CLIENT STORY: Alberta, Canada
Page 2: How Simple Pump solved our problem
(if you landed here directly, start on page 1)
We were looking for a smaller pump that could be solar powered and run continuously. Our local solar-power dealer had a used Simple Pump with 100 ft of pipe and sucker rod that he was willing to sell for only $400. The catch was that he had installed it on trial on a ranch 60 miles south of Calgary. The rancher had allowed it to freeze the previous winter and the PVC pipe had broken and dropped the pump and sucker rod into the 200 ft deep well. The rancher decided that it didn't meet his needs. The local water well contractor estimated it would cost at least $1000 to retrieve it but would give no guarantee. I could have everything for $400 if I would go and get it out of the well. The solar dealer had a used 130 W solar panel he would include for another $400.
I bought 200 ft of 1/4" poly rope and made a "fishing" hook out of a piece of 2" exhaust tubing. My wife and I went to the rancher's place and with his help lowered the hook into the well and snared one of the PVC couplings on the riser pipe on the first attempt. We pulled the downhole parts to the surface and removed the PVC pipe sections and sucker-rod sections piece-by-piece, packed everything into the truck, and returned to Calgary.
The next weekend we went up to the farm and installed the Simple Pump along side the 110 V submersible pump and installed the solar panel and a 12 volt RV battery. We drilled an 1/8" hole in the upper-most section of PVC pipe to avoid water accumulation and freezing. Everything worked.
We bought a 1200 us gallon poly tank and had the Simple Pump pump the well into the tank at about 1 gpm. We have another 110 V pump that we use with the generator to pump water from the poly tank to the trees at about 5 gpm.
The inflow to our well is so small that we reduced the stroke of the pump to avoid emptying the well. We thought the pump was using a lot of energy just to raise and lower the pump and drive water through the 1/8" freeze-avoidance hole in the PVC piping. So we converted a 110 electronic timer to 12 V and run the pump at full stroke for 30 minutes out of every 2 hours. The well fills to within 20 ft of the surface when the pump is shut off, and then empties the well at about 1 gpm when it's running. We keep an eye on the poly tank and shut the pump off when the tank is full.
That was eight years ago. Now the trees are fully established and no longer need water. But seven years ago we built the garage/cottage and the Simple Pump supplies all the water we need for the cottage, garden, etc. It pumps to two 50 us gallon tanks in the cottage attic to supply toilets, sinks. showers, etc. by gravity. We just keep an eye on the tanks and manually start and stop the pump to periodically top up the tanks.
The original 12 volt motor on the Simple Pump burned out about five years ago and we bought a replacement from Granger (Chicago I think). It only lasted a couple of years before it burned out. Granger no longer stocked the motor so we bought the bigger and much better replacement motor from Simple Pump. It is still going strong.