Ram Pump FAQ

List of Questions:

  1. Q. What fittings are needed to install a Ram Pump?
  2. Q. Why wont my waste valve close? Water only trickles out.
  3. Q. Why is no water coming out the Delivery pipe? The pump is working fine but no output.
  4. Q. Can I start the ram pump by Siphon?
  5.  Q. How high can the ram pump lift water?
  6.  Q. How to slow down or speed up waste valve cycles?
  7. Q. Can the Ram Pump run underwater?
  8. Q. Can the ram pump be used in a well or pond?
  9. Q. I have pressed the waste valve 100 times and the pump wont run on its own?
  10. Q. Can I run the Ram Pump on House Pressure?

1.  Q. What fittings are needed to install a Ram Pump?

A. The fittings needed to install the Ram Pump will depend on the type pipe you use. 

  • For PVC you will need an adapter that is threaded on one end and socket on the other. This allows the threads on the ram pump to connect to PVC pipe. You will also need couplings to connect sections of pipe if Bell End pipe is not available. 
  • If you use Poly Pipe (roll pipe) you will need barb fittings with hose clamps. The first fitting is threaded on one end and barb on the other. To connect sections of poly pipe together you will need barb to barb fittings. Be sure to use hose clamps to prevent the pipe from coming apart. 
2. Q. Why wont my waste valve close? Water only trickles out.

A. There are a few things that can cause this to happen. 

– Air lock. The Drive Pipe can have an air bubble that prevents the full pipe from passing all the water it needs.

– The water intake has debris clogging it and thus is preventing water from getting to the pump. 

– Not enough head pressure. The ram pump needs a minimum of 2 feet (.61 meters) of water drop to operate. If there is not enough pressure behind the water the waste valve wont close.

3. Q. Why is no water coming out the Delivery pipe? The pump is working fine but no output.

A. The ram pump works on a 1:7 ratio input head pressure to lift out. If you do not have enough input head pressure and the delivery pipe is too high you will fill the delivery pipe but not have water all the way to the top. 

4. Q. Can I start the ram pump by Siphon?

A. Yes you sure can. The main thing to consider is the ram pump needs an air free water source. The good news is when water is siphoned it is air free else it will stop flowing. 

Check out this video where a ram pump is started with a siphon. 

5. Q. How high can the ram pump lift water?

A. The max height of the ram pump is close to 180 feet. (55 meters) The reason for that is the weight of the waste valve. The Brass swing valve has a set weight and is not heavy enough to close with more force. To get water to this height 25 (7.6 meter)feet of input head pressure is required. This is a lot of pressure at the pump. 

6. Q. How to slow down or speed up waste valve cycles?

A. The ideal cycle time for the ram pump is typically 1 per second. Because the waste valve flap has a set weight and cannot be changed, the drive pipe length is the main thing that can be changed to adjust the cycle time. A long drive pipe slows the cycle time and a short drive pipe can speed up the cycles.

Max Drive pipe length 100 feet. ( 30.5 meters)
Min Drive pipe length 25 feet. (7.6 meters)

7. Q. Can the Ram Pump run underwater?

A. Yes it sure can. Do keep in mind that sinking the pump into the water does not increase head pressure. This is because the hydrostatic pressure ontop of the pump negates the added pressure from going underwater. 

8. Q. Can the ram pump be used in a well or pond?

A. The ram pump needs head pressure (elevation drop from source to pump) to operate. Because there is no drop of water in a well it is not possible to use the ram pump in a well.

It is possible to run a ram pump drive pipe out of a pond as long as the water drops below the pond on the outlet. Check this video –>

9. Q. I have pressed the waste valve 100 times and the pump wont run on its own?

A. There are two main things that can prevent the pump from cycling on its own.

1. You do not have enough lift height to provide back pressure on the pump. This means you have too much head pressure going into the pump and not enough lift. You can either reduce the head pressure or increase the lift. Check out this video –> 

2. Air is stuck in the drive pipe. If there is an air bubble someplace in the drive pipe it will prevent the pump from cycling as it should. Often times the pump will sputter and stop.

10. Q. Can I run the Ram Pump on House Pressure?

The ram pump needs an open to air water source. This allows the pressure wave to go back and forth. If you have 40 to 60 psi pressing down on the drive pipe from house pressure it will keep the waste valve closed and not allow it to reopen. 

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