Emergency Backup Well Pump

Emergency Backup Well Pump

Sue from Mass recently used our contact form to ask for help finding an emergency backup well pump to provide pressurized water to her homestead in the event of a power failure.  Here’s Sue’s question:

Question for Prepography
We live in a rural setting and have a well that’s about 100 feet deep. Is there a way to access the well water from the pipes that come into the house or can you only pump it from outside at the well itself? (in the case of no electricity, of course) I have been unable to find info on this subject online. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Sue from Mass

 The issues I identified are:

1.  Sue presumably relies on well water daily so there’s already a pump and assembly in place leaving very little space for a backup solution.

2.  Sue has already considered switching to a gravity fed system but doesn’t have enough elevation near her home to easily install a reservoir uphill.

In researching  available solutions I found two possible solutions, the Simple Pump or the FloJak.  Both product lines are made in the U.S. but the FloJak system has some price advantages over the Simple Pump.  As I am far from a master plumber I enlisted the help of FloJak’s president, Corky Baker who was kind enough to provide this explanation:

FloJak Emergency Backup Well PumpThere are two basic hand well pump types. Think of them as “suckers” and “pushers”. Both have advantages and limitations.

Sucker pumps literally pull water up through a pipe, from the vacuum piston located up by the pump handle. The advantage of this system is that pump handle may be remotely located, and doesn’t have to be mounted directly over the well. In some shallow well situations the pump can be in the house. But, these pumps will only lift water about 25-30 feet and are prone to failure if not used continuously. The seal, called a “leather” can dry out and crack.

Pusher pumps use a long rod inside a pipe to operate the piston which is inside the well…down below the water line. It pushes the water straight up. This mechanism requires that the pump handle be located in a straight line…directly over the water source. It has the advantage however, of being able to bring pressurized water from 100 feet or more. Some of them can be used to pump pressurized water into the house through an outside faucet…so that it is available at the sink, or for flushing.

Some of them are narrow profile so that they slip into the well without interfering with the existing pump.

Corky Baker
President, CEO
FloJak.com

So, you use a hose to connect to an outside faucet which allows you to push water through your home’s existing plumbing system…very cool!

Sue is very fortunate to have safe, accessible water right on her property and is taking steps necessary to a assure that she has access to this most important of resources even if the electricity fails.  Make sure you are planning for your family’s water security as well.  A few final words of advice…don’t forget to stock spare parts or even a spare system if this is your only water on site and make sure to use a drinking water safe hose.

To see a FloJak in operation check out this video or their website FloJak.com… and I’ve also added the FloJak line to the Prepography Amazon Store for easy reference.

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