*Build a Well Bucket*
By: Spitfire
12 June 2006

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. More precisely, water in the new drilled well but none to mix thin set mortar with. The well drilling company hadn’t put the pump, pipe or electrical cable down the hole yet, so I decided to make a well bucket out of PVC pipe and an old inner tube so I could get some water. This well bucket will work with any drilled well at least 4” in diameter. The capacity of the bucket depends on how long you make the main pipe, I made mine a little over 3’ long which gives me about 1.5 gallons every time I raise it out of the well.

The heart of this gizmo is the valve at the bottom of the bucket and this is all you need to build one. I drilled holes in a 3” end cap and then cut a piece of inner tube rubber large enough to cover the holes but small enough so it would still be able to move freely once the cap was on the bucket pipe.

From the inside the valve looks like this. Notice the rubber flapper is covering the holes in the cap but is still a good way from the edge.

Here’s the outside view of the valve. I used a nut with a nylon insert so I wouldn’t lose parts down the well.

I tested the valve by filling the sink with water and slowly forcing the end cap into the water. This flapper valve works by uncovering the holes slightly when water pressure from the bottom is applied. In practice, the weight of the finished well bucket is enough to open the valve.

When you lift up, the weight of the water inside the cap causes the rubber flap to close and seal off the holes. Here you can see as I lift the cap out of the sink that there’s water staying inside the cap.

From here it’s simple; glue the end cap on the pipe and

Tie a rope long enough to reach the water in your well to the bucket through holes in the bucket pipe. You don’t want to lose this thing down the well so make sure your knots are good

Lower the bucket into the well (note the bitter end of the rope is tied off to the well casing). When it hits water it will slowly sink, taking about 45 seconds to fill completely. If you want it to fill faster, wait 15 seconds then raise and drop the bucket a couple of feet, causing it to submerge and fill over the top.

When you think the bucket is full, pull it up.

How about that, it works!

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