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Access to plenty of clean, safe water is a prime requirement for homesteaders, ranchers, preppers, and anyone who is living off the grid. The amount of planning and effort necessary for a successful off grid water system often depends on the location of the water source, the type of water source, and how much water they need. Some folks are lucky to have a year round spring that gravity feeds into a tank above their cabin. But many find that they must pump water from various sources. Typical water sources are springs, creeks, and ponds.

The two basic types of pumps for an off grid water system are the submersible pump and the surface pump.

The submersible pump is designed to be submerged underwater in the well. They can be either Centrifugal, Helical, or Diaphragm. Centrifugal pumps are used where the well is shallow, usually less than 50 feet, and a lot of water is needed. Helical pumps can generate great pressure, so they are used for deep wells. Either type can last for over a decade before needing repair or replacement.  The Grundfos SQFlex comes in either centrifugal or helical versions. Diaphragm pumps such as the Shurflo 9300 are for low output wells, less than 1 gpm, and depths less than 230 feet. They typically need an overhaul every 4-5 years, but are very economical, simple to work on, easy to install in the well, and are the most energy efficient of all pump types. The submersible pump uses a filter screen that is built into the pump and doesn't need cleaning. But it's important not to submerge the pump in the mud or sand at the bottom of the well.

Surface pumps are usually mounted in a box on the ground near the water source. They can be centrifugal, piston, diaphragm, rotary vane. Currently Humboldt Solar Water Pump offers the Dankoff Slowpump and Dankoff Booster Pump, which are rotary vane type of solar water pump, and the High Lifter Water Pump, which is a piston type of gravity pump. These are sized just right for most folks who are living off the grid: some models will pump to 1000 feet, and other models will deliver up to 1800 gallons per day. Most surface pumps need some sort of external water filter for best pump life.

Energy sources for your off grid water system pump: The submersible pump is designed to run on electricity: grid power, generator, or solar panels. Surface pumps can run on a variety of energy sources such as solar panels, gas engines, or in the case of the High Lifter Water Pump, gravity itself, in the form of water pressure from the water source.

Now that solar panels have become so affordable, it makes a lot of sense to run water pumps for an off grid water system on solar panels instead of gas engines. Pumps can be either "Array Direct", that is, the pumps have a set of solar panels just for them, and they run directly from those panels, with no batteries, or they can run from the same solar panels and batteries that power your cabin. The Grundfos SQFlex, the Shurflo 9300, and the Dankoff Slowpump and Booster Pump are designed to run on either solar panels or batteries, depending on the model.

Then there is the High Lifter Water Pump, which is a very unique type of off grid water system pump, known as a Gravity Pump. These pumps must be installed at least 33 feet below the water source, so the input pipe can develop enough pressure to run the pistons. They will run 24/7 with no fuel or electricity needed.

High Lifter Gravity Pump Info

Handy Well Pump Info

Shurflo Solar Water Pump Info

Aquatec Solar Water Pump Info

Dankoff Solar Water Pump Info

Grundfo Solar Submersible Well Pump Info

Seaflo Solar Water Pump Info

Solar Panel (Solar Module) Info

Mounting Racks for Solar Modules