In May of last year, I wrote a post (see original post) about the installation of a hand pump in tandem with the electric pump that supplies our household water. The folks from Simple Pump learned of the post, and pointed our some incorrect information in that post concerning their product. I invited them to provide corrected information and to describe the Simple Pump and its benefits. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to correct any wrong information concerning hand pumps – or anything else covered on The Southern Agrarian.
I’d like to offer you some information about the Simple Pump.
It’s clear that you did not meet a “Simple Pump system”, as we do not use any lightweight plastic pipes. Our drop pipes are Sch.120 PVC, manufactured specially for us with bell-end, screw-in joints that are much stronger than PVC’s normal glued joints. The company you spoke of was not an authorized Simple Pump dealer, and I can only conclude they put together some Simple Pump parts with other components. (We have found out about a few instances of this happening. It seems you have shown us another.)
Following are some particular points about the Simple Pump.
With respect to these points — what advantages the Simple Pump has are only in respect to a particular person’s needs and perspective. E.g. A GM truck or a Ferrari have NO advantage at all over a Ford Focus — except with respect to what a particular individual wants or needs.
Do they need to pump from a shallow or a deep well? Are they looking for something lightweight (and less expensive) to pump for a couple of hours or days? Or do they want to have backup they can depend on for weeks, months or longer?
As in any field, it’s a question of each person balancing needs and cost with capabilities, durability and usability.
ABOUT THE SUCKER RODS
The fiberglass rod is 20,000 lb tensile strength, enormously stronger than necessary, even to pump from a water level of 325 feet.
SIMPLE PUMP’S EASE OF USE
Steel rods provide strength, at the cost of much greater weight and, therefore, pumping effort — to the extent that it can be prohibitive for the average person at even a moderate depth. And when we get a little further down, various other pumps rapidly become unusable. E.g. at 200 feet, some other pumps require forty of fifty pounds of downforce on the handle. The Simple Pump requires TEN pounds.
One person’s remark:
“…lifting water from 50-75 feet, and my 6-year-old was doing it with ONE HAND!!!”
The lower pumping effort also allows the Simple Pump to pump from much further down than any other hand pump — from 325 feet water level. Even then, the effort remains moderate – only about 16 pounds.
Here is just one illustrative point about the Simple Pump. The pivot points of the handle are not just drilled holes with bolts through them. They have bronze bushings — a very tough metal. And not only that, the bronze is then impregnated with graphite to lubricate. There are many other details where the quality of manufacture is evident.
“This is obviously the Cadillac of the industry, and I am impressed. I recognize the value of the investment in your quality.”
“These parts look like they belong in an Indy Car engine.”
“We love the pump and know it will give us many years of quality service. As a mechanical engineer myself in aerospace, I know quality when I see it – and this is the real deal.”
TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK
Of course, there is much more I could write about. I hope these few points, above, have given you a better impression of the quality of the Simple Pump. I would invite you and your readers to examine the Simple Pump and other pumps, with these questions:
1. What is the weight of the mechanism? Can I install and maintain it myself?
2. Is the pump freeze-proof?
3. Is the pump designed to share a casing with a submersible? Or must it be installed in a dedicated well?
4. What are the high-wear pivot points made of?
5. How deep can water realistically be pumped from?
6. How much pumping effort from, say, 100 foot static?
7. Does it pump into my home’s pressure tank, giving full use of all taps and fixtures? Or just pump into a bucket?
8. What is the material of the foot valve seal? What is the expected replacement frequency? At what cost and effort?
9. What is the full cost, with shipping, of a ready-to-go system?
10. Is there a written warranty?
SIMPLE PUMP COMPANY
I need to point out an important factor that we haven’t covered yet, and that is the matter of volume per pump stroke. The first hand pump well that I put in (see photo below) had a 3″ pump cylinder. Each stroke would pump a large amount of water, but it was very difficult to pump. Young children could literally swing from the pump handle; it was that hard to pump. The Bison pump has a smaller diameter cylinder and can easily be pumped with one hand – but it pumps less water per stroke than the 3″ cylinder did. The Simple Pump is even easier to pump than the Bison, but with it’s 1″ pump cylinder, it pumps even less water per stroke than the Bison. The bottom line here is that the basic rules of physics apply – you don’t get something for nothing. Lots of water = lots of work, no matter how you slice it.
• You can pump it fast
• You can pump it easy
• You can pump lots of water
Pick any two. You lose the third one.
Look at your own needs, decide what works best for YOUR SITUATION, then find what best fits those needs. If very easy pumping is a big factor, and you don’t mind pumping more strokes for the same amount of water, then the Simple Pump is clearly the better choice. If the amount of effort per stroke is not a major issue for you and you’d rather pump more water with fewer (but harder) strokes, then the Bison or a traditional hand pump may be your best choice. There is no single “Best Choice” for everyone.
Bison water pump installed in tandem with an electric submersible pump on a 4 inch well
Traditional hand pump. This started out with a 3″ pump cylinder, but I replaced it with a smaller Bison cylinder.