Introduction: A Homemade Water Pump

Picture of A Homemade Water Pump

This is a small scale water pump. It runs on three volts DC and has lots of uses. I made this for use in a water cooler in order to cool a TEC. It runs nice, and there have been no problems for the three months that I have had it.
How does it work?
In order to understand this pump you must understand Bernoulli's principle which states; as fluid speed increases pressure decreases. But what does this have to do with water pumps? Well for those who did not know, air is a fluid along with water, and inside the pump there is an impeller. That impeller starts to move the air fast causing a pressure drop. The low pressure inside causes water to be drawn up the bottom tube and shot out the side. Simple.
How did you make it?
I got the idea when looking at a bottle cap, and it was so simple it just had to work.
First I took a bottle and cut the neck off.
Then I found the small dot in the very center of the cap and drilled it out to be snug with the lip sticking out of the motor near the spindle.
Then I glued the motor on the cap so it lined up with the hole.
Then I took a 1/4" tall piece of thin aluminum sheet metal about 5" long.
I cut it into 4 1/2" segments and bent them in half to form 90 degree angles.
I hot glued the four pieces of metal to form a plus shape.
Then I hot glued that on to the motor spindle making sure it is centered.
Next run the motor and make sure it is balanced well, if not rearrange it until it is balanced.
Then cut two 1" lengths of copper tube
Next drills a hole in the side of the bottle cap the size of the tube and hot glue it in. MAKE SURE THE IMPELLER STILL SPINS FREELY AND DOSNT HIT THE TUBE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
Then cut a small piece of Plexiglas and drill another hole in it the size of the tube. Hot glue this to the bottom and you're done!

10/2/2009 EDIT: XDleader555 made an instructable! (which I was to lazy to do) go visit here!

4/6/2010 EDIT: A few days ago I went digging around in my junk box for this pump.  I found it...broken :\  The motor spindle had rusted and frozen in place....damn.  I am currently looking for another motor, so if anybody is actualy planning on doing this, try looking for a motor with analuminum spindle.  Or maybe just buy a pump, but hey this is Instructables not gououtandbuyables!  :)


Sherriff (author)2015-10-29

i've yet to test it fully i was hoping that the impeller wouldn't have to be quite so submerged. is there any way to get it to draw water up into the impeller so it could be mounted on a bottle?

Sherriff made it! (author)2015-10-29

took me a while to get it going but thanks this is pretty cool.

CyberR made it! (author)2015-08-27

Here's a picture of the ugly thing. I sorry for the quality but the camera on my phone is naff sometimes.

CyberR (author)2015-08-09

I've made 2 of these 1 as a test and the 2nd to empty a blocked drain.

For the 1st, it was simillar to yours except the motor and the blade housing was seperated by 2cm of polystyene. this stoped the motor from being submergered. Unfortunaley I lost the 1st.

The 2nd I still have. I used 1 screw top tub as blade casing, 1 1" of bottom of another tub to keep a gap between blades and inlet, impeller/blades from a seized up diswasher pump, several metal and nylon washers and a shaft over 1ft long I salvaged from a pile of scrap metal. took a few hours to align the outlet with the blades and create the seals. By using the screw top tub I can clean it out and put it straight back together in just a few minutes.

It pumps water for fun!! The long shaft allows me to attach a cordless or mains powered drill while keeping them way from the water. I'll try and post pics of the crude looking thing once I get it back from my friend.

mspencer8 (author)2014-10-11

how to seal the motor?

Just use WD-40. It repels water and rust, plus it keeps the shaft lubricated nicely.

lilieflowerglowing (author)2015-04-30

I need a really good water pump for a water fall diorama do you think you could help me I will be using the pump for the water fall "Becky Branch Falls". Please help me.

mathew.bailey.79 (author)2015-04-19

I'm thinking if you want to make a larger centrifugal pump,why not use a metal reel of the kind used used on reel-to reel video or audio tape recorders or a metal 8mm or 16mm movie film reel?

ZeshanM made it! (author)2014-09-07

thx a lot it works really well

junits15 (author)ZeshanM2014-09-14

glad you like it!

ZeshanM (author)2014-08-24

do you have any other ideas of how to make a impeller out of something else?

junits15 (author)ZeshanM2014-08-25

honestly anything will work, just find something shaped remotely like an impeller and give it a shot. You're only limited by your imagination.if i were to do this again I would try and use something like a reflector out of an incandescent mini maglite. theyre almost perfectly shaped for the job.

ZeshanM (author)junits152014-09-07

Thx, i decided to use cut up parts of a soda can and it worked and it doesnt rust. You should put in your description to use pieces of a soda can since you water pump rusted

junits15 (author)ZeshanM2014-09-14

I could, but the motor was what rusted not the impeller, thanks anyways though :)

ZeshanM (author)junits152014-09-07

Thx, i decided to use cut up parts of a soda can and it worked and it doesnt rust. You should put in your description to use pieces of a soda can since you water pump rusted

ZeshanM (author)junits152014-09-07

Thx, i decided to use cut up parts of a soda can and it worked and it doesnt rust. You should put in your description to use pieces of a soda can since you water pump rusted

ZeshanM made it! (author)2014-09-07

thx a lot it works really well

ZeshanM made it! (author)2014-09-07

thx a lot it works really well

hharsh2 (author)2014-06-17

what is Maximum and minimum current/voltage required to drive the motor ???

junits15 (author)hharsh22014-07-27

depends on your motor, around 5v at a few hundred milliamps should do the trick. measure the resistance of your motor to calculate the current at a given voltage :)

QSDR (author)2012-08-27

it would require some effort but maybe the impeller coud be in a sealed waterproof unit with a magnetic rotor on the motor outside to operate the impeller remotely

rlindstrom (author)2011-08-30

Go to a junk yard and find an old car windshield washer pump they are usally made of plastic and if your lucky you can get the tank to go with it on the cheap.

junits15 (author)rlindstrom2011-09-03

thing is those aren't meant to be running all the time, and they can overheat.

kushalverma (author)2011-06-27

i had also made a water pump like this but a problem occurred that the water gets inside the motor and the motor stops running please help me to solve my problem........

junits15 (author)kushalverma2011-06-30

to solve your a pump lol, the motor I used (im assuming you used a similar one) isnt meant to be wet, it will rust up quickly and sieze up.

kostaz9 (author)2009-06-10

So can this pump do this?

Evote (author)kostaz92010-09-17

Put the bucket on the table, and use syphoning :)

sellulose (author)kostaz92010-06-15

Does your plant need so much water that you need a pump? You can try making an Air Pump. The below video is very helpful and may suit your needs.

junits15 (author)kostaz92009-06-13

with a short table it can, but you can use a siphon for that, just move the bowl to the top of the table. :)

Mudbud (author)2010-09-08

I made one of these too!! only mine is HUGE!! jk but it is larger. pics soon!!!

Mudbud (author)Mudbud2010-09-09

well here it is, fully submersible, 6VDC water pump.

junits15 (author)Mudbud2010-09-09

cool i look forward to seeing it

ben_k (author)2009-04-21

I just made one with a slightly different design. Here are some pics:

zack247 (author)ben_k2010-08-27

how well does it work?

batman96 (author)ben_k2009-10-20

 make the blades go to the edges of the container and it will work much better

bongy (author)ben_k2009-07-24

Is that an half contact lens container ? If i try to use an entire one, one with two lens container, do you think it could be faster than your? Regards, enrico.

ben_k (author)bongy2009-07-27

Nope, just a bottle cap that I sliced thin and glued on top.

junits15 (author)ben_k2009-04-22

That was one of my first ideas but i didnt think it would work, how does it preform? However, THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't think anybody would actualy make it!

ben_k (author)junits152009-04-22

It works fairly well. The paralell pipe design I used does not pump as much water as your original design, which I also tried, but I found it to be much more reliable and it was much easier to build. One downside though is that it is fairly loud. I used a pretty small motor, so it makes a verry whiny sound even when only running at 3 volts DC. Did you not actually build it yourself?

junits15 (author)ben_k2009-04-22

oh i built mine myself but hrough alot of trial and error... and graph paper! I just never thought anybody would take this serously....... I do lilke the parriell pipe design it might work better on a larger scale. :)

zack247 (author)2010-08-27

it... rusted?? i made one a long time ago... i should probably check it then, i used it once and forgot about it... although it looks okay...

mr. clean (author)2010-08-03

u can also use a fuel pump those things can build some pressure and pump a lot of water BUT they will rust.

notaclue12 (author)2009-08-26

I finally went to RadioShack and picked up a 9V motor that runs at 24000 rpm. So sometime soon hopefully I will make one of these. So far I have aluminum from a soda can(I accidentally cut myself with my scissors) A straw for the tubing(I am cheap :) A bottle lid And a hot glue gun. Thanks for making this instructable. I have been looking for a simple water pump for a long time.

junits15 (author)notaclue122009-08-26

soda can aluminum dosn't work at all, The hot glue won't stick to it.

notaclue12 (author)junits152009-08-26

I thought you said a soda can would work in a comment below.

junits15 (author)notaclue122009-08-27

as a last resort, you CAN use it if you want to, but it is hard to work with

notaclue12 (author)junits152009-08-27

Yeah, I kinda know that now. The hot glue holds a bond rather well, but was a PAIN putting it together(I also burned my finger) Attaching the impeller to the motor shaft is rather hard as the hot glue keeps cooling too fast. I just hope it works when I'm done.

junits15 (author)notaclue122010-06-09

inf you put enough it *should* be fine

zack247 (author)junits152010-06-07

dont forget its really easy to fatigue and break

amirhossein88 (author)2010-04-30

do you have any idea for another water pump with higher outlet Pressure?

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a university student from the good ol' USA! I'm studying Electrical Engineering and loving every second of it! I've always been ... More »
More by junits15:Make your own "audiophile" quality speaker cables!Make a water block out of a heatsink for less than $20!The 5 minute instant hand warmer!
Add instructable to: