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Hydraulic Ram Pump (Gravity Run – No Electric or Fuel)

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Hydraulic Ram Pumps: A Sustainable Solution for Off-Grid Water Systems

Ram Pumps Are Also Just Really Cool!

Have A Creek At Home Or Up At The Cabin?

What is a Hydraulic Ram Pump?

A hydraulic ram pump, or hydram, is a simple, efficient, and sustainable method of pumping water that requires no external power source other than the kinetic energy of flowing water. Originating in the late 18th century, hydraulic ram technology has stood the test of time, offering a dependable off-grid water solution for those in rural, remote, or energy-conscious settings.

Unlike most other pumps, the hydraulic ram pump operates using two principal components: the waste valve and the delivery valve, both working in harmony with the natural energy of falling water. When water flows into the pump at a high velocity, it forces the waste valve to shut. This sudden stoppage creates a high-pressure spike, which is then directed to the delivery pipe, pushing the water uphill.

This process repeats cyclically, and while it’s not designed to pump a large volume of water at once, the continuity of operation means it can elevate significant quantities of water over an extended period.

Versatile Applications of the Hydraulic Ram Pump

Hydraulic ram pumps are versatile, suitable for various applications that require low-maintenance, off-grid water supplies. Here are a few common uses.

1. Yard and Garden Irrigation

The use of hydraulic ram pumps can be a game-changer for those living off the grid or those seeking a more sustainable lifestyle. For instance, you can use a hydram to irrigate your yard or garden. With the pump strategically placed near a natural water source, it can continuously transport water to your gardens, supporting healthy plant growth and reducing the need for manual watering or expensive, energy-intensive irrigation systems.

2. Cabins and Rural Homes

Cabins located in the woods or other remote locations often lack access to public water systems or wells. In these situations, hydraulic ram pumps offer an excellent solution. As long as there’s a nearby flowing water source, like a stream or river, a hydraulic ram pump can supply a consistent flow of water for daily domestic use, such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

3. Livestock Watering

If you maintain livestock in a remote or rural setting, ensuring they have a consistent water supply can be challenging. Hydraulic ram pumps can continuously transport water from a nearby source to a trough or other watering system, providing a dependable and sustainable solution for your livestock’s needs.

Environmental and Financial Benefits

Hydraulic ram pumps are not only practical and versatile; they’re also environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Sustainability: As hydraulic ram pumps operate solely on the kinetic energy of flowing water, they don’t require fuel, electricity, or any other external power source. This means they have a minimal environmental footprint, making them an excellent option for those seeking a more sustainable lifestyle.

Cost-effectiveness: Once installed, a hydraulic ram pump requires minimal maintenance and has no ongoing fuel or electricity costs, making it an incredibly economical choice in the long run. While the initial cost for purchase and installation can be a hurdle for some, the longevity and low running costs of these pumps make them a worthwhile investment.


In conclusion, hydraulic ram pumps are a tried-and-tested technology offering a sustainable and cost-effective solution for off-grid water supplies. Whether for irrigating gardens, providing water to remote cabins, or hydrating livestock, these pumps capitalize on the simple power of flowing water to make off-grid living more accessible and sustainable. They serve as a testament to the enduring value of low-tech, high-impact solutions.

Looking For More Videos About Seth's Pumps?

Wow!  This is a project I hope someday to do myself.  I was totally shocked to find that this guy has made so many videos about these hydraulic ram pumps.  PS.  He also has a bunch of videos about solar and all the parts needed to set up a cabin in the woods!

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