An Improved Artesian Well Pumping Engine.
The artesian well pumping engine, illustrated herewith, is one which is at present in successful operation at St. Louis, Mo , and was manufactured by the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company of that city.
With the rapid increase in the number of deep wells which have been sunk during the past few years has grown a demand for improved machinery with which to bring the water to the surface. So long as ownership of wells of this character was confined to individuals or corporations which had occasion to use them only intermittently, any style of pump was acceptable which could be relied upon to do three or four hours’ work in the twenty-four. But now that the possibilities of this form of water supply have become generally known, the demand for deep wells has brought with it a demand for such machinery as will insure a maximum yield of water with absolute certainty and continuity, and at a minimum of operating expense. It was to meet this enquiry that the Nelson walking beam pump was designed. The arguments urged in favor of this walking beam pump are briefly set forth about as follows:
The direct-acting pump necessarily undergoes a strain from the moment it begins work until it stops. Starting from an absolutely dead point it must overcome the inertia of a column of water, 200, 300 or 400 feet in depth, with the added weight of iron-shod plunger rods and the added resistance of the plunger in the cylinder below. This ponderous column is dragged slowly upward till the limit of the stroke is reached, when it comes again to a dead stop. Starting downward it has all of these conditions reversed, and the strain comes in the necessity for checking the speed with which the great weight tends to pull the piston downward. Reaching the bottom, it has again to lift the column of weight from a dead stop, without a pound of aid from the immense amount of power that was wasted in the down stroke. Its action is much the same as would be that of a steam engine without a balance wheel or governor, which being compelled to do heavy work on a portion of each stroke, was suddenly released and allowed to “run away with itself” on the return movement. That such an appliance must use vast quantities of steam goes without saying, and no engineer need be told that the inequality of the work must necessarily result in frequent derangement, repair bills and vexation.
The Nelson walking beam pump corrects these evils by simply applying the principles of the balance wheel and the governor, and its work is as smooth and even as is that of a Corliss engine without a “load.” All of the power which the direct-acting pump generates in the down stroke is stored up and utilized in lightening the work of lifting the water on the next upward movement, and it is the unanimous testimony of those who are using this improved pump that it requires not more than 20 per cent of the steam required to operate the old style direct-acting appliance. This, of itself, would be a sufficient recommendation, but it is a minor merit as compared with that of perfect reliability. Having no inequality of work to rack it, the Nelson pump is as certain in its action, and as absolutely free from danger of “break downs” as is the most finished steam engine. If a car horse which pulls its load up and down a succession of steep hills has as easy a time or as long a life as the one whose load moves along a dead level, then, and then only can there be any reason in comparing direct-acting with the walking beam pump.
There is one other point of exceptional merit in the walking beam pump, which will commend it to all who have ever experienced the difficulty incident to removing a direct-acting pump from the top of a deep well, and raising the rods therefrom in order to renew the valve leathers or effect any other repair. As a direct-acting pump must of necessity be located immediately over the well, it must be removed before the rods can be taken out. With the walking beam pump the work of taking out and replacing the rods and plunger involves no such labor or loss of time, as it is only necessary to disconnect the pitman and bring the tackle into play, as shown in the accompanying cut. The engine then hoists and lowers the rods without one-tenth of the delay or difficulty that attended such work in the past.