Draw Water From Your Well Without Electricity

With no electricity and no cash, the author built his own self-filling well bucket for under $5.00.

| July/August 1976


With little money but a lot of ingenuity, Clifford Gwinn built his own self-filling well bucket.


Click on the article's Image Gallery for referenced figures and illustrations.

QUESTION: How do you draw water from a deep well without a pump?

ANSWER: Let Clifford Gwinn tell you!

Last year's mid-July found us in something of a bind. We had just moved onto our homestead, canning season was upon us, and my wife was pregnant and due to deliver in early August. Our needs, in short, were great . . . but our resources were small. We were, to put it bluntly, [1] without electricity, [2] without water, and [3] to a large extent, without cash.

One of the reasons our finances were at such a low ebb was because I had invested a large chunk of our dwindling bankroll in the drilling of a well. And, after we'd paid for the job, we simply couldn't see our way clear to both have the house wired by an electrician AND install an expensive submersible pump in our new source of water. So we hired the electrician and then sat down to contemplate our remaining dilemma: How would we get water up out of the well, without dipping further into our perilously low bank account.

One idea which sprang to mind was that we might use a well bucket temporarily, at least, until we could afford to go whole hog on a new pump. I'd seen such buckets used when I was a youngster spending my vacations in West Virginia. Thinking that this would prove to be an immediate "way out" of our predicament, I questioned the well driller about the availability of the narrow, self-filling containers . . . only to be told that such devices weren't used in our part of south-central Pennsylvania.

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