Getting water without electricity : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Hi, All Have two cased wells approx 50 ft. deep. Running on an electric pump. Have some good ideas on how to run my electric pump or pump it by hand without having to remove the electric pump from the well? If so, is there any way to pressurize the water by hand to allow for a little bit of water pressure in the house in the winter? Much better than bringing it in via a bucket. Also,recently had a fire caused by and suffered by my father. Burned badly. Know of any way to pressurize a large tank of water to put out fires, assuming electricity or generator assistance? Thanks in advance. Scout

-- Brian McCabe (, November 22, 1999


Brian: Sorry to hear about your Dad, I can't think of any way yet to help with pressurizing the well w/ the hand pump in the well. But concerning pressurizing the tank,one could use a bladder tank used for wells and keep it seperate from the main water system. or you could find a tank and drill a hole smaller than the diameter of a wheel valve stem. And thus air can be pumped into the tank. Have you thought of actually using an old water heater tank??? By taking out the pressure relief valve and installing a fitting to accept a valve stem then you could pressurize a tank.

-- Furie (, November 22, 1999.

Water Hand-Pump Plans:

works great have built two of them and they both produce about a quart of water per pump from a 50 foot well.

Home-made Foot Valve For above referenced Hand-Pump

Material List:

2 - 3/4" X 1 1/2" PVC Adapters 1 - 1 1/2" X 2" PVC Nipple 1 - 3/4" X 2" PVC Nipple 1 - 2" X 1/4" Aluminum Rod 1 - 1" Solid Rubber Ball


To construct, glue one end of the 1 1/2" X 2" Nipple into one of the Adapters. Insert Ball, then glue other Adapter on other end of the Nipple. Place a small piece of wood into the open end of the Valve and press Rubber Ball down to one end of the Valve, so the ball isn't damaged while drilling. Drill a 1/4" Hole all the way through the Valve, just below where the taper on the Adapter ends, on the opposite end from where the Rubber Ball is. Remove the wood and place the Pin through the hole. Secure pin as you would a Rivet on both sides. Glue the 3/4" X 2" Nipple into the same end where the ball is located. Glue the Valve assembly onto the 3/4" PVC pipe that extends toward the surface.

Should take all of about 5 minutes to construct and shouldn't cost more than a couple bucks.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), November 22, 1999.

bladder tanks are normally small and would require unacceptablt frequent trips to the hand pump (manual force pump) for any water use. prior to the arrival of the bladder type tanks water systems of the type you describe used a captive air tank rather than a bladder tank. the principle is the same but no bladder is involved. one simply uses a large (75-100 gallon, but can be larger) tank capable of holding water system pressures which range from 30 - 75 psi at the practical limits. less pressure is simply a pain and higher pressures create problems with toilet valves, seals etc. the typical captive air tank sometimes has an air valave to allow the insertion of air with a compressor of even a bicycle pump. when under pressure, typically 50 - 60 psi, the tank volume is approximately 1/3 air. this allows a considerable amount of time before repressurization is required. i used a system of this type for 20 years prior to development of small capacity bladder tanks. periodically (once a year or less) the tank would get waterlogged (air proportion unacceptably low) and the periods of time between repressurization would decrease. draining the tank and pumping in air would readily cure the problem. i would readily return to such a system if necessary. a large tank may be acquired at larger plumbing supply houses.

-- clayton (, November 22, 1999.

One way to have water pressure is to have the storage tank as high as possible in the building , or to have a cistern uphill from the house. Attic tanks if protected from freezine would work. I have know people to use stock watering tanks (farm supply store) with plywood covers to keep out mice and dirt. Add appropriate plumbing and perhaps someway to collect spills or leaks and you are all set.

Hand pumps are available in models that have seals around the pump rod that will allow you to pump water higher than than the pump. We used to do this to pump water to a tank in the attic- we had good water heater tanks to store the water in. Lehman hardware website probably has information about this type of pump- I know that their paper catalog has it. A plumber should also be able to get it for you. Of course it takes a lot of work to pump that water up to the attic instead of into a bucket. Also, the old Sears and Roebuck catalogs from the early 1900's that have been reprinted sometimes show a lever operated hand pump that was used to pump water from a lower level of the house or maybe a cistern, up to a tank higher in the house to provide water pressure for running water in the house. I have some old pllumbing books that show this type of system, and I used to sometimes see one of these pumps at local auctions.


-- Jim (, November 22, 1999.

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