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Ram Pump – DIY gravity pressure acceleration without electricity

“This instructable shows how to build a fairly simple water pump that needs no energy input other than water flowing from a higher point to a lower point and accellerates the pressure increasing the flow!

The search for a “perpetual motion” machine is just about as old as civilization itself. And though we all know that such a gadget probably doesn’t exist, there is a piece of equipment that comes pretty close: the hydraulic ram pump.


Full plan and instructions

Videos on howto build a ram pump:

Pumping water with no electricity, no gasoline, just gravity!

Sound crazy or impossible? Don’t worry, it does obey the laws of physics, but I’ll try to explain the operation later. Most of the pump is constructed from PVC, with a couple of bronze pieces thrown in for flavor. I was able to source all of the parts from a local hardware store (Lowes) for a bit under $100.

Ram pump definition

To function, the pump does require a reasonable amount of water that will drop at least 3′-5′. The level that the pump can raise water to depends on the water’s head (total drop the water will make).

This design was worked out by Clemson University.

If you like what I’ve done, please take the time to give it a rating, and I’d love to hear your input. Thanks!

The water ram (also known as a trompe) has been around for quite a while and was a widely used means of pumping water before electricity became common in rural areas. Strictly speaking, the ram pump doesn’t create its own power but draws energy from the force of a moving column of water, usually fed through a pipe from a point more than 18 inches above the trompe.

Although the hydro ram won’t operate without a fluid power source, it will work indefinitely when water is present. And, except for an adjustment every few months, the device requires no maintenance whatsoever!


It’s a Bargain at 1/10 the Price…

Quality hydraulic rams are available commercially for anywhere from $400 to $800, complete. These are excellent units, designed to last for many years. However, most folks simply don’t have that kind of money to spend, so MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ research team came up with a pump that delivers the same reliable performance as its store-bought cousins but only costs about $60! Better yet, our version can be put together in less than an hour using off-the-shelf plumbing supplies

Amazing opportunities:

-> combining a ram pump with a gravity hydro generator?!

Would it be possible to use a ram pump in conjunction with a gravity water system to power a hydro electric system? In other words. If you set up a gravity water system with a ram pump to continually return the water back to the top, could you insert a hydro electric system and use it to create electricity?

Ram pumps kits + prebuilt

This lets you determine how fast the water must be flowing before the valve activates, and thus how much pressure you build up. Here this element can be slightly adjusted by rotating the pump along it’s long axis, changing the force of gravity on the swing check valve. here in the Waikato) are built out of stainless steel with high-impact polymer valves and can run for years at a time without needing repairs.

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