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How deep can a hand well pump from?

November 27, 2023
5 min read

How deep can a Simple Pump pump from?

Because of Simple Pump’s lever arm design, materials, and superior manufacture, the average person can comfortably pump from deep wells, from as far down as 325 feet static water level — for the common configuration of hand-pumping up to ground level, at ambient pressure (e.g., into a bucket). This is much further down than any of our competitors.

The maximum pumping distance for a particular well is determined by the combination of several factors, including whether pumping into a pressurized plumbing system, manually pumping, or motorized pumping. When using a Motor, the maximum supported depth also depends on the capacity of the pump cylinder used, and the voltage at which it is run. (We will also advise you on these parameters when you submit your request for a quote.)

To explain some of these interlocking limits, we need to explain the concept of “TOTAL HEAD”.

“Total Head” equals:

Distance in feet from ground level down to your well water, i.e. the static water levelPLUS number of feet vertical rise from your ground-level pump head to the destination

PLUS 100 feet added proxy equivalent for pumping into pressure

Then, for either of these:

  • Hand-operated pump: Maximum Total Head is 325 feet
  • Motorized pump: Maximum Total Head is 225 feet

You can divide that maximum total height up any way you want

So you can hand-pump from a 325-foot static water level.

Or you can hand pump from 175 feet static water level, plus pump uphill for 50 feet vertical rise (five stories), plus into household plumbing (100 feet proxy equivalent to 45 psi pressure).

Or other combinations of water level, vertical rise, and pressure — as long as the total of these three factors is less than 325 feet.

Volume and Effort

Pumping rates, for each person, will vary directly with the frequency and length of strokes of the lever arm… and that will vary widely depending on the person and the water level. To give you an objective idea — that doesn’t vary with the person — a full stroke delivers 4.5, 8.5, or 20.5 ounces, depending on the pump cylinder.

The Simple Pump is DRAMATICALLY easier to use than seemingly comparable pumps like Bison and Baker. The actual force required is dependent mostly on the static water level… the total length of drop pipe assembly adds some additional effort. For a common installation, a well with a 100-foot static water level, it takes approximately 6 pounds of downward force using our 36” lever arm. A child can easily do this. Even at a static water level of 325 feet, it takes only approximately 16 pounds of downward force, using our 36” lever arm.