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How to Get Water From Your Well Without Electricity

Water is essential for all life. In survival situations outside of shelter, water is the main goal in order to survive. But how do you get water from your well without power?

In the face of power outages or off-grid living, ensuring access to water from your well becomes a vital concern. This article unveils practical strategies and alternatives to obtain water without relying on electricity.

how to get water from a well without electricity

Living off the grid or in a rural area often makes relying on a well for water the optimal choice. However, in the event of a power outage, water access becomes a significant concern.

This issue becomes even more critical if there’s no backup generator or alternative source of electricity available. Thankfully, several methods exist to extract water from your well without depending on electricity.

Can You Get Water Out of a Well Without Electricity?

Although we live off-grid and collect rainwater for most of our needs, there are times that we need a backup source for getting water.

Even if you rely on solar power for your well pump, there are days when the sun doesn’t shine, so an alternative power source is needed as well.

How To Get Water From Your Well Without Power

One viable option involves using a manual pump, operated by hand, to serve as a reliable backup during power outages.

Another alternative is utilizing a solar-powered pump, harnessing energy from the sun to extract water without the need for electricity.

Additionally, a gravity-fed system, relying on gravity to transport water from the well to your home, offers another practical solution.

By engaging in some strategic planning and preparation, you can guarantee continuous access to water, even in the absence of electrical power.

Understanding the Basics of Well Water Systems

As someone who has relied on well water for many years, I can attest to the importance of understanding the basics of well water systems. A well water system is a complex network of components that work together to bring water from the ground to your home.

The primary components of a well water system include the well itself, the pump, pressure tank, and water treatment system.

The well is the source of the water, and the pump is responsible for bringing the water to the surface.

The pressure tank stores the water and helps to regulate the pressure, while the water treatment system ensures that the water is safe to drink.

It’s important to note that not all well water systems are the same. The type of well you have, the depth of the well, and the type of pump and treatment system you use can all impact the performance of your system.

Additionally, factors such as water usage, climate, and maintenance can also affect the overall performance of your well water system.

To ensure that your well-maintained water system is functioning properly, regular maintenance is essential.

This includes

  • Testing the water quality.
  • Checking the pump and pressure tank.
  • Monitoring the overall performance of the system.

By understanding the basics of your well water system and taking the necessary steps to maintain it, you can ensure that you have a reliable source of water even during power outages or other emergencies.

Can You Manually Pump Water From A Well?

The short answer is yes. However, you need to have a manual pump that you can connect to your well in order to do so. You should also know how deep your well is so you can purchase a manual pump that will work with your well.

Well Water Manual Pump Options

If you’re opting for a manual pump, you have a couple different options depending on the depth of your well.

Hand Pumps

Consider hand pumps as an excellent alternative for accessing water from your well without relying on electricity. These pumps are user-friendly, operating without the need for electricity or fuel. Additionally, they come in various styles and sizes, tailored to the depth of your well.

One particularly favored hand pump variety is the pitcher pump, offering a straightforward and cost-effective solution suitable for wells up to 25 feet deep. To draw water from the well, simply pump the handle up and down. This pump is not only easy to install but also low-maintenance, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a hassle-free water system.

On the other hand, the lever-action pump stands out as another hand pump option. While it comes at a higher cost compared to the pitcher pump, it proves to be versatile, capable of reaching depths of up to 100 feet.

Operating this pump involves pumping a lever up and down to extract water from the well. Its durability and reliability ensure a long-lasting water supply.

Physical ability and strength should be taken into consideration as well. Manually pumping takes a good amount of upper body strength, so those who have arthritis or bad backs, may want to consider other options.

Deep Well Hand Pumps


Designed specifically for wells exceeding 100 feet in depth, deep well hand pumps present a robust solution.

While they may be pricier than other manual pump types, their enhanced durability and reliability justify the cost. Crafted from high-quality materials, these pumps are engineered for longevity, ensuring lasting performance over the years.

Bison Pumps

Explore the popularity of Bison Pumps, a well-regarded manual pump brand suitable for wells reaching depths of up to 300 feet. Crafted from high-quality materials, these pumps are not only durable but also designed for easy installation and maintenance. Bison Pumps come in various sizes and styles, catering to a range of needs.

A notable advantage of opting for Bison Pumps is their customization capability to suit your well. These pumps are equipped with different lengths of drop pipes, allowing for adjustments tailored to the specific depth of your well. Furthermore, they boast user-friendly design features, such as a lever that can be effortlessly pumped up and down to extract water from the well.

Alternative Power Sources

As I mentioned earlier, it’s always advisable to have a backup for your backup. We rely on solar power at our off-grid home. However, there are times when there isn’t enough sunshine. When our solar isn’t producing enough electricity to supply our needs, we have a generator backup.

Additionally, we collect rainwater, have a gravity fed water system, and have a manual hand pump. As valuable as water is, we make sure to have a backup for all of our systems.

Solar Powered Pumps

For those residing in sun-drenched regions, a solar-powered pump emerges as a viable choice. Harnessing abundant sunshine, these pumps utilize solar panels to generate the necessary electricity for operation. Notably, the cost of solar panels has seen a significant reduction in recent years, rendering this option more economically feasible.

When deliberating on a solar-powered pump, take into account both the size and depth of your well, along with your daily water requirements. Additionally, it is advisable to consider investing in a battery backup system. This ensures a consistent water supply, even during cloudy days, enhancing the reliability of your solar-powered pump.

Wind-Powered Solutions

windmill for water

For residents in windy locales, a wind-powered pump stands out as a promising option. Operating through wind turbines, these pumps generate electricity to power the pumps.

Similar to their solar-powered counterparts, wind-powered pumps involve an initial investment but prove cost-effective in the long run by diminishing reliance on conventional electricity.

When contemplating a wind-powered pump, carefully assess the average wind speed in your area, along with the size and depth of your well. It’s prudent to also consider investing in a reliable battery backup system.

This additional measure ensures a steadfast water supply, even during days with less wind activity, enhancing the overall dependability of your wind-powered pump.

Battery Backup Systems

Irrespective of the pump type you select, having a contingency plan for power outages is essential. One practical approach is to invest in a battery backup system capable of sustaining your pump’s operation during electricity interruptions.

When deciding on a battery backup system, take into account the size and voltage specifications of your pump, as well as the battery’s capacity.

Additionally, it might be wise to contemplate investing in a generator as a secondary backup plan. This holds particular relevance for those residing in areas prone to frequent power outages, providing an extra layer of preparedness.

Gravity-Fed Water Systems

A gravity-fed water system stands out as a straightforward and dependable method for well water extraction without electricity.

Begin by situating a storage tank in an elevated position relative to your destination. Tank materials vary, encompassing plastic, metal, or concrete, with secure anchoring crucial for stability.

The subsequent step involves establishing a pipeline connection, selecting materials like PVC or polyethylene, tailored to specific needs. Proper sizing and burial below the frost line prevent freezing issues.

Once the storage tank and pipeline are secured, employ gravity to channel water from the tank to your destination. A simple valve operation at the tank’s base initiates the flow, delivering water downstream through the pipeline to your home.

Not only are gravity-fed systems uncomplicated and dependable, but they are also budget-friendly and eco-conscious, operating without electricity or additional energy sources. To ensure sustained and secure functionality, meticulous attention to system design, installation, and maintenance is paramount.

How Do You Get Well Water During a Power Outage?

During a power outage, one of the oldest methods of collecting well water involves using the rope and bucket method, a time-tested technique that allows individuals to manually draw water from their wells without the need for electricity.

Rope and Bucket Method for Getting Water From Your Well Without Power

Opting for a classic approach, the rope and bucket method emerges as a straightforward mechanical means to draw well water. This technique entails fastening a rope to a bucket, lowering it into the well until it reaches the water level, and gradually hoisting it to the surface, enabling water to spill into a container.

For enhanced efficiency, affix a pulley atop the well and thread the rope through it. This modification reduces the effort required to pull up the bucket. Emphasize the use of a drinking-safe material for the bucket, like stainless steel or food-grade plastic.

You can make your own well bucket, or purchase a well bucket like this one from Lehman’s.

How Do You Get Water From a Well In Emergency?

  • Use a mechanical pump: Use a mechanical pump, like an old windmill pump, to pump water. You can also use a Simple Pump hand pump.
  • Use a solar-powered pump: Use solar batteries to power a pump that runs 24/7, even when there’s no daylight.
  • Use a generator: Use a generator to generate your own power.
  • Use a petrol-powered pump: Use a petrol-powered water pump.
  • Use an elevated tank: An elevated tank can provide usable water pressure when the wind isn’t blowing.
  • Use a bucket: Use a bucket and cart to transport water to your house. You can also use a sleeve bucket.
  • Use rainwater catchment tanks: Use rainwater catchment tanks instead of a well or bore.

In summary, implement one of these backup methods for getting water from a well without power before there is an emergency. Preparation today will prevent panic and desperation tomorrow.