Simple Pump and pressure tank

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.



  1. Ed Bruske said,

    June 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Have I mentioned how glad I am we don’t have to deal with a water pump?

    • Emily said,

      June 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm

      On the other hand, we’ll never have a problem (along with 100,000 of our friends and neighbors) if there’s a water main break!

    • Walt said,

      October 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Indeed, but my well water is without fluoride, a large quarterly bill and not subject to rationing in the event of a drought as sometimes is declared in certain parts of the country. Life is a collection of trade offs……

  2. ilex said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    A main break is certainly a possibility, given the general crappy state of MI infrastructure. And it’s shocking how surprisingly little money there is available to fix the broken stuff.

  3. Heather said,

    June 17, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Oh, how I wish we’d had this when I was a kid and the pipes froze (or burst) or the electricity went out. The blizzard of ’93 (and those trips outside to melt enough snow to flush the toilet) still looms large in my memory.

  4. Dawn said,

    September 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Any Updates now that you have used the Simple Pump for a few years. Would love to hear how it is holding up!

    • Emily said,

      September 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      We moved about three years after we installed it. It was still working fine – maybe a little sticky from disuse, and I would definitely want to lay in a couple packs of spare bushings, but it was still 20 pump strokes to clean water! We are not able to install one on our new well, and I really miss it.

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