We live in a rural area of Oregon and depend upon well water. Being the last house on this branch of the power grid exposes us to the risk of having a low priority in the order of repairs if power damage occurs near to us when large numbers of customers are without power elsewhere. We wanted to be able to obtain water in that eventuality or any other, and we can imagine many others.
Two wells are available, the one nearest the house produces 1.5 gallons per minute. The other, 1200 feet away and 150 feet downhill, is a better producer and ordinarily supplies the house water. The submersible pump in the distant well pumps to a 1300 gallon storage tank in a pump house next to our home. A jet pump and pressure tank are co-located with the storage tank to supply water under pressure to the house. We put our garden next to the low producing well, and use that well for the food. The Simple pump went into the garden well.
Selecting the Simple Pump was an easy choice, because we found no pump that compared with the quality, ease of installation, availability of supporting instructional information, spare parts, or price. The decision to buy the Simple Pump turned out to be a wise one.
When I ordered, I specified a drop pipe length of 80 feet and bought three extra 9-foot sections of drop pipe and pump rod. Experience has sold me on the value of spare parts and repair parts, so I bought two pump repair kits, an extra pump rod clevis, etc.; every piece that might wear out and would be hard to fabricate on site. Additionally, I bought a pitless well cap suitable for the distant well in the event that I want to move the Simple Pump there. Service, advice, and shipping from Simple Pump was immediate.
I installed the Simple Pump without help of any kind. To accomplish the installation, I did buy a JK Tool “Kwik Klamp” (www.jktool.com) from Trident Tool (www.tridenttool.com) which had the lowest prices I could find and provided fast service. This clamp was necessary to secure the pre-existing submersible pump while I installed my new well cap. The Kwik Klamp remains on hand in case I need to repair any of my wells. I also made a lifting jig by drilling a threaded pipe nipple and attaching snap rings. I used a heavy-duty ladder to support a section of 4 X 6 from which I hung a Coffing hoist that I used to raise my submersible a couple of feet. Once the new well cap was in place, lowering the Simple Pump was very easy. It all took a few hours but would have been quicker were I not over-cautious.
Simple Pump is capable of pumping directly into a pressure tank, and from my garden well that would be a reasonable chore. However, pumping water out of my other well and up to the pump house, a lift of about 200 feet and a distance of 1200 feet would be plenty of effort without fighting it into the pressure tank. Besides, I didn’t want to walk a quarter mile down and a quarter mile back every time I need to re-pressurize the pressurize the tank. So I searched for a second pump which I could install in the pump house for use in moving water the few feet from the storage tank and into the pressure tank. I settled upon the Sigma Pump model K2 which is available in North America from Rintoul’s Hand Pumps in Ontario (www.handpumps.com) where Harvey Rintoul is expert in hand powered water systems and was always ready to be of help.
I am very pleased with the Simple Pump and with the Sigma K2 and the Kwik Klamp. All are of the highest quality and inspire confidence in the system.
When you add up the costs, you will find that installing the Simple Pump or any other excellent hand pump is an expensive project. Having the pump in place and at the ready is as valuable as having gold. When I finally spent the money to install the Simple Pump and the rest of my hand operated water system, I was relieved to have this critical need taken care of once and for all, and to have done it with money at its 2010 value.
All the best from the Oregon woods.