Saturday, June 14, 2014

DIY: Build a Bullet Bucket to Access Water in Your Well Manually

I have a well on my property. I was told it is a 300 ft perforated well. I know nothing of wells except that it is going to be about $1200 to put a pump, pressure tank, and switch on, in addition to having to build a pump house. Without power on my property yet, I am waiting to install the well pump. I hate having to go to town to fill up water containers, so my ever-so-clever neighbor, Terry, told me about his bullet bucket, aka torpedo bucket.

A bullet bucket is a container made from PVC that allows you to fetch water out of your well at about a gallon a shot for around $40 in simple parts found at your local hardware store. I was all over this since I want to have my water tested and make sure the well is not dry. Today we built it and I thought I would share with you all the details so you too can build a bullet bucket for your well.


(1) 2' section of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe (sch 40)
(1) 2' section of 2 inch PVC pipe (sch 40)
(1) 2" x 1.5" PVC Coupling
(1) 3/4" Spring Loaded One-Way Coupler (you will be pulling the spring out)
(1) 1 1/2" Threaded Cap (sch 40)
(1) 3/4" Male Adapter CPVC
(1) 1/4" Hex Nut
(1) 1/4" Hex Nut Bolt 3" long
PVC Primer and Glue
100' of Rope (or enough to reach into your well with about 10' left over)

Steps to Build:
First, drill a hole in the cap large enough to
 fit the 3/4" male adapter through

Fine tune the hole using a knife. Clean it up and enlarge
as necessary.

Fit the male adapter though the hole. You may want to add
a metal washer prior, but mine didn't fit, so I left it off.

Remove the spring from the one way coupler. You do not
want it to stay open, but to close from the water
pressure when you pull the bucket up.

This is what it will look like once you screw on
the coupler to the adapter.

Inside shot.

Bottom Shot.

Next, in the top of the 2" pipe, drill two holes directly opposite
 one another to insert the bolt. This will be where we tie
on the rope to raise and lower the bucket.

Dry fit the parts and cut the 2" pipe to adjust
to a comfortable length of bucket for you. 

Use primer and glue to secure the PVC parts together.

Be sure to hold the parts with pressure for a minute to
allow the glue to set up without pushing the pipes apart.

Insert the bolt.

Secure rope to the bolt.

Allow the glue to cure for two hours and
 your bullet bucket is ready to use. 
This is fresh, cool water from 90' down in my well. 
 Be sure, when you are not bringing water up and out of the well, to put a bucket or lid of some type on the top of the well to prevent things from getting into the well. In my case I have a can covering the opening, but a 5 gallon bucket turned upside down will work. Bacteria and such can make water unsafe and leaving it exposed leaves the potential of introducing icky into your well. You may want to have your water tested before consuming it, just in case. I am glad to know my well is not dry and the water is clear!

So there you have it: A bullet bucket is a cheap and easy way to access water in a well without a well pump.