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RAM PUMP questions  RSS feed

 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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Interested to hear from people who have made or used
a ram pump. I am looking for ways to pump water from a well
without electricity and no solar. Read about the RAM pump
in Mother Earth magazine years ago and wondered if anyone
has made one, or is using one and what are their experiences.
 
Collin Vickers
Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
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Here is a good diagram of a pump with details instructions for making one:

Credit goes to Bryan Smith of Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Laurens County:

http://www.clemson.edu/irrig/equip/ram.htm

 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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Thanks, i will check it out.
I would also like to hear form people
who have one and hear thier experiences.
 
Geoff Lawton
permaculture expert
Posts: 48
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Hi Karen
check this out http://www.iig.com.au/wind/platy.html

If you do not have flow of water ram pumps will not work and you will need a solar electric set up and grundfos are the best pumps.

Here is a recent quote for one of our projects in the Middle East:

regarding your solar pumping system, we offer you superior technology and knowledge. I have been
pioneering the advanced use of solar energy for over 25 years. We offer this to you on an
ongoing basis, in return for your support. In other words, we support each other.

Now, in regards to the solar pumping system that you require; 110 Meters head +
pipe friction losses, so allow 120 metres "dynamic head".

On the performance chart for the Grundfos SQF 1.2-3 we note that at 120 Metres,
the solar power input is 750 watts. ( Lets Say 800 watts ) for peak flow rate.

The Showa / Shell CIS panels that we will send you are highly temperature stable,
thus, do not have to be de-rated by 20 - 25 % as do ancient Mono and Poly crystal
type solar panels.

Nevertheless, to achieve the 12,000 - 15,000 litres per day, extra panels are
necessary . "Splay" them in two directions , as shown on our power station roof at PRI.
This will extend the pumping hours greatly, without having to use a mechanical
tracking Frame, which in themselves are costly and prone to malfunctions.

The system that I enclose in our quotation herewith is based upon this.


QUOTATION CD/NS.221111AD.

20 x SHOWA-SHELL BX-65 Advanced, Amorphous Copper / Indium / Selenium panels. $ 6000.00
Absolute "State of the art" Solar cell technology. Japanese manufacture.
Temperature stable with superior Infra Red response. 1300 Peak Watts.
Equal to 2000 watts of old fashioned crystalline type panels in overall performance.

2 x UNI-SUN Splayed array kits. Extends sky dome coverage . Simulates Sun tracker $ 2000.00
with no moving parts. All framework of heavy duty, white coated Tensalloy.
Full technical drawings supplied.

1 x SOLARTECH cabling system. Plug and play. Includes solar array junction box $ 1000.00
Includes full custom circuit diagrams, and ongoing technical support.


Freight and insurance to nearest major seaport. Including export packaging. $ 1000.00


TOTAL SYSTEM PRICE. AUS $ 10.000

Or you will need a windmill try these guys, we reckon they are really good http://www.cometwindmills.com.au/

Cheers geoff lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies
 
Karen Crane
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Again, thanks for the information.
I could not afford asystem like that and need to deal with a tiny budget. My hope wa a ram pump could take care of this. Will be interested to hear other experiences so I can better see if it will work.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Last year we purchased components for a solar well pump for $1800 to pump into an existing 2500 gallon tank. This price was for a pump suitable to pump from a 285' well with static water depth 74' 15 GPM. At 100' the pump will produce 1.5 GPM. Price included pump, cable, float switch, wire, pump hose and 1 190W 24V PV panel. Purchased from Backwoods Solar: http://backwoodssolar.com/

Sorry, you said no solar.....

Maybe a manual pump might work: http://www.oasispumps.com/pumps.html
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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We built one using the Clemson link posted above. I'm too tired to dig up the receipts, but I think the total cost was somewhere around $140 including 120' of PVC drive pipe. We measured the head of our creek from the input to the pump location to be 49". The Clemson site says 4 feet is the minimum head, I suspect you may be able to get away with 3 1/2'. Also, according to the formulas on the Clemson site we should have needed a "stand pipe" if we went over 104' of drive pipe, but we're having no problems with 120'. We haven't spent the time to calculate the flow rate but as it's set up now it delivers 30 gallons an hour to about 20-25' above the pump.

You said you have a well, to me that means a hole in the ground with water at the bottom, as far as my feeble mind can tell a ram will not work in that situation, as there is no head to supply the energy.

peace
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3382
Location: woodland, washington
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a ram pump is right out for pumping from a well. but you might consider a windmill for mechanically pumping out of the well. not cheap if you buy new, but keep your eyes open and frequent swap meets and flea markets.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal
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In Portugal, the traditional way to raise water is with one of these.



Of course, you need a donkey to go with it.
 
Sam White
Posts: 227
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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forest garden trees woodworking
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tel jetson wrote:a ram pump is right out for pumping from a well. but you might consider a windmill for mechanically pumping out of the well. not cheap if you buy new, but keep your eyes open and frequent swap meets and flea markets.


You could always fabricate your own turbine as well. I've no idea how complicated it is but, as you'd be using mechanical energy rather than electrical, I imagine you don't need a gearbox or anything too complicated... Someone will correct me if I'm wrong. I seem to remember someone building a turbine in an article from the Permaculture Magazine... Will try and dig it out.
 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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WOW what great replies!
I have considered solar for the pump,
but wondered if there wasn't a cheaper way.
From what I understand people are saying here,
that the ram pump won't work with a well. this
well is 450 feet deep and currently with 1 3/4 hp.
Hate to spend a ton of regular electricity running it.
Right now the well is only producing 2-4 gpm and since
I want to grwo food on the land, this is a problem. Am
being told a water storage unit of 500 gal costs about $2800!
Good grief!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
184
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Karen Crane wrote:Am
being told a water storage unit of 500 gal costs about $2800!
Good grief!


That doesn't sound right! Where are you located?

 
R Scott
Posts: 3357
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
Karen Crane wrote:Am
being told a water storage unit of 500 gal costs about $2800!
Good grief!


That doesn't sound right! Where are you located?



If you pay someone else to dig the hole and put in a buried cistern tank (concrete or poly) and secondary pressure pump that sounds about right. A 1000 gallon tank is probably only about $200 more!!!

There is no cheap way to get water from 450 foot down.

You are not going to irrigate on 4 GPM!!! You NEED hugel and permaculture to get the land to hold the water for you!!! That $3000 will go a LONG way into dirtwork.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
184
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Ok, maybe I misunderstood. I thought she was saying a 500 gallon water tank costs $2800. It doesn't need to cost that much.
 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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Well, it did turn out that I was given wrong information.
I did some calling around the area and found a 550 gal
water storage tank for a little over $300. the larger ones
were not priced bad either.
the property is in an area up on a ridge in the Trinity
mountain foothills ( in California). I'm told that over the
years the area's water table has been going down
due to nearby orchards etc.
In any case the storage tank people said I can lay the tank
right on the ground with a bed of gravel if I cant afford cement.
A local plumer says he will do all the stuff needed to hook it up and
working from the well for about $300. Not bad.
Definately would be using other methods of storing water in ground, etc.
 
Mike Dayton
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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As an alternitive to electric, or as a secondary back up system to guarentee your water supply maybe a people powered pump such as this one might work for you.





I thought the video was pretty well made. The old pump that they restored is designed for a shallower well, but I am sure that you can find a deep well pump to use with this set up.
 
Mike Dayton
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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When you are looking at water storage, a bigger storage tank is almost always better. The cost difference between 500 gal and 1000 gal tanks is really not that great and having the extra storage can make a huge difference. Will you also be trying to catch and store rain water in this same tank? Even though you are dry for much of the year you do have times of rain and more storage makes alot of sense.
 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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Yes, I do plan to catch as much rain as possible
and have some alternative means I thought up
that I want to try. Thinking of mostly storing in
the soil as well as rain barrels.
Definately using huggleculture. ( spelling)
 
Mike Dayton
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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If you are pumping from your holding tank and not from a deep well here is a video on making a Russ Pump. Very easy and cheap, and they work well for shallow wells, streams or cisterns.
 
Karen Crane
Posts: 158
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Thanks so much.
also thanks to everyone who answered this post!!
 
Ron Martin
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I have a 6" well with water down at 57'. Would a 9' water wheel pull up a 1/2' column of water with the waste water off a large enough water ram to turn it??

I am not looking to have a gigantic GPM, just a demonstration of lifting water ~60' off a water wheel.
...and then moving it a few hundred feet on a 1% grade - hopefully with the Clemson design of the water ram.

thanks,
Ron
 
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