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Is there a pump to keep the house plumbing working during a power outage?  RSS feed

 
steward
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I have a sand point well in my house with a shallow well pump and pressure tank.  If the power goes out, I'd love to be able to manually pump water from this well into the pressure tank (parallel to the existing pump).  That way the sinks would work, toilets would have water, etc.

I've done a fair bit of digging and haven't really found anything that will work for this.  There are plenty of expensive systems for deep drilled wells.  The closest thing I've found is a Guzzler pump like this.  The problem is the only food grade options they have can only generate 15 psi.  My pressure tank is normally around 30 psi.

I would've thought the prepping community would be all over this but I didn't really see anything out there.  Anyone know of a solution that is hopefully not too expensive?
 
steward
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Something like this? Output of up to 100 psi...
http://www.eventhorizonsolar.com/Simple_Pump/water-pump-sp.html

Edit to add: Ooops! Not very affordable, but I bet there are lots of this style pump around, that could handle a 30 psi head.
 
Mike Jay
steward
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Thanks Joseph, but I believe that's intended to fit inside a drilled well casing.  My sand point is basically a 1" pipe (straw) sticking down into the water table.  I need to hook into the plumbing above grade...
 
pollinator
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Years ago when I worked in Bangladesh we had a thing called a rower pump, which was more ergonomic than the old handle pump you can still see around old homesteads.  The well pipe itself was often a piece of bamboo, with all the sections knocked out of it.  Elsewhere there was another pump called a treadle pump you worked standing up on it with your feet.  But all of these would usually directly irrigate gardens, or fill an elevated tank on a roof or a stand.  Perhaps you could set up a barrel on a stand, even a few feet above the level of the use points, and the water could then gravity feed into the house.
 
Mike Jay
steward
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I'm sure I can rig up something if I really have to, I was just hoping there was something off the shelf that would be a bit slicker.

One backup plan would be to go with the guzzler pump and just change the pressure tank to handle the lower pressure.  Another backup would be to pump into a tank and then pressurize that tank independently, then open a valve to connect it to the house plumbing.  Another would be to invent/make my own pump.  Another would be to get a solar powered pump and associated hardware.  Lots of options but none are as ideal as a parallel manual pump plumbed right into the existing system.

The search continues...  
 
steward
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After weighing our options, we put in a rain water harvesting system.
 
pollinator
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Mike Jay wrote: If the power goes out, I'd love to be able to manually pump water from this well into the pressure tank (parallel to the existing pump).  That way the sinks would work, toilets would have water, etc.



We have a lot of animals that my wife cares for and has made it a priority that we have water to the best of our ability.  We decided that power-outages were more frequent than the well-pump dying...(acutally, the well pump *switch* is a common thing to have die before the pump itself does).  But for these reasons, we had a transfer switch installed at the utility power pole so that, during outages, we can switch over to a generator.   The generators on hand are in the 7 - 9 kW range---one tractor-driven and the other withi it's own engine--and these are sufficient to drive *most* of the home's power, but especially the well-pump.  An anticipated add-on is going to be a 220V inverter/charger for a small battery bank that will be dedicated to the well-pump---easier automatic switch-over for times when I'm not aroud and my wife needs water NOW.  Maybe some options here?....
 
Mike Jay
steward
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Good point John, I forgot about a battery backup and inverter that charges off the grid when it's up and handles the well when the grid is down.  I'll have to consider how big the bank would have to be for a longer outage.  My guess is that the cost would be fairly high compared to the price of the imaginary pump I'm looking for...
 
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Does the power go out that often? Or that long?  Your vehicle has a perfectly good battery you can roll over any time.  
I use a pump like this.  https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Water-Diaphragm-Priming-Pressure/dp/B00ON92ZPM
 
Mike Jay
steward
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It doesn't go out that often but if we have a big ice storm I'm guessing it could be out for a week plus.

I can certainly get clean/safe water in the event of a long power outage.  I'm just trying to make it a bit more comfortable to get and use during said outage.  For instance, if an ice storm happened tomorrow it would limit my water collection options to drilling a hole in a nearby lake or collecting a bunch of snow.  Both are very possible but require filtering and some aggravation.

With some preparation I could adapt the well (which is in the basement) so that I can use a pitcher pump or DC pump and battery to fill a bucket.  That's much better.    

I'm just trying to figure out if I can go a bit farther and have a pump that can supply the water throughout the house at the same time under pressure.
 
Mike Jay
steward
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Ok, I'm reporting back with two pumps I found that should work.  The first is the Excelsior E2 and it's a bit pricey ($465) but it does exactly what I'd need.  Here's a video of it in action:


The second is a delrin pump by Guzzler GH-0400N that is $110 but only produces 15psi.  Pro is that it's non-metalic so it won't rust when not in use (the other one suggests mineral oil when it's not in service).  Con is that I'd have to depressurize the pressure tank to 15psi for it to work and then re-pressurize it when the power comes back on again.

At least we have options.  I'm thinking the Excelsior would be nice to always have operational.  Then anytime you want to substitute manual labor for fossil fuel electric energy, you just pump it a bit.  Bonus points if you use it enough to keep the electric pump from ever running.
 
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Coming from OZ where the water does not go hard, the traditional method was to have a water tank in an elevated position that would provide water until it ran out.  You filled the tank by whatever was the preferred option.  Worked then, still works now.
 
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