Welcome to buildarampump.com, here you will find information to help you construct your very own homemade hydraulic ram pump from readily attainable parts available at most hardware stores. If your looking for a off the grid water solution or just enjoy a fun new project, a homemade ram pump could be for you.
A hydraulic ram pump is a pressure pump primarily used to pump water in remote areas where a power source such as electricity or fuel is limited or unavailable. A ram pump operates solely on the flow and weight of water, in other words it’s a water powered water pump. When set up ram pumps are very reliable and run for many years with little to no maintenance required due to only having two moving parts. Hydraulic ram pumps are an ideal solution for off grid water location permitting.
How a hydraulic ram pump works
A hydraulic ram pump takes the energy from the flow of water and uses it to compress air. This is known as the “water hammer” effect, it forces a small amount of trapped water within the pump by utilizing a pair of check valves in alternate flow directions, the compressed air then forces that small amount of water through the only exit it has available with the end result being pumped to your desired location courtesy of mother nature. The pump shown here is around 10% effecient meaning that for every one hundred gallons of water ran throught the pump ten will make it to your destination. The excess water used is then returned to the stream or river with none wasted. This particular ram pump is capable of pumping water at a rate of seven hundred plus gallons a day. Results will vary depending on your drive pipe fall, distance pumped and head (height) lifted. Larger pumps are capable of higher flow rates.
The water to operate your hydraulic ram pump is channeled directly to the input side of the pump by a drive pipe. Drive pipes are best if made from steel however other less expensive materials such as pvc are suitable. The higher the fall from your water source the farther and higher your pump will be capable of reaching. In order to wring as much effeciency out of your pump as possible it is best to solidly mount a ram pump and to secure the drive pipe as to limit movement or vibration as much as possible. Many times problems with reliability and funtion can be tracked back to a loss of water hammer effect from poorly mounted pumps and drive pipes.
Off the grid water systems
Depending on location a hydraulic ram pump could be the perfect solution to your off the grid water needs. A hydraulic ram pumps ability to operate fuel and electricity free make it an attractive option for those looking for a green alternative to traditional water pumps. Another attractive feature of a diy hydraulic ram pump is price, building a hydraulic ram pump is relatively inexpensive and virtually cost/maintenance free after the initial purchase price of components to build it. Another feature that makes a hydraulic ram pump a viable option for off the grid water systems is the ease of maintenance, hydraulic ram pumps only have two moving parts (brass swing check valves) that will eventually need replacing as wear dictates, generally the check valve at the end of the system is subject to more wear than the check valve under your pressure pipe. Replacing either valve can be done in less than fifteen minutes with the pump remaining in place, one thing to remember is that this pump runs 24/7 and on average a check valve should last at least a year and usually double that making it one of the lowest cost to operate and easiest pumps to maintain on the planet, if you have a spare check valve sitting around, you have years of reliable service from a brilliantly simple yet very effective off grid water pump. The hydraulic ram pump, mother nature at your service.