Hydraulic Rams In Regular Use

| March/April 1995

Hydraulic engines

3251 S. Pine Barren Road McDavid, Florida 32568

Once in a while someone will bring hydraulic ram pumps to an engine show. Every now and then someone will write something about them in GEM. Yes, I know. They aren't gas engines, but they are rusty iron and have the ability to bumfuzzle the general public, just like a good hit 'n miss engine. The fact is, one company called them hydraulic engines!

Most of you have never seen one running, so I thought I'd share some pictures. You see, for the past eight years, all of my water has been pumped from a spring by rams.

I have a tough installation. Water is piped from a spring nearly a hundred yards downhill to get ten feet of fall. At the end of the pipe is a standpipe, which feeds the drive pipes. The original drive pipe is forty-two feet of galvanized 1' iron. The second drive pipe is sixty-three feet of 2' galvanized. The pressures in the drive pipe are such that you just can't use PVC here.

The water goes through about 3400 feet of pipe to get to the house. Along the way it runs a hundred feet uphill. It goes into an accumulator with an aver age tap pressure of 25 psi. This amounts to 150 feet of head. Most rams, like the Davey or the Goulds, are limited to 100 feet by the leather check valve. They can be modified.

I've used a worthless, store bought PVC ram, a 100 year old No. 2 Goulds, a newer No. 5 Goulds, and two homebuilts. The Goulds, with modification for the high pressure, did very good work, but the metal valve is rather noisy. I once heard two hunters express an interest and decided to hunker be hind a tree. Good thing, too, because they loosed three loads of buckshot in the direction of the noise!