5 min read

Client Story: Pumping Off-Grid in Nevada City, CA

Client Story: Pumping Off-Grid in Nevada City, CA
Written by
Simple Pump
Published on
22 January 2021


We live in San Francisco but love the outdoors. We started looking for property off the grid and deeply immersed in nature. The land we eventually purchased was miles from a paved road, with no utilities, no buildings, not even a well.

We paid to have a well dug before purchasing because we didn’t want land without water. We were happy to find that the well could produce about 15 gallons per minute of water. We bought the land.


That’s when we started shopping for well pumps. We were looking for a pump that was the right balance of dollar value for the amount of water delivered and at the lowest possible power demand. We shopped online, downloading specification sheets for many different types, makes, and models. In the short term, we needed an easy way to get water out of the ground so we could enjoy camping on our land. At the time we had no solar panels or even a generator so we started looking at hand pumps.


Pumping well water in winter and freezing temperatures with the hand operated Simple Pump

We were intrigued by the Simple Pump but were a little skeptical. There are a lot of companies manufacturing 110v and 220v well pumps. Most of the hand pumps we found were the ‘old fashioned’ type and only able to handle pumping water from about 25′ deep or less. Our water is at about 125′ deep. The specs on the Simple Pump were impressive and, if accurate, would meet our needs nicely.


We liked having one of the company owners answer our email questions before purchasing. Because we had never owned a well before and had no prior experience with pumps we valued the personal and patient responses to our questions.

Gary patiently answered our many questions about shipping and installing the Simple Pump. We would be installing the pump by ourselves with no hardware store to run to in case of unforeseen problems.

We nervously accepted the assurances that the installation would proceed as planned and that we would have all the tools that we needed. The installation went off without a hitch, just as we were told. Our first camp out at the property was a success with plenty of water.


We used the hand pump for over a year while we slowly started outfitting our land. We purchased the optional electric motor attachment for the Simple Pump and now use it with the solar panels. We’ve used the electric pump to fill a 1500 gallon septic tank and have filled a 550 gallon water tank a few times over since installing it. We’ve owned our simple pump for a little over two years now. The only maintenance required was when we installed the electric motor. We had to adjust the length of the drop pipe by about an inch to maximize the pump stroke with the electric motor attached.


Our future plans include building a cabin on the property. We will install a pressure system to supply the cabin with a constant pressure water supply. We plan on continuing to use the Simple Pump with the electric motor attachment to meet our water supply needs. The Simple Pump has proven to be a dependable and very efficient means of supplying water.

Best regards.


My family and I are very pleased with our Simple Pump.

Our land is far off the grid outside of Nevada City, CA. The few neighbors we have are all dependent on gas generators to get their water out of the ground.

Everyone that visits our land at first chuckles about our Simple Pump. After they try pumping it, though, it hits them that we can get water out of the ground any time without the need of a generator, photovoltaic system or even an electric pump. We love our Simple Pump.

We purchased the electric motor when we bought the Simple Pump. It’s been a little over a year since we installed the Simple Pump and we just haven’t seen the need to install the electric motor yet. However, we recently had a septic system installed in anticipation of building a cabin some day and now we need to fill the 1,500g septic tank with water. I’ve purchased a couple 123W PV panels to drive the motor while the septic tank is filled.

Thanks again and best regards.

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