How to Install the Windmill, Tower and Hand Pump

You will install the plumbing first. Start with the FOOT VALVE and work your way up. The SHORT 1 1/4 inch nipple is next and attach it to the 449B cylinder. Look here for the hints on how to install the 449B cylinderThis is important! Attach the cylinder to the 2″ pipe and start lowering your pipe. Thread the hand pump body on to the last piece of 2″ pipe and lower to the well casing and flange. Attach and or bolt the flange to the hand pump body and well case.

With a loop of flexible rigging, have your boom hold all of the fiber rod up and over the well safely. Attach the plunger to the fiber rod and start lowering that into the pipe. On the end of the last piece of fiber rod attach the threaded rod, 5/8 to7/16 adapter and hand pump polished rod. Lower all of the rod to the bottom of the cylinder (you’ll feel resistance as it enters the 1 7/8″ cylinder) and then raise it back up 2″ and gently vise grip the polished rod right above the hand pump body. Wrap the polished rod in a rag so that you don’t mash the polished rod! Make sure you have 3″ of rod sticking up above the brass packing nut. If too much, cut the threaded rod, if not enough, add more threaded rod.

The  tower directions are on a single piece of paper in the manila packet. One word of advise, use the smallest nuts on places that only have 2 and 3 pieces of angle iron and the larger ones where 4 pieces come together. Don’t tighten anything until the tower is completely built. Build the tower from the mast pipe (top) down. You will attach the stub tower sections to the mast pipe and base, then add the upper turn off lever. Follow your instructions to complete the tower. Put your guides on each of the particular slots…it will be apparent!

As for the hole specs, that’s on your bid form on the lower left section of the page. Measure twice, dig once!  If you didn’t buy the tower from me, let me know what the tower size is and I will get you the correct footing specs.

Now you’ll install the tower…Build it and add the platform last and raise it, attach the anchor posts and level it in the holes that you dug. Another tricky part is the tower MUST be plumb and level or the Windmill won’t sit plumb and level. I use the 2 legs as a sight and put the pipe and pump rod in the middle…and look both ways. Does this make sense? Use a level on the mast pipe above to get your level. Don’t be afraid to climb the tower with the boom truck holding it up! Once you know that the tower is plumb and level, pour your ¾ of a yard of cement in each hole. Get a hot (2%CC) and dry (3-4 inch slump) batch of cement and coordinate it so that when the boom truck is there, you do it all at once. Once the cement is poured, you can disconnect the boom truck and come down and get the tower that you built the day before.

You will need to attach a rope to the blades and open the windmill up as if it’s running. Don’t let the windmill close up in the furl position! You will also need to vise grip the brake closed so that it doesn’t spin! As the windmill is going up, you can add the 2 quarts of oil. Have someone climb to the platform and guide it into the hole and lower it onto the mast bearing. You can then let the boom truck go and send him on his way!

You can now attach the sucker rod (part 171) to the windmill and spin the windmill to the “bottom of the stroke”. Look inside and see the crosshead go all the way down. Here is where you need to lock the windmill off with vise grips so that it doesn’t spin and change this measurement.

So now your plunger is on the “bottom of the stroke” (less the 2″ that you pulled up) and so is your windmill. Go back to the hand pump and complete the installation of the flat bar and cap assembly. DON’T ENGAGE THE HANDLE! The windmill and handle can’t be connected at the same time. So let’s adjust the windmill stroke first.

Go up to the bottom of the sucker rod that sticks under the Windmill (#171). Place a tape on the top of the inside of the swivel and drop in down to the to 2″ below where the hole in the flat bar where the wood attaches. This is the length of your wood rod. Again, measure twice, cut one. The sucker rod end will have to be shaved off a little to accommodate the sucker rod swivel. I usually do this on the ground before I install the sucker rod! Cut your wood and slip it through the wood guides (if applicable) or through the tower and connect it to the flat bar on the well side. You might have needed the splice if you have a tower taller than 20’! Now you’re ready to install your turn off handle!

With the lower furl handle about shoulder height, attach it to the opposite leg of where the upper furl handle is…and NOT a ladder leg. Bring the wire up to the upper furl handle and attach it to the end of the handle (you’ll see it when you’re up there) and STRETCH it to the lower furl handle. Loop it through the bale of the lower furl handle and do a test. Go back and disconnect your rope if you haven’t already done so and take off the vise grips and GENTLY let the windmill spin. Have someone on the bottom looking at the stroke of the hand pump rod. Make sure it’s doesn’t bottom or top out. You’ll know if it does! Once you determined that the windmill stroke is fine, try to turn it off! If the windmill shuts off completely, then tighten the wire on the bale so it doesn’t slip. If it doesn’t turn off, gather more wire and try it again. Do this until the tension of the wire turns off the windmill.

Now let her spin and enjoy the water!

If you want to do the hand pump, disconnect the windmill at the flat bar and connect the hand pump handle.

NEVER EVER put a turn off system in the plumbing of the windmill. If the windmill is spinning, the water MUST be going somewhere!

If the wood rod breaks, and you know that the stroke length was correct, always replace with the same length of wood rod.


PLEASE call me after 6 AM Pacific time if you ever have any questions! 530-644-3008

ENJOY YOUR WINDMILL FOR YEARS TO COME!


Another customer wrote to me and added this hint too!  Robert Peterson says:

I want to share with you an easy solution we developed to hold the drop pipe for installation. I fashioned a round steel metal doughnut plate that fits over the PVC well casing, with an internal hole that is slightly larger than the coupling. Then, I purchased two 10″ long pipe clamps ($1.75 each) with nuts and bolts, that securely grasp the drop pipe. The rope (secured to the tower angle iron) ties on to clamp near the top of the drop pipe and lifts it down through the doughnut and into the well. The pipe clamp finally rests upon the metal doughnut, which is resting on the well casing. With the second pipe clamp, the next pipe is lifted above the first, and is screwed in with two pipe wrenches. The two attached pipes are lifted, the bottom clamp is removed, the doughnut is lifted, and the whole assembly is lowered into the well until the second pipe clamp comes to a rest on the top of the doughnut and well casing. The third pipe is lifted into place and the process is repeated — no problem!

(I hope that it helps YOU too!)


You might also look on the Footings/Installation Page for a few hints too!