Working on my cabin. Have a drilled well about 100 feet away (maybe a bit more, uphill). 1 inch black PVC well pipe comes into dirt crawl space, pier construction, under cabin. I brought it upstairs so only 10 feet is exposed in crawl space. Wrapping heat tape today on well pipe. I don't have the pressure tank and such set up. Any reason I can't just power up the well for now and turn it on and off with breaker, then have a pipe with water that comes out ?


3 Answers 3


Not really.

You can do that if you only turn on the pump when you're consuming water. You don't want the pump running if no water is moving. You'll wear it out.

The point of a pressure switch is to prevent just that, and the point of the pressure tank is to reduce the frequency of pump startups (along with stabilizing pressure during usage).

  • Understood - this would be a temporary 1 month setup until I have less concerns about the pressure tank (inside cabin) freezing. I just want water for cleaning and such...
    – House DiY
    Feb 15, 2019 at 15:37

As isherwood noted, never run the pump unless the water has somewhere to go. Also, running the pump for only a few seconds at a time is probably not ideal.

If you're pumping out through an open pipe into some sort of large receptacle (e.g. a 5-gallon bucket or larger), that's probably fine.

(I chlorinate my water, so my well pump feeds an open pipe that empties into a 120-gallon tank. I'd guess this draws somewhere between 5 and 60 gallons in a "cycle". The pressure tank is fed by a secondary pump in the tank.)

  • 2
    I agree--The short cycle of the pump is your biggest problem. You could put a large barrel or something up high, pump it full of water then use a gravity feed--That's not a terrible replacement for a pressure tank (although be sure to have a pipe that will take overflow water outside instead of spilling it all over your attic, you are bound to over-fill at some point).
    – Bill K
    Feb 15, 2019 at 20:30

It won't hurt the breaker any. All modern breakers are rated for use as switches.

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