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Air powered water pump

1665 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Cabin Fever
Can anyone point me to plans for making an air powered water pump? I want to use it to fill a stock tank and water some trees without using the submersible. It will use a windmill turning a compressor, I can manage to rig that up. Air will be compressed in a tank, and that will go down the well to the pump that I can't figure out. If the wind quits blowing and I need water, I can charge the tank with the shop compressor.
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All you really need to do is cap the well and put a stand pipe inside the casing down into the water. Pressurize the area around the outside of the stand pipe with the air from the compressor, and the water will come flowing out through the stand pipe. I've done this with a gas powered compressor, and it works great. To regulate the amount of water pumped, you can either control the air pressure, or simply raise or lower the stand pipe.
Thanks for the link Goose. After many times googling, I never found that one. It just shows you have to google the right keywords, even when you don't know what they are.

Swamptiger, what effect would pressurizing the casing have on the submersible pump already in there? I can't see how it would cause any problems unless the casing had more pressure than the pressure tank in the basement has. Your idea surely sounds the simplest to do.

Not sure how it would work with the submersible in the well, although it should work fine as long as there are no valves or restrictions in the pump to prevent the pressure from getting through. If you lower the standpipe to a couple of feet below the water level in the casing, it will just pump to that level, and then the pressure will be reduced when the level drops to the end of the standpipe. You can control both output of the well and the amount of pressure in the casing in this fashion.
I'm looking for the answer to this question too, and so far I can't use the answers given. The air lift method relies on a deep pipe. Blow air into the bottom of the deep pipe, and air plus water weighs less than the surrounding water, which pushes in and lifts. But my pond is only 4 feet deep and I need to lift 25' to the garden.

So what I want to know is, how does this thing work?

It looks like it may be related to a hydraulic ram, and I bet that if I knew how it worked, I might be able to put one together for less than $500.

I think I may have it.

The thing is submerged. Water pushes in through the inlet valve and starts to flood the inside. This lifts the float in the chamber at right until it closes the air release valve, trapping the flow of compressed air. The air forces the water out through the check valve on the lower right. When the water level gets low enough, the float drops and pulls the air release valve open again. At that point the compressed air can escape, and the whole thing starts to flood again.

But it seems really inefficient. I'm going back to my previous plan of having the windmill compressor drive a pneumatic motor, and pulley driving a piston type water pump (got two from the dump) off of it.

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is this similar to the hydraulic ram pump? it looks like it. i was wondering about the talk of compressed air, is this thing supplied with compressed air or is it hydraulic?

this is the hydraulic ram pump i know of...
why couldn't you get like a H.D. air drill and adapt that?
Swamptiger, it would seem to me that if you were to pressurize a well casing that the water inside the well would be forced out thru the well screen. You would have to apply 2.2 psi of pressure for every foot you wanted the water to rise up the standpipe. If you wanted the water to rise 50 feet, that's over 100 psi. Now if the watertable is, let's say, 20 feet above the top of the well screen, 100 psi would certainly force the water out of the well screen before it sent it 50 feet upward.
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