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farmkid 01-08-2012 02:18 PM

Can you pull water through a submersible pump?
I have a culinary well, rather than municipal water. As a backup water source, I would like to plumb a hand pump into the system inside the house so I can still get water in case of a power outage or other problem. The plan would be to plumb it in where the line comes in the house. Naturally there would also be a few valves necessary, one on the pipe to the hand pump, and another to block off the lines to the house and pressure tank.

What I need to know, however, is whether I can pull water through the submersible pump in the well when it's not running. It seems to me I should be able to, but I'm not sure exactly how those are built so I don't know for sure.

By the way, I do realize that hand pumps usually can't raise water very far, but that shouldn't be a problem. The water table is very high around here, and the water level in the well casing is only about 10 feet below ground level. The pump will be in the basement, so it will only have to raise the water less than 10 feet and pull it through 30 feet of pipe.

JoeD 01-08-2012 05:16 PM

How deep is the water? Hand pump will not pull water more than 25 feet up from the pump portion. That is not the length of pipe but the elevation the water to the pump.
Pulling through the pump is another question that will depend on the pump. Post a make and model. Maybe someone will know.

farmkid 01-08-2012 06:17 PM

As I said, the water level is only about 10 feet down, so that shouldn't be a problem.

As for the model of the pump, I have no idea. It was in the well when we bought the house a couple years ago and we didn't get any information about that. If there are some that water can be pulled through and some that can't, which kind is more common?

JoeD 01-09-2012 06:50 AM

Sorry I missed the part about the water being ten feet down. I don't know enough about pumps to say if water can pulled them.

Speedbump 01-09-2012 09:44 AM

If the water is only ten feet, it will work. You will need a shutoff valve below the pump so you can isolate it when the sub is in service. Otherwise, you will have a flooded basement.

farmkid 01-09-2012 10:08 AM

Yes, I had figured I would need a valve below the pump, as well as one to block off the rest of the house and the pressure tank when using the hand pump.

So, are there some submersible pumps out there that water couldn't be pulled through, as JoeD suggested there might be? If so, are they very common?

Speedbump 01-09-2012 10:52 AM

Submersible pumps are all made the same way. The water will come up through them easily. It just won't go back down. The built in check valve prevents that from happening.

farmkid 01-09-2012 10:56 AM

I had thought that was probably the case, just based on what I know about pumps in general, but I know nothing about submersible pumps and didn't know whether they were built differently. Thanks for the information.

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