*Lifting Water – Part 2*
Using a “Force Pump”
By: ReadySet
23 January 2009

You may remember this photo from an earlier article where I connected a hand pump to a water well that uses a submersible pump. The setup continues to perform superbly. (Lifting Water Through a Deep Well Pump)

While having water to drink was the main goal of this pump, we also use quite a lot of water for sanitation (flushing). Unfortunately, the toilets are on upper levels of the house, and I am reluctant to carry buckets of water up there many, many times a day.

The next step, OBVIOUSLY, is to connect a small 12 volt battery powered pump to push the water upstairs. Or is it? The project was moving along towards an alt energy pump for several months until I took a really good look at the picture above.

It turns out that this hand pump is a type of “force pump”. It is able to pump water up to a level higher than the pump itself. This pump should be able to push water upstairs to refill the toilet tanks or other containers. No buckets, no 12V pump, no batteries, no battery charging system!

The connections required to do this couldn’t be any simpler: All it needs is a connection from the pump outlet on the left to the faucet on the right side of the picture. Here’s what it looked like:

Time for the test… With no pressure in the plumbing system, the valves set properly, and an empty toilet tank upstairs, I started working the hand pump. Water began to slowly fill the tank, but WOW was it hard pumping. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to fill the tank and be ready for the next flush. (Carrying a bucket would have been easier and much faster.)

I assumed at this point that the fixtures and valves in the toilet tank are made for higher pressure and probably have small openings that make for difficult pumping. Just for a test, I got out a garden hose and ran it directly from the hand pump to the toilet tank.

The pumping was noticeable easier, but still not “easy”. It took 8 minutes of pumping to refill the toilet tank.

This toilet is located on the 2nd floor, or about 15 ft above the hand pump. I repeated this garden hose experiment with a toilet on the 1st floor (~10 ft up). Pumping was easier still, and I was able to refill the tank in 5 minutes.

The vertical distance seems to be the main factor in the pumping difficulty. When pumping to a bucket on the basement level, things go rather easily. Note that this pump is also pulling water up about 15 ft from the well at the same time it is pushing upwards. 30 ft of water gets heavy!

CONCLUSION: I will continue working on a small DC pump (running on alt power) to handle my water pumping needs. Hand pumping, while it does really work, will be saved for times of true emergency.

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 1996 - 2009 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.