gas for a generator that can produce enough power to run the well pump but that won't last forever.
    Simple Pump or Bison Pump. Wow - that IS deep.....yow!


    Nice selection:

    http://www.lehmans.com/store/Water__...ep_Wells?Args=

  9. #9
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    Here is what I have setup so far;

    Built our new home ~ 2 years ago. Have a deep well, roughly 80 feet down to water. Electric of course. One thing I insisted on, was a way to pump water from the well from inside the house. In my naive fashion, I was figuring on a second well sunk right inside the house.. duh....

    What the contractor did, was this (see pic)

    The tap right after it comes out of the floor, the one with the valve, is where I would hook my hand pump to. That pump only has a lift of 18 feet... well is 80.. but my plumber thinks it should work due to the check valve in the electric pump.. only down side I see is pulling water right thru the electric pump so to speak.. long term might damage it. But if we have a worse case scenario, not something i will worry about long term.

    Thoughts from folk here? Am I nutz?
    Attached Images

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  10. #10
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    This may work for some here but our water starts 175 feet down so we have a setup for it when the time comes and it the big old pitch pump with extra assist pump and foot valve all the way down to 200 feet and there is a linkage thats hooked to this assist pump too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakette View Post
    I've been looking around for solutions for us but our well is really deep, 350 feet. For now I've stocked gas for a generator that can produce enough power to run the well pump but that won't last forever.
    Tweakette have you checked this one out?

    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/deepwellpump.htm

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  12. #12
    CG - NO, you are not nuts. I have the same set up and test it once a year. My well is 95' BUT, BUT! my static level is only 16' or so; so any basic pump should get water to you if it's 25' or less.

    I built a stand and have extra leather washers etc. Good thinking.

    Wish I could put pic's on here but I don't have a place on the web to dump them....otherwise it's a pretty cool set up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    CG - NO, you are not nuts. I have the same set up and test it once a year. My well is 95' BUT, BUT! my static level is only 16' or so; so any basic pump should get water to you if it's 25' or less.

    I built a stand and have extra leather washers etc. Good thinking.

    Wish I could put pic's on here but I don't have a place on the web to dump them....otherwise it's a pretty cool set up.
    Thanks Lurker! I just took the pic with my phone, downloaded to my computer, then uploaded to the post... Now I just have to get the thing setup before we run out of time. Think i'll pick up the pipe tommorow for it.

    Wonder if folk here could do something similar as an afterthought, any plumber should be able to do this for you...

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  14. #14

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    This ? :

    http://www.lehmans.com/store/Water__..._550202#550202

    You really like it? I wasn't sure, but I've looked at it.
    Yep...that is the one. I've never used it and have had it for 5 years. It's there 'just in case' like a lot of other things. It's built well and I think it holds 2.5 gallons at a time. Would be very simple to use.
    What is the lake of fire? What is it's purpose? Is the lake of fire eternal hell? Is there any hope of escape for those cast into this lake?
    http://bible-truths.com/lake1.html

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by CGTech View Post
    Thanks Lurker! I just took the pic with my phone, downloaded to my computer, then uploaded to the post... Now I just have to get the thing setup before we run out of time. Think i'll pick up the pipe tommorow for it.

    Wonder if folk here could do something similar as an afterthought, any plumber should be able to do this for you...
    I have 1" plastic flexible (sort of) black tubing from my pump. I just pull that off and attach my pitcher pump with an elbow and some clamps. It's a pain to get off but that's OK.

    OH....don't forget this.....when opening/attaching a pump - don't forget to release the water from the pressure tank. Otherwise you're going to get wet. Ask me how I know....

  17. #17
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    Handyman, how much do those windmills sell for?

  18. #18
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    SW Oregon, near the Pacific Ocean
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    I used an Oasis hand pump and connected it to a 5/8" hose with foot valve. It will pump to 20 feet and produce 3 gallons per minute. It also can be connected to the house water lines by backfeeding, thus avoiding carrying water.
    http://www.endtimesreport.com/Water_Hand_Pump.html

    Miles
    "It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
    Samuel Adams

  19. #19
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    There are designs for a pvc bucket, with a reducer in the bottom, with a small plunger making a one way valve, for use in a small pipe well....
    They're available on the web, but they're pretty easy to build, relatively intuitively obvious.
    I would STILL rather fight an insurgency (from EITHER SIDE) than an epidemic!

    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing....only I will remain"

    Frank Herbert "Dune" "Bene Gesserit Anti-Fear Litany"


    http://bluemudpatriot.wordpress.com/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    I have 1" plastic flexible (sort of) black tubing from my pump. I just pull that off and attach my pitcher pump with an elbow and some clamps. It's a pain to get off but that's OK.

    OH....don't forget this.....when opening/attaching a pump - don't forget to release the water from the pressure tank. Otherwise you're going to get wet. Ask me how I know....
    I can imagine!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  21. #21
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    So if I understand correctly, it is fairly easy and not that expensive to convert an electric well pump to a hand pump, depending upon the depth of the well? We have a neighbor who had a well drilled in his front yard and spent about a week charging it, or clearing it, however you want to say that. That was over five years ago and is hasn't been run since. He died a few years back and the neighbor to whom he left the property has not sold it or otherwise done much with it. IIRC, it's about 165' deep and has an electric pump head gizmo on the top. Any recommendation on a site that would give instructions how to convert one "for dummies"? We have on hand the head of a hand pump, but I'll bet the casings inside the well itself are very different. Ideally, we could use the existing electric pump to again clear the well, and then convert it to a hand pump, but I've no idea how to go about it. Suggestions?

  22. #22
    How do you find out how deep your well is?

  23. #23
    CGTECH I have the same setup. What kind of hand pump do you use?

  24. #24
    bluetick a lot depends on new or used and condition, and with or with out tower, new is not cheap, I bought that mill for $500 with tower and rebuilt the head, with new bearings, about a $300 expense and I did all the labor my self,

    but one can have an electric pump under the windmill cylinder, http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showt...umps&p=1068391

  25. #25
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    Thanks, Handyman. I've been considering various options, but they are all rather pricey. My well is pretty deep.

  26. #26
    Check this out.

    Click on the middle video for shallow well installation.

    Also if I am reading their price list correctly a shallow well pump is $99.

    http://www.oasispumps.com/

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berretta40 View Post
    CGTECH I have the same setup. What kind of hand pump do you use?
    Ummm.... a big black one...? Sorry, it's still in the box. Called the plumber last night, he is going to stop by today or tommorow to install it. Getting really itchy about things goin' down before I am what i consider.. "ready"...

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by CGTech View Post
    Ummm.... a big black one...? Sorry, it's still in the box. Called the plumber last night, he is going to stop by today or tommorow to install it. Getting really itchy about things goin' down before I am what i consider.. "ready"...
    Is that a hand pump? Because I did the same thing you did a few years ago and I tried using an older hand pump I had that was not working right. I need to go get a new one.
    Responsibility should always lie on that of the individual, and also the consequences for the lack there of.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDoberman View Post
    Is that a hand pump? Because I did the same thing you did a few years ago and I tried using an older hand pump I had that was not working right. I need to go get a new one.
    Yes, it's a hand pump. Once it's installed, I'll post a pic of how it's done. Hoping it will be this week!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  30. #30
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    I made a few well buckets using PVC stuff from Lowes. Did a 3 inch piece about 4 feet long or so. Added a reducer and then put a check valve on the bottom (make sure you get the check valve positioned so that when it sinks the valve will open). The check valve I got was spring loaded so it took considerable pressure to open, I took some needle nose pliers and removed the spring so that it just flops. The weight of the water will hold it closed once it is lifted. Drill a couple of holes near the top to attach a rope. I think the length I used will hold about 2.5 gallons per pull (about 20 pounds or so).

    Only kicker is the current piping will have to be pulled to use so things will have to be South for a while, or do a neighbor's well if they bug out....

  31. #31
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    Finally got the pump installed today. Had an issue with an airlock at first, but once we got past that, seems to work well enough, get about a cup of water with each push.
    Attached Images

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  32. #32
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    =


    I want to thank you everyone! You may well have solved my most 'concerning' problem. At first glance (and second and third to). The Lehman's pumps, I believe may well solve my worst problem

    True; a deep well pump, say down to 200' may well cost a few hundred bucks.(Lehman).

    But what I was running into before I asked you all about hand pumped water pumps; were estimates up to a couple of grand.

    I'll be checking with Lehman's (I think) real shortly.

    Dutch



    =
    "We Have Done With Hope and Honor, We are lost to Love and Truth.
    We are Dropping down the ladder rung by rung;
    And the measurement of our torment is the measure of our youth.
    God help us; for we knew the worst too young."


    ~~~~Kipling~~~~

    http://ms.essortment.com/dutchmanflying_rrqy.htm
    ~~~ The Flying Dutchman~~~

  33. #33
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    I want to thank you everyone! You may well have solved my most 'concerning' problem. At first glance (and second and third to). The Lehman's pumps, I believe may well solve my worst problem

    True; a deep well pump, say down to 200' may well cost a few hundred bucks.(Lehman).

    But what I was running into before I asked you all about hand pumped water pumps; were estimates up to a couple of grand.

    I'll be checking with Lehman's (I think) real shortly.

    Dutch



    =
    "We Have Done With Hope and Honor, We are lost to Love and Truth.
    We are Dropping down the ladder rung by rung;
    And the measurement of our torment is the measure of our youth.
    God help us; for we knew the worst too young."


    ~~~~Kipling~~~~

    http://ms.essortment.com/dutchmanflying_rrqy.htm
    ~~~ The Flying Dutchman~~~

  34. #34
    Designed and installed a 2 phase water pumping solution that pumps 1500 gallons a day with solar direct, no batteries, to fill a cistern and then gravity feed 3 stock tanks. Then one 12v battery is used to supply 4.5 gallons /minute at 55 psi to the home using the cistern as it's source. The battery is maintained by a 135 watt solar module and charge controller

    VID BY engineer775



  35. #35
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    My big concern is the fact that my well is 303' deep. The casing is only 4" so it would be a nightmare to get water without electric.
    Jack
    Always Remember

  36. #36
    Ironskull you may want to go with a simple 12v system.

    Send engineer775 an email through youtube and mention your problem. I have seen systems setup on 12v with a cheap Harbor Freight solar system and a battery. I even saw one that ran once with a PTO off a 50 year old tractor. There are real creative folks out there!

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lapeer County, Michigan
    Posts
    4,088
    Quote Originally Posted by RCSAR View Post
    Ironskull you may want to go with a simple 12v system.

    Send engineer775 an email through youtube and mention your problem. I have seen systems setup on 12v with a cheap Harbor Freight solar system and a battery. I even saw one that ran once with a PTO off a 50 year old tractor. There are real creative folks out there!
    Thanks. I will do that. I also have a 52 YO Ford 601 Workmaster
    Jack
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