NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: cast iron well hand pump  (Read 1965 times)


  • Joined Nov 2008
cast iron well hand pump
« on: October 30, 2011, 07:43:55 pm »
Hi, We've had our well tested and there's not enough flow to do the house (shame as we pay exhorbitant South West water bills!). However, we want to use it for the garden/land. It's in our small walled front garden and I'm thinking of putting in a (replica) working cast iron hand pump. Looked on the net and prices vary from around £100 with stand (making it about 5ft tall) and £300, although they look very similar and are all billed as working pumps. Does anyone have any exprience/advice on these please?
Voss Electric Fence

Norfolk Newby

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • West Norfolk, UK
Re: cast iron well hand pump
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 09:41:10 am »
It's partly down to basic physics. A well engineered pump can suck water up about 15ft but not more. Even then any leakage in the pump will make getting water to the surface hard work. Once the pump has water in it, it is more efficient. It helps to prime the pump with a bucket of water as you start pumping.

I know this from my Grandad's small holding where he relied on a shallow well with a half rotary pump meant for pumping oil and fuel (ex-WW2) . Corrosion meant these pumps only lasted about 5 years.

If you could put the pump down the well below water level it would work much better and any depth would be possible. Look at the 'nodding donkey' pumps used in established oil fields. The rod going down the well to the pump is balanced by a weight on the opposite side of the frame at ground level. The small engine driving a crank to operate the pump then only has to lift the oil (or water). For your needs, the motive power could be a lever with a weight on it.

However, it would be much easier to buy a submersible electric pump for about £50 if you have a supply of electricity available. If not, a portable generator and a water tank would make a workable proposition provided you don't mind hauling the generator out of a secure store when water is needed.

Novice - growing fruit, trees and weeds


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: cast iron well hand pump
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 08:16:33 am »
Probably a bit late to say, but if you get a submersible pump get a vortex type for foul water, as it will handle solids. The clean water submersibles are destroyed by bits of grit and stuff.


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