A hydraulic ram pump or ram pump is a device used to transport water from low laying areas like a valley to higher grounds like a hill.
It is different from other water pumps because it automatically draws water from its source without use of electricity or diesel. This is possible as it employs the water hammer effect causing pressure to build up and lift the water to an elevation higher than the pump.
For a ram pump to work efficiently, the source of water should be flowing consistently and it should have a fall of at least 3ft.
Once installed properly, ram pumps can be a very dependable source of water. It works 24/7 and it is easy to operate and maintain at a very minimal cost.
The ram pump is not a new idea. It was first invented in 1772 in the United Kingdom by John Whitehurst although it was not until Joseph Michel Montgolfier used it to supply water in his paper mill in 1796 did it became an automatic device.
By 1820, engineer Josiah Easton got the rights to the patent and it was his family who commercially manufactured the device for use in the UK. Easton’s company provided water supplies to many houses, farms and villages at that time. The business was acquired later by Green and Carter.
In the US, the first ram pump patent was in 1809 for Joseph Cerneau but it was not until 1840 when the public got interested and many businesses made money for manufacturing and installation.
The ram pumps popularity was eclipsed by the introduction of electric pumps by the end of the 19th century. However, due to new interest in sustainable technology, attention to ram pumps picked up once more.
Several agencies are looking into using ram pump to answer water needs of developing countries. The AID Foundation International in the Philippines bagged the Ashden Award for developing means to make ram pump maintenance manageable for people in remote places.
Several people are also using the same principle for other sustainable sources of power.
Who is it for?
Ram pumps are for those who wants to conserve energy, save cost and help the environment at the same time.
Since ram pumps are run by the kinetic energy of the falling water, it does not need any electricity to operate it. When you use a ram pump to bring water into your home or farm, you conserve energy.
The more you conserve energy, the more you save money from the cost of electricity.
Saving electricity also prevents further pollution and thus help save the environment.
Can we avail of ram pumps?
Yes, although ideally there should be a flowing source of water in the surrounding area.Also, the water source should have enough “fall” for the drive pipe to be installed. You may contact ram pump providers like Gilman Ram Pump and Enterprises to check your area’s eligibility and give you a quote.
Ram Pumps may come in different types according to the materials used for the build. These are:
The Cast – this type of ram pump is the most efficient and durable in all three types. However, it is also pricier than the other two.
The Welded – as efficient as the cast although it may not be as resilient. To make it more lasting, some commercial welded versions are galvanized to prevent rust.
The Fitting – may be a little more affordable but this type is not as efficient as the others and cannot handle high pressure of the water.
Gilman Ram Pump and Enterprises offers a welded type so you get both quality and affordability. Gilman ram pump comes in different sizes depending on the need of the clients.