How does the Hand Pump Work?
The connected lift rods (inside the drop pipes) provide the physical connection between the energy input at the surface (handle or motor) and the part that does the actual lifting at the bottom (the piston in the pump cylinder).
In spite of the common term “sucker rod”, there is no suction involved. A suction type of pump can work to a maximum of about 20-25 feet water level. The Simple Pump works by a completely different mechanism. It LIFTS from the bottom.
The handle is lifted up, pushing the rods and piston down. The lower ball valve in the cylinder seals with the pressure. The upper seal in the piston lifts and water flows to above the piston. (See left.)
Then the handle is pushed down, lifting rods and piston up. The ball valve in the piston seals in its seat and the whole column of water above the piston is lifted up. Simultaneously, water rushes into the pump cylinder from its bottom, ready for the next cycle.
Othe terms you may hear or read for the Simple Pump are positive displacement, progressive lift pump, or sucker-rod pump.
Parts of the Pump System
*Please note: parts not to scale.
Pump Head, With Handle or Motor
The Pump Head (with handle or motor or assisted hand drive) is the assembly visible above the ground. Here it is shown with the lever-arm handle, mounted on a well cap, on a few inches of well casing.
Drop Pipe Kit – pipe plus lift rod
The top Drop Pipe Kit is has a 1/16″ diameter weep hole drilled 4 feet down from the top. When the pump is not being used, the weep hole allows the water in the head to bleed out, so, in cold climates, the water won’t freeze. And in hot climates, water does not stay in the pump head being heated.
A series of drop pipe kits reaches down below your water. The rest of the drop pipes are the same as the top drop pipe except there is no weep hole. The drop pipe kits make up most of the height of the pump system. All the DROP PIPE KITS carry water from the stainless steel pump cylinder at the bottom to the stainless steel pump head at the top.
Which pump cylinder will be used depends on the static water level and on whether a motor will be used.