Introduction: Coil Pump

How to make a very simple hand-operated water pump using components easily found around most properties.

This instructable is a guide to constructing a simple coil pump... and it is also a challenge.
We will show you a method of construction and operation - the challenge is... using a similar pump, can you get better results than we did?

You will need:

Build Time
2 hours including testing.

a gas blowtorch or similar heat source
scissors or a sharp knife
a stepladder (optional)
wire clippers / pliers

X meters of hosepipe
a plastic waste-paper basket
a large bucket - ideally twice the diameter of the waste-basket or bigger
a long bamboo stick or similar
electrical or duct tape
wire to make securing ties - or zip ties
a large bowl
a water supply

We collected all of these things around our house and didn't spend a dime on anything new. This is also a part of the challenge - make your pump with things you can find around your property. With the exception of hosepipe, if you buy anything to construct this project, please list the items and costs - less bought new is better.

So... our results
We lifted the water through a vertical distance of 3.1 meters and at a rate of just over 2 liters in 3 minutes.
There is plenty of room for improvement ! 

*edit Saturday 03 September 2011 - Coil Pump V2.0 completed and tested - 21.7 liters pumped through 3.1 meters vertical distance in 3 minutes

If you try this out, please leave a comment detailing your results... a link to pictures or your own instructable would be brilliant!

Good luck from everyone at Aziza's Place, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Looking forward to hearing from you........

Step 1:

Beginning at the top of the waste-basket, coil the hosepipe around the basket in a spiral. Secure the pipe on both sides of the basket every 2 or 3 turns using a twist of wire. We used magnet wire as it's what we had and it's very soft and easy to use.
As you can see, we joined small sections of hose together... it's what we had available at the time.

Step 2:

When it gets to the bottom of the basket, the hosepipe will need an exit. The best route we found was back up through the centre of the basket from the bottom.
Heat up a metal tube and melt a hole in the centre of the base of the basket. A standard car spark-plug wrench made just the right sized hole for our hosepipe.

Step 3:

Connect the hose coming through the base of the basket to a longer hose leading to the collection bowl. Support the hose leading to the collection bowl using a long stick. Fasten the hose to the stick using electrical tape or duct tape.

Step 4:

Fill the large bucket with water and tilt it towards the collection bowl.
Place the waste-basket into the bucket of water.

Step 5:

This is the pumping stage.

Turn the waste-basket slowly (20 or so rpm) within the bucket. The aim is to capture 50% water and 50% air within the hosepipe with every complete turn of the waste-basket, so angle the waste-basket accordingly in the water.

Keep turning the waste-basket at a steady speed until the water climbs the pipe and exits at the collection bowl. Don't forget to turn the long stick at the same time and at the same speed as the wastebasket. The whole pump and delivery pipe should rotate together.

If the pump "backfires" and the water rushes out back into the large bucket, then you will need to add more coils to the pump.
More coils = more pumping height.

If water still does not exit the hosepipe at the collection bowl, check the hosepipe for kinks or twists along its full length, including in the coils around the waste basket.

The point where the hosepipe goes through the base of the basket was a problem area for us as the hosepipe we used was soft with age and kept kinking closed. We replaced this section with the newest hose that we had and solved the problem.

Step 6:

Waiting for the water, which is pulsed delivery - ideally half water and half air.

Step 7: Final Results

We pumped water for a timed 3 minutes, which gave us just over 2 liters of water delivered to the collection bowl at a height above ground of 3.1 meters. We measured the results using 500ml drinking water bottles.

Can you beat this??

Step 8: Ideas for Improvements...

There are various ways that this design could be improved.

Here are some ideas.

Use a single length of hosepipe for the entire device.
Increase the diameter of the hosepipe.
Increase the number of coils around your "waste-basket".
Use something larger than our wastebasket to make your pump.
Experiment with differing rotation speeds.
Experiment with differing angles of delivery of water.
Design a rotating seal to fit into the system between the waste-basket and the pipe to the collection bowl.
Design a rotating mount for the pump to more easily control and experiment with rotation speeds.

There are probably a lot more improvements that can be made - we've only just begun with our investigation of this pump.

Here's our idea for V2.0 in a short video clip (4.6Mb) .... we'll report the results when we have them.

Best of luck, and enjoy!

Aziza's Place

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