Air Lift well pumps

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derajer
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Air Lift well pumps

Post by derajer » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:46 am

In a thread on another forum about wells, airlift pumps were mentioned. I was not aware of these types of pumps for the purpose of pumping wells and I was curious to see what others know, have experienced, or think about these pumps. How do they compare to standard AC/DC submersibles and others.

For those who are not familiar with airlift pumps, you may have seen a smaller version of these pumps in aquariums.

The suppliers I have found thus far:

http://www.brumbypumps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.airliftech.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.geyserpump2.com/well.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.groundwaterinnovations.com/b ... r-pump.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.groundwaterinnovations.com/b ... r-pump.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It is also possible to drill a small diameter well, such as a 2", then simply run PVC pipe down the center for air.

Pros
  • They're generally unaffected by all but the worst sand, silt, and gravel
    They often have no moving parts or very few simple moving parts
    All parts that require maintenance are above ground and easily replaced
    Will not be harmed by running dry
    Only compressed air is required to operate the pump, it doesn't matter where the air comes from
    They will operate on a wide range of pressure, unlike electric pumps which generally require specific voltage, amps, etc...
    They are generally limited to approximately 300' of lift, but more powerful units are available
    If your casing is small enough, you could build one yourself from nothing but PVC pipe
    They are very inexpensive
Cons
  • They require a source of compressed air
    They cannot directly fill a pressure tank
    Some believe that the oxygenation will adversely effect water conditions and bacterial growth
    The compressed air source could introduce contaminants such as oil
    Some models require a percentage of submersion
I will let other rebut the pros if they wish, but I will take a shot at the cons

Requiring compressed air is just the nature of the beast, so you got me there.

Not filling a pressure tank directly isn't necessarily a problem. Instead they dump water into a non-pressurized tank that is generally fairly large. This tank can either be located above the house for gravity pressure or can be fitted with a pressure boost pump and pressure tank.

To me it seems that oxygenation is not a bad thing, but perhaps someone with more biological knowledge can shed some light on this. Since all of the air rises, I don't see why it would effect anything other than the immediately surface anyway.

Using a proper source of compressed air or filtering the air should eliminate any possibility of contamination from the air source.
Check out the Zombie Squad Wiki especially the Bug-out Bag Article

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