View Full Version : Well pump, manual? bucket designs??

10-26-2008, 02:46 PM
I got a well here on my property..

Possibly a bucket that will drop down the casing? it is a normal well casing hole of 8" if I remember right.. No hardwood bucket here..

Planning on future power outages, is it possible to repower the electric pump with a bicycle type deal , well is 200 feet deep.. so? should I leave the foot style valve and piping in the hole? Pulling a 200 foot rope up and getting a bucket full of mud would not help much.

A manual style bucket hoisted by a rope would have to look like a bullet on both ends? Correct? Casing is not full 200'.. so it'd bang the walls.

I'd like to water the garden next year.. bicycle type power or??? Any ideas?

10-26-2008, 03:06 PM
It's not a bucket or a bicycle but if you have wind...

besides they look cool.


10-26-2008, 03:25 PM
These are popular here,electric when the lights are on,wind,solar,engine,manual when the lights are off.


Also some styles of pump jacks,the wormgear looks like the simplest to build.


10-26-2008, 03:40 PM
Dang guys.. ya'll forgot how cheap I am. I seen $1000 on both them pages..

I was thinking two car flywheels turning starter sized secondary gears with a bicycle pedal input.. THE last flywheel could be a straight shift heavy job with the overrun drive there.. a 300lb man pedaling should make what 1/16th hp?

THE windmill is a good idea thou.. a livestock tank, old bath tub up on some stilts.. hose bib on the drain.. overflow back into the well.. birds would love it.. I can see the vultures circling now.

10-26-2008, 04:05 PM
Dang guys.. ya'll forgot how cheap I am. I seen $1000 on both them pages..


I saw a friction drive setup with a Harley rear wheel riding on it:D

10-26-2008, 04:29 PM
David, you havent provided enough info. While the HOLE is 200ft deep, where is the water level? In a perfect world, you would have a well depth, length and type of screen, static water level, and pumping water level at some specified pumping rate. ie:- 200 ft depth, 4 ft #40 Johnson screen, static level 60 ft, dynamic level 135 ft at 10 gpm based on a 24 hour test.
I think that this thread has been run before in the last year. You obviously are not in a perfect world, so first, go find the water level, then we can make some meaningful suggestions. By the way, a 300 lb man probably will not develope 1/16 hp for very long, (like 5 minutes!) At least he would have to be in a LOT better shape than most 300 pounders I have seen!

10-26-2008, 04:53 PM
Water level is somewhere around 40 feet down. Never been dry that I remember. I do remember it being low in the well running two households off it.

Discharge? well?? it has a 1/2hp above ground pump on it now. I forget the two pipe sizes? one is 1 1/2 and other 1" if I remember? Has a foot valve..

The way "those kind" of pumps work is pumping water around in a circle, the only pressure you get is differential between the pipe sizes. When it gets low, the jetting of the water past the foot valve draws in more water keeping the pipe loaded. That might be a moot point since the well house was not heated at all last year. It may be froze and busted.

I was not aware they still made a hand pump? or cylinder type. I'll look that up. I thought they were shallow well only thou.

10-26-2008, 06:07 PM
David, I asked a simular question a while back resulting in a pretty lengthy thread. Some good info here:

10-26-2008, 06:50 PM
Here ya go.

These work suprisingly well. Of course if you just throw the thing down the well and then jerk it back up it will stir up the well and you'll get a bucket of muddy water. The trick is to rig the rope over a pulley so that the bucket stays centered, and lower the bucket (not freefall) by hand so you can fell when it reaches the water. At that point, slowly lower the bucket to fill without scraping the sides, then smoothly haul it back up out.

A friend of mine had an old farm house at one time and this was just what you did if wanted water for anything.


10-26-2008, 07:18 PM
Thanks X:

I read through it. Still didn't answer my question though about repowering the existing "jet" pump with a bicycle..

Upon further thought.. a flywheel is not needed, since the "inertia" of the water compensates for it. I still need a extreme gear reduction for the bicycle pedals thou. I am pretty sure it does not require 1/2hp. It may in the starting phase to rotate the water.

THE kenya pump listed there.. That is interesting.. I still have not figured out what they are doing, A suction pump will not work here.. with the oneway valve that is what it appears to be.

Another thing.. I live on big hill.. more than 200' tall... how the heck is there water in that well?

Thanks Air:
Pulling that from 40 feet down don't seem so bad.. if it has to go deeper.. well.. I am thinking..

I used to pull well pump lines to work on them.. I had a 4wd and a 55 gallon barrel rigged on legs... I'd hook the well pump to the 4wd, and let the hoses ride across the barrel.. I stood over the well and pulled the plastic lines up by hand.. ONE TIME.. they are full of water and no way to empty them.. I got a heart throbbing workout that day. When you'd try to walk off with your new-found line it'd crimp at the well head.. That is how I came up with the barrel idea.

In the 80s I worked with a few friends painting water towers and bridges.. One of the crazy guys I know rigged a pulley and 35gallon barrel counterweight balanced with sand.. He could climb the tower easy as pie.. when he'd climb down he'd tie it off.. One day the lady in Florida called and complained there was a boy jumping off the water tower each day.. He'd not really jump, just slide down the ladder really fast.. If the rope had broke.. or?? anyways he didn't have much to live for.. He beat his wife up one day down there.. Had a big bag of Marijuana when the police came to arrest him.. He sat there on top of the water tower and smoked every bit of it by himself.. when he got rid of all the evidence? he climbed down and walked over and "got into the police car".. the policeman had sat there doing a waiting game on him..
He's been in prison now for about five or more years.. a absolute lunatic.. He used to say "I" was crazy.. Ha.. I was the sane one of the crew.. I worked with them to build up muscle when I was not working as a electrician.. Loading sand bags into the blaster. Normally then, one in each hand.

(KINDA THOUGHT THIS MIGHT BE EVAN for a minute there..)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d97YeOW55VE A easy well line puller.. NEVER put a line-foot valve into a well without a poly rope on it by the way.. especially if you got a splice in the plastic lines..

AND: PURE GENIUS here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbklIccv2CI&NR=1
Hydraulic ram.. uses flow-volume from a spring to pump minor volume huge heights to a cabin...

10-26-2008, 09:21 PM
I stood over the well and pulled the plastic lines up by hand.. ONE TIME..

Yeah. That's one of the things I did exactly one time. I thought I was going to die.

Lehman's has the cylinders for hand pumps and windmills too.
They'll pump from plenty deep too. The depths they list are to the water, not to the pump. And even though they can use a 10" stroke you don't have to use it all. You can shorten it up to improve the mechanical advantage of your setup.

I bet you could hook one those up to a bicycle. Maybe through a scotch yoke thingamagig? I'm afraid a Harley (probably even an Airhead) would smoke the leathers in it though.:D


Your Old Dog
10-26-2008, 09:38 PM
I got a generator in the garage that we run during power outages. It's only on for breakfast and while charging my batteries. We will pump water to the bath tub for long power outages. The pump is 220V but the generator has a 220V output also. The way I figure it, 30 gallons of gas will last me a long time only running about 2 hours a day. (we have a wood stove for heat during the winter.)

10-26-2008, 10:38 PM

Keep stabil on hand.. gasoline only lasts 3 months in storage cans. I got these hotrods sitting around here.. gas goes bad in them.

A item like a generator does not get used often enough to keep the gas changed out.

By adding stabil into the gas, it is like gasoline used to be before they took the long-life additives out of it. Don't add as much as you do for a 2 stroke engine.. only about half as much.

I sold the generator I had here for a song.. Kinda regret it.. OUR nations powerplants, hydro, and others can not supply the growing needs, are becoming antiquated to the point of where "fires" and outages will be longer. Nobody has came up with a way to do black starts anymore.. the local hydros used to have battery banks where they could.. not been upgraded or kept up.. wiring mostly is the old asbestos jacketed junk that is abandoned in the wall.. Say that word around a young guy and he acts like nerve gas is being released.

I had a bus here that had two generators on it.. I swapped it for a harley.. THE one Coleman 2 cylinder onan was worth a few bucks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x-mKC5clVQ THIS might serve as a pump design I like.. cheap and picky as I am.

10-27-2008, 12:13 PM
IMHO, a generator is the only way to go.

You'll have power for the well, septic system, refrigerator / freezer, lighting TOOLS for repairing storm damage, etc. You'll need a generator and a proper cut over switch (you don't want to zap :eek: any power co. employees).

Alistair Hosie
10-27-2008, 12:26 PM
Harbor freight or someone else home depot will have a small pump electric dave that will do the job a bucket on a rope is a lot of grafte to water a garden but you might decide it's worth it you aint gettin any younger Dave so take the elctric way out or windpower your a clever guy so get your brains cracking on with a design then your half way there brother brotherly Love from your pal Alistair in Scotland.

10-27-2008, 02:06 PM
Hi Alistair: Hang in there bud...


Single wing windmill.. wobbles back and forth. I like it's simplicity and ease to build.. but.. Inertia is lost there on the ends.. I am thinking of a manner to "brake" and generate maximum power from the unit.

10-27-2008, 02:13 PM
David, I KNOW that somebody will call me a liar, (or misinformed which is the same thing,) but you will not be successful with your bicycle attempt and here is why. Centrifugal pumps all operate on a curve of output vs head. this curve is unique to each impeller/volute combination and speed. Your jet pump is almost certainly a 3450 rpm unit-they all are for domestic service. If you attempt to operate at a speed below 3450, (we will forget ABOVE,) then the output from the pump will "slide" down the curve. The hooker is that the curve is pretty steep and you dont have to slide very far before the output is not much. I have not seen the curve for your pump, but I strongly suspect that if you dont get your gearing up to over 3000 rpm, (and THAT will get you puffin!) you wont get any significant output. SORRY!

10-27-2008, 02:25 PM

That is why I was planning on the dual flywheel gearing up of the speed.. 153:13 teeth x 2..
Pumps sometimes have "slippage" that makes them not pump at all at the lower speeds. I understand the horsepower it takes to move water.. I also understand with a stroke pump you are "jacking it up" and not pulling it all from the bottom.. sequential steps.. none easy thou.

I'm looking at wind power and above ground storage right now.. I abandoned the well house in place.. the roof caved in last year. It's probably froze and dead as a vulture's last meal... IT used to be a 1750rpm motor.. I replaced the speed switch in it about five years back.

The kenyan pvc pump.. looks to be most interesting.. smaller diameter pumps put out less but pump higher.. that ran on a small wind turbine would be best..

The water here.. there was a very old scrap yard across the street.. about five people in this neighborhood have died of leukemia or cancer.. Not real sure I want to drink the water.. It probably is allright to water plants with thou. they have a secondary filtration in the system.