In this project you'll learn how to make a customizable PVC hand pump that will create vacuum suction, pump water, or compress air. 

A pre-requisite to making the pump will be 2 homemade check valves.  You can learn how to make these cheap PVC check valves here!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: Power tools, like a table saw, pose risks of serious injury.  Adequate training and experience are required before operating.  The results and claims of this pump are based solely on my personal experiences with the one demonstrated in the video.  Individual results may vary.  The pump is a simple design and not made, or claimed, to be used in any heavy duty operations, or relatively high pressures.  Use of this content is at your own risk.


As always, Grant, awesome stuff. How cool is it that I find my favorite Youtuber (my kids and I just made the balloon slingshots. had a blast) on my favorite DIY forum. Even my wife finds your videos tolerable....lol. Keep up the good stuff.
PVC isn't safe for drinking water is it?
<p>Generally Speaking, no PVC is NOT safe for drinking water. If there's a PVC Pipe that can be used for water, I imagine that it is coated on the inside and expensive. Copper pipe is primarily used for drinking water and on occasion, you'll see nylon flex hose from the copper piping to the water faucets. PVC pipe is usually used for sewage</p>
jamob, I think it is, I have seen pvc pipe that says drinking water on it
Like with stainless steel, there are different grades with PVC. Some are safe for food or drinking water. Some are not so safe. And some leave an unpleasant taste.
Like drain/sewage lines
<p>yes it is safe as long as it is clean, the pvc used in this project are auctually plumbing pipes used in most homes.</p>
<p>At what height water can be pumped, please?</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>Hope you are having an awesome day!</p><p>I read this posting also which is really very informative</p><p>I have also one website related to Your Blog www.Leelamvac.com</p><p>Have Nice Day</p><p>Nice to meet you...</p><p>I am waiting for next posting.</p><p>Keep Smiling!!!</p><p>Thanks And Regards </p><p>Sevenstarinfotech</p>
<p>This doesn't work. </p><p>The outside diameter for schedule 40 (and schedule 80) PVC pipe is 1.315 inches:</p><p><a href="http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pvc-cpvc-pipes-dimensions-d_795.html." rel="nofollow">http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pvc-cpvc-pipes-d...</a></p><p>The inside diameter of #219 O-rings is 1-5/16 (1.313) inches:</p><p> <a href="https://www.amazon.ca/Imperial-70024-Fractional-Ring-8x1-5/dp/B001I2QZ8U" rel="nofollow">https://www.amazon.ca/Imperial-70024-Fractional-Ri...</a></p><p>So the ID of the gasket is effectively the same as the outside diameter of the 1&quot; plunger pipe, and the o-rings are not snug on the shaft before you even cut the grooves. When you cut the grooves as indicated, the O-rings are not even held tight to the shaft and are practically falling off. What gives? The 219 O-rings do not work and should be a smaller diamater. I wish I had done this research before I spent money ordering all the parts...</p>
<p>This sort of rig would be quite handy for someone who has a camp or a camper. You could set up your plumbing so you could screw this on and purge the system for winter freeze protection.</p>
<p>Thank you for your guidance</p>
Can this be converted into an auto-refill water gun by attaching a tube to inlet, and a nozzle to outlet?
<p>Curious why you reduced from a 1-1/4&quot; to 3/4&quot;? Don't you lose pressure through a reduction?</p>
Does anyone have an Idea on what depth this would be able to draw water from, or how high it would be able to push the water?
In theory, unlimited depth, it depends on your physical strength and how strong the materials are so they would not explode. Lets say your well is 30 meters deep. You will be lifting 15 Kilograms (15 liters) of water per cycle to get only 1 liter in the bucket. But thanks to leverages you can reduce effort. If you use a 1 meter long lever and place the fulcrum at 20 cm from the piston you will be lifting only 3 Kilograms per cycle to get 1 liter in the bucket. (Pardon my English but hope this helps)
<p>The greatest depth water can be drawn from &quot;suction lift&quot; is 25 feet at sea level. This link - <a href="http://www.onestopfire.com/head" rel="nofollow">www.onestopfire.com</a> explains this well.</p>
What are the three things in the first 3 pics of Step 2? <br>First one seems to be a vacuum cleaner, but the 2nd one with the water in it and the third one (a compressor, maybe?) are beyond me to figure out.
<p>The first two are both vacuum cleaners, I believe. Some cleaners use a tub of water as the &quot;filter media&quot;. The dirty air is drawn through the water where all of the gunk, dust, etc. gets trapped. &quot;Wet dust can't fly&quot; according to the rainbow company. The air bubble passes through the water mostly clean and then can exit the chamber, sometimes through a HEPA filter to get everything else out. It works really well, but changing that nasty water isn't too pleasant. The third looks like a compressor. This pump can 'suck' like a vacuum and &quot;blow' like a compressor. The King is Awesome.</p>
I don't know what a #219 o-ring is in dimensions, the hardware store I went to, it was in inches, help
<p>I was looking for the same info and found this. This looks like a very thorough chart. <br><a href="http://www.marcorubber.com/sizingchart.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.marcorubber.com/sizingchart.htm</a></p>
This looks great. What is the maximum PSI that can be attained?
I had the same basic idea! <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ol-Squirter-A-Rather-Large-Water-Gun/" rel="nofollow">(link)</a>
Whoops, meant jamob, sorry
Jambob, I think it is, I have seen pvc pipe that says drinking water on it,
Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the weekend projects contest!
After collecting the parts, I put this together in about an hour. Digging the trenches for the o - rings took some time. I used a Demel since I don't have a table saw.<br> <br> The cap under the pump handle is an important safety component. Without it you might pinch your palm hard enough to raise a blood blister during those first few enthusiastic moments when you realize that it's working as designed. :p<br> <br> I couldn't find the o-rings specified but I was able find a 10 pack of #17 o-rings at a big home improvement store that would do the job.<br> <br> I can't find 1&quot; balls anywhere... I'm thinking that I'll use medicine bottles or lids to make the check valves. If I get it to work I'll post a few pictures.<br> <br> Wonderful Instructable. Great Idea.
great instructable! <br> <br>Just an FYI, petroleum jelly will cause Orings to swell and degrade.....it is much better to use a Silicone based grease for lubricating orings.
I was wondering about that too. Thanks for pointing it out.
Awesome!! very good project thank you
I love that you take the time to publish these on Instructables as well as Youtube. I like watching the video for the general idea, then the Instructables instructions for getting more detail. Thanks!
Great pump! I love the one-way valves you made. Especially the rubber-ball version, very creative use of a toy, elegant and simple design. Bravo!
Vacume cleaners do not actualy use a vacume. They use high speed motors to creat suction by way of high air flow
Sweet! I like the method for making the piston rings. And about half-way through, I was thinking, hmm, this sure seems like a good use for his one-way valves!
Like your work, very professional, just the kind of stuff I like to mess about with. <br>regards <br>Floppyjoe
This just added some insight to a couple of ideas I've had (a all-PVC potato cannon, and a back-pack steam-punk style super-soaker based on fire service indian pumps). <br> <br>An alternative idea for the check valves, a disk of plastic between pipe and joints, with a piece of inner-tube screwed to the center.
I love all your projects. If someone doesn't have access to a table saw, maybe a manual pipe cutter would work for cutting the grooves for the O-rings.
awesome project hope i can find all the pieces i need
Very interesting design, this is an useful contraption.
That is awesome but I would use flexible hose instead of the rigid PVC for extension so you have more options<br/>
Cool! Do you know what the max psi rating would be? <br>
That is awesome!

About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
More by The King of Random:5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water  How to make a Batarang like "The Dark Knight" How to Make Ninja Stress Balls  
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