500' Jack pump with solar options?

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I have been researching and came across your site. I live in Central CA and I have a domestic Well that is 500' deep with a static water at 300'. I am looking for creative ways to get water out of the ground off grid. I will be pumping to a 2500gallon storage tank and then to a pressure tank for residential usage.
Most conversations I have had end up with a Grundfos submerged pump.

I have been talking to the engineer from Simple Pump, and I am looking at using a mechanical jack pump with a DC motor conversion. The main challenge is the motor is not rated at enough torque to overcome the head pressure at 400'(where I want to hang my pump). I can change to a larger motor, but the manufacturer does not have any experience in this.

Does anyone else have any experience with Jack pumps over electric conversions. The benefit I see(Naively of course) is that with a jack pump, and a motor above ground, I could use mechanical advantage to overcome a over sized motor and solar array.

Or any other creative options?

Thanks for any input or recommendations you might have for this newbie... :D


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    We had a fairly long discussion about a Jenson Jack Pump here:


    Does that help?

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    If you are calling "head" the distance from your pump to the top of the well, it will always be 300' regardless where you place the pump.

    If you have the 2500 gal. tank a hundred feet above the well, I will shut up.
  • bluetickbluetick Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    The advantage of the jack pump is you can off set the weight of the "head" with the counter weights of the jack pump.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    Thanks for the help guys. I have been reading through your forum for the past 2 days and I have been enjoying as much information that my brain can absorb.

    I would like to speak (or email) with someone who has design experience with the Jack pump system. How do you know what angles/ mechanical advantages to use in order to get the optimum efficiency? It seems that with the proper design of angles and counter weights, I could use a small 1/4 HP DC motor to get water from my 500' well.?/?//? What gear box/reduction should be used?

    Where can I get information about the piston pumps that go below the jack pump?

    It seems that most information about the piston pumps are for larger applications.

    Thank you again..
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,330 admin
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    In the thread I referenced, there were some back of the envelope calculations that will get you into the ball park.

    The size of the motor will be defined by Gallons per hour * lift + friction... The slower your Gallons per Minute, the slower you can turn the crank, and the smaller motor you can use...

    A 1/4 hp motor is very tiny for pumping and may give you around 0.5 to 1 GPM (or even less). Pumping to cistern/tank can buffer your slow water delivery (1/2 GPM is 30 GPH or 20-180 GPD if pure solar/no battery bank--i.e., pumping only when the sun is shining--low number in winter).

    Other than contacting the Mfg of the pump--Here is the Build It Solar website with some pumping information/projects:


    Some of the projects reference Home Power Magazine... If you subscribe, you can get back issues/articles on-line (I believe). A good source for off grid and conservation projects.

    More or less, with solar powered equipment/devices, it really helps to define your needs first so you can define/size the power requirements. From there, it you can quickly figure out what solutions will, or will not, meet your needs (and $$$ estimates).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • erneerne Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 500' Jack pump with solar options?

    You can get the piston pump, pipe, and sucker rod from most any water windmill mfg. Aeromotor, Windcharger etc. most well supplies should be able also. You need to watch the stroke length of the pump jack though. You can also check with a golf course or cart supplier for a DC motor. (32 volt) and controller to regulate the rpm’s. If you are going solar photovoltaic with liner current buster go 24 volt. A Jensen 25 or equivalent are presently the easiest to match up. A 1/2 pipe holds 0.0102 US gallons per foot. A 1 inch pipe holds 0.408 gallons per foot. A single gallon of water weighs 8.336 pounds at 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Figure your distance and you will know the weight you need to lift. Also when you install below water level, it is the distance from the foot valve to the top that is your lift distance not from the static level of the water in the well. The jack counter balance will need to produce 0 pounds on your lift for proper performance. Some of the larger 30 inch stroke or so jacks are lifting oil from depths of 10,000 feet plus with solar in north west CO. where the rural electrification act has yet to arrive. Go to oilfield-auction com to see available pumps if you haven't acquired one yet. Jensen pumps no longer manufactures the small pumps. Pumps like the Jensen 25.00 are the ideal but are near impossible to find. If you find 2 I’ll take one.
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