What are hydraulic rams?

The hydraulic ram is a pump which raises water without any external power for its operation. One important requirement for the satisfactory operation of a hydraulic ram is the availability of a large quantity of water with a small positive head or height. This large quantity of water at a small height is sufficient to lift small quantity of water to a greater height. It works on the principle of “Water Hammer.”

The system has a chamber with two flap valves and an air vessel. This chamber is connected to the water supply from a supply tank or a water reservoir at a small height. The supply tank and the pumping chamber are separated by a valve which controls the flow of water.

When the inlet valve fitted on the supply line is opened, water starts flowing from the supply tank to the pumping chamber. The chamber has two valves, “B” and “C.” Valve “B” is the waste valve and “C” is called the delivery valve. The valve “C” is fitted to an air vessel. As water is flowing from the supply tank, the chamber gets filled up and valve “B” starts to move upwards. A moment comes, when the valve “B” suddenly closes. This sudden closure of valve “B” creates high pressure inside the chamber. This sudden increase in pressure opens “C” which is the delivery valve. Thus the water from the chamber enters the air vessel and compresses the air inside the vessel. The compressed air exerts a force on water which is inside the air vessel. Thus a small quantity of water is raised to a greater height. As the water in the chamber loses momentum, the waste valve “B” gradually opens in downward direction and flow of water from the supply tank starts flowing to the chamber and the cycle will be repeated.