"Assuming I don't use the pump regularly and want it only for power failures - how long will it hold a prime?"
Potentially for many months and even, possibly for a year on more -- if your water does not have suspended solids. If you do have suspended solids, the particles may get between the ball valve and its seat. Even thought they may be very small, there is then a small gap for water to slowly drain down. The length of time for holding prime will then be unpredictable and could be quite short.
"Can I store the pump long-term until I need it?"
You can -- but we don't advise it. If there is some kind of large-scale problem, that is not when you want to be installing the pump for the first time and discovering, perhaps, that there is something you don't understand. Install the pump now. Make sure there are no problems. Phone us if you need any assistance. Now you know you can install it if needed. Then you can un-install and put it away for storeage if you like, or leave it where it is, installed. If you have it installed, pump a few gallons of water every couple of months.
"Please send me a catalog."
We actually don't have a paper or PDF catalogue. Every sale is different - depending on hand-operated, motorized, solar, possible desire to motorize in the future, well depth, water depth, and recovery rate. This makes the price of every system different. The only way we can create a quote that is correct for your well is to first gather information from you, and then prepare a customized system recommendation with quote. The components will differ depending on your needs.
Please explore the information under "Our Pumps", and then start the process is to visit "Get A Quote" page. You give us the information we need, and we will send you a no-obligation quote (usually within one business day).
"Will you give me a lower price that your dealer in ________ ?"
Our resellers reach market segments that we don't, and so perform a valuable service for us. One concern of resellers in any business sector is that they work to find and educate prospective customers, only to have the manufacturer undercut them and take away some of those deals. Because of our commitment to our resellers, we will not discount below their retail price.
"I'd like to cut my own PVC piping."
In every case in the past, when a customer finds out that the PVC pipe plays a significant role in the operation of the pump, they have changed their mind and just bought the drop pipe from Simple Pump company.
There are several factors to consider about piping:
First - if you were to cut the piping, OUR WARRANTY WOULD NO LONGER APPLY --- since we cannot warranty a mechanism that is dependent on the quality of your cutting and assembly.
So the warranty is gone. The next point is about how much savings are possible. The answer is, "Not much". The drop pipe units are not JUST piping - in the sense of a hollow tube. The pipe contains a sucker rod mechanism to lift the water. The pipe, itself, is less than a third of the cost of the whole "drop pipe kit". Depending on your depth, you are probably looking at about a total price for the PVC PIPING itself of around $100 - $200. So you're really not playing with a lot of money to try to make savings on. And at what cost in time and risk?
Next, you are quite right that shipping PVC is expensive. However, the expense is not so much about weight; it is mostly about shipping 9-foot lengths. Removing PVC from the shipment does nothing to address this shipping cost, because the 9-foot-long sucker rods remain be shipped. Our sucker rods are fiberglass, and it took us considerable effort and time to figure out how to reliably affix their stainless steel ends. There is nothing comparable available anywhere, except from us.
Then you need to consider even being able to obtain Schedule 80 piping and Schedule 80 fittings. It's actually unlikely that any average hardware store would have Schedule 80. The local well driller's supply outlet may have the required drop pipe and fittings. But will they even sell retail to you, and at what price?
Then you have to cut the pipes very precisely and put pipes and fittings together.
The reality is that there are little or no savings to be had, while you expose yourself to risk and responsibility.
"Can I detach the pump when I’m away?"
Well, you can, but it's not recommended. You concern is security. You can easily make the pump unobtrusive and even more resistant to any possible vandalism. You can easily remove the handle and slide the pump head down to the cap, leaving just a few inches of the pump above the cap (down-periscope position).
The pump AND your well can be hidden behind a shrub or under a hollow imitation rock.
"I'm also considering Company X."
Here are some reasons why we suggest Simple Pump is the better pump, for you:
Simple Pumps are far more reliable, because they are CNC-machined. This machining, directed by computer instructions, ensures every stainless steel piece is identical to the last. Superb and consistent fit makes for far less wear, and much longer life.
The structure of a Simple Pump is quite narrow -- 1.75 inches at its widest -- yet strong. Most other hand pumps simply cannot be installed along with a submersible in an the majority of existing wells. You would have to drill a second well in order to use it as back-up!
Our pump much less human effort to pump the water, due to a much lighter mechanism. For example, the Simple Pump sucker rods -- which transmit the pump action from the lever arm to the pump cylinder at the bottom -- are made out of super-light fiberglass. Significantly lighter weight also makes installation much easier.
No other lever-arm pump manufacturer offers the option of converting to a 12VDC Motor. The DC motor fits precisely the same way on every Simple Pump, making installation so easy that most homeowners install the motor upgrade themselves. So if you ever wanted to convert to solar, the addition of the Simple Pump motor takes literally a few minutes.