Adding a submersible pump to an existing hand pump.

GuitarmanGuitarman Registered Users Posts: 4
I am looking to add running water to my system. Currently there is a cast iron hand pump. The casing is an 8 inch. I have not taken it apart to see how much room there is between casing and the existing drop pipe. I am pretty sure I could get a 3" grudfos down there, but not sure about a 4". I believe the water sits at about 30 feet, but am not sure. I live in a pretty wet valley in Wisconsin so it can't be that far down. It takes 4 pumps to get water out.
I currently have about 400 watts of panels and 4 Trojan 105's--12 V. Here are the options I am considering:
1) Bury a tank/cistern up on the hill behind the house, and use the submerible to fill it when appropriate. I have access to a 2000 gallon stainless tank. This way I could run the generator or use solar as needed.
2) Add more PV and run the pump into a pressure tank directly with no holding
3) Have a smaller holding tank in the house or buried near the house and use a surface pump to pressurize
4) Bury a tank behind the house (no elevation) and pump by hand to fill it, then same as above

My goal is to do this as on the cheap as possible, yet be able to grow into the system as I can afford to add more solar.
Also, anyone have experience with hard water (limestone) and on demand water heaters? Thanks!


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Adding a submersible pump to an existing hand pump.

    Welcome to the forum.

    You're on the right track as far as the options go: filling a tank up when sunlight or generator is available and then using a smaller pump to provide pressure is a solution many people have used.

    You might be surprised when you take that hand pump out, though. There's different kinds of hand pumps and some of them will occupy much of that casing, leaving no room for a second line much less a pump. Fortunately it sounds like a shallow-well pump will do if you only have to pull from 30 feet. You're just going to have to pull that hand pump and look and see what you've got to work with. Is there any reason you need/want to keep it?

    You're at the low end of panel to battery here. Charge rate is probably just over 5%. Adding a lot more demand might not be a good idea. But running a conventional pump off the generator to fill the storage tank and then using a smaller pump (12 VDC Shurflo for example) to provide pressure would work until you can refill the bank account and go for more solar.

    Does that sound workable?
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