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Thread: converting electric to hand pump

  1. #1

    Default converting electric to hand pump

    I have an old electric well pump in the back yard. Years ago when city water was installed the lines were bypassed. Ive never seen the pump work and the change over occurred yrs ago before I bought the home. I want to remove the old electric pump and install a hand pump (Spring water around here is fantastic and the hand pump would be a novelty). The pump mechanism is set vertically over the top of the well pipe. Can I disconnect the pump safely and check the water level without loosing the piping into the well itself, this is my biggest concern? Does the piping into the well rest on the bottom of the well or is it suspended by the pump? There still is power going to the pump, few yrs ago I tried to prime the lines but was unable to: cant say whether it was me or the pump. Since then I turned the breaker to the pump off but now want to put a hand pump on. Is it possible?
    thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    If there are two pipes between the pump and the well, you have a deep well jet pump and there is a jet in the well hanging on galvanized pipe. They are extremely hard to pull out. If you only have one pipe, it is a shallow well system and may or may not have pipe in the well. If it does, it is not that hard to pull, then you can measure the water level.

    This is a description of the deep well jet pump. Deep well jet system.
    bob...

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pump

    The water level would have to be within 25' of the pump mechanism to have any hope of a hand pump giving any water, and the closer it gets to that level the less water and the harder you will have to pump, unless you get a well with the mechanism in the well and "sucker" rods operating it.

  4. #4

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    I believe there is only one line. I live in Ocala Florida about 1mile from Silver Springs which is this natural Spring Park with gizers (sp?) of water bubbling up all the time. I think Im problably on top of that aquifer. Knowing this I have to believe its very shallow but until I take the pump off of the well pipe I wont know.
    So If I unscrew the pump I wont cause a chain reaction of things falling into the pump hole????
    Is the pipe that goes to the bottom clamped to the pump or pressure fit?
    thanks again

  5. #5
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    Maybe you had better explain just what this system looks like. I don't know how you would unscrew a pump. But if you think that is possible, a second look might be in order.

    bob...

  6. #6

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    Okay I had a moment to really examine it. Coming out of the ground is a 2.5 or 3 inch pipe. This pipe goes up about 5 inches to a housing unit that appears to have the exit pipe for the water that comes out of the well, this pipe travels to the reserve tank. Above this housing apparatus is the electric pump itself. I hope this discription helps. There is only one pipe as I mentioned going into the ground and its about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Where should I disconnect safely? Is there a larger pipe burried below the ground surface? I ask this b/c I thought well pipes were 6 inches wide. But Im guessing on that thought.

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    A well can be as small as 1-1/4" in diameter. This pipe going to the tank would be smaller, like maybe 1-1/4". It would not go to the tank first unless you had a submersible pump in the well. You said there is a pump above ground so I assume there is no submersible. The small pipe coming from the well should go to that above ground pump first. If so you have a shallow well system.

    This apparatus on top of the well. What does it look like. Does it have bolts? Nuts and bolts. Describe it and how the pipe goes to or through it.
    bob...

  8. #8

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    Can I post a picture? IF so How?
    thanks

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    When generating a reply, scroll down...manage attachments. Note, you have to change the resolution down so the size is small enough.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10

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    Here is a pic. of the system. sorry its kind of dark, I'm new to this digital stuff. What your looking at is the rusty pump assembly with just the one 2-3 inch pipe going into the ground. I dug down to be sure there wasnt any kind of well cap but didnt find one. The breaker box is in front with no power to assure safety.The filter and tank are no longer connected the piping as you can see is in pieces. What isnt very visible is the city water line comes in via a 1 1/2 pvc pipe then 90 degrees up and connects with the copper pipe leading to the house. there is a spiccet with a green garden hose on it. Now based on this can I disconnect the pump and install a hand pump? Does this look like a system I can dismantle and put a hand pump on?
    Thanks this site is a great source of information Ive read a considerable amount.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The configuration of the pump, and the existence of the regulator on the discharge, suggest that it may a deep well jet. If that is the case, then there is another pipe inside the pipe you see.

    If you disconnect the outside fittings and try to lift the pump, you will either find, or not find, another pipe inside. If there is another pipe inside, then it is connected as a deep well pump and you will have to pull that internal pipe. That is probably not an easy job.

    If the pump come free with no additional pipe, it is a shallow well installation.

    If it is a deep well jet, then you probably can't use a shallow well "pitcher pump" to get water out of the well. It all depends on the depth to water.

  12. #12

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    Okay that is great! Now when I take it apart based on the pics, should I dismantle at the lowest point just above the pipe going into the ground?

  13. #13
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The picture seems to show a bolted joint. That is where I would start. If you disconnect that, see if you can move the pump. You might need a come-along or hoist to lift it if there is an internal pipe below the pump.

  14. #14

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    Since the pipe itself is only 3 inches wide, the pipe on the inside (if) cant be all that big. Would that be normal design to place a relatively small pipe inside?
    I have a "teach me" question. If its a shallow well and there is no inside pipe. How does this system work? Im assuming like a pool pump. Once primed it would hold its prime by maintaining suction? What does the "regulator" do? I will dismantle this on Saturday morning unless I have a burst on energy and get out of work early this week.

  15. #15
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    http://www.goulds.com/pdf/BVJ.pdf

    If it is a deep well jet, there is a pipe going down the well carrying water from the discharge side of the pump to a venturi at the level from which the water is pumped. The venturi creates a lower pressure at its throat to suck in water, and then increases in area to cause a higher pressure (Due to the Bernoulli effect) to lift that water to the pump at the top.

    If there is enough diameter in the main pipe, then there is a "down pipe" for the high pressure water and an "up pipe" to return the high pressure water and the pumped water.

    If there is not enough room for two pipes, then one pipe (the down pipe) is used to supply water to the venturi and there is a seal at the bottom so the water returning to the surface travels in the casing. That type of installation is called a "packer" because the seal at the bottom is "packed" to prevent leakage. http://www.peekspump.com/ejectors.html has a picture of a "packer" installation.

    The regulator is to adjust the pressure in the pipe to the venturi by limiting the discharge to the tank. If all of the water is discharged to the tank, there will be nothing to drive the venturi and the system won't work.

    In a "shallow well" pump system, whether jet pump, piston pump, or hand pump, the pump creates a vacuum (reduces the pressure to below atmospheric pressure). That allows the atmospheric pressure in the well to push the water up the pipe where it can be discharged. Since atmospheric pressure is only 14.7 psi at sea level (about a 34 ft column of water) that is the absolute limit that a shallow well pump will "lift" the water. The practical limit is about 25 feet.

    There are deep well hand pumps that use a rod to actuate a piston/cylinder/check valve arrangement at a lower level. In that case at the water is forced up under pressure and the "lift" is not limited by atmospheric pressure.

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