Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Installing The Bison Pump

As we saw in the Bison Water Pump Review, this is a very well designed pump system – for use, installation, and servicing. It comes with a well-written installation manual with drawings and parts list. The Bison pump is made in America – specifically, it is made in Maine – and it shows. The workmanship is excellent and shows an attention to detail that is seldom seen in today’s “Made in China” world. The level of quality is top-notch all the way around. In a word, it is solid.

The objective was to have, in a single well:

  • A conventional electric pump that was immune to the pitting and holes that result from having sulfur in the water. Last year, after only a few years in place, the bottom section of galvanized drop pipe had to be replaced due to at least 13 holes in the pipe.
  • A hand pump to function as a backup in case electricity was not available. The hand pump needed to be very sturdy and able to function for many years without the need of servicing or parts replacement.

This project consisted of pulling the existing submersible electric pump and its galvanized drop pipe and replacing it with the following:

  • At the bottom – the submersible electric pump.
  • Just above the pump – a 5′ section of stainless steel pipe.
  • Above the stainless steel pipe – the Bison in-line pump cylinder.
  • Between the Bison pump and the surface – 1 1/4″ Schedule 120 drop pipe with 3/8″ stainless steel sucker rod.
  • At ground level – the Bison pump head.

This project was done by:

Trentham Well Drilling
2150 W Lime St
Deland, FL 32720
Phone 386-775-3571

The cylinder and pistor that does the pumping

Rick Trentham holding the Bison pump cylinder. The design uses external rods to hold it together, making it a very strong and easy-to-service pump.

The Bison pump head

Underside view of the Bison pump head. (The small white object is a piece of packing material.)

Drop pipe sections are supplied with the sucker rod inside and caps on each end.

Assembling the Bison pump cylinder to the stainless steel pipe that goes down to the submersible electric pump. The blue rope is supplied by Bison Pumps as a safety line.

Assembling the sucker rod to the Bison pump cylinder.

Tightening the drop pipe to the Bison pump cylinder.

The joint between the Bison pump cylinder and the drop pipe below it is taped.

A Tee-tool is used to pull the sucker rod up so that it can be attached to the next section of sucker rod. The wooden paddle tool, supplied by Bison Pumps, holds the assembly in place at the top of the well casing.

Joining two sections of sucker rod and drop pipe together.

Pipe joint compound is applied to each section of drop pipe.

Vise-Grips are used to hold the sucker rod in place while working on it.

The Bison pump head is assembled to the top section of drop pipe.

Wire being fed through Bison pump head.

The finished Bison pump – electric submersible in use, and ready to go as a hand pump if needed.


  1. Lynn

    Thank you so much for the posts on pumps. One of our concerns has been with our electric well pump. Although we have 2 generators that could run the pump, those gennies are only good for as long as the fuel lasts.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee


      We’ve got a generator also, but I just like the idea of manual pumps. There is just something comforting about them. I have no illusions about this being some kind of self-sufficient farm – it’s not. It’s just a one-acre lot with good neighbors and incredibly poor soil. The raised bed garden produces just enough to provide some fresh vegetables at times, the chickens provide fresh eggs while we can buy chicken feed, but that’s about it. I just like the idea of being able to get our water by hand and seeing it come up from the ground. It’s watching God’s gift of water being delivered to His people.

  2. jeffrey

    Lynn I wanted to tell you that you may know this but just in case you didn’t your chickens will eat a humongous array of leftovers (just about every leftover foods you eat) even their own crushed egg shells it gives them the calcium they need to produce even more and better eggs, worms, and all sorts of bugs. I have a net I go around the yard and any fields around and gather insects for them. It saves on the feed bill and in a pinch such as no ability to buy feed any more, plus your eggs will be so much better. I hope this will help in your prep and plans.
    God Bless!

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