Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

Setting Up the New Water Pump

By Robyn Dolan

Tags: water pump,

Chicago Electric 1 inch clear water pump

Chicago Electric 1 inch clear water pump side view

The water pump arrived and it was now time to set it up. We took it out of the box and did a happy dance. It is a small, electric, clear water pump, on sale at Harbor Freight Tools for $30. It does take about 45 minutes to an hour to empty my 400 gallon hauling tank, but the power used is minimal and I have the time. Our first 3 pumps were Briggs and Stratton 5hp gas pumps that emptied the tank in about 10-15 minutes. But at a cost of $300 each, and with them wearing out in an average of 3 years apiece, not to mention the rising cost of gas, I decided to switch to the simpler electric pump. I can always run it off an inverter in my truck if the power is out.

Transferring the wire on the water pump

The Chicago Electric 1" pump does not come wired or fitted. The wiring is simple. I took apart my other pump and transferred the wiring to the new one.

Water pump with fittings attached

Then I dug through the spare parts, and luckily found a 1" fitting that would accept the input hose, and a 1" fitting that would accept the garden hose/transfer hose. It's always a good idea to have spare parts on hand out here. Otherwise it would take up the day to go shopping for them 50 miles away. Now it was time to put our baby to the test. We plugged her in, and out spurted fountains of water. Oops, guess it helps to have pipe dope on hand too. So we packed up pump and parts and drove over to a friend's place to cement in the fittings. Home again, and another try. Smaller fountains. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the rubber washers in the hoses were indeed worn out. Scavenging about, 2 new rubber washers were located. Hook up hoses, plug in pump.

The whole water pump set up

Hallelujah! Oh, blessed running water and indoor plumbing. Now it's time for a bath and catching up on laundry! (and put fittings, washers and pipe cement on the list for the next trip in to get supplies.)

The water pump graveyard

A post script to this little adventure, upon recommendation from a friend, I checked the old pump for matter clogging it.  Sure enough, there was something in there.  After digging and pulling and flushing with the pressure hose, the matter was discharged and the old pump is working as good as new!  Sometimes it helps to have 2 brains on a project.  Now we have a spare working water pump.