Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Just built a ram pump, for anyone interested

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    Hello all,

    I’m Tony – living in the Pennine area of the UK.

    I’m really interested in sustainable energy and using the power of nature to help with todays problems, without recourse to the ‘easy’ technological modern route.

    For anyone interested, I have just designed and built my own ram pump

    For those who don’t know what this means, its a pump which uses a steady fall of water (in this case, a dammed stream) to pump a small proportion of that water to a lot greater height.

    The ‘fall’ driving my pump is about 5 mtrs, yet I’m pumping to over 42 mtrs delivery head and over a distance of 240+ meters

    At this height, I’m delivering sufficient water for the daily needs of 12 horses with PLENTY of spare capacity. The next step is to plumb the overflow into the well which feed the farmhouse – which always ‘struggles’ in the middle of summer.

    My reckoning is that I can ‘spare’ over 1500 litres a day, without any degradation in the supply for the horses.

    Best of all, my pump uses no electricity.

    It also uses no wind or solar but steadily pumps 24/7

    My long tern plan is to link it into a much larger storage tank at a height where it can deliver a downward ‘on demand’ head sufficient to drive a small turbine.

    For anyone interested, I have put a small video on YouTube at :


    That’s an interesting idea. Storing a tank of water is a lot more straightforward and efficient than generating electricity off-peak and storing it in a bank of lead-acid batteries.

    I’ve recently set up a website for a guy who sells a commercial rampump, mostly to dairy farmers in the Waikato region ( He had a promotional video done about fifteen years ago and it’s looking a bit old now but a fair number of those pumps are still running. I got given the rather difficult task of converting that old video tape to a digital format (DVD and web video). It was a mission even getting the capture card to track the signal properly.

    It’s interesting to see all the different designs out there too. Some of them look pretty dodgy though. I saw a design using PVC pipe on another website, I don’t know how long that would last. I’d expect it to start coming apart in less than six months from the hammering they get.


    Ontario Hydro has used the ‘storage pond’ idea since the 40’s @ Niagara Falls. The pond is filled with diverted water at night then released to the turbines during the day. The process was originally coordinated by telephone but is now automated!

    Nick Rosen


    You have to store water in tanks, so that it can safe, so regarding water tanks you can visit, i am sure thsi will help you out, very affordable one.

    Thanks & Keep Sharing!

    Water tanks

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