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Simple Pump Maintenance - Short Rod Gland Seals

November 27, 2023
5 min read

How to maintain the short Rod Gland 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 (gray) 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.

The current design (black) is 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 short rod gland.
  8. The newer style rod gland can be removed without removing the pump head.
  9. Simply take a rag to protect the rod gland, grab a pair of channel locks and loosen the rod gland from the pump head. This is normal thread, not like the clevis is.
  10. Once you get it loose, you should be able to use your hand to complete removing the rod gland from the pump head. Once it's out, you can just slide the rod gland off the top of the pump rod.
  11. Replace the rod gland seals.
  12. 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.
  13. Grab the o-ring and pull it out and do the same thing for the second o-ring.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Put the rod gland back into the pump head.
  19. Replace the short style rod gland back on the pump head.
  20. Make sure the O-ring at the top of the pump head is in place before attaching the rod gland to the pump head. This keeps water from coming out of the top of the pump head while you're pumping.
  21. Slide the rod gland back on top of the pump rod and push the pump rod through the rod gland. This may be a little tighter than it was before because the seals are new.
  22. Push the rod gland down until you can catch some threads on the pump head.
  23. Tighten the rod gland on the pump head all the way down. Utilize pliers to make sure it's nice and tight so it doesn't leak.
  24. Replace the handle back on the pump head.
  25. 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.
  26. Once the pump rod and clevis are attached, grab your wrench, and make sure the connection is tight.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.