Help - need help w/ hand water pump : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

We have an old hand pump that is in the cistern in our basement and one just like it out in a cistern/hand dug well in the field. The one in the basement no longer pumps water. The handle is free and everything is loose, but no water. We bought new leathers, but can't figure out how the pump works and I couldn't find anything on the web. We can't pull the pump from the cistern in the house because the piping is too long and it hits the ceiling.

Does anyone know anything about these pumps or can guide me to something useful??


-- Beckie (, December 24, 1999


The pump should screw off the pipe. It may take a couple of LONG pipe wrenches , 3 men and 2 small boys, but it will come off.

First, try priming the pump. This may take as much as 30 minutes..The leathers have to absorb water and swell a bit before they will seal. Just keep pouring the water in the top (should be a small funnel like opening just for this. It is always a good idea to keep at least 2 gal of water near a hand pump. They need to be primed if not used regularly.

If nogo, dissasemble and install new leathers. Check the cylinder walls for dirt or rust. Clean as much as possible, remember, you are trying to "suck" the water out of the cistern. You need the leathers to seal somewhat to accomplish this. Reprime as above, and start pumping. If no water in 30 seconds to a minute, reprime again. (I am assuming you are lifting less than 6 ft from the water level).

If this is somewhat confusing, and you are still lost, I think I have some schematics somewhere. I can scan them and post a link if you like.

Good luck.

-- Tryntohelp (beenthere@didn', December 24, 1999.

You can pull the pipe if cut a section at a time - can always rethread. Your problem may be, ta ta - no water! For a well to work, it requires a reliable source of "channeled" water. That channel stays open so long as the water is "drawn". If you stop using the "channel", the water may divert in another direction, and you end up with a "dry" well.

Socialize with a local well driller for Practical tips on improving your odds. An evaluation should be available at no charge.

-- A. Hambley (, December 24, 1999.

Thanks for the responses. Tryntohelp, the e-mail is real, we would love the schematics. We will try the long priming when we get home on Sun.

A.Hambley - our problem is not the lack of water. The pump in the basement is attached to a several thousand gallon double cistern and I can see the water. Here in this section of the state, the first water table is quite close to the surface, usually within 25 ft. The pump in the field may have a lack of water, but I think it too is a cistern because of its placement in a waterway, but I could be wrong and we will have to check that out.

-- Beckie (, December 24, 1999.

Beckie, can you post a picture of the pump? Or can you describe it? It would be nice to know whether it's a pitcher pump or a deep well pump. So far I suspect a pitcher pump, but I hate to speculate.


-- Al K. Lloyd (, December 27, 1999.

I don't have a picture, but it is NOT a pitcher pump, it is a regular well pump. Tryntohelp was kind enough to send me a schematic and it was close enough to the pump we have that we could figure out where the parts were. We are certain that the leathers are bad and need replaced which my husband will be doing today or tomorrow. If that doesn't work, the water in the cistern is only a few feet from the top and we have a barrel pump that could be used to get water - just not as efficiently.

-- beckie (, December 28, 1999.

Good deal, Beckie,

So tell me, how does the cistern get filled? Rainwater off the roof? Or is this actually a shallow well?


-- Al K. Lloyd (, December 28, 1999.

The biggest cistern system is filled from the roof of the house (a lot of area). The other may be a hand dug well, we haven't opened it to see. There are several cisterns and hand dug wells in the fields that we haven't looked at. The main stock well in only about 30 ft deep as we were told. We were told by the previous owners that except in one year where there was a severe drought (in the 50's I think), the wells and cisterns never went dry and they watered more animals than we have right now.

-- beckie (, December 28, 1999.

sounds good!

-- jumpoff joe a.k.a. Al K. Lloyd (, December 31, 1999.

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