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PVC Water Pumps 1

P V C WAT E R

PUMPS


By: Joseph
Longenecker

September 2010








Whats Inside:
Pump Design

Manufacturing Process I NTRODUCTION

Pump Performance The purpose of this document is to show several


water pump designs constructed from PVC pipe,
Appendix explain how to manufacture them, and discuss
pump performance and how to improve on these
designs.

Copyright ECHO 2007. All rights reserved. This document may


be reproduced for training purposes if distributed free of charge or
at cost and credit is given to ECHO. For all other uses, contact
echo@echonet.org for written permission.
PVC Water Pumps 2





TableofContents
_____________________________________________________________________________

PumpDesigns PumpPerformance
2 RowerPump 17 Definitionofterms
6 HandPressurePump 17 SomePrinciplesofwaterpumping
6 HandSuctionPump 18 RowerPumpPerformance
7 MarblePump 20 PerformanceofMarbleandInertiapumps
8 SockPump 20 Factorsthataffectpumpperformance
8 InertiaPump 21 DesigningaPump:Tradeoffs
8 ReciprocatingRopePump 22 Alternativedesignsforcomponents
9 TreadleSuctionPump 23 Testingmethodologyanddata

ManufacturingProcesses Appendix
10 SoftenPVCbyheating 25 Imperialtometricconversions
11 FlarePVCpipe 25 Acknowledgments
11 MakePVCsheet 25 Bibliography
12 CompressPVCpipe 25 Contactformoreinformation
12 CutPVCdiscs
13 DrillPVCwithahanddrill
13 Tapthreadedholes
14 Markaradialvalveholepattern
14 Findtheexactcenterofacircle
15 Deburraholeorpipe
15 Punchaholeinrubbersheet
15 Cutadiscfromrubbersheet
16 CutPVCpipesquare
16 GluePVCpipe
16 GlueaPVCdisctotheendofapipe
16 GlueaPVCdiscinsidetheendofapipe
16 Makealargehoseclamp
16 HeatformaholeinPVC
16 BendPVCpipe






PVC Water Pumps 3
Thepumpcylinderisthebodyofthepumpinwhichthe
PumpDesigns pistonslidesupanddown.Deburrbothendsofthe

pipeandglueaTeeontothetopend.Notethat
RowerPump AmericanPVCismeasuredbytheinnerdiameter,while
WestAfricanPVCwhichismeasuredbyouterdiameter.
Therowerpumpisoperatedusingthearmandback Sch.40ismediumwallpipe.
musclessimilartorowingaboat.Thecylinderis
mountedhorizontallyandthehandleisattacheddirectly InletPipe
tothepistonrod.Itcanbepositionedeitherforstanding
orseatedoperation.Theergonomicposition,combined Theinletpipeextendsfromthefootofthecylinderinto
withthe3footstroke,givestherowerpumpan thewater.Thetopoftheinletmustbeequaltothe
outputof1020gallonsperminute,muchhigherthan pumpcylinderdiameter,butitcanbereducedtoa
otherhandpumps.Liftisupto27feetsuctionandat smallerdiameterpipetosavecostandreducepriming
least8feetpressurewiththeuseofarodseal. time.Asaruleofthumb,theinletpipediametershould
giveaflowareathatofthepumpcylinder.This
requiresaninletpipediameter0.707ofthecylinder.
Dontuseaninletpipelessthanthecylinderdiameter;
wastedenergyduetopipefrictionwillbecome
significant.However,ifyoubuildasurgechamber,
smallerinletpipecanbeused(seethetestingsection).

Theinletpipewillneedtobebentdependingonthe
watersourceandthemountingangleofthepump.See
themanufacturingsectiononbendingpipe.Ifasharp
Rowerpumpinstalledataborehole bendisneeded,usea45or90degreefitting.

FootValve
Components
Thefootvalveisacheckvalve(onewayvalve)that
Dimensionsofallcomponentswilldependonsizesof allowswaterintothebottom(foot)ofthecylinderbut
availablePVCpipe.Listedvaluesareforprototypes notbackout.Arubberwasherisboltedtothecenterof
builtatECHO.Criticalrelationshipsbetween aPVCdiscwitharadialarrayofholes.ThePVCdiscis
dimensionsarediscussed,allowingthedesignertobuild gluedtothetopoftheinletpipeandthecylinderis
apumpsuccessfullyfromanysizepipehedesires. heatedandflaredovertheinletpipe.Therubberflaps
upwhenthepistonsuckswaterintothecylinder,but
bridgesovertheholeswhenthewaterreverses
direction.

Tightentheboltuntiltherubberjuststartstoliftatthe
edges.Iftherubberiscompressedtoomuchinthe
center,theedgeswillliftupinaconeshape.Thiswill
notpreventthevalvefromclosingduringoperation,but
canmakeitbounceopenandloseprime.


Rowerpumpcomponents

PumpCylinder


Material:2Sch.40PVCpipe Explodedviewoffootvalvecomponents
Length:43
PVC Water Pumps 4



Footvalvediscdimensions
Assembledfootvalve

HoseClamp
RubberValveFlap
Thefootvalveisheldinplacewithahoseclamponthe
Material:Truckinnertuberubber(orotherrubbersheet
footofthecylinder.Makeeightcuts1/2deepintothe
1/16thick)
endofthecylindersotheplasticcanflexintogripthe
Useacircularpunchtomakethecenterhole;thiswill
inletpipe.Beforeputtingonthehoseclamp,wrapthe
keeptheflapcenteredandreducethechanceofit
jointtightlywithastripofbicycleinnertube.This
pullingoffthebolt.Therubbershouldoverlapthevalve
providesadditionalsealagainstthesmallamountofair
holesbyatleast1/16topreventitfrombeingsucked
thatwillbeabletoleakbetweentheinletpipeand
intotheholeattheedge,breakingtheseal.Itshouldbe
cylinderfoot.
atleast1/16fromtheedgeofthePVCvalvediscto

preventitfromcatchingoninsideofthepumpcylinder
whereitflaresoutoverthefootvalve.Bicycletube
rubberisnotstiffenoughtobridgethevalveholes,
althoughlayeringseveralpiecesmaywork.


Thefootvalvejoint,wrappedinrubberandhoseclamped

SurgeChamber

Rubbervalveflapdimensions Material:4PVCpipeandreducers
Length:18
PVCValveDisc Thesurgechamber(optional)isbelowthefootvalve.It
Material:4Sch.40PVCpipe,flattened(aboutthick) absorbssharpvacuumspikescreatedbythepistonand
Togettheedgeexactlyflushwiththeinletpipe,cutthe evensouttheflowofwateruptheinletpipe(seethe
discslightlylarger,glueittotheinletpipe,andfileit sectiononpumpperformance).Thesurgechamber
downtothepipe.Whentappingthecenterhole,only shouldhaveavolume2xthepumpcylinder.The
runthetappartwaythroughsothattheboltstartseasily diameterandlengtharenotimportantifthisvolumeis
buttightensup.Makesurethevalveholesareatfar maintained.
enoughfromtheedgesothattheinletpipeunderneath
doesnotblockthem.Seethesectiononalternative
checkvalvedesignsfortipsongettingthemostflow
areaforyourpipesizewithoutweakeningthevalve.

PVC Water Pumps 5


preventtherubberfrombindinginthegapasitflexes
upanddown.

Rodbushing
Material:PVCorHDPEplastic
Thepurposeofthebushingistokeeptherodcentered
soitdoesnotdeformtherubberandallowleaks.HDPE
(#2)plasticwearsmuchbetterthanPVCandhashigh
lubricity.Someplasticbarrelsaremadefromit.Itcan
beflattenedbyheatthesameasPVC.Woodisanother
option:Awoodbushingcanreplaceboththebushing
discandtheretainerring.Therodshouldslidethrough
thebushingwithaslittleclearanceaspossiblewithout
Surgechamberonrowerpump sticking.Ifyoulackprecisecuttingtools,seeHeat
formaholeinthemanufacturingsection.
HeadSeal
RetainerRing
Theheadseal(rodseal)sealsaroundthepistonrodso Thisisasmallsectionof2pipeinsertedabovethehead
thatwatercanbepumpedtohigherelevation.Arubber sealcomponentstoholdtheminplaceandgivethehose
washerissandwichedbetweentwoPVCdiscs,witha clampsomethingtogrip.Sizeittoleaveasmallamount
PVCbushingontoptokeeptherodcentered.These protrudingfromTeefittingtoallowatooltogripit
componentsmustbeassembledonthepistonrodbefore shoulditbecomestuck.
attachingthehandle.Theyshouldfitsnuglybutnot
tightlyintotheTeesotheyareeasytoremovefor HoseClamp
maintenance. Makeeightcuts1/2deepintothetopoftheTeesothe
plasticcanflexintogriptheretainerring.

Piston

Thepistonslidesupanddowninthecylindercreating
suctiontopullwaterintothepump.Inthispiston
design,therubberdiscsservebothasthepistonsealand
asthecheckvalveflap.Onthedownstroketherubber

Explodedviewofheadsealcomponents foldsoutofthewayasthepistonmovesthroughthe
watercolumn.Ontheupstroke,therubberissucked
Rubberwasher downagainstthePVCdiscandwaterpressureforcesit
Material:truckinnertubeatleast1/16thick outagainstthecylinderwall,sealing.Thisdesign
Thecenteriscutusingacircularpunch.Itisvery pumpssandverywellbecauseoneverystroketheseal
importantthatthecutissmooth,assmallcutsandtears breakscontactwiththecylinder,allowingany
willpropagateunderthecyclicloading.Thediameter accumulatedsandparticlestobeflushedout.
shouldbe1/16smallerthantheroddiametertogivea
goodsealwithoutexcessivefrictionandstressonthe
rubber.Doubleuprubberwashersiftheyarenotthick
enough.

Rubbersupportdiscs[2]
Material:4PVCpipe,flattened(about1/4thick)
Explodedviewofpistoncomponents
Thediscthicknessisrequiredsothatastherubberflexes

upanddownwiththerod,itisnotcaughtintherod
PistonValveDisc
bushingaboveit.Theholediametershouldbeatleast
Material:4PVCpipe,flattened(aboutthick)
fourrubberthicknesslargerthantheroddiameterto
PVC Water Pumps 6
Thediameterofthediscshouldbe1/8lessthanthe ThewoodplugisinsertedintotheendofthePVCpiston
cylinderdiameter,giving1/16clearancewiththe rodbyheatingit.Theplugistaperedwiththelargeend
cylinderonallsides.Itisimportantthatthediscbe insertedfirsttolockitinplace.Thesmallendisslightly
exactlycircularandthattheholebeexactlyinthecenter. largerthanthepipediameter.Iftheendoftherodis
Waterleakageandfrictionwillincreaseastheprecision greaterthandiameter,bevelitsothepistonvalve
ofthevalvediscdecreases.Whentappingthecenter holesarenotblocked.Inthecenteroftheplug,a1/4
hole,onlyrunthetappartwaythroughsothatthebolt holeisdrilledthroughandtapped5/1618toreceivethe
startseasilybuttightensup. pistonbolt.Tapasdeepasthetapwillgo.

PistonRodandTHandle

Material:PVCpipeandTee
Length:Rodis44,eachsideofhandleis5
Gluebothsidesofthehandle,butattachtherodwith
twoscrewsthroughthesideoftheTee.Therodmustbe
detachedtoreplacetheheadsealrubber.PVCpipeis
chosenbecauseitissmoothandwillwearslowlyonthe
Pistonvalvediscdimensions
headseal.Anaddedbenefitisthatthehighflexibilityof

thinpipeallowssidetosidemovementofthehandle
RubberValveFlap[23]
withoutputtingstressontheheadseal.Ifthepumpis
Material:Truckinnertuberubber(orotherrubbersheet
abused,thehandlewillbreakfirst,ratherthanbreaking
1/16thick)
theheadsealorcylinder.Thepistonrodismosteasily
Thediametershouldbe1/16greaterthanthecylinder
replaced.Seetheappendixforadditionalhandleand
diameter.Thisallowstherubbertofollowirregularities
pistonrodoptions.
inthecylinderwallwithoutbreakingcontactor

bunchingupattheedges.Itisimportantthattheflapbe

exactlycircularandthattheholebeexactlyinthecenter.
Waterleakageandfrictionwillincreaseastheprecision Installation
ofthevalveflapdecreases.Useacircularpunchto
makethecenterhole;thiswillkeeptheflapcentered Cylinderangle
andreducethechanceofitpullingoffthebolt.Dont
usebicycletuberubber;itwillstretchatthecenterhole Thebestangleforthecylinderwilldependonwhether
andtheflapswillbepulledoffcenterandbindbetween youhavearodseal.Ifyes,setthepumpcloseto
thePVCdiscandcylinderwall. horizontal,withthefootvalvethreeinchesbelowthe
headseal(thiswillkeepwateronthefootvalvesoit
Thenumberofrubberdiscswilldependonthethickness doesnotloseprime).Ahorizontalpullismost
oftherubberandthegapsizebetweenthevalvedisc ergonomicbothfromastandingandseatedposition.If
andcylinderwall.Asaruleofthumb,thetotalrubber norodseal,mountthepumpatasteeperangle,30deg
thicknessshouldbeequaltothegapdistance.Ifthe fromhorizontal,toreducethedistancewatersplashes
rubberistoothin,waterwillleakpast;iftoothick, outofthetopofthecylinder.
frictionwillbeexcessiveandthepistonmaybindinthe
cylinder.Tip:addmorerubberdiscsuntilyoufeelthe Securingthepump
rubbergrabbingthecylinderwallwhenyoupullslowly
onthepiston,thenuseoneless. Oneoptionistoburrythepumpinamoundofdirt.
Anotheristoplanttwosetsofpolesinthegroundatthe
PistonBolt headandfootofthecylinder.Insertapegthroughtwo
Thepistonboltis5/1618x1long.Usegalvanized, polessothepumpcanrestbetweenthemonit.Lashthe
stainless,orpaintedhardwaretoresistcorrosion. polestogethertosecurethepump.

Woodplug
Material:hardwood
PVC Water Pumps 7
Thispumpworksmostefficientlyifsomewaterleaks
pastthepistonseal,providingawaterbarriersoair
cannotleakpastthesealontheupstroke.Toventthis
watersoitdoesnotblowoffthecap,aholeisdrilled
inthetopofthecylinderdirectlybelowthecap(onthe
darksideofthebelowphotograph).Thecylindercapis
onlytosupportthepistonrod.


Rowerpumpclampedbetweentwosetsofpoles

SunProtection

PVCdegradesinUVlightandbecomesbrittle.Paintthe
pump,coveritwithashelter,orburyitinamoundof
dirt.

OtherRowerDocumentation
Handpressurepump
TheMennoniteCentralCommittee(MCC)hasagood
constructionmanualfortheirversionoftherower Thepistonsealissimilartotherowerpump,buttwo
pump.Thisdocumentisavailableinelectronicformby rubbersealsareused,oneoneithersideofthePVCdisc.
requestfromECHO. Thiscreatesasealwhenthepistonmovesineither
direction.ThepistonrodisPVCpipewithanendcap,
tappedtoaccepttheboltthatholdstherubberandPVC
discinplace.
HandPressurePump

Thehandpressurepumpisoperatedsimilartoabicycle
airpump.Itisintendedtobeplacednearawatersource
andforcewateruphilloroveragreatdistance.The
pistonissolid,pullingwaterintothecylinderthrough
onecheckvalveandexpellingitthroughanother.Check
valvesareradialflappervalvesinsertedinbothendsof
theTeeatthebottomofthecylinder.Theendsofthe
Teeareslottedsimilartotheheadandfootoftherower
pump;byremovingthehoseclampsthevalvediscsmay
beremoved.Thecylinderis2diameter.The1plastic Handpressurepumppiston
hoseandballvalvepicturedbelowarefortestingonly;
liketherowerpump,itisrecommendedtousesuction
anddischargepipingatleasttheareaofthecylinder.


PVC Water Pumps 8
HandSuctionPump

Thehandsuctionpumpissimilarinconstructiontothe
rowerpump.Itismoreportableanddoesnotneedto
beanchoreddown.Outputisprobablysimilarbuthas
notbeenmeasured.Thepumppicturedbelowhasa3
cylinderand2suctionhoseforlargevolumeatlowlift.
Itismostcomfortabletooperatethispumpifthelength
ofthecylinderrequiresyoutobendslightlyattheknees
whenpumping.Thiswillallowyoutopumpwithyour
legs.


Marblepump

Thefootvalveismadebycompressingthe1.25pump
cylinderoverapipe,thengluingthesmallerpipein
placetomakeaseatfora1glassmarble.Themarbleis
heldinplacebyapinthroughthecylinder,permitting
themarbletoriseofftheseat.


Marblepumpfootvalve

Handsuctionpump TheplungerisPVCpipe.Ashortsectionofpipe
isinsertedintotheendbyheating.AringofPVC
pipeisinsertedovertheendofthepipe,creatinga
grooveinwhicharubberoringsits.Theoringshould
MarblePump beloose,buthavenotravelupanddowninitsgroove.
Themarbleseatsontopofthepipeandisheldin
Themarblepumpisnamedfortheglassmarblesused placebyapinthroughtherodthatpermitsittoraise
forballcheckvalvesinthepistonandfootvalve.Water ofitsdiameterofftheseat.Inlieuofapin,therodmay
isdeliveredthroughthepistonrodonthedownstroke. beheatedandcrimpedintoanovalshapetokeepthe
Aflexiblehoseisattachedtotheendoftherodfor marbleinplace.
delivery.Thispumpdoesnotneedarodsealtopump
uphill.Thesmalldiametermakesitappropriatefor
wellsbelowthesuctionlimit.Itworksbestasalift
pump(thefootvalveandpistonshouldbesubmerged
inthewater).


Marblepumppiston
PVC Water Pumps 9
ofitwillbepulledbackdownintothecylinder,butif
SockPump thespeedoftheplungerishigh,thiswillbelowenough

thatasignificantamountofwatermaybeliftedupthe
Thesockpumpisnamedforthesockvalveonthe
risingmain.
plunger.Abicycleinnertubeistiedtotheendofthe

plungeroverarowofholes.Theplungerpipeis
Thepumpingheadshouldnotchangetheamountof
pluggedabovethevalveholes,andendoftheplungeris
waterthatfallsbackintothecylinderontheupstroke.
flaredouttoslidelooselyinthepumpcylinder(a
Objectsthrownupwardundertheinfluenceofgravity
woodenmoldwasturnedonalathetomakethisflare).
willfallatthesamerateindependentoftheirmass.
Thispumpusesthesamefootvalveasthemarblepump
Pumpingheadwillaffecttheforcerequiredtopushthe
(anytypeoffootvalvecanbeused).Onthedown
plungerdown.
stroke,waterisforcedupthroughtheplungerandout

throughtheholes,butistrappedontheupstrokebythe
Thesmallerthegapbetweenplungerandcylinder,the
sockvalve.Theflaredplungerformsanimperfectseal,
morequicklythispumpwillprime.However,atsome
butathighspeedtheleakageisnegligibleandis
point,frictionwillbecomesignificant.
compensatedforbylackofthemechanicalfrictionofa

rubberorleatherseal.Waterdeliveryisthroughthe

risingmain,nottheplunger.
ReciprocatingRopePump

Thereciprocatingropepumpisadeepwellpumpin
whichthepistonisattachedtoamassandraisedand
loweredonarope(ithasnopistonrod).Themass
providestheforcenecessaryforthedownstroke.Atthe
Sockpumpplunger topofthepumpisapulleyorrollersothattheropecan
bepulledhorizontallyinarowingmotion.Thepiston
andfootvalvecomponentsareotherwisethesameas
therowerpump.Mymeasurementsoftherowerpump
InertiaPump haveshownaforceofaround14lbsisnecessaryforthe

pistondownstroke.Because14lbisalottoaddtothe
Theinertiapumphasnopistonvalve.Thepistonisa
handleforceofapump,theweightonthepistoncanbe
PVCpipewithaplugintheend.Thecylinder/rising reduced,withtheresultthatitreturnsmoreslowly.In
mainis1.25pipe.Anytypeoffootvalvecanbeused,
thephotographbelow,thepistonweighs10lbandthis
butitmustbesubmergedatleast4feetbelowthewater.
givesatolerablereturn.


Thispumpismostappropriatefordeepwellswhere
eliminatingthepistonrodcangreatlyreducethecost
andmakeextractingthepistonmucheasier.


Inertiapumpplunger

Theplungerisworkedrapidlyupanddown.Onthe
downstrokeandplungerdisplacesmostofthewaterin
thecylinder;thewatershootsrapidlyupinthesmall
gapbetweentheplungerandcylinder.Whenthe
plungerreversesdirection,theinertiaofthewaterkeeps
itmovingupwardforamoment,creatingapressure
dropinthecylinderthatpullsmorewaterthroughthe
footvalve.Thewaterwillloseitsmomentumandsome
PVC Water Pumps 10


Reciprocatingropepump


TreadleSuctionPump

Thisisanopentoptreadlepumpmostsuitedforfilling
irrigationcanals.Ithasnospouttodirecttheflowof
Treadlesuctionpump
water.Ithasnobasetositon,butratherapostthatis

setintotheground.Withwaterpouringaroundit,the
ThecylindersarePVCpipe.Thekeytosuccessfully
soilquicklysettlesfirmlyaroundthepost.Ifthepump
usingthisweakmaterialinatreadlepumpistoisolateit
canbesetdowninaditchsothatthebaseofthe
fromanystructuralloads.Waterandpistonsealfriction
cylindersissubmergedinwater,itwilleliminateany
shouldbetheonlyforcesonthepipe.Inthemodel,the
suctionairleaks.
cylindersareclampedtotheverticalframemember.

Thetreadlespivotona5/8steelrodwhichkeepsside
tosidewobblelow.Cotterpinsratherthannutsare
usedonthepivotrods.Theydontfreezeonandare
easytomakefromsteelwire.

Thebaseofthecylinderisa2Teeandelbowfitting
withringsof3pipecompressedoverthemtoexpand
thediameter.2pipeisgluedintothefittingsand
sawedoffflushtogiveawidesurfaceforthevalveseat.
Rubberflappervalvesarescrewedontotheseat(cutthe
rubberfromatiresidewall).The3cylindersarethen
flaredoverthefootvalves.

PVC Water Pumps 11
maximumtravelofthepistons;astheropestretches,the
pistonswillsitlowerinthecylindersandthestroke
lengthwillreduce.


Ropeattachmentdetail


ManufacturingProcesses


SoftenPVCbyHeating

PVCbecomessoftandpliablewhenheatedbetween225
PVCcylinderdetail and275degF.Thisbehaviorcanbeexploitedtomake
flaredpipeconnectionsandflatPVCsheet,increasing
Pistonsaresimilartotherowerpump,butsizedfor3 theversatilityofthismaterialinareaswherepipe
pipe. couplingsandflatsheetaredifficultorexpensiveto
obtain.Hotairandhotoilmaybothbeusedtoheat
PVC.Oilismoredesirablebecauseitgivessteady
uniformheat,butittakeslongertoreachworking
temperatureandisdangerousifspilledoraccidentally
heatedtoflashpoint.Caution:ifheatedbeyond275
degF,PVCwillscorchandthefumesgivenoffcontain
dioxins,neurotoxinsthatbioaccumulateinbodytissue.

Hotoilbath

Heattheoilslowly.Testthetemperaturewithapieceof
PVCwhileheating.Itshouldnotshowanysignsof
scorchingwhenheldintheoilforanylengthoftime.
Oilhasmuchbetterheattransferpropertiesthanairso
thedesiredoiltemperaturewillbeonlyslightlyhigher
thanthedesiredPVCtemperature.

HotAir

Pistondetail
Aircanbeheatedbypropanetorch,electricheatgun,

fire,etc.Directingthisheatagainstthepipeisbest
Theropeisanchoredtothetreadlesbyhookingitover
accomplishedbyputtingaskirtaroundthepipe.Itis
protrudingpinsontheoutsideofthetreadleboard.
importanttokeepeitherthepipeortheheatsource
Thismakesiteasytoadjusttheropelengthtoallowthe
PVC Water Pumps 12
movingconstantly,astheairtemperaturewillbevery otherpipeandcontractitslightly.Toreducethiseffect,
nonuniform.Airtemperaturewillalsobemuchhigher coolthepipeeveryfewsecondsbypullingitoutofthe
thanthedesiredPVCtemperature.Airhaslowheat flaredpipeanddunkinginwaterbriefly.Ifyouneedto
transferpropertiesandunlessalargetemperature makealotofflaredends,itmaybeworthwhiletoturna
differenceismaintained,thePVCwillheatveryslowly. woodenmoldonalathe.Themoldcanbemadeafew
Herearesomeexamples: thousandthsofaninchlargerthanthepipediameterto
alloweasierinsertionofthepipe.
1. Apropanetorchwithskirtmadefromatincan.The
torchheatstheairinthecanatthebottomandthe
pipeisinsertedthroughaholenearthetop.The
pipeshouldberotatedconstantlyforevenheating.
2. Anelectricheatgunwithatincan.Thepipeis
insertedintotheopentopofatincanandanelectric
heatgunisaimeddownintothecan.Keeptheheat
gunmovingtogiveevenheating.
3. Holdthepipeoverafire.Enoughheatisrisingover
alargeareasoaskirtisnotneededtocontainheat AflaredPVCjoint
aroundthepipe.Ittakespracticetoheatwithout
scorching.
MakePVCsheet
Cutashortsectionofpipelengthwisesoitcanbe
unfolded.Heatthepipeuntiluniformlysoftandspread
flatandpressbetweentwosmoothandrigidsurfaces.
Allowtocooluntilwellsolidified.Usealotofweight
whenpressingthesheetflat,otherwiseitwillhave
ridgesandripples.SoftPVCdoesnotflowlikepie
dough;itremainstoughandrubbery.PVCismadeof
HeatingPVCwithatorch chainsofpolymersthatcanslidepasteachotherwhile
abovetheglasstransitiontemperaturebutalways
remainpartiallyconnectedbycrosslinkmolecules.
Whenpressedbetweentwoperfectlyflatsurfaces,the
PVCsheetwillstillhaveaslightconvexshapewhen
removedduetoresidualstressesinvolvedinunbending
thepipe.Tomakeitperfectlyflat,trypressingbetween
twoslightlyconcavesurfaces,suchaswidewoodplanks
thathavewarpedorcupped.Havingbeenoverbent,
thesheetwillspringbackintoamoreflatstate.PVChas

HeatingPVCwithanelectricheatgun amemoryandifyoureheatyourflatsheetagain,itwill
curlbackintoapipe.

FlarePVCpipe

Thisprocessstretchesthepipe,increasingitsdiameter
soitwillfitoveranotherpipe.Heattheendofonepipe
untiluniformlysoft,theninsertitovertheotherpipe.
Allowtocoolenoughtoholdinthehand,thenpullthe
twopipesapartwhilebendingthejointbackandforth
toloosenit.Onlyflareapipeusingthepipethatitwill

bejoinedto:Theheatfromtheflaredpipecansoftenthe FlatPVCsheet
PVC Water Pumps 13
CompressPVCpipe a) Ifanadjustableholesaw,loosenthenutand
rotatethetwohalvestoslidethecuttingteethin

andouttogivethecorrectdiameter(notethat
TheprincipleofflaringPVCpipecanalsobeappliedto
youneedaninnerdiameterbecauseyouwantto
reducethepipediameter.Putahoseclamparoundthe
keepthecenterofthecutout).Tightenthenut.
endofthepipe,heatthepipeuntiluniformlysoft
b) Ifafixeddiameterholesaw,findonethatis+/
underneaththehoseclamp,insertthesmallerpipeand
1/8ofthedesireddiameter(rememberto
tightenthehoseclampuntilthelargerpipehas
measuretheinsidediameterofthesaw).
compressedagainstthesmaller.Smallerpipeswillbe
2. ClampthePVCsheettoscrapwoodtosupportthe
lopsidedwhencompressedbecausethehoseclamp
sawasitcutsthroughthebacksideofthesheet.
screwmechanismputsaflatdentinonesidethat
3. Useeitherahanddrillordrillpresstocutthehole
becomesincreasinglynoticeableinsmallerdiameters.
a) Handdrill:Clampthescrapwoodtoasecure

object(workbench,vise).Holdthedrillwith
bothhandsandtakecaretokeepitsteadyand
straight,asthiswillreducethechangeofthe
sawcatchingandwrenchingthedrilloutof
yourhands.Runatamediumspeedandfeed
thesawslowlyintothework.Withdrawthe
sawfromtheworkoftenandcleantheteeth
withawirebrush,astheplasticmeltstothem
andclogsthesaw
1.25pipecompressedonto3/4pipewithhoseclamp b) Drillpress:Clampthescrapwoodinthedrill
pressviseandadjustthetableheighttobring
theworkclosetothesaw.Turnonthedrill
CutPVCdiscs pressandadjustthespeedto600rpm.Feedthe
sawslowlyintothework
Withalathe 4.Removetheholecenterfromtheholesaw.
DrillaholeinthecenterofapieceofPVCsheetandbolt
toasteelrodtoclamprodinlathechuck.
Note:5/8diametersteelrodistapped5/1618to
receiveaboltwhichclampsthediscagainsttheendof
therod.Thisprovidesagoodfrictiongriponthedisc
andresistsbendingforcesappliedbythecuttingtool.
Alternatively,astandardboltorthreadedrodwithtwo
nutsmaybeusedtoholdthePVC.


Fixedholesaw(left)andadjustableholesaw(right)


PVCdiscturnedonlathe

Withaholesaw
1. Selectholesawsize
HoleSawingusingahanddrill

PVC Water Pumps 14
Drillpressesholdboththeworkandthebitrigidly
andthereislittlebenefitfrompilotholes.
Twistdrillbitswillpullthemselvesrapidlythrough
asoftplasticlikePVC,particularlywhentheyhavea
pilotholetofollow.Thisrapidcuttingofalarge
chunkoutoftheplasticcancauseittocrack,
especiallyiftheholeisnearanedge.Trytodevelop
theskillofpushingthedrilltogetittobite,then
pullingbackonittodrilltheholeinaslow
controlledmanner.
Drillrpmdependsonthesizebit.Smallbitsmust
beturnedveryfasttoexpelthechipsfromtheflutes
onthebit.Largebitsshouldbeturnedslowly.The
speedofthecuttingsurfacesincreasesasthe
diameterincreasesandtherpmmustbedecreased
inthesameproportiontopreventexcessiveheat
buildupthatwilldamagethebit.Thisisvery
HoleSawingusingadrillpress importantwhendrillingmetal,butwithsofter
plasticitisnotanissueandbitscanberunfaster.
Withasawandfile
1. MarkoutthediscdiameteronthePVCsheetwitha
compassorbytracinganobjectofthecorrectsize. Tapthreadedholes
2. Cutoutsideofthislinewithmultiplesawcutsto
givetheapproximateshapebutleaveextramaterial Atapisusedtocutinternalthreadsinthehole.Tapping
forthefiletoremove. apartofteneliminatestheneedforanutonthebolt.
3. Filetheremainingpointsdowntotheline.Make
suretoholdthefileperpendiculartothediscsothe 1. Drillaholesmallerthanthethreadsize,
edgeisnottapered. approximatelyequaltothediameteratthebaseof
thethreads.Tapdrillchartswillgivetheexactsize.
2. Twistthetapdownintothehole;pushtogetit
startedbutafterthatitwillpullitselfin.


Straightcutsaroundperimeterofdisc,edgefiledround


DrillPVCwithahanddrill

PVCissoft,andalargebitwillwanderaroundalot TappingthreadsinaPVCdisc.
beforeitgetsindeepenoughtokeepitselfcentered.
Tomakeastraightroundholeinthecorrect Iftappingmetal
location,drillasmallpilothole(1/8)first.Thiswill
doalottokeepthebitcentered.Forevenmore Lubricatethetapheavilywithcuttingoil.Turnthetap1
accurateholes,stepupthediameterbyincrements turnforward,1/4turnbackwardtobreakthechipthatis
of1/8untilyoureachthedesireddiameter.Note: formedasmetalisshavedofftheinsideofthehole.This
willpreventthetapcuttingteethfromgettingclogged
PVC Water Pumps 15
andbinding.Veryeasytotwistatapinhalfifyoudont
followthisprocedureinmetal.Notanissuewithsofter
plasticandwood.

Ifthereisnotap...

Whenthreadingaboltintoplasticorwood,itisnot
necessarytotapthehole,themetalboltwillcutitsown
threads,althoughitwillgoinwithmuchmore
resistance.Ifyouhaveaveryhardwoodorplastic,
tappingisprobablynecessarytokeepfromsplittingthe
wood.Ifthereistoomuchresistance,theholecanbe Markingholecenterswithacompass
drilledoutlarger,butkeepinmindthatlessthreadwill
beincontactwiththewoodandthereforelessholding Freehand
power.
Drawdiameterlinesdividingthediscintosixroughly
Acrudetapcanbemadefromasteelbolt.Cutaslitin equalsegments.Measurefromthecenteroredgeofthe
theendofthebolt;thecutedgesofthreadwillbesharp discandmarktheholecenters.
cuttingsurfaces.Aluminumcanbetappedwiththis
method. Makeatemplate

Cutadiscfromsheetmetalandmarkoutthehole
pattern.Punchasmallholetomarkthecenterofeach
hole.ThemarksareeasilytransferredtothePVCdisc
withacenterpunch.


Asteelboltslitattheend,usedtotapsoftermaterials

Markaradialvalveholepattern

Withacompass

Scribeacirclethatwillpassthroughthecentersofthe
holes.Keepingthecompassatthesameradius,place
thepointontheedgeofthecircleandsteparoundthe Holepatterntemplate
circlemakingmarksateachstep.Thiswilldividethe
circleintosixequalsegmentsandmarkthecentersof
theholes. Findtheexactcenterofacircle

Placethepointofasquareontheedgeofthecircleand
markwheretheedgesintersectthecircle.Drawaline
connectingthesetwomarks;itwillbeanexactdiameter.
Drawtwoorthreediametersandmarkwherethey
intersect.

PVC Water Pumps 16

Punchaholeinrubbersheet

Circularpunchesmakeacleancutinasoftmaterialsuch
asrubber.PlaceapieceofflatPVCorhardwood
underneaththerubbertocutagainst(dontusemetal,it
willdullthecuttingedge).


Indexcardusedtomarkendpointsofacirclediameter.

Deburraholeorpipe

Withadeburringtool

Dragthecuttingedgeclockwisearoundtheinsideedge
ofthehole,applyingfirmpressure.Deburringtoolscut
inonlyonedirection,mostlikelyclockwise. Fromlefttoright:standardcircularpunch,metalpipe
sharpenedtoacuttingedge,valvestemsharpenedtoacutting
edge,drilledoutmetalstocksharpenedtoacuttingedge.


Cutadiscfromrubbersheet

Option1:PVCtemplate

1. Tracethetemplate(centerholeandouterdiameter)
ontorubbersheetandcutoutsideoflinetoleave

1/8extramaterial
Deburringtoolremovingburrsoninsideedgeofpipe
2. punchthecenterhole

3. bolttherubbertothetemplateandcutaroundit
Withafile
withscissors.Makestraightcuts,keepingthe

scissorsbladevertical.Donottrytofollowthe
Toavoidmakinggroovesincurvedsurfaces,movethe
curveofthetemplate,asthiswillstretchtherubber
filesidewaysaroundtheinsideofthepipe(drawfile).
andthecutwillnotfollowthetemplate.
Filescutonlyinonedirection,usuallyawayfromyou.

Dontcutbackwards,itdullstheteethandplugsthem
withfilings.


Rubberdiscbeingcutontemplate

Filingtheinsideedgeofapipe
PVC Water Pumps 17

Option2:freehand GlueaPVCdiscinsidetheendofapipe


1. Tracearoundanobjectofcorrectsize.Or,tracean
Cutthedisctofitexactlyintothepipewithnolarge
objectclosetothecorrectsizeandmeasurefromthis
gaps
lineandmakeseveralmarksaroundthe
Ifyouarenotsuccessfulatgettingagoodfit,heat
circumferencetoguideyou.
thepipeandcompressitaroundthedisc.Mark
2. Cutoutthediscwithscissors.
theirpositionrelativetoeachother.
3. Findthecenterandpunchthehole.
Useplentyofgluesothatgapsarefilled.


CutPVCpipesquare Makealargehoseclamp


Constructamiterboxfromwood.Thisisachannelthat
willcradlethepipesecurelywhileyoucut.Ithasaslot
(cutwithyoursaw)perpendicularacrossittoguidethe
sawblade.Onevariationonthestandardmiterboxisto
hingeoneflangeofthechannel,makingthebox
adjustableforseveralsizesofpipe.

GluePVCpipe

1. Deburrtheedgesofthepipeandfittingsotheydo Twohoseclampslinkedendtoend
notscrapeoffthegluewhenthepipeisinserted.
2. ApplyPVCprimertobothsurfacestocleanand
softenthepipesurface.Allowprimertodry, HeatformaholeinPVC
leavingatackysurface.Donotgetprimeronparts
ofthepipethatwillnotbegluedtogether,ithas Ifyouneedaholeofexactsizeforarodbushing,butdo
beenfoundtoweakenthepipeleadingtofailure. nothavethenecessarytools,trythis:
3. ApplyPVCcementtobothsurfaces.Insertthepipe
intothefittingwhilerotating1/4turntoevenly 1. Drillaholethenextsizesmallerthanthedesired
distributetheglue.Holdfor30secondsuntilsetup. hole
Thejointwillcureoverafewhourstoreach 2. Heattheedgeoftheholetosoftenit.
maximumstrength. 3. Inserttherodtospreadtheplastic.IftherodisPVC
pipe,keepitmovinginandouttoavoidsoftening
therod.
GlueaPVCdisctotheendofapipe
ThisworkswithPVCandHDPE(#2plastic).Ifthehole
Makesuretheendofthepipeissquareandflatand hastobespreadsignificantly,itwillprobablybe
thediscisflat.Toresolveslightproblemswith difficulttogettherodstarted.Trybevelingtheendof
eithersurface,heatthediscandpressthepipedown therodormakingataperedmoldfromwood.
ontoituntilitsolidifiesagain.Marktheirposition
relativetoeachother.
Whengluing,applyfirmpressuretoholdthedisc BendPVCpipe
againstthepipeandholditforafewminutesat
least.Unlikeapipejoint,thereisnoforcetokeep Fillthepipewithsandandcapbothends.Heatthe
thepiecesfromspringingapartwhilethegluesets. sectiontobebentandformitaroundabucketorlarge
Letcureforseveralhoursbeforedoinganything pipe.
withthisassembly.
PVC Water Pumps 18
differenceandflowrate.Ifnotenoughpoweris
available,apistonpumpwillstallandacentrifugal
pumpwillspinbutnotdeliveranywater.
PumpPerformance

Asuctionpumplowersthepressurebelow
Definitionofterms atmosphericairpressuresothattheatmospherepushes
waterintothepump.Forthisreason,suctionpumpsare
PressurePump:apumpthatmoveswaterby limitedintheorytoamaximumdepthof34feet.In
raisingitspressureaboveatmospheric practicethismaximumsuctiondepthisreducedto
SuctionPump:apumpthatmoveswaterby around27feetduetolossesfromfluidfrictionandfrom
loweringitspressure.Atmosphericpressureforces acceleratingthewateroneachpumpingstroke.A
waterintothepump. pressurepumpraisesthepressureaboveatmospheric
LiftPump:apressurepumpsubmergedinawell sothatwaterispushedoutofthepump;theheightis
Head:verticaldistancetowhichwaterisbeing onlylimitedtotheenergysuppliedbytheoperator.
raised. Somepumpsarecapableofbothsuctionandpressure
PressureLoss(HeadLoss):adropinpressurewhen pumping.
waterpassesthrougharestrictionorlengthofpipe.
Thisislostenergy. Reciprocatingpistonpumpsrequiretwocheckvalves;as
RisingMain:Inaliftpump,thepipeconnectingthe thepistonmovesupanddowninthecylinder,wateris
pumpcylinderwiththepumphead suckedintothecylinderthroughonevalveandexpelled
SuctionPipe:Inasuctionpump,thepipefromthe throughtheother.
pumpcylinderdowntothewater.
PumpHead:Theabovegroundmechanismfor Sourcesofwastedenergyinpumpsare:
operatingaliftpump Fluidfrictionaswaterincreasesspeedtoflow
SweptVolume:thevolumesweptbythepistonin thoughsmallorificesincheckvalves.
thecylinderduringtheextentofitsmotion.This Mechanicalfrictionofsealsagainstmovingcylinder
maybegreaterthanvolumeofwateroutputif wallsandpistonrods.
pistonleakageissignificant;itmaybelessthan Forceneededtoopen(crack)checkvalves.
volumeoutputifinertiaofwaterkeepsitmoving Pipefrictioninthesuctionordeliverypipe.
significantlyafterthepistonreverses.
DirectActionPump:Thepumphandleisdirectly Pipefrictionisoftenthemostsignificantbecausepipeof
attachedtothepistonrod(nopivotinghandleto toosmalldiameterisusedbecauseitischeaper.Flow
generatedleverage). frictionincheckvalvesandslidingfrictioninsealscan
behighinapoorlydesignedpump.

SomePrinciplesofWaterPumping Asuctionpumpcannotallowairtoleakpastitspiston
oritwillfunctionverypoorly.Itismoredifficultto

makeasealairtightthanwatertightbecauseairisless
Pumpsmovewaterbycreatingapressuredifference
viscous(itflowsmoreeasily).Ifthesealhassmallgaps,
thatisgreatenoughtoovercomegravityandfluid
negligibleamountsofwaterwillleakthrough,but
resistance.Inapistonpumpthisisdonebypositive
significantamountsofair.Thisissueiseasilysolvedby
displacement:Thewaterisforcedtomovebyaclose
havingwateronbothsidesofthepistonseal.Inmany
fittingpistoninacylinder.Theflowrateisconstant
suctionpumpdesigns,oneofthecheckvalvesispartof
withthedisplacementofthepistonandthepressure
thepiston.Onthedownstroke,thepistonmoves
varieswiththeresistanceofthepipeline.Ina
throughthecolumnofwaterinthecylinder.Onthe
centrifugalpumpthewaterisspunwithanimpellerto
upstroke,thepistonsimultaneouslyexpelswaterfrom
raiseitspressurebycentrifugalforceagainstthe
thecylindertopandpullsmorewaterintothebottom
impellerhousing.Thepressureisconstantwiththe
throughthefootvalve.
rotationspeedoftheimpellerandtheflowratevaries

withtheresistanceofthepipeline.Thepowerrequired
Theneedtocreatesuctioncanbeeliminatedbyplacing
tooperateapumpisproportionaltothepressure
thepumpcylinderbelowwater.Mostwellpumpsare
PVC Water Pumps 19
ofthistypeandarereferredtoasliftpumps.Mostso 2. Flow Rate from a 2" Rower Pump as a function of Work
Input for Three Suction Pipe Options
calledpressuretreadlepumpshavepistonswhichonly
20
seewaterononeside.Thesearecapableofsuctionand 18
areadvertisedassuch,butwillworkmosteffectively 16
whenthepressureheadismuchgreaterthanthesuction 14

Flow Rate (gpm)


head.Watermustleakpastthesealsothateachpiston 12
haswatersittingontopofitanddoesnotsuckair. 10

8
6
Allofthepumpsdescribedinthisdocumentare
4
intendedtobeusedasdirectactionpumps,i.e.the
2
handleisdirectlyattachedtothepumprod.No
0
leverageisprovided.Thediameterofthepumpis 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.20
determinedbasedonthewaterdepth.Thismakesthe Work Input (hp) 1" pipe with surge chamber
1" pipe
mostsensewhenyouarebuildingthepumpyourself 1.25" pipe
andhaveawiderangeofdesignoptions.Nothingis

gainedbyusingalargercylinderandthenshortening
Theseflowratesseemgooduntilyouconsiderthatyou
thestrokebyuseofalevertogainmechanical
areonlyliftingthewater7feet.Theforcerequiredto
advantage.Asmallercylinderwithalongerstrokecan
holdupacolumnofwatercanbecalculatedasF=
givethesamevolumeatlowercost.
ghA.

F=Force(lb)

=density1(slug/ft3=lbs2/ft4)
RowerPumpPerformance g=accelerationofgravity(ft/s2)
A=cylindercrosssectionalarea(ft2)
Thefollowingtests(graphs14)usedatwoinchrower
pumpinaborehole.Thesuctionpipewas27feetlong Forwater,g=62.4lb/ft3
andthewaterlevelwas7feetbelowthepump.
62.4lb 7 ft 3.14in 2 ft 2
2 2 9.5lb
ft 3
1. Flow Rate from a 2" Rower Pump as a function of Handle

20
Force for Three Suction Pipe Options
12 in
18 Itshouldonlytake9.5lbofforcetoliftthiswater.This
16 isknownasthestatichead,theweightofthewater
14
columnatrest.Therestofthehandleforce(dynamic
Flow Rate (gpm)

12
head)islostasfrictionmovingthewaterthroughthe
10
8
suctionpipeandfootvalveandasforceneededto
6 acceleratethewateroneachstroke.
4
2
0
20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Handle Force (lb)
1" pipe with surge chamber
1" pipe
1.25" pipe

1
Density is defined as mass per unit volume. A slug is a unit
of mass, analogous to the kilogram.
PVC Water Pumps 20
3. Force lost to Friction in 2" Rower Pump as a fuction of Flow fasttogivethesamevolume,thereforedynamiclosses
Rate for Three Suction Pipe Options
45
willbemuchlesssignificant.
40
Forlonghorizontalruns,pipefrictionlossesbecome
Handle Force Lost (lb)

35
30 moresignificantthanvalvelosses.Thefollowingtests
25
(graph5)useda2rowerpumpinaboreholewith
20
varyinglengthsofhorizontalpipe.Thesuctionpipe
15
10
diameterwas1.25.Theverticalsuctionpipewas9feet
5 longandthewaterlevelat7feetbelowthepump.
0
8 10 12 14 16 18 20
5. Flow Rate in a 2" Rower Pump as a function of Horizontal Run
Flow Rate (gpm) 1" pipe with surge chamber 20
1" pipe
18
1.25" pipe
16

14
4. Work Lost to Friction in 2" Rower Pump as a fuction of Flow

Flow Rate (gpm)


Rate for Three Suction Pipe Options 12
50 lb
0.18
10 40
0.16 30
8

0.14 6
Work Lost (hp)

4
0.12
2
0.10
0
0.08 0 20 40 60
Horizontal Run (ft)
0.06

0.04
8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Fromthischartweseethattheamountofwateraperson
Flow Rate (gpm) 1" pipe with surge chamber canpumpdecreasesabout3.5gallonsovera60footrun.
1" pipe
Asurgechamberandlargediameterpipearegood
1.25" pipe
investmentsforlongerruns.


Theseresultslookdepressing,butconsiderthatapump
Canwedecreasedynamiclossessignificantlybyusinga
thissizeisnotmeantforthehighflowratesseeninthis
lessrestrictivevalve?Thefollowingchartcompares
test.Thetwoinchpumpisbettermatchedtodeeper
pumpswithdifferentfootvalves.Oneisaradialpattern
wellswhereitwillhavemorestaticheadandtheuser
ofsix7/16holes,theotherisasideflappervalveovera
willnotbeabletopumpasfast,reducingthedynamic
single1.5diameterhole.Theflappervalveallowsa
head.
persontopumpfourmoregallonsperminutethandoes

theradialvalve.However,itmaystillbeinferiorforthe
Supposeawellis27feetdeep,apersoniscapableofa50
applicationbecauseitismoreeasilydamaged.
lbpull,andhispumphasasurgechamber:37lbof

handleforceisneededtoliftthewater(statichead),
Comparison of Radial and Flapper Check Valves
leavingonly13lbtowasteasfriction(dynamichead). 25

Fromchart3,hecanpumpabout12gpm.
20

Flow Rate (gpm)

Forshallowerwells,usealargerdiameterpump.The 15
Radial
Valve
rowerpumpcaneasilybemadefrom3or4pipewith Flapper
10 Valve
correspondingchangesinthevalvedimensions.A3
pumpcanprobablybeusedupto15feetdeep(static 5

headatthisliftrequires46lbhandleforce),anda4
0
pumpusedupto8feetdeep(43lbhandleforce).The 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
Handle Force (lb)
largerdiameterpumpswillnotneedtobestrokedas


PVC Water Pumps 21
Otherobservations: FactorsthatAffectPumpPerformance


IbuiltarowerpumpfromclearPVCpipeandobserved
Fluidresistanceandcavitationincheckvalves.
thatifthepumpisstrokedfastenough,themomentum

ofthewaterwillkeepitmovingcontinuallyupward,
Checkvalvesgivealotofresistancetofluidflow.This
evenduringthedownstrokeofthepiston.Thefoot
translatestomoreforcerequiredatthehandletomove
valvewillneverclosecompletely.Thiseliminatesthe
thewater.Furthermore,aswaterspeedsuptogo
problemofwaterleakingbackthroughthevalvewhileit
throughthevalveorifices,itspressuredrops,eventually
isclosing,andtheproblemofthevalveslammingshut
reachingthevaporpressure.Atthispointitflashesto
anddamagingtheseatortheflap.
vapor(waterboilsatambienttemperatureifthe

pressureislowenough).Whenthevaporbubbles
Theorizingabouttheaboveresults,thesurgechamber
collapse,theysendshockwavesthroughthewater
requireslessforceatthehandle,butvolumetric
column.Theshockwavecanburstapipe,especiallyata
efficiencyislowerbecauseasmallermassofwateris
Torelbow.Or,ifthevaporbubblescollapseona
accelerated.Morestrokesareneededtomovethesame
surfaceinsidethepump,theysendshockwavesthrough
amountofwater,sothenetpowerrequiredissimilarto
thatmaterialandeventuallycausepittinganderosionof
thelargerpipe.The1.25piperequiredconsiderably
thesurface.Thisprocess,calledcavitation,isaleading
moreforceforagivenflowrate,butthisforcetakesthe
causeofdamagetopumpsandvalves.Cavitationis
waterfurtherbecauseitsmomentumcontinuestomove
moreanissueinthefootvalveofasuctionpumpthan
itupthepipeevenafterthepistonhasreversed
thepistonvalvebecausethewaterpressureisalready
direction
lowerduetothesuctionrequiredtoliftthewater.If

cavitationisoccurringinahandpump,onesolutionis

topumpslower,reducingthevelocityofwaterthrough
Marble&Inertiapumps2Performance thecheckvalveandthusreducingthepressuredrop.
Anothersolutionistomakethevalveorificeslarger,
Thesewereverycrudetests,measuringhowfastthe achievingthesameresult.
pumpcouldfilla5galbucket.Theliftwasabout6feet
andthepumpcylinderextended12feetintothewell. Lengthofpiping
Theinertiapumpcouldoutputaround4gallonsper
minuteandthemarblepumpcouldoutput57gpm. Thelongerthepipe,eithersuctionordischarge,the
However,themarblepumpwasmuchmoretiringto greatertheforcesrequiredtoacceleratethewateron
operateandrequiredtwohandsatthehighendofits eachstroke.Thediameterofthepipedoesnotaffectthe
flowrange. accelerationforce3.

Pleasenote:Theseperformancevaluesreflectasingle Pipediameter
operatorandasinglewaterdepth.Theinertiaand
marblepumpsreactverydifferentlywhenthepumping Thesmallerthepipediameter,thefasterwatermust
speedischanged,asitwouldifthewaterweredeeper flowforthesameoutput.Frictioninpipesincreases
andrequiredmoreworktolift.Theinertiapump withthesquareofvelocity4.Pipecrosssectionalarea
greatlydecreasesinefficiencywhenitisstrokedslower. increaseswiththesquareofthediameter.So,halving
Themarblepumpincreasesinefficiencyatslowerspeed thediametergives1/4thecrosssectionalarea,which
becausethereislessresistanceinthepistoncheckvalve. givesfourtimesthevelocity,whichgives16timesthe
flowfriction.Asaruleofthumb,Isuggestthatthe
Iftheinertiapumpwillbeusedatlargelifts,itshould suctionpipediameterbenolessthanhalfthediameter
haveaverysmallgapbetweentherisingmainandthe
plungersothatthewatervelocityandresistanceto 3Inasmallerdiameterpipe,lesswatermassisbeing
reversingdirectionarehigh. accelerated,butitbeingacceleratedtoahighervelocity.These
twoeffectscancelout.
2 4
Therubbersockrippedoffofthesockpumpsometime Therelationshipbetweenflowvelocityandfluidfrictionis
duringthetestsoitsresultswereinconclusive. complicatedforturbulentflow;Itisonlyaroughguesstosay
thatdoublingtheflowwillresultinfourtimesthefriction.
PVC Water Pumps 22
ofthepumpcylinder.Ideallyitwillbenolessthanhalf Pistonsealmaterial
thearea,whichrequiresadiameter0.707ofthepump
cylinder.Fora2pumpcylinder,use11/4or11/2 Aleathercupsealispressedagainstthecylinderwallby
suctionpipe.Ifthepipeisrunningalonghorizontal thepressureabovethepiston.Thiscreatesaverygood
distance,itmaybedesirabletoincreaseitevenmore. seal,butalsosignificantfrictionifthecylinderwallis
notsmooth.PVCcylindersareeasilyscoredand
Surgechamber roughenedbygritthatgetstrappedbetweenthecup
sealandthecylinderwall.
Asurgechambersmoothesoutapulsatingflowina
pipeline.Inthecaseofarowerpump,thesurge Therubberdiscpistonsealdeflectsintothegaparound
chamberispositioneddirectlybelowthefootvalve.On thePVCsupportdiscwithincreasingpressure.This
theupstroke,thepistonsuckshalfofitswateroutofthe allowssmallamountsofwatertoleakpast,increasingas
surgechamber,withtheotherhalfcominguptheinlet thepressureincreases.Theselossesareinsignificant
pipe.Thiscreatesavacuuminthesurgechamberthat comparedtothepumpoutput,buteliminatecontact
pullswaterbackintoitduringthedownstrokeofthe betweentherubberandthecylinder,eliminating
piston.Thus,theintermittentflowofwaterinthe mechanicalfriction.Sandinthewaterisnotaproblem
cylinderistransmittedintoamoreorlessconstantflow becausetherubberdiscsfoldawayfromthecylinderon
ofwaterintheinletpipe.Watervelocityishalfasgreat everydownstroke,flushingoutanysandthatmayhave
andthereforepipefrictionis1/4thasgreat. becometrapped.OnepumpatECHOwasusedtobail
waterfromaholeandstillfunctionedevenwithafoot
Surgechamberscanalsobeusedonthepressuresideof ofsandaccumulatedontopofthepiston.
apump.Theybecomemoreandmorenecessarythe
longerthepipelineisandthemorewatermustbe
acceleratedoneachstroke.Withsinglepistonpumps, DesigningaPump:Tradeoffs
theyallowuseofsignificantlysmallerdiameterpiping.

Withtreadlepumps,duetotheirtwocylinders
Pipecost
deliveringwatercontinually,theycannotreducepipe

diameterbutstillwillreducepressureshockstothe
Suctionanddischargepipewilloftenbeamuchgreater
pumpifconnectedtoalongpipeline.
costthanthepump.Smallerdiameterpipeischeaper,

butyouwillgetlesswaterbecausemoreenergywillbe
Asaruleofthumb,asurgechambershouldhavea
losttofluidfriction.Investinlargerpipe!Humanlabor
volume2xthecylindervolume.Thelargerthevolume,
isnotcheap!Weonlyputout1/10ofahorsepower
thesmallerthepressurevariationinthechamberand
averageoveradaysworkandwewanttomakethe
themoresteadytheflowuptheinletpipe.Theperfect
mostofit.
chamberwouldmaintainaconstantpressureregardless

oftheirregularityofthepiston.
Pistonrodmaterial


Metalisstrongerandcanbebentbackifdamaged.
StainlesssteelandPVCaresmoothandwillnotrust.
PVCisweakbuteasytoreplace,andifabuseditwill
breakinsteadoftransferringloadstothepumpand
breakingotherparts.PVCflexesmore,allowinga
persontopullcrookedlyonthehandlewithoutcausing
alotoffrictionintherodbushing.

Checkvalves

Sideflapcheckvalveshavemuchlowerflowresistance,
buttheyareeasiertoripoffortobecomeaskewsothe
Surgechamberonarowerpump:4Sch40PVC,18long
flapdoesnotfullycoverthehole.Theyalsoopen

PVC Water Pumps 23
furtherandsowhentheyclosemorewaterslipsback assembly.Valveflapscanbemadefromtiresidewallor
throughandthevalveslamsharder.Sockvalvescanrip frominnertubewithabackingdisctogiveitrigidity.
offmoreeasilythanflapvalves.Largerholesinradial
patterncheckvalvesgivelessresistancebutweakenthe
valvedisc.

OverallCost

Itisageneralrulethatthecheapestpumpswillhave
lowerflowratesandusethebodylessergonomically.
Moreexpensivepumpsarebuiltstrongenoughtouse Sideflapperfootvalve
strongermusclesandaremorecomplexinordertouse
musclesinthemostcomfortableposition.So,themarble Piston
pumpisverycheapandeasytobuild,butawkwardto
operateandgivesasmallflowrate.Thetreadlepump Leathercupseal:
ontheotherhandismostexpensivebutproducesfar TheleathercupissandwichedbetweentwoPVCdiscs
morewaterbyusingthelegmuscles. witharadialholepatterncoveredbyarubbervalve
flap.Thecenteroftheleatheriscutout,leavingalip
about1/8wideforthePVCdiscstogrip.Cuttheinner
AlternativeDesignsforComponents PVCdisctofittheleathercup,butsoaktheleatherfirst
forafewdayssoyouwillknowitstruedimensions.

CutthelowerPVCdisctofitlooselyinsidethepump
FootValve
cylinder.TapthePVCdiscstoreducehardware.When

assembling,lineuptheholesinbothdiscs.
Variationsontheradialholearray:

Therearemanypossiblepatternsofholesforavalve
witharubberflapboltedinthecenterofthevalvedisc.
Layoutapatternofholesappropriateforthediameter
ofthepump.Consideringthefollowing:

Thevalvemustnotcatchonthecylinderwallwhen
itopens.
Therubbermustoverlaptheholesbyatleast1/16
ortheedgewillbesuckedintotheholeandbreak
theseal.
Distancebetweenholesshouldbe1/2thehole
diametertomaintainstrengthofthedisc.Ifthedisc Leathercuppistonseal
isthickerthan1/10ofitsdiameter,thismaybe
reduced.Usegoodjudgment. RubberdiscsealwithsolidPVC:
Maximizethetotalareaoftheholes Therubberdiscpistonsealcanbeusedwithoutdrilling
Forthesametotalarea,fewerlargerholesgiveless holesinthePVCdisc.MakethePVCdiscsmaller,1.75
flowresistancethanmore,smallerholes. diameterfora2cylinder,andtherewillbesufficient
Holesneartheperimeterwillgivelessresistance waterpassagearoundthedisc.Usemorerubberdiscsto
thanholesnearthecenterbecausewatercanpush bridgethegap.(ThesquarepieceisanutcutfromPVC
therubberflapfurtheroutoftheway. sheetandtapped.)

Sideflappervalve:
Thesideflappervalveismadebyflaringand
compressingpiecesofpipetobuilduptheendofa1.5
inletpipeuntiltheendisthickenoughtoscrewavalve
flapto.The2pumpcylinderisthenflaredoverthis
PVC Water Pumps 24


Alternativehoseclamp



Rubberdiscpistonseal TestingMethodologyandData

MeasuredQuantities
Handle Handleforce(lb):mechanicaldialforcegaugebuilt
intopumphandle
PVCpistonrod: Volumeoutput(gal):57galplasticbarrel
Shapeawoodhandleandboreaholethroughthe Time(s)
center,slightlysmallerthanthePVCpipe.Heattheend Numberofstrokes:countedbypersonpumping
ofthepipeandinsertintothehole.Whencool,drill Strokelength(ft)
throughthewoodandinsertascreworpintosecurethe
rod.ThiswilllikelybestrongerthanthePVCTee CalculatedQuantities
handle. Flowrate,gallonsperminute=volume(gal)/time
(s)*60(s/min)
Workinput,horsepower(hp)=strokelength(ft)*
strokecount*handleforce(lb)/time(s)/550(ftlb/s
perhp)
Dynamicforce:subtractstaticforcefromtotalforce.

WoodhandleforPVCpistonrod
Equipment
Metalpistonrod: 2rowerpumpwithheadsealandradialstylefoot
Drillandtapaholethroughthewoodhandle. valve
borehole28feetdeep,watertableat7feet
platformtomountpump
supportsforsuctionpipeonhorizontalruntest
55galplasticbarrelwithflappervalvedrainin
bottom(holds57galtobrim)
outletpipetobarrel
handleforcegauge
timepiece

Woodhandleformetalpistonrod Procedure
ForeachtestItimedhowlongittooktofillthe57gal
HoseClamp barrel.Eyeingtheforcegaugeinthehandle,Iwasable
tomaintainaconstantaverageforceonthehandle,
Drillaholeinbothendsofametalstrap,bendintoa withinafewpounds.
hoopwithearsstickingout,andputaboltthroughthe
holes.Thisprobablyhasatightergripthanahose
clampandismoreeasilypaintedforcorrosion
protection.

PVC Water Pumps 25


1suctionpipewithsurgechamber
Force(lb) time(s) strokecount
40 178 178
30 211 181
20 315 179

1suctionpipenosurgechamber
Force(lb) time(s) strokecount
50 259 138
40 283 159
30 369 169

1.25suctionpipenosurgechamber

Rowerpumpwith27suctionpipeinborehole force(lb) time(s) strokecount
50 189 142
40 226 149
30 323 161
Testsofsuctionpipeoptions

FlapperValve,1.25suctionpipe
force(lb) time(s) strokecount

Rowerpumpwith60horizontalrunfromborehole 50 154 128
40 182 130
30 242 132
Testusingpumpwithsideflappervalveinsteadofradialvalve

norun
HandleForce Timetopump
(lb) 57gal(s)
50 196
40 252
30 299
20 480
42 225
55 189
30 297
Handleforcegauge(060lb)
20run

RawData HandleForce Timetopump


(lb) 56gal(s)
volume 57gal 40 260
strokelength 2ft 30 374
lift,vertical 7ft 45 223
inletpipe,vertical 27ft 50 200
forcepistonreturn 14lb 40 257
Fixedquantitiesforalltests 30 351
45 204
35 296

PVC Water Pumps 26



40run Examples
Convert10gallonsperminute(gpm)tolitersperhour
HandleForce Timetopump (lph)
(lb) 56gal(s)
50 224 10 gal 60 min 3.79liters 2,274l

min hour gal hr
40 309
30 366

45 230
35 301 Convert6metersofwaterintopoundspersquareinch
(psi)
60run

6m 14.7 psi 8.6 psi
HandleForce Timetopump
(lb) 56gal(s)
10.3m


50 282
40 337
30 430 Acknowledgments
45 301
35 393 Theideafortherubberdiscpistonsealandcheckvalve
Testsofhorizontalrun originatedwithMattKiehlatMessiahCollegein
2003.IlatersawasimilardesigninWayneNiles
PVCpumpdesignedinHaiti.
Appendix Theideafortherubberdischeadsealoriginatedwith
MessiahCollegestudentsworkingontheWestAfrica

PumpProjectin2001.
Imperialtometricconversions Therowerpumpinthisdocumentisinspiredbythe
MCCWestAfricaRowerPump,althoughallofthe
Conversionfactors componentsaredifferent.
1inch=25.4mm
1gallon=3.79Liters
1atmosphere=14.7psi=34feetofwater=10.3metersof
Bibliography
water5

1ft^3water=62.4lb
MCCRowerPumpconstructionmanual
1horsepower=~550footpoundspersecond=746watts
WayneNilespictorialmanualforconstructinga

PVChandpump(ECHOelectronicfiles)
Calculations
WorldVisionAustraliabrochureforconstructing
Writeeachconversionfactorasaratio(fraction).
theRusPump(EHCOpaperfiles)
Multiplyfactorstogetheruntilyougetthedesired
TerryWaller,SketchesofaPVChandpump(ECHO
dimensions.Unitscanceloutwhentheyaredividedby
paperfiles)
themselves:gal/gal=1,justlike4/4=1.
DocumentsdescribingtheCanzeePump(online)

MessiahCollegeSeniorEngineeringProjectreport,

2001:IntegratedPumpDesign

5
Pressure is defined as a force per unit area, e.g. pounds per
square inch: 1 atmosphere is the pressure at sea level exerted Contact
by the weight of the earths atmosphere. Pressure can also be
defined in terms of the weight of a column of water: A 6
meter high column of water exerts a force of 8.6 pounds per JosephLongeneckerformoreinformation:
square inch. The volume of water has no effect on the jblongen@gmail.com
pressure, i.e. a 2000 gallon tank and a two inch PVC pipe will RevisionHistory:Lastmodified25Oct.2010JBL
have the same pressure at the base if they are the same height.