View Full Version : Well help and Hand Pump system

06-06-2008, 02:27 PM
Hey folks,

Ok, so the wife and I are wanting to put in a backup hand pump for our well. I have a few problems that i need to surmount... Our well is currently a submersible 220v pump inside a 4" steel casing. I do not know how deep the water level is. I do not know how deep the well is. Nor do I know how deep the pump currently sits. Our well has a very nice recharge rate and it has never been drawn down to the level of the pump. It was tested at 25 gpm for six hours and did not have any problems. The way I figure, with that recharge rate, i only need to get my hand pump line down a few feet into the water and I should be fine, but I want to leave some room for fluxuation in water level.

1. Are there any hazards i need to be aware of when I open my well to start inspecting the system currently installed.

2. What is the easiest/ most efficient way to determine the level of water in the well, and level of the pump.

3. What information am I overlooking that will be crucial to determining which pump to buy and install?

4. Is it feasable to do this myself, or am I looking at a project that is best left to professionals (I am a fairly decent handyman, but have never dealt with wells before)

I value the knowledge and experience of the people on this forum which is why I'm here in the first place. :)

I was looking at hand pumps at Lehman's http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?itemID=880&i1Cat=681&i2Cat=878&i3Cat=880& itemType=CATEGORY but does anyone have experience with those, or do you recommend a certain one from somewhere else?


06-06-2008, 04:54 PM
I can answer a little bit of your question, hopefully others with more knowledge will kick in with the rest.

First of all, I envy you that prodigious amount of water! Our well in the Ozarks was considered good for the area at 2 GPM and it was rusty and stank of sulphur!

Lightening hit our pump more than once, so my menfolk pulled the pump. You can tell how far up the well hole is by how much dry pipe you have, and how far down your pump is by how long the pipe is when you have it out of the well. It's a messy, hard and heavy job to pull a pump (that pipe full of water!) Hopefully you won't be grossed out like I was and see scummy slime on the wet part of the pipe. (We DRINK this stuff?!)

If you haven't had trouble with your deep well pump I would think twice about messing with it. I'm also not even sure if you CAN put two pipes down the well, one for the pump and one for the hand pump. I seem to recall that hand pumps don't pull water up all that far, too, & if your well is very deep you may not be able to use a hand pump.

06-06-2008, 05:34 PM
Yeah, I am amazed and impressed with our well too. The problem we have is that with 8 horses if we are without power for even a day or two we have major problems. It's a bit easier to deal with water for people, but in a long term power outage we'll be "sucking swampwater" as my wife puts it. I thought hand pumps were only for shallow wells too, but the deep well hand pumps at Lehman's are rated anywhere from 80' to 300'. This should turn out to be a cheaper solution than a solar system and resevoir to provide drinking water albeit more work. Also, Solar panels can break or be stolen and an above ground resevoir is vulnerable to vandals. These are just considerations i thought of off the top of my head, so the hand pump seems must less prone damage. Thanks for the info!

11-04-2008, 11:27 AM
How did it work out with the backup pump.
I am about to go into the hills of mid missouri and and was looking at that same Bison hand pump. I will probably have to go deep with my well.
Would be interested in what you decided and if it worked.


11-04-2008, 10:42 PM
i kinda agree with not messing with a good thing - as far as the existing well/pump is concerned -
if your primary concern is emergency water in case of power outage, pump failure, etc - why not consider storing water - i've been able to find those food-grade poly 50 gal barrels for as little as five dollars - a hundred dollars worth of those barrels is a thousand gallons of water - additionally, those barrels could be filled from a roof downspout so you wouldn't even be out the cost of running your pump -

11-09-2008, 07:03 PM
We are looking to put in a hand pump for our 69 foot deep well. Our well is rated for 32 gallons a minute (agrecultural well) The man that owned the place before us was a well driller. So he put it in right so I am told.
I had the same thought that we would be better off not messing with our existing well since we have not had any problems with it and the fact that we are limited on our knowledge to do this sort of install. The problem that we have is that our water would freeze and not be able to get out of the barrels. Does anyone have any links tha would help us understand this process?? Thnx