Well Buckets for When the Power Fails

This was posted about three years ago, but I feel the subject is important enough to re-post for the benefit of our newer readers..  When the grid fails many of us will have trouble getting water from our wells.  Here is a simple method of making a well bucket for getting water out of a deep well without electricity.  It is one that almost anyone can build, is inexpensive and parts are easy to get.

The parts list required to make a well bucket

      • One 18 to 24 inch section of two inch PVC
      • One 2 inch to 11/4 reducer
      • One cut down rubber flapper from toilet tank
      • Six inches of wire or three one-inch screws

Here is a diagram on how to build it.well bucket

As you can see in the diagram, there are two pieces of wire that hold the rubber flapper in place.  At the suggestion of one of our readers, you can substitute three equally placed one-inch screws for the wire.

well bucket

Here you can see the rubber flapper from the bottom


well bucket

well bucket

This picture shows the screws instead of the wires












Once the well bucket is finished, attach a rope to the PVC pipe and lower the bucket down the 4 to 6 inch well shaft, and let it sink into the water.  The rubber flapper will act like a foot valve and rise up against the wires or screws when it hits the water.  This will allow the water to enter the pipe.  When you start to pull it up, the weight of the water will push the rubber flapper down against the reducer and seal the bottom of the bucket.

Depending on the size of your well casing, you may be able to use different size piping.  Just be sure it fits loosely in the shaft.  If you have a deep well, you may want to consider setting up a tripod or winch over the wellhead to make the weight easier to handle.

well bucker

Here is a picture that shows just how simple a winch can be.

I suggest if you have a well or there are wells in your area that you build one of these now while everything is easy to acquire.


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3 Responses to Well Buckets for When the Power Fails

  1. Peter Hardt says:

    Howard, I have a well and could use a well bucket. But my pump, piping, and well cap are in the way. How can I raise them??


  2. Fred Summers says:

    Thanks for the post. We have a well for our home and I have been wanting to put in a back up for when the electricity goes out. Are there any pumps that can put on a home well?

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