Introduction: How to Make a Mini Water Pump

Picture of How to Make a Mini Water Pump

This tutorial is on how to build a mini electric pump (for pumping water). The pump can be useful for small applications or just as a fun craft. One of the best things about this build is that almost everyone should have access to the materials needed as none of them are special parts. Before we start off I would also like to mention I used a very small and weak motor so if you wanted your pump to have more pressure you would only need to use a larger motor. If you plan to build this I recommend you watch the full video here. For more projects like this you can also check out my YouTube channel or my website joshbuilds.com

The materials you will need for this builds are:

- A small motor. (Can buy online, at hobby store, or take from dollar store toys)

- A plastic candle holder (can also use a Gatorade bottle cap)

- Thin hard plastic (plastic food containers)

- Lots of hot glue

Step 1: Making the Impeller

Picture of Making the Impeller

To start of the build we will start by obtaining the pump housing. For this we will need the plastic candle holder (or 2 Gatorade lids can be used). Next we need to make the impeller. The bottom of the impeller will be made out of a plastic sheet. The piece of plastic I used was food packaging. I use a compass to trace a circle slightly smaller than the pump housing onto a piece of plastic. The cut out the piece of plastic and color it red to it can be seen better. Once I cut it out, I also drill a hole in the center so it can be mounted onto the motor at a later time

Step 2: Making the Impeller Blades

Picture of Making the Impeller Blades

Next we need to make the blades of the impeller. To do this I cut out a long thin piece of plastic and cut it into 4 smaller pieces. I glue these four smaller pieces onto the disk I just made. The four smaller pieces can then be glued onto the disk.

Step 3: Attaching the Motor

Picture of Attaching the Motor

Next I drill I hole into the bottom of the pump housing. The shaft of the motor will need to fit through that hole, so it should be drilled larger than the diameter of the motor shaft. Next I will put glue around the face of the motor and attach it to the bottom of the pump housing (candle holder). Make sure to seal the holes on the face of the motor so water doesn’t get through.

Step 4: Attaching the Impeller

Picture of Attaching the Impeller

After this we will now need to put glue in between all 4 blades and attach it onto the motor’s shaft. Once the glue dries you should rotate the finished impeller to make sure it does not chafe against the sides or bottom.

Step 5: Closing Off the Pump Housing

Picture of Closing Off the Pump Housing

Next we will need to seal off the pump’s housing. For this I trace out the housing on the sheet of plastic and cut out the plastic circle. Before attaching the plastic circle you should first drill a hole the size of a straw in the plastic circle. Also drill a hole the size of a straw in the size of the pump housing. This will serve as an entrance and exit for the water. Next I glue a straw onto the entrance and exit. It is important that glue is put all the way around so it will stay water tight. To finish it off, I glue the circular piece of plastic onto the front of the pump’s housing. The blades of the impeller should be at a height where they will not touch the circle that is attached to the front. If the impellers have too much height, they should be trimmer until they fit. The front of the housing should be glued on so that if the straws are sealed, the pump housing will be airtight. Once this is done you can test the pump.

Step 6: First Test

When testing the pump make sure to suck water through because it must be filled with water to work. As you can see the pump works decently (see video). A larger motor or laying the pump down horizontal instead of vertical would increase the performance. In the next step i show a different modification i made to make the pump work a bit better.

Step 7: Modifications

Picture of Modifications

I found that the design done first worked, but could possibly be improved. Instead of forcing the water to leave perpendicular to the housing, I decided to try letting it leave tangential to the housing which should be a more natural way. TO do this I simply elongated the hole on the side and cut out part of the bottom of a straw. Once that was done I glued it on with lots of glue and it was ready to test again

Step 8: Final Test

Picture of Final Test

The final test seemed to work a bit better but I found a larger motor would most likely give better results. I also realized I was comparing my project to pumps that had the water source at the same level as the pump whereas mine had to draw the water up a few feet which means mine had to do more work. I figure if I turned my pump horizontal instead of vertical it may have shot water out with more pressure.

Thanks for reading until the end, if you wish to watch the full video you can see it here. Also check out my channel for more videos like this.

Comments

Soph Fern (author)2016-09-04

this was a nice project, but it was very hard for me to understand, and it didn't work for me after trying and trying

JenjaP (author)2016-08-26

how long this pump can work?

eidolon1138 (author)2016-08-22

Nice little project! I'd like to try to use this as a simple drive for a toy boat. My nieces and nephews come out every summer and we build boats from scrap and race them on the pond. This little pump could make me a winner.

BambiB (author)2016-08-21

I'm wondering how long you can run this before it falls apart.

BobbyZ1 (author)2016-08-21

Great project! I have a big ask, though: pleeeeease change your photography setup so that the interesting (unknown parts) of the procedure are more readily visible. At the moment your pictures are from so far away, and a bit underexposed (likely because the camera was exposing for the white paper background), that it's very hard to tell what's going on. Ideally the objects of interest should occupy most of the framed image, rather than the approximately 10% of width and height they do now in your Step 5 images, for instance.

deluges (author)2016-08-21

Neat project! I think you meant a couple inches and not feet in the last step

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Bio: Here i feature various projects from my YouTube channel and website. i do lots of small office supply weapons and some small vehicles too and ... More »
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