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Convertible well pump electric/manual  RSS feed

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
70
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My well is run on electricity only. Last fall/winter we were hit pretty badly by Superstorm Sandy and a blizzard, and each time we lost power for about a week. What a pain!

A generator wouldn't even help us because the electricity to the well is wired directly in to the house electric. No plug. The whole neighborhood was in the same situation except for one big fancy house where they have a waterview and a generator to power the whole house. Boy is that thing loud!

What I'd like to have is a backup hand pump in case this happens again. We have wood heat and propane for cooking, so that's ok. hot water is electric, but we don't need hot water. I am all for candles and lanterns and card games with my new permaculture playing cards. I am happy to pee in a bucket of sawdust. But I do love that running water.

Does anyone have a system that switches back and forth simply and safely?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3357
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Go to youtube and search through the videos from engineer775--he is pretty awesome when it comes to off-grid water.

Do you know how big your well casing is? and how deep to water? the answer is very different if you have a 20' well vs. 200'. Do you have a well house over the well or a pitless adapter? How cold does it get in the winter?

I have a friend that had the simple pump--it is an old school hand pump done in modern stainless pipe instead of cast. It is pretty awesome and will pump up your pressure tank to 50 psi easy, but it will cost you. I also wouldn't want to have it exposed in cold climates--it has frost protection for setting up as a bucket pump, but not if you are pumping into a pressure tank.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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I would suggest learning a little more about your house electric and how to install a generator... that would be easier than rigging up a deep well hand pump. You don't need a massive generator for most types of pumps. we have done that here plenty with a 5k coleman unit, turn off all the high draw breakers, power just the well pump for water usage, then turn it off and the other stuff back on again... A larger pressure tank will store quite a bit of pressurized water too...

Make sure you don't kill some poor lineman though, when those guys go out in a storm to help get everyone's power back on, they don't deserve to be electrocuted from someone installing a generator wrong, you have to be able to disconnect yourself from the grid.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Matu Collins : O.K. You even get a second choice, goto> Woodhengeselfreliance.com and browse around, Jim Juczak, a retired high school shop teacher
has made several modifications to the old kitchen sink pump to make the pumping action occur down deep in the wells water column rather than relying on a
suction-lift pump which is only good for lifting (16' -I think?), While his home is nominally an intentional community, this works out much like an easy way
to reach out to Our community, And keep him supplied with Interns, He is very easy to reach via tele-communications and the two of you can quickly figure out
if He can help you solve your problem !

The Bug-out Bag started out as a joke, but he quickly found out that there was a real market, and he tries to give good value.

If you are still having water problems, then this is timely, hope it helps. For the good of the craft! (sorry to hear that your world is still not back to normal.)BIG AL

M Foti : Good point, about isolation your tye-in of a generator to your house power, -If you don't Know how to Isolate your breaker box from the Grid do Not try
hooking up anything to your electrical service panel! BIG AL
 
Kdan Horton
Posts: 34
Location: North West Georgia
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R Scott wrote:Go to youtube and search through the videos from engineer775--he is pretty awesome when it comes to off-grid water.



I concur. I especially like his 12volt solar pump, backed up by a hand pump.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
70
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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R Scott wrote:

Do you know how big your well casing is? and how deep to water? The answer is very different if you have a 20' well vs. 200'. Do you have a well house over the well or a pitless adapter? How cold does it get in the winter?



I don't know the specs on our well, but I will try to find out. It's not a low water table. I think it's a pitless adapter because it doesn't have a house over it. It gets pretty darn cold here in the winter. Below freezing for days on end most winters. Recently winters have been unpredictable.

Dear Big Al! It was only about three weeks total that we were without water. We are on the grid, so unless we lose power we have water. We can reasonably expect to lose power sometimes and wish for a backup. The simplest bucket system would be great.
 
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