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Well buckets as a back up for SHTF

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  • Well buckets as a back up for SHTF

    I’m fortunate to have a great year round well. During the summer I have access to a spring and a stream that runs through my property. I’ve also established a decent rainwater collection system for my summer agriculture use. However during the winter I’d have big challenges getting water if SHTF and I’ve lost any ability to generate electricity. We don’t get any sun for part of the year, so solar isn’t a permanent fix either.

    I’m think about ordering one of these as a backup. Seams perfect for my 110 foot well. Kind of reminds me as a kid before we got electricity. We had a hand pump on one well and an old school bucket on another. Does anyone have one of these? Two gallons a dip and I’d be able to get a couple days worth of water in 15 minutes just 40 feet from my front door.
    Shop Lehman'd online! Our galvanized well bucket works at any depth. Special leak-proof valve opens to fill then closes automatically when bucket is drawn up.

  • #2
    Well buckets are a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, they won't work on my well or I'd already have one.

    I think most wells in the northern areas have discharge lines that are 4 feet below the surface and come out of the side of the well pipe. In the case of mine, there's an entire coupling assembly inside the pipe about 48 inches down. I can't even drop a weighted string down my well to see how deep it is.

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    • #3
      Lemans is just about the only one you can find any more unless there is something local. Check your hardware store.

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      • #4
        They aren't hard to make yourself either. A PVC pipe with the bottom capped and a check valve is all that's needed. Whatever you go with, make sure you get a stainless bucket and NOT a galvanized one.

        As you lower the bucket into the pipe, the galvanization is bound to be scratched off as the bucket contacts the well pipe walls. A little here, a little there.. and all that galvanization will end up in your water.

        Use a PVC bucket or stainless only..

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        • #5
          They work fine if you have a large diameter open well with nothing in it already.
          Unfortunately, most don't have any such thing.

          I'd prefer to have a hand or solar powered pump that makes contamination of the well less likely, and requires less labor.

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          • #6
            I’ve considered solar, but haven’t made that investment. We don’t get sun for about 35-40 days at all, and I could probably only get sufficient solar power about 8 or 9 months. Part of what I am trying to do is be 100 percent able to live without any power.

            hand pumps are possible, but at 110 feet it needs to be a deep well pump. A good one that won’t freeze cost about $700 or more from what I’ve found. It’s certainly something I will invest in when I get to this project!

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            • #7
              To add, it would be a relief to know that the well water is safe for drinking too. Purifying is the best way to do it and I've discovered it here.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alaskajohn View Post
                I’ve considered solar, but haven’t made that investment. We don’t get sun for about 35-40 days at all, and I could probably only get sufficient solar power about 8 or 9 months. Part of what I am trying to do is be 100 percent able to live without any power.

                hand pumps are possible, but at 110 feet it needs to be a deep well pump. A good one that won’t freeze cost about $700 or more from what I’ve found. It’s certainly something I will invest in when I get to this project!
                I'm on solar power.. my entire home is powered by solar. We are grid tied and the power company owes me about 2000 kW right now that we've built up over the course of about a year.

                We are also rigging ourselves to be able to disconnect from the grid if we wanted. Not that we would, but if the grid went down for an extended period, I want to be able to live without it.

                So I currently have a Grid Tied solar system that also has an emergency feature where it will produce up to 2000 watts (only a fraction of its full grid tied output) if the sun is shining. That's enough power to easily charge several 12 volt deep cycle batteries and run the freezer, lights, and sump pump. But its not enough to actually go off grid and be comfortable.

                I do have the equipment to go completely off grid. We have an Outback 8048 split phase inverter (8000 watts @240 volts), and the associated charge controllers etc. What I'm lacking is batteries.. and those are important.

                I'm currently trying to purchase a crashed and salvaged electric vehicle. Negotiating with a few places and bidding on a few insurance auctions. Trying to get a lithium ion battery bank with a capacity north of 20 kWh of energy. That would easily power my home for a long time. EV batteries, when properly used as solar storage, can be cycled up to 7000 times. That's 20 years!

                But I'm in Michigan, and like you, we can go for some long stretches of cloudy or snowy days where we don't make much solar energy. And for that, I built a wood gassifier system that can run my generator that can, in turn, power the house and charge the batteries. With the Outback inverter I purchased, the system will combine the generator input with any available solar input and combine them to provide power to the house or charge the battery bank.

                We already had one power outage and the 2000 watts of emergency power that the SMA system provided was amazing. We had 8 hours of sunshine after the storm and it gave us 14,000 watts of energy. Pretty much ran the entire house with the exception of the electric clothes dryer. And that was without any batteries hooked up!


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                • #9
                  We already had one power outage and the 2000 watts of emergency power that the SMA system provided was amazing. We had 8 hours of sunshine after the storm and it gave us 14,000 watts of energy. Pretty much ran the entire house with the exception of the electric clothes dryer.
                  You're about 12,000 watts short on just one appliance.

                  Without having solar to provide free energy to power the thing, (they use about 26,000 watts per batch on average) I'm not sure if I'd make the same choice, but since we generate all this extra energy, I think its going to work out great.
                  It's not "free energy" when I've seen you talk about how much you spent on getting it all set up.
                  It's actually quite expensive.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by matross View Post
                    To add, it would be a relief to know that the well water is safe for drinking too. Purifying is the best way to do it and I've discovered it here.
                    The water is perfectly good!

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