2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Hand Pump Back-Up On Electric Well
While paying a professional to install a hand pump on an electric well can cost between $500 to $2,000 or more, the process isnít challenging for an experienced DIYer.
The first step is determining which type to install. Two main types of hand pumps are popular today: a lift pump and a piston pipe.
With a lift pump, pushing down on the handle fills a piston inside with water. Lifting the handle pushes water into the pipe. While lift pumps can theoretically lift water any distance, they are limited by the strength of the person using them. For this reason, most are only used for wells 25 ft. deep or shallower.
Piston pipes, in contrast, use a piston to push water up a pipe from the bottom. They require less force to operate, so they work with deeper wells, up to 300 ft. The largest ones can handle up to 30 gpm, although factors like the volume of the pump and the diameter of its piping will affect the output.
Another factor for cost and complexity is whether the hand pump will be installed indoors or outside. While indoor hand pumps are less common and can be cumbersome for daily use, they provide the convenience of a faucet regardless of whether you have the power to run it.
Outdoor pumps tend to be less expensive and easier to manage, although you must go outdoors to pump the water and then bring it where you need it, either by hand or with a hose.
Hand pumps themselves vary in price based on materials and features. Low-cost models only work when placed directly over the well and require significant strength to operate. Buy a better model and it will likely bring up more water for less effort overall.
Hand pumps work best when used regularly. Deposits can build up in the pipes over time, especially if your well has a high mineral concentration. Running the pump for a few minutes every week will ensure itís in working order when needed. That may not be a challenge, as many homeowners who install hand pumps find them useful for far more than emergencies.
Hand pumps are available for purchase at stores like Lehmanís, Gemplers, and TSC and online from retailers such as Amazon, Northern Tool and Grainger.
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