Friday, February 1, 2008
Water Ram Pump
The heart of the system without a doubt. Go to links for complete directions on how to make, place, and operate one. Great site with all the info you could need.
My pump sits in a creek that when running at it's fullest, through a 1 1/4 inch black water line, gives about 10 gallons per minute. By the end of the summer season it's down to a mere trickle.
The end result is about 1.5 gallons per minute, non-stop, pushed uphill 40 feet at a distance of 600 feet, draining into several 55 gallon water barrels, located 20 feet above the Shack and gardens.
I was initially worried about giardia, aka beaver fever, but I soon realized the creek was too small for beavers and the chances of a deer having a heart attack and falling face first in to the creek was slim to none. However I do check it from time to time.
The first one I built was a little over one hundred dollars and I followed the directions and exact parts list from the link provided.
I soon learned some of the parts were unnecessary. The pressure gauge, while interesting to observe, was the first to go. The pump either works or it doesn't. The quick disconnects I kicked to the side for the second pump.
For the third pump I decided to start making it entirely from metal. I was tired of replacing parts after the first and second one exploded from freezing water. I still need to locate a metal pressure chamber.
It's important not to let it freeze while operating. Mine currently (Feb. 1 /10 deg.) has water running freely through it with no pressure in the chamber.
The real treat to see it take on a life of it's own with the rhythm and the sound of the "clack, clack, clack" for the first time. I had to fight back the tears of joy over it's simplicity and prospects of a kind of perpetual motion.