Working Group on Development Techniques
Rope pump construction manual
The constructionThe raising tube is made of a hard kind of plastic, usually PVC. Different lengths of tube may be glued together with sockets to make the tube the right length. The inlet at the lower end of the tube is funnel-shaped and with a bottle and a wooden guide it makes the inlet. The inlet assures that the rope with the pistons runs into the tube smoothly.
The upper end of the tube has to have a bigger diameter than the raising tube, the outlet-tube is attached to the upper end. The bigger diameter guarantees a lower rate of flow in the tube in order to let the water flow out of the outlet-tube instead of spouting out the top.
The wheel at the upper side assures that the rope is pulled through the tube. The wheel is made of a car-tyre and must be well V-shaped. The V-shape grips the rope. The wheel is attached to a spindle which is driven by a handle.
The frame carries the spindle with the wheel and the tube construction. In our example the frame is put beside the well, but it can also be attached on top of the well.
In our example we often use wooden parts, but iron parts should work as well. The advantage of wood is that it requires simple tools and doesn't need welding. A disadvantage is that wood has to be protected because it is not very durable. How the rope pump is constructed depends on the materials which are locally available and on the skills which the local people master. Anyway, the rope pump invites to experiment.