Harry Landis

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since Apr 13, 2015
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Recent posts by Harry Landis

This is a new thread about hydraulic ram pumps. These are a type of water pump that use the energy of falling water to pump a smaller amount of water to an elevation higher than the falling water's source. They were invented more than 200 years ago in Europe, and became popular in the US in the 19th century, but became fairly obscure when internal combustion and electric pumps became widely available. The wikipedia entry on these pumps can be found here:


I first came across these pumps when I visited a farm in Guatemala in the 1980s. There was no electricity there, and they used a very old Rife ram pump for their household water. It was worn out and unreliable, but still functional. I repaired and modified it many times, and started making changes and improvements. Eventually I came up with my own design, and when the Internet came along, started selling them on eBay with a partner. They were reasonably popular, so we made several batches, each batch with some improvements. We are now on our third batch of 100. You can see them here:


You should look at the eBay listing, as it has a number of links and installation tips.

The purpose of this thread is to have a place for people interested in these pumps to ask questions and share experiences. Every situation is different, so I am interested in getting feedback on results in as many installations as possible. It may happen that one user is near another and so they can help each other out with tips and questions.

Bob Borst of Borst Engineering came up with a very good online calculator which has been quite accurate in predicting the performance of these pumps in various situations. You can see it here:


or in the eBay listing. The calculator instructions are here:


You can see his site here:


He also has hydroelectric and hydronic heating resourses which are quite useful..

If you are interested in buying one of these rams, you can do it through eBay, or directly from Bryon Kass (enginecom@verizaon.net). We can give $15 off the eBay price for direct sales, since we avoid the eBay fees.

If you want to copy all or part of the design and make your own ram, go ahead, no problem. If you come up with any improvements, we would be interested in hearing about them. There are usually a few other sellers offering rams or plans on eBay, so it is worthwhile to look at their pumps for more information and ideas.

We are very interested in getting data on the results of various installations (fall, output flow, pump height, clack valve frequency, drive pipe length and diameter, etc) to verify and refine the calculator performance.

For technical questions you can email me directly at hlandis@hotmail.com.

Harry Landis

3 years ago