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I tried a "search" on this but there's just too much stuff out there and came up empty. I live outside of town and get my water from a water well. I know much has probably been talked about for when no electricity is available (storms, hurricanes, SHTF, et cetera) and the best thing I've seen yet in the forums is adding a hand pump to your existing system.

I've looked into this and even called my well pump company about installing a hand pump on my system -- they said it was VERY expensive -- so that would probably not be an option for me.

I'm wondering, though, how the "pioneers" (for a lack of a better word) did theirs. They had no electricity but could get water from their wells. You know ... like in the old westerns on TV. Is it that things were so much cheaper back then? Or is there another way to get water from your well if the pump has no power?

I thought about using a generator but that is powered by fuel for the most part and fuel will eventually run out. I'd sure appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.

Thank you very much ... Robin
 

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They would draw it from a surface body of water (lake, river, etc.), collect rainwater, or have a shallow well in the surficial aquifer maybe 25' deep. All of these methods have their issues, most notably contamination. Also, know that people spent effort every day just acquiring water. It was labor intensive and explains why bathing was a novelty.
 

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Bleach blonde on fire :p
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Excellent links! Thank you. Simple, and ingenious. Shoot, I have all the parts in the garage already.
My kiddos did one as a home school project last year....worked good on my parents spare well....I haven't pulled ours yet (its like 300+ foot) but it should work the same way....we have a pulley to work with it too :)


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Calculate 8 lbs pr gallon , and realize that weight needs to include the weight of the mechenism as well.
I donlt have the specs but 300 feet of 1/2 " stainless steel shaft is not a lite afair, and I doubt you'd be able to go with any thing less.
For that distance you would need several valve check cups w/seals every few feet ,or bringing up several hundred feet of water is going to take a long time.
also the throw comes into play as well as a graduated diameter of pipe and cupseals on the shaft . The pressure is going to be greatest at the bottom of the shaft, and vacuum is not going to do it , it has to be a positive displacment each stroke. any leaks ,compromise the whole operation.
My advise ,
Have two elecrtic pumps ,one is back up.
Provide the lift equipment for making the replacement possable.
Large enough units to be working only at half the rated capacity,never more.
Have several water storage tanks just below ground like a cistern, and a secondary set of pumps /One spare, for house delivery. Have a Gasoline engine powered pump for fire protection ,plumbed in and functional for house delivery as well. The engine would be periodically fired up and fuel refreshened and stabilized for storge.
One house I lived in ,we put a set of water heater tanks up in the up stairs of the shop ,which stood taller than the house. I had to haul water in by truck in those days.
Good luck .
 

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The pic that rncmom showed is exactly what we had on our property when/where I grew-up as a kid in southwest va. Of course by the time I was born we had a bored well, but the old fashon hand dug well and well house is still there to this day. When I was a kid my father had droped an electric pump into the old well just for a spare, because even with our modern well as you all no you can still run dry!!!!.
 

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Back then the wells were hand dug and fairly shallow-25 feet or less. Most people used a water witch to locate the water underground. A hand pump worked fine. Good luck.
 

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Chances are to OP has a deep well. A hand pump system for that is very expensive and takes a lot of work to get your water.

I put in a ground water well by myself in an afternoon, but I live 150' from a freshwater lake that is constantly full. My ground water table is sometimes so high it's at the surface. The "soil" here is really nothing but sand, so the actual jetting of the well only took an hour or so. Never thought I'd find anything positive about this place.

I have a manual pitcher pump and an electric with a pressure vessel.
 

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My family had a cabin with an open well. It was enclosed with a door on the top to keep debris and animals out. The sides were walled off to prevent them from caving in. It was really pretty cool. When we went to the cabin we had to get the dead mice out. Then I believe my Dad tossed in some bleach and let that go to work for awhile. We still boiled the water that came out of it. Wells like that also make great coolers for perishables and beer.
 

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About 40 yrs. ago, we were pumping from a windmill from a 150' deep well. Now most house wells in our area are 500-600' deep. 40 yrs. ago, there were water holes that had water in them year round. Not now.
Water storage, collection, purification, and filtering needs to be a very high priority.
 

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They chose a location where they could easily access water. Our modern technology has allowed us to build houses in locations where water is not easily accessible.
There is an old hand dug well on my farm, its at most maybe 20' deep.
 
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