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View Diary: Ask Mister Preparedness Guy: all answers 5¢ (152 comments)

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  •  Ah, so... (none)
    Are you prepared to pump well water when grid power goes out for three weeks? -AG

    You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

    by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:02:34 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Does an old-fashioned hand pump count? (none)
      n/t
    •  My well is too deep to hand pump (none)
      at 290 feet.  I am interested in getting some solar panels that will work for my well.  Do you know where I can get those or, more importantly, how much they cost.

      Thank you for your work on this.  I printed everything out and I am working on it.  I got bottled water that says it will be good until 2007.

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:26:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Solar power for well pump (none)
        Any idea how much power your well pump draws?  A figure like "XX amps at YYY volts" is what I'm looking for here.

        -AG

        You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

        by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:34:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And AC vs DC (none)
          You'll also want to know whether it is an AC pump or a DC pump. This is typically marked on the pump along with the voltage and amperage requirements.
        •  No clue (none)
          How would I determine such?  

          The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

          by TXsharon on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:42:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Printed on the pump (none)
            Almost all electronic equipment has a label indicating voltage and amperage requirements on it somewhere. You're looking for a label reading something like: "Input 220V AC 2A" or "Input 16V DC 4A"

            If you can find the make and model of the pump instead, you may be able to find out by looking on the manufacturer's web site or by calling the manufacturer.

          •  Hmm... (none)
            Kind of hard to read the label on a submersible pump.  If you have the documentation which came with it when it was installed, that might tell you.  Likewise, if you know what company put it in they might be able to answer your question.

            Failing that, you should be able to trace the power line back to a breaker box somewhere.  An electrician, or even a layman who has basic electrician skills, should be able to look at the wiring and tell you if it runs off of 110VAC or 220VAC.

            If the pump plugs into an outlet of some sort, that's even easier -- the type of outlet will tell you what voltage it runs on.

            -AG

            You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

            by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:51:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pumps (none)
              are almost always 240 volt (or 220 volt - same thing) and if they run off the house's electricity they're AC.

              In most breaker panels (depends on mfg though) a 120 volt breaker takes up one space, a 240 volt breaker takes up two spaces. The amperage rating will be the little number on the "switch" part of the breaker - probably a "5" or a "10". The breaker is sized for more current than the pump needs - the pump probably draws about 80% of the breaker rating.

              You also need to know if your pump has a pump control (which basically helps the pump start without drawing too much current) - most do, I think. It'll usually be near the breaker box or pressure tank. You want to wire your backup power behind the control, not between the control and the pump. And of course, make sure to turn off or disconnect the breaker before connecting a generator or other supply (even if the power is out - you don't control when it will come back on, and your generator can endanger linemen).

              We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

              by badger on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 12:47:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Contact Real Goods (none)
        My wife and I looked into this several years ago.  A simple 15 minute phone call to Real Goods in Northern California will answer your questions.  Just make sure you have some of the particulars for your system scope out I.e. what is the flow rate (GPM), What is the depth to the head.  Do you have a storage tank (best solution)?  You also have pressure pump, filtration and purification etc.  Is your well above your house or below?  That kind of stuff.  But they can answer it for you.  

        Good luck

        Real Goods

        (I have no connection to Real Goods other than as a customer...there are many other places that can size a system for you)

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