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Thread: tapping into an existing well when the power goes out

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    Default tapping into an existing well when the power goes out

    I recently moved from FL to PA and for the first time, I live on a property with its own well. I learned quickly that when the power goes out, accessing the water is quite difficult. I was wondering if anyone knows if there is a way to access the well when this happens? What I would like to do is add a hand-pump for such periods.

    Thanks very much for any input!

    V/r

    Joe

  2. #2
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    http://www.earthwaveliving.com/catal...FRKBhwodWWFpzg

    Question is how does it fit past your existing pipes and wires. A genset might be a lot cheaper, unless you are planning for a global collapse, which starts to look more promising each day.

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    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    Honestly, I feel like this is something I should know, but I don't. Unfortunately I don't know too much about wells. I've asked several people locally but there's not exactly a smorgasbord of well-wealth around here, surprisingly. I googled, looked on Amazon, you name it. This appears to be the best forum for these sorts of questions.

    Your last sentence ballvalve is dead-on! I consider myself a prepper albeit a late one! My intent is to be able to use our well here when TSHTF. I can survive the easy 1-4 day black out. It's the period just around the corner that worries me. I can't afford a high-speed generator nor do I want one as storing mass quantities of gas is a recipe for disaster in my book. Even if I could rig some sort of hand-pump, that would be cool. The problem is, the water is over 50 feet down.

    I'm checking into that genset now. Never heard of it before. Thanks for the advice!

  4. #4
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The hand pump is a good idea, but may also need parts. My plan when TSHTF is to pull the pump out, and to use a rope and bucket like my ancestors did. A piece of pipe with a cap on one end and a rope attached to the other requires very few replacement parts.

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    DIY Junior Member JPat's Avatar
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    I have had a cust. with this same problem. The first thing you need to find out is if you can get piping past the "pitless adapter". If you can you can look at systems like this one...not my company btw. http://www.bisonpumps.com/ but this is probably exactly what you are interested in. There are other companies out there that offer this same idea, just different designs.

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    The hand pump is a good idea, but may also need parts. My plan when TSHTF is to pull the pump out, and to use a rope and bucket like my ancestors did. A piece of pipe with a cap on one end and a rope attached to the other requires very few replacement parts.
    The rope and bucket will kill you quick, but it works - and better with a flapper on the bottom, then you can use lightweight pipe or tube. But if one goes to the Bennet website, you will see how cheap windmill parts are, and you can buy a windmill cylinder of small diameter that even your kid can pump. Or build one with a few check valves and leftover pipe.

    http://deanbennett.com/cylinder.htm

    Then there are pump jacks which can be both your primary and secondary system:

    http://deanbennett.com/pumpjacks.htm

    Finally for you SMART preppers, one should have a copy of De Re Metallica, by Agricola. You can get the Dover translation for 30 bucks. I collect mining books and have the 2nd and 3rd editions from the late 1500's. Bought them cheap in Eastern Europe before anyone knew they go for 6 to 10++ grand in the US. The first edition is now about 25,000$.... anyway, its the worlds FIRST and best illustrated technical book - It has pumps in it that make us all look stupid today. Fun to read the translation with the original in Latin next to it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_re_metallica

    And for real pump enthusiasts, you have to read a book on "Cornish Pumps" the most amazing monstrous pumps ever built. Many were in Virgina city in the silver mines.

    http://www.exploringthenorth.com/cornish/pump.html
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-22-2012 at 01:00 PM.

  7. #7
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    So far, Joe has told us very little about his well except that it's 50 feet down to the water. For all we know he could have a 2" cased packer with a buried wellhead.

    If I were worried about a global collapse, I would be thinking about solar and/or wind power.

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    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    To many unknowns about the well. %0 foot to the water presents another problem. My recommendation is to purchase a generator set like a http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9023_200419023. It may cost $500.00 plus dollars but when the power goes off or when TSHTF. You would still have water, lights and maybe keep the regrigerator running but not all at the same time. Pulling the pump and or using a bailer to 50 foot or replacing the electric pump with a hand pump would be a nightmare. In Pensylvania my choice would be a generator! If I was in Florida I may prefer a hand pump and a sand point!
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Being from and living in rural central/NE PA for most of my 69 years, and working on wells there for 20+ years, you aren't going to get another line down the normal 6" well casing with a pitless adapter in the casing already. And all wells in PA will have a pitless unless the well is a buried pit type with a jet pump, in the pit.

    When TSHTF, having a generator is a big plus but comes with problems like an ongoing fuel supply, noise and other 'telling' sights and sounds that you have one and other things someone might take a liking to.

    If it were me I would want to look into storing water from the well and treating it as I use it; mostly by boiling it after say a 5 micron filter.

    I live in a motor home, currently in AZ out in the desert, so I haven't put a lot of thought in to your type of prepping but I'm prepped as much as I can be with such limited space etc. but... a concrete septic tank buried in the yard to store water in would be something I'd look into.

    Installed so I could get water out of it without more than a rope and bucket, or a sub pump run off a little very quiet portable generator and maybe a solar panel running a low gpm pump through maybe 3/8" or 1/2" PE tubing.

    Honda portable generators, 1-3KW, with very high fuel efficiencies are not all that expensive and are very quiet and durable. Plus they are light weight. The RVing community use them A LOT. And an inexpensive Sureflo RV fresh water pump would be ideal for about 3 gpm delivery at 30 psi and they only require 3-5 amps.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    that's actually a pretty good idea too.

    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    The hand pump is a good idea, but may also need parts. My plan when TSHTF is to pull the pump out, and to use a rope and bucket like my ancestors did. A piece of pipe with a cap on one end and a rope attached to the other requires very few replacement parts.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    That looks exactly like what I need. At least what I was thinking about anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by JPat View Post
    I have had a cust. with this same problem. The first thing you need to find out is if you can get piping past the "pitless adapter". If you can you can look at systems like this one...not my company btw. http://www.bisonpumps.com/ but this is probably exactly what you are interested in. There are other companies out there that offer this same idea, just different designs.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    I actually looked into both. Solar is too expensive. Still contemplating going the wind power route. Just not sure we have the wind here to justify it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    So far, Joe has told us very little about his well except that it's 50 feet down to the water. For all we know he could have a 2" cased packer with a buried wellhead.

    If I were worried about a global collapse, I would be thinking about solar and/or wind power.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    There's a pipe that protrudes from the property with a steel cap on it. Now this is where I show my true well-ignorance but I have no idea what this pipe is called or is for. My wife told me she pours beach down it (from time to time) to disinfect the water. This is where I was thinking about rigging up some sort of faucet for when TSHTF. If I went the hand-to-bucket route, I'd need to dig a wider opening obviously.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    So far, Joe has told us very little about his well except that it's 50 feet down to the water. For all we know he could have a 2" cased packer with a buried wellhead.

    If I were worried about a global collapse, I would be thinking about solar and/or wind power.

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    DIY Junior Member dudefromtampa's Avatar
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    More good ideas. Thanks Gary. Are you near Sedona?

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