While exhibiting at the Mother Earth News Fair this weekend in Belmont, Texas, we fielded one question that came up consistently: “Can I pump another tank?” Followed up with, “How far can I go?” Then, “How much pressure will there be?”

Here’s what the experts at Bison Pumps say:

Pumping to a tank is always a difficult task depending on the piping size. We tell customers to install a check valve at the spout and then pump through the largest possible hose the farther you must go. We tend to tell customers that after 100 feet they may need to add another check valve in the line. But that can also make it difficult to pump!

If you want to pump into two tanks and one is farther down the line, then you should pump to the closer one. Then open a valve and let the pressure in the first tank push the water on to the next tank until both tanks are filled. Depending on the distance, you may need more than a manual hand pump!

Many people think that hand pumps are just for pumping water into a bucket. Not so with a Bison hand water Pump! The Bison Pump can be hooked up to your home water tank to pressurize it in the event of a power outage. This maintains water pressure running through your home faucets, so you can still shower, wash and flush! Generators are great, but what happens when you run out of gas? To be truly prepared for a long-term power outage or environmental emergency, invest in a Bison Pump. These photos are from a happy customer. His message:

“My helper finally was able to have time to get the job done. Took us about 2 hours and fortunately he works out regularly. I had constructed the pulley system in case needed but he was able to hold up all 17 8-foot pipe-and-rods plus cylinder and pump, so we didn’t use the pulley.

Works great and not hard to pump.”

Installed Bison Deep Well Pump
New Pump Pumping Water

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with Dave from Minnesota. He lives in a rural area and depends on well water for his home water source. Dave, being a DIY-type of guy, is always trying to be prepared, especially for bad weather. He called Bison looking for a manual backup in case his submersible pump went out.

Turns out, Dave was just in time. We got this email from him this morning:

“Timing is everything – soon after I spoke to you, my submersible pump shut down. It may be an icing condition but it may be more significant than that too. I have a service person coming over in about an hour to make those assessments, but I sure am glad to have that Bison! I’ve been able to pressurize my water tank and keep water flowing through the faucets, toilets, showers etc. while waiting to get this submersible fixed. Thanks again….. -Dave”

Whether it’s the electricity, the weather, or the submersible pump itself, it’s always a smart idea to have a deep well pump for your emergency water access. Call Bison Pumps today to learn more: 1-800-339-2601. Bison pumps offer a variety of hand water pump, browse our product line.

Last week, a gentleman in Northern Maine contacted us. He had recently moved into a new home in rural Maine. This being his first winter in the new house, he was surprised to learn that the water lines were not buried far enough below the freeze line. Therefore, when winter set in, the water lines froze up! He was in a real pickle. In such a remote area, he had no other access to water. He found himself melting snow on the stove to use for drinking water.

In a pinch, he found Bison Pumps. He called, placed the order, and the pump was shipped to him that day. Now that he has a Bison Hand Water Pump installed on his well, he will never have to worry about a water supply crisis like that again. The Bison Pump is made of Stainless Steel, preventing corrosion from the outdoor elements. A 1/8th of an inch weep hole is drilled into the PVC drop pipe at a level BELOW the freeze line for your area. This allows the water to drain below the freeze line so that the pump is freezeproof. The weep hole is small enough that it does not affect the output of the water while you’re hand-pumping.

The Bison is great for emergencies, because it can be installed alongside (or even in-line with) your submersible pump. So when the power goes out—or the water lines freeze—you can still easily access the water via your hand pump.

If you live in a rural area, what are you waiting for? Don’t get caught melting snow on the stove. Be prepared and get a Bison Pump today.

P.S. They’re having a 10% off sale THIS MONTH ONLY. So call today: 1-800-339-2601.

When one of our dealers, Sippel Well Drilling, came across a special case, Bison Pumps was ready to help. Sippel’s customer had an 8” well casing. (Usually, Bison’s Deep Well Pumps are for 6-inch casings.) 8” casings are more of a custom order, but nothing too difficult.

The trick was that the customer needed a pump for an 8” casing with a 2” submersible connection. Generally, our submersible connection faces right on our pump with a 90-degree elbow. But the customer asked for a submersible connection facing LEFT and for a tee instead of an elbow.

Our engineer went to work make a new design. Above you can see the fruit of his labor. The customer approved the new design and was happy to have their problem solved!

Query Received From Client

I believe your down pipes are glued together. If so, how do you pull the pump? Do you have to cut them apart as they are pulled up?

The ID of my casing is 6.375 inches. Will I be able to pull the submersible with hand pump in place?


Reply From Our Sales Team

Good Morning,

Thank you for your continued interest in Bison Hand Water Pump. Our pipe/rods are screwed together, not glued. We have installation videos on YouTube that you might find helpful.

You will need to remove the hand pump whenever you need to pull the submersible pump.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me at 1-800-339-2601

Recently we received this email from a long-time dealer. Bison Pumps strives for perfection in product as well as service. We were happy to hear we hit the mark. But don’t take it from us, hear it from the horse’s mouth:

“I have lost count as to how many Bison hand water pumps I have installed in the last 6 years. I once went looking for a better hand pump than what was available and found the Bison online. I thought to myself, “Now there is a pump that would actually hold up if I ever had to use the pump daily, or for a prolonged period.”

I was correct. Since then the Bison team has proven their skills with solutions and innovation for some unique well head challenges, each time fabricating custom flanges etc. that functioned flawlessly (an artesian well with 11 GPM at the surface comes to mind).

A broad smile spread across my face when I opened the packaging on my most recent install. There it was: (the solution to one of my pet peeves) a modified conduit ell for the electric wire routing. In the past I have had to fabricate or modify to get a good seal and passage for the wire entry. Again Bison has gone beyond just building a great pump!

Then I saw the new style of breather vent…wow! Now airtight installs have a better way to breathe as the static level moves up and down the well.

I am writing this lengthy email as a salute to fine engineering and thoroughness…and to tip my hat to the Bison team!

Thanks guys and gals!”

– Gary in Washington

Steve from All Well and Pump of Oregon contacted us to help him out at the Joe County Home Show. We sent him a banner to help draw in customers, but it certainly wasn’t the banner that did the trick! What an impressive display Steve had not only for Bison Pumps, but for all the products he represented.

Steve checked in with us after the show to say what a hit the working hand pump display was. He had many people stop in his booth just to pump the handle.

As you can see, there is a Bison Deep Well Hand Pump in the front and a shallow well hand pump “hard piped” in the rear of the display.

Thanks, Steve and All Well & Pump Service for representing Bison Pumps well.

PS – we have a banner we would be happy to send to any dealer for display. All you need to do is pay to ship it back!

Bison Pumps Remembers Extreme Makeover Home Edition with Fond Memories

Extreme Makeover Home Edition announced last week, they will be airing their final show #200. It got me thinking about being on site and being able to meet so many great people. Not just show people like Ty and Paige, but all the contractors who gave of their time and materials to change someone’s life.

This is a picture of me doing the final touches of the installation. You can tell this picture is from a little while ago as the handle is straight and we have a bit of a bend in our handle now for ease of pumping.

Great times and great people.

We are excited to see our name mentioned in the most recent article by The Resilient Design Institute. In it, they outlined the features and added measures taken to design and build the most resilient home in North America. The catalyst for the building of the home was a fire which destroyed the current home in 2012, the memory of a major flood in the region, and the Ice Storm of ’98. It’s karma the same Ice Storm that led to the development of the Bison Hand Pump is the same storm leading to the building of this resilient home.

The RDI defines resilience as “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance. It is the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption of some sort. At various levels —individuals, households, communities, and regions — through resilience we can maintain livable conditions in the event of natural disasters, loss of power, or other interruptions in normally available services.”

Having a Bison Hand Pump does lend itself to the resilience of a home or a community. Regardless of the catastrophe or reason for a power outage, the Bison Pump allows for the retrieval of fresh well water without the need for electricity or fuel to power a generator. Just good old-fashioned human power is necessary to provide water to a home or a community.

Bison has a diverse line of hand pumps available to make your home resilient. If you have a shallow well (a static water level less than 25 vertical feet), then you can install your Bison Pump in your home connected to the piping from your well. If not, our deep well hand pump with its contaminant-free well adapter fits snugly and securely to your well casing. If these were not enough, we even developed the Bison Commercial Hand Pump for communities or people or homes with many animals which need water. This pump provides 12 gallons per minute and is smooth and easy to operate and heavy-duty so it will last for generations.

I think it is great the RDI considers Bison Pump the hand pump to be considered to make a home resilient. We think so too.

With a Bison Pump Shallow Well Hand Pump, you get so much more from our shallow well hand pump compared to the traditional cast iron or plastic pitcher pumps:

  • A stainless steel body with acetal polymer components to resist rust and rot
  • Self-priming
  • No leathers, therefore no routine maintenance. Parts and leathers for cast iron are becoming less available
  • Sealed design to eliminate contaminants
  • Multi-position handle
  • Threaded spout to accommodate pipe or hose connections
  • Can pump into pressure to fill home’s storage tanks
  • Plumb into home’s system for emergency use
  • Available with a quick disconnect mount to remove in the wintertime but leave well covered
  • One-piece pump can be winterized with anti-freeze for storage in camps/cottages
  • A Bison Shallow Well Hand Pump comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects

A Bison Shallow Well Hand Pump is being used not only on a well, but in basements connected to the submersible plumbing, on cisterns, for use with rainwater collection, and now on our Playground Pump Kit.

“Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

The secret is out; children love hand pumps. Whether for a cool drink of water, the main ingredient in building a sand castle, or watering gardens; there is magic in pumping the handle and experiencing the flow of water.

Bison Pumps are being requested by schools and learning centers, directors of natural playgrounds, and parks and recreation administrators around the world. People want a Bison for three reasons:

  • Superior quality and reliability
  • Beauty, functionality and elegance
  • Our ability to design and custom build a Bison Pump for any application

For more designs ideas, please download our handbook:

“The water area is one of the favorite spaces of Hidden Hollow.” -Toby Eugenio, Environmental Education Director, Hidden Hollow

Website: Heritage Museum and Gardens:

Hidden Hollow is a place for families to play in and explore the natural world. Hidden Hollow features a wide range of activity areas in which families can enjoy the outdoors together. Nestled in a two-acre dry kettle hole, its unique topography offers a stimulating and beautiful outdoor setting for discovery and learning.

Hidden Hollow is one of New England’s first certified Nature Explore Classrooms, a joint program of National Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. This national initiative was developed to advance the understanding and appreciation of the natural world and to provide children with meaningful and positive experiences with nature.

Children can climb stepping stumps, navigate log balance beams, construct forts, create nature-inspired art, build with blocks, dig in sand, experiment with water, make music, engage in sensory investigation with plants, and more.