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684 Posts
Check your water flow closely, you need MOVING WATER WITH DROP to make these things work.

The old 'River Rats' had them when I was a kid, you could here the 'Chunk', 'Chunk', 'Chunk' of them working when you camped out down by the river.

You will need 'Fall' or 'Head' where the water is falling to catch the inlet flow, then a portion of that volume will be pumped up to where ever you want it.

They usually don't pump too high, and it's a VERY small portion of the water going into the unit that gets pumped so don't expect large volumes of water to be moved.
They aren't very efficient.

If you don't have fall to produce pressure, then you won't have production.


How they work is the VOLUME of water moving into the pressure chamber overpowers a valve and closes it,
For a fraction of a second, the pressure in the tube rises quite a bit, and a small portion of the water in the chamber is forced past a one way valve before the pressure equalizes as momentum is stopped,
Then the main chamber pressure valve opens again when pressure reduces, water flows again, and the cycle starts again.

You have to have a pretty good volume of water,
And a pretty good drop on that water so it builds momentum,
Then the momentum is stopped to create more pressure, which allows some water to be extracted or 'Pumped'.

They need some fairly frequent service, the seals on the valves deteriorate from solids in the water stream, and you get that constant hammering of the internals while it works.

If you have 'Fall' in your water flow, then it will work and work pretty well if you have enough water drop you can harness.

The air chamber type you are looking at actually produce a little more volume than the straight tube types, but about once a month you are going to have to drain the water out of the air chamber since air is soluble in water, and will dissipate over time leaving you will a full 'Bulb' that needs drained for the unit to work correctly.

Tuning the 'Dump' spring can be a CHALLENGE!
The tune on the spring will depend on your water flow/volume/pressure/momentum and it can drive you CRAZY to get it right!

Your ram will live a LOT LONGER if you make sure you draw from a CLEAR POOL of water where the solids that will attack the seals and valve sets settles out before delivering water to the ram.
Remember, where ever you mount this thing, it will GUSH water like crazy!
The moving water rarely freezes, but the 'Gush' water will freeze in a heart beat!, so keep that in mind when you are installing it.

Yes, I've worked on these before, we had them on the farm, and all the river rats had them and brought them to our barn (Closest place with tools) to get them fixed...

720 Posts
I need to take some memory pills, I forget more than I remember. Somewhere I found plans to build those from common pipe fittings. It might have been MEN or Homepower, but it was a well writen easy to follow article with plenty of pics. It gave different flow rates for diffent size pipe and different water supplies so you est. what you need. Maybe someone else remembers the sorce.

Never quite ready
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, you won't move big volumes, but adequate volumes. A lot of the amish in my region use them and they supply their entire operations. Many of my preterist neighbors use them. One I know well accomplishes all his water needs including home, horses, dairy herd and a few pigs...with the smallest model. He has a spring that pipes into a small block and concrete pump house. from there it pumps up hill into his house and across a flat grade about six hundred feet to the animal stalls in the barn. The company rep "claims" their pumps will push thousands of feet, all depends on how much fall you can get into them, etc. Wouldn't work for irrigation, but for small livestock herds etc, you betcha. The river pump is rated for around 1100 gallons per day.
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