And update on the Simple Pump installation: yes, you can use it to fill the pressure tank. It was actually quite easy to fill the tank up to 40psi. This gives decent water pressure in the house for one or two toilet flushes or quite a bit of handwashing, drinking water, and dish-rinsing. The system of putting a 1-1/4″ PVC pipe though the wall of the basement as a “hose conduit” works really well. The hose threads through very easily, and when I pull the hose out, I just pop a PVC cap on each end, and it keeps air and critters out.
- The fittings on both ends are male, so I had to modify the (special drinking-water-certified) hose to have female adapters at both end.
- I wasn’t able to get it to fill over 40psi, no matter how long I pumped. It’s possible they didn’t install the correct check valve, but I think this is just the limitation of the pump.
- 40psi gives good water pressure for about 4 gallons of water, then you have to pump it up again. It may or may not be very useful, ultimately – though I do find that it’s much easier to rinse with the sink sprayer than with a pitcher, and cleaner than using a tub of water (especially for one-off washes of hands or single dishes).
- You can’t unhook the hose from the pump to the tank when the system is pressurized, so it’s not terribly convenient to switch between tank-pressurization and pumping-into-a-bucket. Hmm, maybe if I used one of those Y adapters that let you attach two hoses to one spigot?
- The hose would freeze pretty quickly in the winter if it were just lying on the ground.
Final verdict: Yes, it is possible to charge the pressure tank using the Simple Pump, but it may or may not be worth the effort. A longer test is in order, I think; if we get around to doing a non-electric weekend this summer, that will be a much more realistic test.