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The Bamford "Hi-Ram Pump ®"

Pump Installation

[Introduction] [Pump Operation] [Installation] [Drive Pipe] [Installation Photographs]
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Installation of "Hi-Ram Pump ®".


For proper operation, the pump needs correct installation of the Drive Pipe, and on-going attention to ensure that operating conditions are maintained.

Recommendations for installation should not be lightly changed. Some changes may give results opposite to those expected e.g. larger Drive Pipes may reduce the quantity of water pumped.

Plan the installation of your pump carefully. Think about the alternatives that you have on your property so that you can select the best overall location. Measure as accurately as reasonably possible the head of water available to run the pump, the water flow available to go into the pump, and the height you want to pump water to. Measure also the corresponding distances at ground level. Although long horizontal distances have only a small effect on pump operation, you still have to provide the piping to take the water to and from the pump.

Aspects of Installation.

The following aspects of pump installation are covered in more detail in the following pages, and are also indicated in the next diagram.

Source of Water Feed Pipe or Channel Header Tank and Standpipe Drive Pipe Installation Mounting of Pump Water Overflow from Pump Delivery Pipe from Pump Drive Pipe Construction

General Installation

General Installation

Typical Sources of Water

Water from a stream can be diverted into a Feed Pipe or Channel, or a Feed Pipe can be placed in the stream. A small embankment or scoop can be used to force water into the pipe or channel.

Water overflow from a spring, dam or watercourse can be used, and taken into a Feed Pipe, a Channel, or directly into a Header Tank or the Standpipe.

Allow for the possibility of large water flows after heavy rain, to minimize the possibility of damage to either the pipework or the pump.

Feed Pipes and Channels

A Feed Pipe or Channel is used to get water to a suitable height above the pump, for example by following around the bank above a stream.

Feed Pipes must be large enough to carry sufficient water with little loss of head, for example 40 mm Poly Pipe, although this depends on the length.

Feed Pipe from Stream

Feed Pipe from Stream

Header Tank

This allows the necessary head of water to be close to the pump. Excess water can flow over the top if there is more than sufficient water.

A Header Tank also helps stop bubbles of air or debris from entering the pump. A 200 litre container is suitable as a Header Tank.


This works as part of the Drive Pipe to improve pump efficiency. It should be the same internal diameter as the first part of the Drive Pipe, and can be Poly pipe but preferably steel.

The top of the Standpipe should be above the inlet water level so that no water flows out of the top. The inlet to the Standpipe should be 1 metre or more below the surface of the inlet water so that air cannot be sucked in from the top of the Standpipe and mix with the water going to the pump.

Alternatives for Header Tanks

Use a Header Tank if the Feed Pipe is long e.g. over say 30 to 50 metres. A Standpipe should always be used.

If the Feed Pipe is short, it can go directly into the Standpipe (without using a Header Tank), provided the inlet water is clean with no debris.

Example of Overflow from Dam

Example of Overflow from Dam

Drive Pipe Installation

The length, construction and installation of the Drive Pipe are most important. The full force of the inlet water must enter the Drive Pipe.

The main length of the Drive Pipe can lie on the ground. Depending on the installation it can be horizontal, or slope downhill, and can be in several sections at an angle to each other. It is most important that air cannot remain trapped in the Drive Pipe, as the pump will not run properly and is likely to stop.

Mounting of Pump

Both Pump and Drive Pipe should be restrained to prevent movement. A simple restraint, for example using pegs in the ground, is usually enough to overcome forces caused by the pump.

The Drive Pipe construction shown later includes a right angle bend, which assists mounting to keep the pump Waste Valve Body vertical. The right angle bend also makes it easier to restrain the Drive Pipe and prevent movement.

As indicated before the mounting should also allow for other occasional events such as flooding of creeks.

Overflow Water from the Pump

Water comes from the top of the pump after its energy has been used to pump part of the inlet water uphill.

This overflow water can be allowed to go downhill to the stream etc from which it originally came. Alternatively it can be diverted to another place for storage, for example by means of a collection tray under the pump and associated pipes, or by using a channel in the ground.

Delivery Pipe

Although the flow rate of pumped water is small, 25 mm or 1 inch pipe is the minimum size recommended for the Delivery Pipe. This is because the pump sends pressure pulses up and down the Delivery Pipe. High pressure Poly pipe has thicker walls and a smaller inside diameter for the same nominal size, and 32 mm or 1 1/4 inch pipe or larger is the minimum recommended where such pipe is used in high pressure situations.

If you have enough volume or flow of water near the Hi-Ram Pump to allow the use of a powered pump such as a Fire Pump, there is much to be said for making the Delivery Pipe of 40 mm or 1 1/2 inch pipe. If you suddenly need a lot of water in a hurry, you then have the option of using a powered pump.

Additional Notes

Filters should be used to prevent debris or particles entering the drive pipe.

If at all possible, don't use siphons in the pipework that brings water to the Drive Pipe. Air always seems to get into the siphon after a while and then the pump stops.

A gate valve should be fitted in the Delivery Pipe close to the pump. This allows the pump to be disconnected if necessary, without losing the water in the Delivery Pipe.

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Bamford Industries, Post Office Box 11, YASS NSW 2582, AUSTRALIA
NSW BN97702171 ABN 65 532 775 937
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