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The 5 Best Ways To Get Well Water Without Electricity

5 Ways To Get Well Water Without Electricity

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Water is the key to survival. At least 60 percent of the adult human body is made of water, and we can live no more than three days without it.

Since most modern water pumps use electricity to obtain well water, you may wonder how you would access well water in the event of a long-term power outage on the homestead. Here are five methods:

1. Manual pump – With a hand-operated pump, you can obtain five to 15 gallons of water per minute, depending on the make and model of the pump.

Manual pumps, which can be used with or without electivity, require quite a bit of effort, but they are an economical and easy way to get water during a blackout. (Read our previous story on manual pumps here.)

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2. Solar pump – Another option is a solar-powered water pump, which can provide as much as 1,200 gallons for water daily, depending on the brand and model – and, of course, the weather.

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Solar pumps are fairly easy to install, and they can last for up to 20 years or so.

3. Wind-powered pump – Once a fixture on American farms, wind-generated pumps are cost-effective and require very little maintenance.

As with solar pumps, wind pumps are weather dependent, though. A back-up system, such as a manual pump, is important to have during calm weather.

4. Homemade pulley system – Think Jack and Jill and you’ll get the idea. With the use of a bucket on a pulley system, you may be able to access well water without a pump at all.

This system requires that you have the strength to lift and pull up anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds at a time. With an efficient pulley system, however, it can be much easier to lift.

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5. Diesel pump — Diesel fuel is a good alternative to electricity when it comes to powering a well. The pumps are relatively inexpensive and are easy to install. However, they do require a lot of fuel, so the cost of running a diesel pump varies with the price of fuel.

Which type of backup pump do you have? Share your well water tips in the section below:

Are You Truly Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

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7 comments

  1. How do yoy pump water 400 ft

    • You would have to make sure the pipe is primed. Once water moves water it will come out.

    • A 400 ft well does not mean neccisArly you are pumping from 400 ft. If the water is higher (say 200 ft) then you will have the ease of pumping from 200 ft which can be done by any of the means above. Some solar powered pumps I have seen limit is 200 feet. And hand pumps 350 feet. So it you use a lot of water or in a drought or both. I’m sure if looked could find deeper alternatives. A tall wind turbine I’m sure could produce the energy (compared to a smaller shorter one for shallower depth) or adding more panels to the solar alternative.

      A diesel pump though can go DEEP. On the farm our family’s well for our crops is 1,140 feet deep and we use a diesel powered pump and will often pump millions of gallons at a time during the dry summer months to spread across 280 acre farm (2 inches water over 280 acres 15.2 million gallons pumped in 1 day sometimes twice a week)

  2. Everyone needs a secure water supply, our well is wonderful and we have a back-up power supply.

    If you are dependent on city water you are in trouble.

  3. I had no idea that there were alternative methods to pumping water outside of having one powered by an engine or having a manual pump. It is great that natural resources can be recovered using natural methods such as by wind power. It could be a great way to save money and also to save the environment by investing in a wind-powered water pump.

  4. Diesel pumps are the best alternative to the electric pumps. The installation charge is very low as compared to electric pumps. But if you want to spend the lowest cost, then handpump would be the best option. Hand pump would require human efforts on daily basis to get the water out from the well.

  5. You have to spend money every time you buy fuel for a diesel pump. Manual, solar, and wind power pumps are the most economical in the long run. There is one more off-grid method, animal powered pump. It should be possible, to design a pump that can be fitted with gears and levers, leading to a harness rig for a horse, cow, goat, etc. and the animal can operate it by walking around, just like some old-fashioned grain grinding stones, and also like many early non electric machines. Another option would be to rig it up to use pedal power, like a bike, or like a sewing machine. As for the idea of having to pump a manual water pump every day, I suggest a tank near the pump, that the water can be pumped into, and that will hold enough water for at least a couple of days.

    When you have a limited supply, or limited pumping ability, you have to go easy on water usage. Yard work clothes can be worn more than once before washing. When showering, bring a bowl into the shower, fill it with hot water, and then shut off the water. Soak a sponge in the hot water, then put soap on it, and scrub up, rewetting and resoaping the sponge as needed. Once you are done, then turn the shower back on to rinse off. If your hair isn’t too long, you can also just wet down your hair, and then shut off the shower while washing it, and again, turn the water back on when you are ready to rinse. This uses a lot less water, than leaving it running thru the whole time in the shower. I have relatives who have wells that don’t produce a lot of water, so they have to be careful with their usage, and they also have rain barrels, and use gray water for the toilets and gardens. I have bad knees, so I like to sit on my tub chair with a bowl of hot water, while scrubbing up, and I don’t really like the shower blasting me in the face while doing that, so this method of bathing prevents that, along with conserving water.

    Pick the well pump method that works best for your situation, but remember, in an emergency, you may not have access to things like diesel gas, so keep it more simple than that.

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