Introduction: Hydraulic Ram Pump

Picture of Hydraulic Ram Pump

Pump water with no electricity, no gasoline, just gravity!

Sound crazy or impossible? Don't worry, it does obey the laws of physics, but I'll try to explain the operation later. This instructable shows how to build a fairly simple water pump that needs no energy input other than water flowing from a higher point to a lower point. Most of the pump is constructed from PVC, with a couple of bronze pieces thrown in for flavor. I was able to source all of the parts from a local hardware store (Lowes) for a bit under $100.

To function, the pump does require a reasonable amount of water that will drop at least 3'-5'. The level that the pump can raise water to depends on the water's head (total drop the water will make).

This design was worked out by Clemson University.

If you like what I've done, please take the time to give it a rating, and I'd love to hear your input. Thanks!

Step 1: Bill O' Materials

Picture of Bill O' Materials
Before you can really do much, you've got to go out and buy some stuff. One of those sad facts of many projects. But if you want to build this (and it's a lot of fun to see it work), print out this list and head to the plumbing dept of your hardware store.

Materials for the Pump
  • 1-1/4" valve
  • 1-1/4" tee (buy two of these)
  • 1-1/4" union
  • 1-1/4" brass swing check valve
  • 1-1/4" spring check valve
  • 3/4" tee
  • 3/4" valve
  • 3/4" union
  • 1-1/4" x 3/4" bushing
  • 1/4" pipe cock
  • 100 psi gauge
  • 3/4" x 6" nipple
  • 4" x 1-1/4" bushing
  • 4" coupling
  • 4" x 24" PR160 PVC pipe
  • 4" PVC glue cap
  • 3/4" x 1/4" bushing
  • Short (4') section of 1-1/4" PVC pipe
  • Old Bicycle Innertube
This parts list comes directly from the Clemson website. I recommend you look there for help in identifying what each of the pieces look like, if you're unsure. I'm also not convinced that the 100 PSI gauge, or all of the things that make it possible, are necessary. This will probably drop the price a good bit, and I haven't found a need for it on my pump. The associated pieces are: 100 PSI gauge, 3/4" Tee, 3/4" x 1/4" bushing, the 1/4" pipe cock. Four things not needed. But have them if you like.

Connections Note Read through the instructable and understand all the pipe-fitting connections that will happen before buying materials. The store may not have exactly what you're looking for, and you may have to improvise. I wound up getting some different parts because my local store didn't have the exact parts I was looking for. This usually appears in the form of not having a threaded fitting, but having a smooth pipe connection, or vice versa. Not a problem, you can figure it out.

Installation Materials
  • Long section of 1-1/4" PVC ("drive pipe", connects pump to water supply)
  • Garden Hose (male end threads into 3/4" union, supplies pumped water)
  • Bricks, blocks, rocks to prop up and anchor pump
  • Shower Drain assembly (must be able to attach to 1-1/4" pipe, for attaching pipe to water supply)
Build Materials and Tools
  • PVC Primer (I used Oatey Purple Primer)
  • PVC Cement (Oatey again, just what they had)
  • Teflon Thread Tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Clamps
  • Pocket Knife
  • Lab gloves (keeps the chemicals on the pipe and off your hands)
  • Bike Pump (to inflate the innertube)

Step 2: Lay Out the Loot

Picture of Lay Out the Loot

Now that you've bought lots of goodies, lay them out on the table (or floor) so that you can start to see how the pump goes together. See the pictures for a visual on this.

You will have to cut the long sections of pipe into shorter sections to go between each of the fittings. This is discussed more in the next step.

Step 3: Cut Your Connecting Pipe Pieces

Picture of Cut Your Connecting Pipe Pieces

You need to connect each of these little units with some pipe, so set about cutting segments off of that stock 1-1/4" pipe with the hacksaw. They don't need to be long, just enough to reach all the way into each fitting, maybe with some space between. But not much!

Once these pieces are all cut, take your knife (or some sand paper) and try to smooth the inside edge of the pipe. Get all the burr off, clean it up, give it a nice bevel or rounded edge. The idea here is to make these as smooth as possible, to reduce the likelihood of cracks developing with the repeated pressure waves that occur inside the pipe. Clean up both ends, and make pieces to join all of the 1-1/4" fittings.

While you're at it, you might as well clean up the edges on the other sections of pipe, though it will be less critical for the other parts. Now that you've got all the connecting segments, you can actually test fit the first part of the pump together, just for fun.

Don't worry if the pipes seem rather tight when you're test fitting everything. The primer and cement help them go together when you do the real assembly.

Step 4: Fun With Chemicals

Picture of Fun With Chemicals

Grab your lab gloves, a clamp, primer, cement, two fittings and their connecting piece of pipe. Then head to a well ventilated space, because the primer and cement aren't precisely aromatherapy. At least not the good kind.

For those of you who haven't built things from PVC in the past, it isn't terribly difficult. The primer serves to clean off the PVC a little bit and gets it ready to really bond with the cement. The cement keeps everything together.

Most PVC chemical bottles have caps with little brushes attached to them. Take the cap off the primer, and carefully coat the outside face of the pipe, with a band about 2" wide beginning at the end. Take care not to drip the primer on anything that you don't want permanently purple. Once the pipe is coated, do the same for the inside of the fitting that you're planning on cementing up. Close up the primer bottle.

Open up the cement bottle, which should also have a little brush in it. With this brush, go over the areas that you painted with the primer. Don't rush, but you do want to get the pipes together before the cement dries up. You've got time though, so focus on getting a nice coating of cement on both pieces.

Once you've got cement where you want it (and hopefully only a little where you don't) fit the pipe into the fitting. It should slide in without too much resistance. When working on my pump, I felt that it was best to clamp up each piece after I had assembled it, that way the pipe couldn't slip back at all. It may not be necessary, but I figure it helps.

Most of the pieces go together in a fairly self-explanatory way, but there are a few things to note: on the spring check valve there is an arrow, and you will want this to point toward the main tee that will have the 4" pipe (air chamber) on it. This allows water to pass through toward the main tee, which you want. With the brass swing check valve, the arrow should point down toward the tee, and the main line of pipe.

On to the next step for order of assembly!

Step 5: Piece by Piece (Main Line)

Picture of Piece by Piece (Main Line)

I began at one end of the pump, with the 1-1/4" valve to the 1-1/4" union. You can choose to start with other pieces, but I found that setting up the main line gave me something easy to clamp up. After the 1-1/4" to 3/4" bushing is on this tee, you can glue up the end assembly separately, and then connect it to the main assembly with the threaded 3/4" pipe.

When connecting the threaded sections, make sure to wrap some teflon tape around the threads. This will help the operation along and prevent leaks at these joints.

Step 6: Piece by Piece (Pressure Chamber)

Picture of Piece by Piece (Pressure Chamber)

Now you need to put together the pressure chamber. Gather up your big pipe section, cap, adapter, bike tube, and bike pump. Using the pump, partially inflate the bike tube. Don't pump it up all the way, just enough that the tube is squishy. We need the air in the pressure chamber to act like a spring.

The bike tube prevents the pressure chamber from becoming waterlogged during operation. Air dissolves into water. It does so more readily at high pressure. (This is related to how commercially produced soft drinks are carbonated) The bike tube sequesters some of the air from ever contacting the water (in theory), and prevents all of the air from being carried out of the pressure chamber.

Stuff the bike tube down into the big pipe, a la image two. After this, cement on both ends, and clamp that sucker up. Once that's dried up, go ahead and glue this whole assembly to the pipe coming from the main tee.

Note on possible improvements / modifications:
Some may choose to omit the bike tube, and just drain the pump out every once in a while. That's totally possible. It's also possible to either mount a schrader valve onto the end cap of the pressure chamber to recharge it. Whatever suits your fancy, but this setup worked fine for me so far.

Step 7: Optional Pressure Gauge Assembly

Picture of Optional Pressure Gauge Assembly

If you want to use the pressure gauge, you will mount that after the main tee. Setup is pretty self explanatory. From top to bottom it goes: Gauge, pipecock, nipple, bushing, tee. Remember to wrap all threaded connections with teflon tape, and make sure you tighten them up well.

Installing this requires cutting the 3/4" x 6" pipe nipple in half, which creates two pieces, threaded on one end and smooth on the other, to go into the bottom arms of the tee. Cement these.

Step 8: The Last Piece (for the Pump Anyway...)

Picture of The Last Piece (for the Pump Anyway...)

If you haven't done it already, install the brass swing check valve. Make sure that the flapper (I just like calling it that) is hanging down, when the pump is held upright (everything pointing upwards). The whole thing should just thread onto the bushing that you've cemented to the end of a 1-1/4" pipe. Simple enough.

After that, you may break out the flapper dress, cut your hair short, and swing dance the night away celebrating the reckless spirit of the Jazz Age (and completion of your pump). You party animal you.

Step 9: Pump Installation

Picture of Pump Installation

Now that you've got a rather aggressive looking collection of PVC bits, it's time to make it do something. You'll need to attach the stand pipe (the long section of 1-1/4" pipe) to the 1-1/4" union with cement, and then decide how you want to hook the other end to your water source. My first method was a chopped up milk jug. Honestly, I just wanted to see this thing pump some water.

My later design was to mount a shower drain on the other end of the stand pipe, and fix that to a styrofoam cooler that I had cut a matching hole in. The cooler served as a collector for the pipe, and it all worked pretty well. In more permanent installation (to be completed in the coming spring) I'll attach this shower drain to a board that can be fixed in the higher water supply, and things will be good.

Gather up a garden hose, your stand pipe, and your pump, then drag all of this out to your waterfall or what have you. Bring a friend or two. They help in the setup, and maybe you can win the bet that "you can pump water above the source without electricity, gasoline, diesel, a bicycle, or a bucket while they watch."

At this point you can probably figure it all out on your own, but you'll need to get the water flowing down the stand pipe, which you've connected to the main pump, and then up through the swing check valve. On to the next step for theory of operation, troubleshooting and tuning.

When you install this permanently (or semi-permanently), you'll want to find a good place to anchor it to, probably not in the stream. Place it as low as possible, but keep in mind that if the stream were to flood and / or a tree to wash down it, it would take your nice little pump off with it.

Also, for those in the northern (or far southern) latitudes, you won't want this to be running during the winter. Water could potentially collect inside the pressure chamber and freeze, causing you problems (untimely death of pump). But experiment as you feel fit.

The video here is playable using Quicktime. Presently, you have to save it to your computer, and change the extension (bit after the long strange file name) from .tmp to .3gp. I'm sorry it's being difficult, maybe someday I'll set it up with an embedded player, but right now I'm short on time. It shows the pump working, with narration by yours truly. Gives you an idea of what it sounds like standing in the water right next to it, and also has a close up of the swing check valve working.

Step 10: Howsitdodat?

Picture of Howsitdodat?

So here goes for the operation of the pump.

As the pump cycle begins, water flows down the stand pipe, and up through the swing check valve. Water begins to flow faster and faster around the flapper in the check valve, until friction draws the flapper up, slamming it closed. This causes a pressure spike in the pump body, as the water flowing down the stand pipe at some speed no longer has anywhere to go. This pressure is relieved by some of the water flowing across the spring check valve, over onto the pressure chamber side of the pump. Once past the swing check valve, it cannot return, and has to stay there. When the pressure difference across the spring check valve drops, the valve will close and water will stop flowing through it. The lower pressure will allow the swing check valve to open again, beginning the cycle all over again.

Troubleshooting

So what if this doesn't happen? Well, first things first, check and make sure that it's "on". That is to say, make sure both the 1-1/4" and 3/4" valves are in fact open.

Sometimes water will flow out of the swing check valve, then the valve will slam closed, but nothing will happen. If this occurs, tap on the flapper in the check valve to open it up again, and let the cycle begin again. In theory these pumps need some back pressure (coming from the pressure tank side) to operate, but I've never had any trouble getting mine going with just some basic tapping and fiddling.

Tuning

Now that it's working, can you make it work better? You'll find that there's a maximum height that the pump can deliver water to. Be patient when trying to find this, as it takes a little while for the pump to achieve the pressure required to raise the water up higher and higher. There are formulas that will tell you how high you can theoretically pump water based on the source water head. Feel free to look them up.

Tuning ram pumps mostly involves varying the water velocity that results in the swing check valve closing. A higher water velocity will generate a larger pressure spike, allowing you to pump to greater heights. But it will also cause a slower cycle, so you pump more slowly. If the valve closes at a lower water velocity, it will take less time for the water to reach that velocity, so the pump will cycle faster, and the water pumped faster, but you will not be able to pump as high. So that's the trade off. Keep in mind though, that this will work without interference 24 hours a day, so combining it with a holding tank, you can get a decent supply of water built up.

To tune this specific design, you take advantage of how gravity acts on the flapper. When the check valve is pointing straight up in the air, the full force of gravity holds the flapper down, so the water must flow past the flapper faster to generate enough drag to raise the full weight of the flapper. By rotating the pump about the main line, you put the flapper's degree of freedom at an angle to the force of gravity, so that less drag is required to move the flapper. You could work out all of this fairly easily with a bit of trig, but I feel it would serve you little use out in the field. Just play around with it, you should find a position that works well for your application.

No Power?
Well, no. This pump derives its power from the potential energy of the water uphill, and by wasting (not in a bad sense) the majority of the water that flows through the stand pipe. It only pumps a small fraction of the water that actually travels down that pipe. But that's fine if you have a stream already flowing down a hillside. Before, you weren't doing anything with all that potential / kinetic energy. Now you are. Hooray for you!

Comments

funkdubius (author)2017-08-17

Wondering if this might work to increase water pressure in a gravity fed home system?

ChrisD479 (author)2017-05-23

My Rampump is finally up but not working as it should. . Set up is as follows

Vertical fall is about 5meters

The life is about 35m

Diameter of Drive pipe is 90mm

Length of drains/drivepipe is about 20m

length of delivery pipe is 110m and 25mm diameter

Pump is 40mm

Air Pressure Chamber is 110mm in diameter and 2m in length.

It is cycling very fast which in another the article says is either because drive pipe is too short or waste valve isnt heavy enough. The water is pushing up delivery pipe but not far enough, it reaches about 100m with a small trickle, when extended with another 10m and 3m head it stops flowing.

DrewS71 (author)2017-05-10

So I swapped out the spring check valve for a swing a check valve in the best I get is that the swing check valve cycles through a couple of times but ultimately stays open. I have the swing check valve closest to the water source and before the pressure tube, is this correct or does it need to be after the pressure tube?

DrewS71 (author)2017-05-08

Hello,

I built this pump the same as yours as well but without the pressure gauge assembly and used a spring check valve instead of the swing check valve. The pump is being driven by an artesian well with a pipe providing about a 1 foot drop into the pump but i am having no luck getting it push even at a hoizontal level. Any suggestions?

Drew

habolooby (author)DrewS712017-05-09

Hi Drew,

That's awesome you built the pump, and I'm sorry it isn't working yet! In terms of troubleshooting, is there any water flowing out from the waste port? That is, coming out of the spring check valve in place of the swing check?

I suspect that the issue may be with the spring check valve. In this design, water flows in the "wrong" direction through tthe brass check valve. This is permitted because gravity pulls the swinging portion down, opening the valve. This lets water flow through, developing the momentum to eventually create the pressure spike when the gate is dragged shut by the speed of the water.

Though I'm not certain, I believe in most spring style check valves a light spring keeps the valve closed position. The pressure of the spring is easily overcome by water flowing in the correct direction, but as soon as the pressure drops, the spring returns the valve to the closed position. Since it's already closed, any additional pressure in the "wrong" direction will only close the valve tighter.

If possible, I would recommend replacing the current "waste" spring check valve with a swing check valve, and see what happens. Keep us posted!

-H

DrewS71 (author)habolooby2017-05-09

Thanks H,

I ordered a swing check valve yesterday and have the spring boxed up to return. Will update when I it installed, thanks for the direction.

Steve8486 (author)2017-04-19

Hi

I have built a water ram the same as yours with 1-1/4 drive pipe and 3/4 supply pipe it works ok I need to get a bit more height out of delivery so I need to fine tune. I am using 1-1/4 poly drive pipe 25 metres long if I add 6.5 meter steel pipe Between poly pipe and pump will this help. What is the maximum length of drive pipe I can use.

Steve

SantiagoA8 (author)2017-03-29

Hi habolooby, thanks for the great post!

What flow of water did you achieve, for which delivery and supply heads and length of the delivery pipe?

Do you think scaling up (flow wise) would be cheaper per (l/s pumped) or more expensive? What do you think it would be more sensitive to?

Thanks in advance for your answer

kulpra (author)2017-03-17

Hi, can you please share your e-mail ID here please? I want to ask question in private.

lehilty (author)2016-03-30

Could a hydram be installed in a stream/river and use the velocity of the water vs creating fall in a drive pipe? I have land next to a river and would like to have an elevated tank.

habolooby (author)lehilty2016-10-18

It might be possible depending on your river conditions, but as others have suggested, different pump designs may work better for you. The pump derives its energy from letting the water in the drive pipe develop a bit of inertia, then suddenly stopping the flow, and using that kinetic energy to force a bit of water up a pipe. So if the water in the river flows fast enough, it's possible that the pump would work. In general, it's easier to set the pump up using gravity to accelerate the water. There are some pretty cool pump designs out there specifically for rivers, so definitely check them out.

bothal3 (author)lehilty2016-08-06

Hallo Lehilty. Yes you can. The principle is base on the Ram pump which is a very old concept. I did not do a recent search but you should find the plans where a car outlet valve is implemented as the "switch". The ratio of lift is about for every 10' fall to power the pump you can gain about 100" lift.
Unfortunately the model I am referring to has a fairly high % water "pass through" rate and is usually used next to rivers or where overflow is not a concern.

You might be able to implement a "Pelton wheel" as well.

I hope this helps.

DavidL237 (author)lehilty2016-05-20

From my understanding - no. It is the weight of the water in the drive pipe that is the key component of the hammer effect - so it is how far below and distance the intake of the drive pipe that is the factor. You might look into a Water Wheel pump.

JLMullins (author)2016-10-12

I built one just like this with the exception of the in-live valve I use a brass one and instead of bike tube I used a pool noodle. Mine will not work. Is there videos out there or does anyone have suggestions on how to bet mine to work? Thanks, Jimmy

habolooby (author)JLMullins2016-10-18

Hi Jimmy,

I'm sorry to hear it isn't working yet! A few thoughts, a couple of questions:

Thoughts:

The chamber with the bike tube is intended to act as a gas spring. There is a volume of gas (air) in the chamber. When the swing check valve closes, the pressure spikes and forces water past the spring check valve. This is in part allowed by gas spring. The purpose of the bike tube is to keep the gas in the chamber, and prevent it from dissolving into the water. A much shorter explanation is: "A mostly inflated bike tube is squishy, a pool noodle much less so. The pump needs a squishy thing to work."

The in-line valve you used - is it a swinging door type, or one that involves a spring? I think either style should work, but a spring type valve is probably preferable.

Questions:

Can you tells us what the pump does do? Does water flow through it at all? Does it cycle once and then stop? A video would be most helpful. Even photos would be great.

What conditions do you have it set up under? How far does the water fall, how fast does the water move, how is the pump oriented (what direction does the swing check valve point, etc).

Hope we can help get you going! Have a good one,

-Habolooby

rathodk1 (author)2016-09-25

thank you so much its very helpful now i will try to made this after my success i will put pump photos thanks

Paulfrom216 (author)2016-09-16

very good site, thanks I'm surprised that it took me so long to find it. My question is, what is the ratio of water wasted to the water pumped? Thanks in advance.

DaleF16 (author)2016-05-18

I'm curious x2 1~filtration? 2~use of this water?

Lovin the concept! I will be trying

KennedyN1 (author)2015-12-16

designing one...as a pro to type to help my home rural technicians with the best of it kind while using the available local resources

kelvintoys (author)2015-06-08

Nice invention you have there! :)

Question: If i were to use this to pump water vertically up to a tank located 10m above, would it be possible? If so, would it be better than to use the conventional pump? Thank you so much!

KyleL24 (author)kelvintoys2015-12-15

After some research and calculations and I'm not sure if they mention it on this but me and my buddy found out that for every 1ft of elevation on the head you should be ale to achieve 7ft of lift.

habolooby (author)kelvintoys2015-06-08

Hi kelvintoys,

As is often the case, the answer is "it depends". This pump's ability to lift water depends on how far its water source falls in getting to the pump. If you have a decent drop, it's certainly possible. If it's flat water, the ram pump probably isn't your best choice. Please post more details of your water source if you have the chance!

AlbertH17 (author)2015-12-09

While I didn't read every single comment, no one seems to touch on the subject of weather. If you live in an area where temperatures stay below freezing, or sub zero, this project will not work. All the PVC pipes with split open if water isn't constantly flowing.

DarwinE3 (author)2015-10-28

can you share link where you buy spring check valve ?

bob.smilie (author)2015-04-14

Can I use a 300 gallon tote and run the feed out from the bottom to drive the pump?

Thank you!

sspence (author)bob.smilie2015-09-09

what will you do when the tote goes empty?

sspence (author)2015-09-09

Ram pumps have been around for over 300 years. Still a very valid design if you have a lot of water dropping some distance, and need to move a little water a further distance. The old cast iron pumps could run 50+ years without maintenance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram

snwbrdwndsrf (author)2015-09-08

Any ideas on how this might integrate into a gutter downspout? I'd like to fill a rain barrel that's a bit uphill from my house.

labai_s (author)2015-08-24

I really appreciate your effort in providing this important information , thank-you very much..

moou (author)2015-08-06

Can you use other materials then PVC

AnupG made it! (author)2015-07-13

I have constructed one water ram but its not working. I have checked all possibilities of air leakages from pressure tank and their is no leakage. I have attached the image for your reference. Please help me out. My source tank is about 15 feet height and delivery pipe is above source tank height. Still it is not working.

cheryl.young.9655 (author)2015-04-07

what i need to know is how to get the water out of my well with out electricity.

Your best bet is a windmill pump.

I watched a video earlier tonight about an air lift pump that a couple had built .It was quite interesting to watch.They used an air pump to power their air lift pump.It only served to pump the water out of the well not into their house. https://youtu.be/TjYLPW93-EA

TamiM1 (author)cheryl.young.96552015-04-13

Not sure about your well (depth, safety of the water, or whatever) but take a look here at this link for lehmans.com :

http://non-electric.lehmans.com/search#w=well%20wa...

I would love to set something up like this for my well, unfortunately I have really BAD water unless it goes through my filtration/softening system. It's not safe (bacteria) to even use for washing dishes or in the toilet. (Airborne bacterias, nasty stuff!)
BUMMER! I still need electricity!

Sadly this pump won't help with that, but you might look into pulser or geyser pumps. You'd need some pretty specific terrain though. Probably easier to go with a windmill / solar pumped hybrid system. Best of luck!

RajeshR5 (author)2015-05-09

clementino.max (author)2015-04-12

hi my name is giovanni Agrippino and are interested in buying this pump,
how we can contact? my address is Giovanni Agrippino, 87065 Corigliano Calabro, via capri snc, Cs, Calabria, Italy - tel 0983856093 - cell. 3331648415 - clementino.max@gmail.com

Jaapv (author)2015-04-02

Great site,thank you.I hope you can give me some advice with my project.We need to pump water about 200 feet length and height about 3 feet.We have a small slow moving creek with no drop but i dug a 7 foot well beside the creek and want to place the pump on the bottom.Besides the problem of the waste valve water would it work?I want to put a short piece of hose on the waste valve so it can pump it out of the well.Can you give me any hope?

habolooby (author)Jaapv2015-04-02

So the short answer is that the hydraulic ram is not the pump you're
looking for. You really need the water to fall a decent distance to
drive the pump. But I can give you hope. For low lift requirements and
in the setting of a slow moving watersource, I would look into screw or
spiral type pumps. Specifically investigate the Archimede's Screw, but
the DIY ones made out of a hose wrapped around a core. It won't pump
fast, but it should be able to lift water to a container 3 feet or
higher. After that, you just need to run pipe. Let me know if you have
more questions.

Littleredhen1 (author)2015-03-09

If I build the ram and set it 15' down in my lake, will it pump water straight up an additional 5 ' to a holding tank?

Thanks :)

minm (author)Littleredhen12015-03-20

theorically..no..it wont.

magfree (author)2014-12-22

Can I put an inverted u-tube at the top of the standpipe to keep debris out? If so can I restrict it from 4" or 3" to say 2"?

habolooby (author)magfree2014-12-23

While I'm not entirely sure I'm imagining the right thing, I would say that you likely could put an inverted u at the top of the standpipe. However.

I'd hesitate before restricting the diameter. As you decrease the diameter of the pipe, the cross-sectional area will decrease by the square of the change, & the volume of water that can pass through at a given pressure will also drop. If you look up some of the calculators online, you'll see that the diameter of the standpipe is important.

Ultimately, I'm not sure the inverted u would filter debris - but if you leave a comment with a bit more description of what you're thinking of, I'd be happy to think about it.

magfree (author)habolooby2014-12-23

Thanx for your answer, habolooby. I live in an oak forest. If I install two 90's at the top with the opening facing down, I could avoid leaves and branches falling into the opening. 3 and 4 inch 90's are expensive. I thought I might accomplish the same thing by reducing the diameter of the pipe first.

habolooby (author)magfree2015-02-23

I don't know if this image will work, but this is what I imagine you're thinking of. Figure A is your plan. To filter incoming water, you'd make a U out of two 90's and a T joint, with the 90's pointing down into the water. I'd be wary of anything that restricts flow into the pump. Instead, you might consider figure B. Here you would cap a piece of culvert, large pipe, a barrel - anything big really, set it so it's ~ 3/4 in the water, give it a vent on top, and have the stand pipe draw water from inside the cylinder. Bottom of the barrel / pipe / whatever is open to the water. Sorry for the crap quality, it's what I could come up with in ~15 minutes between work things. Let me know if you have questions.

magfree (author)habolooby2015-02-25

I was referring to the stand pipe used to compensate for friction when your supply line is more than 100 feet.



Thanx for the info though.



Magfree

hulk1371 (author)magfree2015-02-23

The stand pipe coming out of the water has a cap. I'm not sure if that is what you are talking about but the big pipe acts just like the pressure tank for a well pump.

hulk1371 (author)2015-02-23

Something to consider for the waste valve is a modified foot valve for a well. The valve can be disassembled and the valve turned to work in reverse. I prefer this method because you can add weights to the valve that control how much pressure is needed to close the valve. I feel like this type of valve will hold up longer than a swing gate valve as well.

habolooby (author)hulk13712015-02-23

I'm not very familiar with well foot valves, but I have seen designs for ram pumps that had adjustable waste valves. Sounds like what you're describing, and it has that nice tune-ability feature. Hardware store parts used here for simplicity, but by all means modifications and improvements are encouraged. If you have any photos / drawings of your approach, please post them - or make an instructable! I'd be happy to post a link or something on here.