DIY Water Pump That Uses No Electricity -Ram Pump-

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Ram pumps have been around for many decades and are popular for two main reasons:
They need no external source of power — the force of moving water gives them the power they need.
They are extremely simple, with just two moving parts.
The basic idea behind a ram pump is simple. The pump uses the momentum of a relatively large amount of moving water to pump a relatively small amount of water uphill.
To use a ram pump, you must have a source of water situated above the pump. For example, you must have a pond on a hillside so that you can locate the pump below the pond. You run a pipe from the pond to the pump. The pump has a valve that allows water to flow through this pipe and build up speed.
Once the water reaches its maximum speed, this valve slams shut.
As it slams shut, the flowing water develops a great deal of pressure in the pump because of its inertia.
The pressure forces open a second valve.
High-pressure water flows through the second valve to the delivery pipe (which usually has an air chamber to allow the delivery pipe to capture as much high-pressure water as possible during the impulse).
The pressure in the pump falls. The first valve re-opens to allow water to flow and build up momentum again. The second valve closes.
The cycle repeats.
The delivery pipe can rise some distance above both the pump and the source of the water. For example, if the pump is 10 feet below the pond, the delivery pipe might be up to 100 feet above the pump.
You can see that the one big disadvantage of a ram pump is that it wastes a lot of water. Typically, only about 10% of the water it consumes actually makes it up the delivery pipe. The rest flows out of the pump as the water builds momentum.
There is nothing magical happening in a ram pump. A different design that accomplishes the same thing might work like this:
Water flows downhill from the pond and drives a water wheel.
The water wheel is connected to a conventional shaft-drive pump (a reciprocating pump, a centrifugal pump, etc.)
The pump moves water uphill.
This design has more moving parts, but it accomplishes the same thing and has the advantage that it scales to any size very easily. The idea of using the energy of flowing water has been around for a long time!


kyle haddock says:

I am 13 years old and I would like to build the ram pump in your video could you please give me the parts list.


lol…. Nipple

Kermit Belvedere says:

Hi, I built a ram pump for my small riverfront orchard and I am having a hard time getting enough drop to start the ram pump.How can I get more drop than the natural riverfront provides (1-2 feet over 50 feet of river)??

Ethan Pere says:

How high uphill can your system pump, say will it pump more than 50meters uphill?

Lawrence Brandon says:

I grew up on a dairy farm in piedmont NC it almost never gets to
0 degres, we always buried our water pipes at least 3′ deep to keep from freezing

Nathan Johnson says:

Would this work from something like a big water holding tank? Or does it have to be used from already running water?

Anthony Laurice says:

hate tape? go paste


2 /20 put more effort young man .

David Goodridge says:

Would like to understand better how this works

Eman A. says:

do you put anything inside your pressure vessel? or do you leave it empty?

Brian Curwick says:

Cody I enjoy watching your videos and am impressed with your family’s lifestyle.

I must offer some advise on your plumbing practices. I worked on fire fighting vehicles for 23 years both in the USAF and the 2nd largest FD in the nation. 

When assembling metal pipe fixtures one should always use the same type of metals. When mixing different types of metals, a process called galvanic corrosion occurs. Basically what occurs is ions of one metal transfer to the second metal. If i remember correctly in your case the galvanized pipe will be the one that is the donor metal. 

John Beckmann says:

I have found a GREAT product for you to try. No more teflon tape ! It works on oil air and water. try this it will change your life as a pipefitter.

yveskc1 says:


Gixxer 1 says:

i would get a wind powered pump

mikie2501 says:

Argh!! You never explained how the pump works, lol!! I kept thinking all the way up to the end you were going to walk through it, heh. Oh well, another video!

richard wysham says:

Why don’t you just buy my baby? Rife Su-10. the real like a ticking clock.$2000.00 new. I’ll let it go for 1/5th of that. new seals,gaskets and hardware in 2011. had the face for the impetus valve milled smooth at the same time.Some 1 1/2″ galv pipe which is heat bent in a smooth arc so the pump sits level.I will give you all a tip from a master plumber with 40 years. Pipe dope and teflon tape are not sealants. They are lubricants. A thread is basically a convoluted ground joint. As the material slides across their different surfaces the big leak problem is friction. Friction generates heat.The 2 threads are not heating evenly so they do not mesh.Dope is to keep the threads cool.Clean threads! If I could screw pipe together without any dope and little or no friction it would not leak. Does the faces of a union require dope? No! Do they leak? Nope. If you use plastic pipe for a drive line that is bad., Unless you encase it in concrete. That ain’t good either. Expansion and contraction will crack the pipe.You want shock! Plastic flexes and absorbs shock. Bad! Galvanized steel. Buried if possible. If not pile rocks on it . Bolt the pump otherwise it will walk( and you add shock.) This Rife can pump water 250+ vertically. Needs 3gpm minimum and as little as 2′ of head. Shit! I’ll help you install it if you promise to treat her well.

Roger Gietzen says:


I was inspired by your videos to build a ram pump like yours. I’m attempting to get it up and working in the remote countryside in Haiti to bring water to a small community farm.

Unfortunately it is not building enough pressure to start the rhythmic valve release like I see in your video. I’m hoping you might have some ideas to help me troubleshoot.

Here are some details: The pump is the same size in drive and delivery as yours. There is at least a 10 feet in drop in the drive pipe, which is over 200 feet long. I have it in a small river. I’m hoping to send the water about 200 feet in distance and 40 feet high using the 3/4 inch PVC delivery pipe.

Here are 2 things that are different in my pump:

1. My pool noodle in the 3 PVC air chamber doesn’t fit as tightly as yours. That chamber is 3.5 feet tall.

2. I used a PVC 1-1/4 inch drive pipe instead of steal.

I had a hard time getting air out of the drive pipe and I thought this was the whole problem (maybe it still is). But after some manipulation, I really felt all air is but yet there is not enough pressure to even close the first check valve unless I tip the pump on its side. Then it very slowly opens and closes, but as soon as I open the delivery pipe value all pressure is lost.

I have some pictures and a video I can share.

Any ideas?

Dave George says:

Search for Tesla Tech, HHO explosion water-pump. Almost identical plumbing, needs no water head or waste. Great application for storing solar panel energy. I would use resonance tuned pulsed 800VDC tin plates for H2O gas and simple spark plug and 90s 4cyl VW, SS ign. coil.( 5″ bipolar spark works with wet spark gap)

Larry bedenbaugh says:

I wounded if you could put generator on line with the ram

Agent Bertram says:

Cody, have you tried using plastic, spring loaded, check valves? I have an application here in Scotland where a Ram Pump could do the job and I can get plastic valves quite cheap. I would access the vertical check valve with a screwdriver to purge the pump. Any thoughts? The valves I am thinking of are American J.G. Speedfit. (amongst others).

Justin Stickrod says:

What PSI should the check valves fully close/open?

Rowan Lyles says:

Do you have any list of all the fittings you used? What size are the check valves?

eletronics&more says:

Now that you have show is it still there

Ame Nightcore says:

3 of these pumping from a creek into a high up tank. High up tank has a down pipe with turbines. Water is returned to the creek. I guess free energy is possible after all. Some guy I saw made a turbine from a old washing machine,and that thing made 600w.

Concepcion Amancio says:

on your delivery output…wouldn’t the shut off valve be better positioned after the union so that when you service the pump the water wouldn’t run back out and not have to refill it up again to the holding tank up top…???

FrederichFcknChopin says:

100ft pipe?

AmeriJam Acres says:

It’s easy to do a simple drawing first to make sure all parts go were you want them to go and fast mistake free assembly.

D n D Burton says:

$375? Wow I might as well buy a $50 pump.

Lou Sassol says:

use brass fittings an nipples especially for reclaimed untreated water in my experience. galvanized pipe and fittings will corrode and fail relatively quickly in these types of conditions. especially when coupled with other metals. ps not an expert. just a viewer. feedback please

GrowLLLTigeRRR says:

Howdy wranglerstar,

I have enjoyed your videos.  I am planning to build a ram like the one in your videos. I’m wondering if you have a parts list.  


gavin harison says:

Would this be good for a well?

Evan Aukland says:

weird putting on teflon tape on gives a feeling of satisfaction similar to hammering in a nail

Mike Melchiorre says:

I am Surprised that you are using a Gate Valve instead of a Ball Valve ; I believe the gate valve can become stuck in the closed position , where the Ball Valve would not .

Bobolow Bob says:

Is that a Canyon Wren in the background we hear?

Eric Lock says:

My grandpa always called it a woman valve…flapper…get it? LoL

Luther Gardner says:

Great Job!!! I enjoy your video’s, Thanks and God Bless

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