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Simple Pump Maintenance - Period Pumping Guide

May 22, 2024
5 min read


Welcome to our guide on maintaining your hand pump to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your pump in working order and preventing common issues.

Why Maintenance Is Important:

  • Prevent Hardening of Seals: The rubber seals in the pump, specifically EP rubber seals, can harden when not in use. Regular use keeps these seals soft, prolonging their life and ensuring you get more water with each pump stroke.
  • Prevent Buildup of Minerals: Water compositions vary, and some contain minerals like iron and calcium, which can accumulate if the pump is not used regularly. This buildup can interfere with the pump’s function, particularly affecting the check valves and other internal components.

Monthly Maintenance Routine:

  1. Frequency of Use: Exercise the pump at least once or twice a month by pumping a minimum of one gallon of water through it.
  2. Check for Leaks: Regularly inspect the area around the top of the pump where the rod goes through to ensure no water is leaking, which could indicate seal wear.
  3. Inspect and Clean Check Valves:
    1. Type of Valve: Most pumps use a ball and seat check valve system, which includes a finely machined stainless steel seat and a stainless steel ball.
    2. Cleaning Process: If the pump sits idle for extended periods, minerals can settle at the bottom, potentially fusing to the ball and seat. This can prevent water from being drawn up during the pumping process. In such cases, disassemble the check valve, soak the components in vinegar or a suitable cleaning solution, and reassemble.

Additional Maintenance Tips:

  • Mechanical Maintenance: Like any mechanical equipment, a pump needs to move. Regular use prevents degradation of its parts.
  • Monitor Water Levels: Regular use helps indicate changes in water levels, which can be crucial for preparedness in situations where alternate water sources are needed.
  • Preparedness Mindset: Consistently using and maintaining your pump ensures that it will be functional when you need it most, much like routine checks on any emergency equipment.


Treat your hand pump like any valuable equipment—maintain it regularly to ensure reliability and efficiency. By following these simple steps, you can avoid common problems and ensure your pump is ready when you need it.