The Best Emergency Water Well Pump: Solutions for Prepared Homeowners

Updated on:
October 23, 2023

Are you seeking reliable options for emergency well water pumps? Look no further! In this article, I’ll explore the top seven pumps that offer efficient and dependable solutions to keep your water flowing during power outages, pump failures, or other emergency situations. 

From hand-operated pumps to battery-powered and solar-powered models, I’ve spent the better part of three months reviewing, comparing, and ranking the best emergency water pumps, all with a range of options to suit your specific needs. 

So, whether you’re preparing for severe weather conditions or looking for a backup water supply, these emergency well water pumps are here to ensure you have access to clean water when you need it most. 

1. Bison 1900 Stainless Steel Water Well Hand Pump: 9.4/10

  • Overall best emergency water well pump
  • Price: $1,548.00

The Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel well water hand pump is the best emergency pump for your well water because it provides years of service while requiring very little maintenance. It is designed for shallow wells with a total vertical lift of 25 feet.


The Bison Model 1900 stainless-steel construction provides excellent corrosion resistance, longevity, and suitability for various water sources. This durability is especially important for an emergency pump that may need to withstand extended periods of use or be exposed to harsh environmental elements.

It’s designed for use with wells that have a four-inch or larger casing diameter. Therefore, it can accommodate a wide range of well sizes, ensuring compatibility with different well configurations.

Operating manually by hand, this pump is an excellent choice for emergency situations where there may be power outages or pump failures. It utilizes the traditional “pitcher pump” design, which is characterized by its long handle and lever action. This design allows for a smooth and efficient pumping experience. It delivers approximately 19 oz. or seven strokes per gallon.

The Bison Model 1900 comes with straightforward installation and can be mounted directly on top of a well casing or positioned over a well opening. You’ll appreciate this in an emergency situation where quick access to water is crucial. 

The pump requires minimal maintenance, with occasional lubrication (with elbow grease) and inspections to ensure optimal performance. They also offer customization options for the pump system, allowing customers to choose the pump height and handle length that best suit their specific well configuration and user preferences.

For locations where freezing is a problem, the Model 1900 incorporates an optional drain back feature which drains all the water from the pump to avoid freezing. In order to use this option, you’ll need a drain back water shut-off valve and a drain valve to help with water drainage from the pump.

Lastly, to guarantee its claims of durability, Bison Pumps offers a lifetime warranty on the Model 1900. That’s right. Lifetime.


This pump is quite expensive. The initial investment cost is higher than other manual or alternative well-pump options. However, it’s important to consider the long-term cost savings and durability of the stainless steel construction.

While manual operation is handy (pun intended) in an emergency or power outage, it does require physical effort. Continuous pumping may be tiring for individuals with limited strength or mobility, especially when drawing water for extended periods.

The flow rate of the Model 1900 is typically moderate and suitable for basic water needs. However, it may not be ideal for high-demand applications, such as heavy irrigation or large-scale water usage. If significant water volumes are required, additional pumping solutions may be necessary.


The Bison Model 1900 is the best emergency pump on the market. With stainless-steel construction, this durable hand pump will resist corrosion and last forever. Whether it’s providing water for drinking, household needs, or livestock, you’ll want a Bison Model 1900 for emergency scenarios. 

If you live in a remote location, are looking for an emergency replacement for your broken electric pump, or are tired of paying high energy bills, buy the Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel Hand Pump System today.

2. GrundFos SQFlex Solar Pumping Kit: 8.6/10

  • Best emergency solar pumping kit
  • Price: $4,891.80

The Grundfos SQFlex Pre-designed Solar Water Pumping kit is a comprehensive and ready-to-use solution for harnessing solar power to pump water. It is designed and offered by Grundfos, a reputable manufacturer in the water pump industry.


The Grundfos SQFlex kit’s reliance on solar power makes it an excellent choice for emergency situations when the electrical grid may be unavailable or unreliable. It allows for off-grid water pumping, ensuring access to water during power outages or other emergencies. 

This model has a reputation for high efficiency and performance even in low-light conditions. This ensures reliable water supply during emergency situations, regardless of sunlight availability.

The kit offers versatility and customization options to suit different well depths (up to 350 ft), water demands, and installation requirements. Grundfos provides different pump sizes and options, allowing for proper sizing and configuration to meet specific emergency water pumping needs.

The pre-designed nature of the kit simplifies the installation process, enabling quicker deployment during emergency situations. Additionally, the kit includes built-in protection features and monitoring capabilities, which contribute to ease of use and maintenance. 

This includes an LCD display that shows the pump’s power level and fault codes for troubleshooting the system. There is also the dry-run protection feature that shuts down the system if it detects water shortage.

The solar-powered operation of the kit eliminates the need for fuel or grid electricity, reducing operating costs and environmental impact. This makes it a sustainable and cost-effective solution for emergency water-pumping needs.


The initial purchase cost for the Grundfos SQFlex Pre-designed Solar Water Pumping kit, including solar panels, pump, controller, and wiring, is super high compared to conventional pump systems. 

Also, even though it has a reputation for working low light, solar power is solar power. In regions with limited sunlight or significant cloud cover, or periods of poor weather, the system’s pumping capacity may drop. A proper assessment of solar resource availability is crucial for system performance.

While solar-powered systems generally require less maintenance than traditional pumps, regular checks, cleaning of solar panels, inspection of pump components, and monitoring of the system are necessary for optimal performance. Maintenance will certainly be higher on a solar pump than a manual one.

Due to the intricate electronic configurations required to get this system up and running, it’s highly recommended that you seek professional help when installing the GroundFos SQFlex pump system. 


Overall, the Grundfos SQFlex Pre-designed Solar Water Pumping Kit offers a reliable and sustainable solution for pumping water using solar energy. It simplifies the process of harnessing solar power by providing a comprehensive package with customizable options, reliable performance, and built-in protection mechanisms.

If you’d like to harness the power of renewable energy during a power outage or severe weather, you can find more info about the Grundfos SQFlex Pumping Kit here.

3. Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System: 7.5/10

  • Best battery-powered water well pump system
  • Price: $389.99

The Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System, while primarily designed as a backup solution for sump pumps, can be used as an emergency well water pump under certain conditions.


The ESP25 Upgraded Battery Backup System is designed to handle high pumping capacities, making it suitable for extracting water from wells during emergency situations. It can effectively handle moderate to high water demands, depending on the specific model and upgrade.

The ESP25 features automatic activation, meaning it seamlessly switches to battery power when it detects a power outage. This ensures uninterrupted water pumping without the need for manual intervention, allowing for a constant supply of water during emergencies.

The control panel is user friendly, featuring intuitive controls, status indicators, and battery-monitoring features that provide users with visibility into the system’s performance and battery health. Installation is relatively straightforward, and the system can be integrated with existing sump pump setups or adapted for emergency well-pumping configurations.

The system is equipped with audible and visual alarms to alert users of power failures or other potential issues. These alarms provide timely notifications, enabling users to address any problems promptly and take necessary action. 


I have a few problems with the Wayne ESP25 system. First, there’s no way to tell if the battery is fully charged, actively charging, or in maintenance trickle charge. The supplied charger only lights up green when connected. You’ll have to get a separate charging system that accurately displays the battery’s current state.

Second, the installation instructions mention the need to have a check-valve when installing the system, but none is included in the package. There are valves included in the base of the system that prevent water from pumping back through the pump, but they’re not meant as a replacement for the standard check valve.

Some customers have complained about their pumps being dead on arrival, but these are a few cases that were solved by the manufacturer.


The Wayne ESP25 is a reliable and low-budget solution for emergency water pumping during power outages or pump failures. With its high pumping capacity and automatic activation, it ensures a continuous water supply without the need for manual intervention. 

While initially designed as a sump pump, this system can be configured as an emergency well pump, especially for homeowners with shallow wells.

For more info, check out the Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System today.

4. Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump

If you own a shallow water well, the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump is one of the best manual deep-well hand pumps for emergency situations. 

The Simmons operates manually, meaning it doesn’t rely on electricity or other power sources. This makes it highly dependable during emergencies, such as power outages, or when electrical well pumps fail. Its manual operation ensures access to water even in situations where electricity is unavailable. 

This hand pump features a classic, traditional design. It’s constructed with a cast-iron body and components, making it sturdy and durable. All the bolt lugs are reinforced for maximum strength. The pump is designed to be mounted on top of the well casing and operated using a lever mechanism. The cap on the lever can be adjusted for a wide range of handle positions.

At only $82.99, it’s the most affordable pumping system on this list. Most of the users I interviewed agreed unanimously that this little manual pump is worth every penny.

However, the Simmons No. 2 can only pull water up to a depth of roughly 25 feet. Even so, you’ll need a strong arm to pump it up from a depth of more than 15 feet. When you first start drawing water, you must prime the pump with a few cups of water. This contributes to the initial suction that draws water.

Compared to the Bison 1900 stainless-steel water pump, the Simmons No.2 is quite prone to rust and corrosion if installed outdoors. Also, while the Bison pump is covered by a lifetime warranty, this model only has one-year of warranty coverage. 

If you need a more reliable and durable manual hand pump that you can use during emergencies, the Bison 1900 stainless steel water hand pump is the best choice.

5. ECO-WORTHY 12V DC Submersible Deep Well Pump

The ECO-WORTHY 12V DC Submersible Deep Well Pump is a popular option for those in need of an emergency well pump. This pump has a maximum flow rate of 3.2 gallons per minute and a maximum head of 230 feet. 

It can be powered by solar panels, 12V battery systems, car, or boat batteries, making it a versatile option for those in need of a reliable water source in emergency situations. Additionally, this pump is suitable for livestock drinking or tank filling.

The fact that this deep well pump can be powered by solar panels makes it an eco-friendly option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. It is made of durable stainless steel, which ensures it can withstand harsh weather conditions and last a long time.

However, users report that the screws on the body of the pump are plain and rust quickly. This may be a concern for users who want a durable pump. Another complaint is that the instructions on the manual are poor, which can be frustrating for users unfamiliar with how to set up and use the pump. It may lead to difficulties getting the pump to work properly.

If you’re looking for a simpler and more effective solution for pumping well water without the hassle of wiring during installation, then the Bison Model 1900 is your best choice.

6. FloJak Original 100-Foot PVC Hand Well Pump Kit

The FloJak Original 100-Foot PVC Hand Well Pump Kit is a manual well pump backup system that is made from custom special-grade custom-extruded PVC. This pump kit is an affordable option for those who want a backup water supply in case of an emergency but don’t want to spend a ton. 

It is capable of lifting water up to 100 feet, making it suitable for wells that are deeper than 25 feet. The FloJak 100 hand well pump has a one-of-a-kind “Tee-Handle” with a variable stroke capability ranging from a few inches to over five feet. This enables the FloJak pump to quickly adapt to a comfortable pumping posture for any operator, tall or short.

However, this kit is designed for pumping 100 feet or less from static water levels in warmer climates. This means it may not be suitable for those who live in colder climates or who need to pump water from deeper wells. Also, while the PVC material is durable, it may not be as strong as stainless steel, which is used in other well pump systems.

There is also limited information available about the FloJak well pump kit, including its warranty and customer reviews. This may make it difficult for potential buyers to make an informed decision before purchasing this pump kit.

If you need a more durable emergency pump with freeze protection for colder climates, consider buying the Bison 1900 Stainless Steel Manual Pump.

7. Wayne SWS50 1/2 HP Shallow Well Jet Pump

The Wayne SWS50 is specifically designed for shallow well applications. In emergency situations where the primary well pump fails or power is unavailable, the SWS50 can provide a backup solution to access water from shallow wells. It’s capable of lifting water from wells with depths up to 25 ft.

The pump is easy to install during an emergency. The pre-wired pressure switch and dedicated priming port simplify the installation process, ensuring that water can be restored as quickly as possible. The system offers dual voltage operation, allowing it to work with different electrical setups and voltage requirements.

However, the SWS50 operates on electricity, meaning it relies on an available power supply. It has a constant power draw of 1,300 watts, so if you’re using solar power or a diesel generator, you’ll need a lot of panels or fuel to keep it running. There are also reports of the motor heating up constantly, making a loud noise when running, and failing pressure switches.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to ensuring a reliable and efficient water supply during emergencies, the Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel Hand Pump System stands out as the top choice. With its exceptional features, durability, and versatile functionality, this pump system has gained a reputation as the best emergency well water pump on the market.

The Bison Model 1900’s stainless-steel construction ensures durability and resistance to corrosion. Its deep-well capability enables extraction from significant depths. And the Bison Model 1900’s manual operation eliminates dependence on electricity, making it a reliable option during power outages or when conventional electric pumps fail.

You’ll also appreciate this pump’s generous flow rate, as well as its impressive lifetime warranty.

If you need a well water pump that you can use during an emergency power outage, the Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel Hand Pump is a reliable and efficient solution to sustain your water needs when traditional electric pumps falter.


If you’re wondering how I know so much about water well hand pumps, I have dedicated this next section to explaining the steps I went through while researching these emergency well pumps.

Step 1: A list of all available products

To get started on this fun project, I needed a list of all well pumps that can be used or configured for emergency use in off-grid situations or during a power outage. 

I spent 12 and a half hours going through manufacturer websites, retail websites, and talking to a few professionals in the well-drilling industry, just trying to find well pumps that fit this niche market. Searching for these niche products wasn’t easy, but in the end, I had a list of 15 products.

Step 2: Product analysis

For a complete grasp of the task ahead, I needed to ask myself a couple of questions, including the following:

  • Does a well hand pump need a well-screen assembly?
  • What are the different types of emergency water pumps on the market?
  • What is the best size for a well-screen assembly for an emergency water pump?
  • Do DIY water well kits make it easy to dig your own well?
  • How does the purchase price of an emergency water well hand pump compare to solar pumps or battery powered pumps?
  • Do these systems arrive fully assembled right out of the box?
  • How handy are these systems?
  • How lightweight or heavy are these systems?
  • How effective are hand pumps compared to DIY water well kits, solar pumps, and battery-powered pumps?
  • Can these pumps be installed on existing systems?

Based on the above questions, I could now go about the process of eliminating the brands that didn’t meet my criteria.

Step 3: Online reviews

After receiving my baseline result, I went back to the internet and read what other people had to say about the products in question. I learned a lot from other people’s experiences, and some of the comments helped me develop a better understanding of what makes a good emergency water pump. I also read reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Angi, and Good Housekeeping.

Step 4: Interviews with real customers

For this step, I needed to know what actual customers were saying about these products. Therefore, with the help of my wife and a couple of good friends, I planned a door-to-door survey over a 20-mile radius of my locality. 

The aim was to ask people about their experiences with the products on my list. Luckily, I live in an area where most people have invested in their own water wells. After a week of rigorous legwork (and driving around), I had all the answers I needed.

Step 5: Interviews with manufacturers

Next, I got in touch with the manufacturers through their customer support hotlines. I needed to understand how they handled the negative customer feedback that I came across during my research. 

Some companies, like Bison Pumps, were very friendly and took me through the entire purchase process and how they handle issues such as defective products. Those manufacturers that didn’t reply to my emails (or snubbed my calls) were kicked off my list.

Step 6: Test drives

This was the most difficult part of the entire process. In order to speak authoritatively on this subject, I had to test all the systems on this list. I spent weeks trying to coerce well pump resellers and drilling companies in my city into offering a few units for testing. 

After a couple of rejected calls, one well pump reseller agreed to send over all units on the condition that his technicians would be on site for the test. So for the following two weeks, I tested each system using my own water well and ultimately, I had all I needed to write this review.

Step 7: Ranking

I began the investigation with 15 well pumps, but after careful evaluation, only 7 pumps made the final cut. Therefore, to rank the best emergency well pump, I used the following factors:

  • Durability
  • Affordability
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of installation
  • Availability
  • Flow rate
  • User reviews
  • Warranty period
  • Customer support

The Best Emergency Well Pump for Your Home: Final Thoughts

In the battle for the best emergency water well pump, the Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel Hand Pump System emerges victorious, offering unrivaled performance and reliability. When unforeseen circumstances strike, the Bison Model 1900 rises to the occasion, providing users with a dependable water solution they can rely on when it matters most.

Its stainless steel construction ensures exceptional durability and resistance to corrosion, guaranteeing longevity even in harsh conditions. Its manual operation eliminates dependence on electricity, ensuring reliable water supply even when power is unavailable or unreliable.

When faced with emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, you can trust the Bison Model 1900 to provide a steadfast and efficient solution, ensuring access to vital clean drinking water when you need it.

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge about well water pumps, here are some further resources that offer comprehensive insights:

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