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Simple Pump Maintenance - Rod Gland XL Seal

May 22, 2024
5 min read

How to maintain the Rod Gland XL seal on the Simple Pump well hand pump.

Replace the seals on your rod gland.

When you buy your Simple Pump system, you will receive two sets of seals. There will be seals for your rod gland, which is located in the pump head, and seals for your pumping cylinder, which will be located on the piston within the cylinder.

Two Varieties of Rod Glands

Our Rod Gland XL was utilized in early or late 2011, 12, 13. It's a single component approximately seven inches long with a guide that keeps the rod gland steady as it descends into the riser tube.

This one will have to be taken out differently from our existing design, which is really two parts with the guide pushed down into the actual riser tube and the rod gland being shorter and just screwed into the top of the pump head.

Maintenance Steps

  1. Remove the handle
  2. Remove the four bolts that attach the handle arm to the pump head.
  3. After those nuts are removed, the pump handle will drop since you had to pull it up to join the bracket, and this is by design so that the piston does not lie on the bottom of the cylinder.
  4. Detach the pump handle from the pump rod.
  5. After the handle bolts are removed, unscrew the pump rod in a left-hand thread direction since the pump rod has a left-hand thread.
  6. Now that your handle is removed, we can remove the rod gland.
  7. Remove the rod gland XL.
  8. This is a two-step procedure. Take two wrenches, one on the pump head, one below the pump head, break that pump head connection loose because it will be tight and just unthread it completely.
  9. Once the pump head is loose, you'll see there's an O-ring at the top of the pump head riser tube which attaches to the bottom of the pump head.
  10. Keep the o-ring in place because it needs to be there when you put the pump head back. You also see that now you've got the entire rod gland coming out of the riser tube with the pump head.
  11. To remove the Rod Gland XL out of the pump head, unthread the bottom piece of the rod gland from the rod gland.
  12. You can now unthread the remaining part of the rod gland from the pump head. A wrench may be necessary to remove the rod gland from the pump head.
  13. There is a second set of threads on the rod gland that you need to unthread to remove the rod gland through the pump head.
  14. Replace the rod gland seals.
  15. The seals are at the top of the rod gland, just inside. Using a tool with a pointy tip or a small flat tip screwdriver, push in from the top side of the seal and dig underneath it.
  16. Grab the o-ring and pull it out and do the same thing for the second o-ring.
  17. Now you've got both the seals out. The next step is to make sure there's no debris in the o-ring slots so that the new o-rings go in square and straight.
  18. Always do the bottom groove first. Make sure that the U-cup portion of the seal is down because you're trying to prevent water from coming up out of the pump head.
  19. The easiest way to get the o-ring in is to grab one end, squeeze it together, placing the other end inside of the groove and then push all the way around the circumference of the o-ring to get it into the groove in the rod gland.
  20. Do the same thing on the second o-ring. Sometimes the o-ring doesn't seat correctly, you can use your tool to push the o-ring in and get it flat. Make sure you get your fingers in there and that the o-ring is smooth so that your pump rod can go back through it easily.
  21. Put the rod gland back into the pump head.
  22. Before we put the pump head back on the pump, re-attach the rod gland to the pump head.
  23. One thing to note, there is an O-ring that goes in the very top of the pump head. Make sure the o-ring is in there because without that, water will leak out of the top of the pump head when you pump.
  24. Insert the rod gland into the pump head and screw the rod gland through the first set of threads through the pump head.
  25. Once that's through, push the rod gland down to the second set of threads. Screw the rod gland into the second set of threads nice and tight. If you need to use a pair of pliers to get it tighter, then you can do so.
  26. Attach the bottom part (the spider) of the rod gland XL to the rod gland.
  27. Now the pump head is ready to go back on the pump.
  28. Attach the pump head to the riser tube.
  29. There is an O-ring that sits in the top of the riser tube. Make sure that that is in place. Make sure that it's tight inside of the O-ring groove before the pump head is screwed into the riser tube.
  30. Slide the pump head and rod gland back over the top of the pump rod. Bring it down. You may feel a little resistance with those new seals bringing the pump rod up through the pump head. Then you're going to feel a little bit of resistance as you push the pump head past the riser tube O-ring.
  31. Be very careful, the pump head has fine threads, so you're going to want to make sure you don't cross-thread the pump head to the riser tube. If it feels smooth going on, then you're good. If it gets tight really quick, then back it off and try again. Tighten the pump head by hand.
  32. Grab your wrenches and give the pump head and the riser tube one last tighten. Make sure it's nice and tight so that the O-ring seals. Now your pump head is back on with new rod gland seals, and you're ready to put the handle back on.
  33. Replace the handle back on the pump head.
  34. First we're going to actually thread the clevis into the pump rod, and again, this is reverse threads. It can be a little tricky sometimes getting it started. You want to go in counterclockwise to tighten it.
  35. Once the pump rod and clevis are attached, grab your wrench, and make sure the connection is tight.
  36. The Simple Pump is designed such that you have to lift the piston off of the bottom of the cylinder in order to connect the handle. If you have a very deep set, you're going to need help with this, because you're going to want to pull it up, and then someone's going to need to hold it while the other person connects the handle arm bolts to the pump head.
  37. Connect the four bolts to the handle arm lever bracket to the pump head. Once one bolt is connected, your assistant can let go of the pump rod. You may need to wiggle the handle a little bit just to get the lever bracket installed, but you want to get all four of your bolts in nice and tight.
  38. Once everything's connected, tighten that pump rod one more time because you can get a good torque on it, and now your rod gland seals are changed.