Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade Deep Well Hand Pump

I found this site today and the "well" page is pretty interesting.

It talks about driving your own 80 foot well with a wooden hammer or a post pounder. And it explains the different type of wells and how to dig them. But I found this homemade hand pump the most interesting.

It is made of some hose adapters and a brass ball. It acts as a check valve. This goes down in the well and is attached to some stiff UV resistant irrigation hose. When you pull it up and down it starts pumping water. It may take a lot of effort the first time you set this up but after that it is much quicker because it doesn't lose its prime. I estimate about 50 strokes per gallon.
Also, even if you are going to use an electrical pump, this manual pump still comes in handy for when you first dig the well. It allows you to clear out the sand and silt very quickly.

This type of pump will work for years and doesn't require maintenance. Pretty impressive for just a few bucks at the hardware store. Looks like it would be great for emergencies or for off grid water pumping.



  1. Oh' this Homemade Deep Well Hand Pump was so cool! I like this. I will try to make something like that this weekend. Keep posting.

    hose adapters

  2. Hi Richard,
    Can this pump go down the same casing as an existing electric pump?

  3. Considering the costs of the so-called highest quality hand pumps for deep wells, about $1500 or more just for pumping from 100', and more costly to go deeper, there are many ways to build a hand water extraction pipe or pump for a lot less. It won't work as well as a commercially made unit, but it can be done. There is one company that offers a deep well hand pump that, from what I saw, there's no way a guy could build something like this with 304 SS and 6061 aluminum etc for the lower cost of it. It's about half the cost of the other premium brands.

    If anything, it might give some ideas to someone who is strictly DIY, or at least an alternative to the very expensive brands. It's at

    One of the easiest ways is suspend/secure a larger diameter pipe with a common check-valve, and lower a smaller diameter pipe also with a common check-valve down to the bottom of the larger pipe. Both pipes could be PVC. As the larger pipe is lowered into water it will fill with water purely from back pressure. As the smaller pipe is lifted and lowered it will lift and then discharge water. The larger pipe check-valve is needed so the water is more/less trapped in the larger pipe, so as the smaller pipe goes downward it insures the smaller check-valve will open from the back pressure. Then as the smaller pipe is lifted it will help open the larger check valve. Then it's just a matter of lifting/lowering the smaller pipe. It's simplified vertical hydraulic lift and not too difficult down to 100', figuring there might be 15 to 30 lbs of water in the smaller pipe, depending on pipe sizes and depth of the water. For example, in a 1" pipe there's about 4 gallons of water in it at 100'. But hand pumping water from deeper wells, especially past 100' really dictates the use of either leverage or other mechanical advantage.

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