When you’re in the process of installing a well on your property, you have a lot of options to consider. There are artesian wells that drill into an aquifer, deep wells and shallow wells, shallow jet pumps, constant pressure pumps, solar well pumps, and much, much more.
The number of options can be mind boggling! But for us, putting in a hand pump for off-the-grid living seemed to be the smartest move in our well installation journey. We don’t have access to municipal water and needed some kind of submersible well pump that could be operated without gasoline or electricity.
Unfortunately, after countless hours of reading, searching, and talking with professionals, it seems that putting a hand pump on our well is a much larger and more expensive project than we had anticipated!
Every installer I’ve spoken with has the same answer, “Just get a generator.” They obviously don’t understand. If things get crazy, and we can’t get gas for our generator, what good will it be?
To put a hand pump on our current well would cost us about $5000!
There are a few reasons for this, with the main reason being that they really don’t like putting a hand pump on an existing electric pump well.
Okay, well how much do you charge to dig a new well just for the hand pump? Oh, about $3800, and then another $2800 for the pump to be installed.
Lots of people have hand pumps on their wells. Surely it didn’t cost them an arm and a leg to do it!
What do we do? I need a practical option. We don’t have room for a wind turbine. Solar? I’ve had no luck trying to find a system that would work for us. Hydro? We do have a few small creeks on the property, but they are all a little ways from the house, and downhill at that. Ugh!
Our well is 300′ deep, but the static water level is 65′, so it’s considered a deep well. What can we do without breaking the bank?
Our solution was that we finally saved up enough money to buy a Simple Pump hand pump for our well. It actually wasn’t quite as expensive as we initially thought it would be. Definitely worth the investment. You can read a little more about our setup here.
But if you’re interested in putting in your own DIY deep well water pump – or perhaps a shallow well pump – you might be curious about how much this will set you back. In this post, I’ll take a deep dive into the ins and outs of hand pump well installation so that you have the answers it took me so long to find for myself!
How Much Does a Deep Well Water Pump Cost?
Installing a deep well water pump can be a significant investment, with prices ranging from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the size of the system and the type of sewage system being installed.
If you’re interested specifically in a hand pump well, you’ll pay anywhere between $50 and $2000 depending on a variety of factors. These include where you live, the location of the well, the depth of the private well, how difficult the terrain is to drill in, the kind of hand pump, and the cost of professional installation.
The good news is that a hand pump can be added to most wells – but many installers, as I mentioned, are hesitant to do so.
Fortunately, there are some tutorials online you can follow to figure out how to do this for yourself. Most wells can be equipped with a hand pump that is usable for both non potable and potable water.
What’s a Hand Pump Well and How Does it Differ From Other Types of Submersible Pumps?
If you’re thinking about getting a new well pump that can be hand operated or perhaps are just interested in well pump replacement for your electric model, you might be wondering what exactly a hand pump is and how it works in a well system.
A hand pump well is essentially a manually operated pump that can be used to extract water from subterranean depths. These wells are usually installed at least 8 feet below the ground and can draw up to 10 gallons of water per minute using a simple lever-type handle.
The most common type of manually operated pump is called the “bucket” pump. This type of hand pump works by using a large metal cylinder with an attached lever to create pressure and siphon water out of the well.
The process requires very little effort on the part of the user, making it ideal for those who don’t have access to electricity or want an alternative to electric-powered pumps.
The most obvious difference between hand pump wells and other types of submersible pumps is that the former is manually operated while the latter requires electricity or some other source of power to function.
This means that hand pumps are cheaper and easier to install than electric pumps, although they require more maintenance over time as they need to be regularly lubricated and checked for any signs of wear or tear.
Additionally, electric pumps tend to be more powerful than manual ones, allowing them to draw larger amounts of water with greater water pressure with each pull or cycle. However, this also means that electric pumps are usually much more expensive than their manual counterparts.
Despite being centuries old, hand pump wells remain incredibly popular today due largely in part to their affordability and ease of use.
For those living in rural or off-grid areas without access to electricity or running water, they offer an easy way to get clean drinking water without having to rely on costly (and sometimes unreliable) sources like bottled water or filtration systems.
Furthermore, because they don’t require any external power source, they can be easily moved if necessary—making them a great option for those living in areas prone to natural disasters like floods or hurricanes.
Price Variation Factors
Indoor vs Outdoor
There are some other factors that influence the cost of installation. For example, if you want to put an indoor hand pump well into your kitchen, using it like you would a faucet, you’ll pay more for this kind of installation than one outdoors. You’ll have to plumb into the existing water system for an indoor system.
Hand Pump Type
There’s also the type of pump you buy. We’ll take a closer look at that below, but know that most well pumps come in around $150 to $2000 before installation.
These pumps come in plastic, stainless steel, and cast iron models. Plastic shallow pumps are the cheapest, while larger stainless steel pumps are the most expensive (but also the most durable).
Again, the benefit of this kind of pump is that it will function regardless of whether you have utilities available or if the weather is bad – a benefit for many homesteaders.
Finding the right hand pump for a well can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are so many options to choose from, and all claiming to be the best.
Fortunately, there are several reliable pumps available on the market today from brands such as Bison, Simple Pump, Flojak, and Lehmans. Each pump offers its own unique features that make it suitable for different types of wells.
- Bison pumps have just one moving part for easier maintenance than similar models
- Simple Pump is strong yet lightweight and can pull up more water per stroke
- Flojak pumps operate quietly with fewer parts to burn out
- Lehman’s pumps provide an economic solution but require extra effort when pumping. These are best suited for shallow wells.
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost for each type of deep well hand pump, but keep in mind these costs can vary (especially with installation costs factored in, which are variable depending on your unique landscape conditions and where in the world you live):
- Bison – $1800
- Simple Pump – $2200-$3850
- Flojak – $1079
- Lehman’s – $1500
Another factor that influences the cost of deep well hand pump installation is how deep the well is. A deeper pump must be bigger and more robust since it will need to be able to handle the forces that are necessary for bringing up water from greater depths.
They need a longer stroke to access the water and often have to be placed directly next to the well instead of inside your home (a downside if you wanted in-home pump installation).
The cost of well-drilling a deeper well for your hand pump will also increase as the depth of the well increases. You’re going down further into the ground, which takes more time and labor costs, but there are also more materials involved (like the pipe, casing, and other components).
When looking to install a hand pump well, it is important to remember there will be additional costs associated with it.
Beyond the cost of installation, you must also take into account the cost of pump replacement as well as pump repairs which may occur in the future. Installing a hand pump well requires careful consideration of these factors because regular maintenance and repairs are likely in order to keep the system reliably pumping throughout its lifetime.
Taking proper care of your hand pump well not only ensures reliable access to vital water resources but can help contain costs by avoiding more extensive repairs down the line.
An alternative to putting in a deep well hand pump system is to go with a shallow well. Obviously, this will be a lot cheaper, for the reasons we mentioned above.
However, you need to be careful about doing this, since drinking untreated water from a shallow well isn’t always safe. The more shallow the well, the easier it is for the water to become contaminated.
Therefore, if you plan on eschewing the deep-well submersible pumps and going for shallow well pumps instead, make sure you invest in regular water testing so you can ensure the water quality is up to snuff – and if it’s not, be prepared to purchase some water treatment equipment to make sure the water is safe to drink.
So there you have it! The average costs associated with hand pump well installation, broken down for you so you can understand all the options that are out there. Good luck!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.