How Do I Make a Suction Pump to Recover Gold?

Written by tatyana ivanov
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How Do I Make a Suction Pump to Recover Gold?
Easily convert a bicycle pump to a suction pump that can be used to recover gold. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Recovering gold and gold debris from hard-to-reach areas, such as under river rocks and along shore crevices, can be difficult. Using a suction pump can be helpful to recover gold from these crevices. A suction pump for gold recovery can be made by modifying a bicycle pump to suck air in, rather than push it out. These modified pumps work much like a hypodermic needle, in that material is sucked into the tubing and can then be released into pans to sort the debris from the gold.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bicycle pump without a pressure gauge
  • 4 feet of quarter-inch PVC hose
  • Check valve with quarter inch barb end
  • Hose clamp
  • Wrench
  • Saw

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  1. 1

    Remove the top of the bicycle pump by unscrewing it. Pull the handle and the rod all the way out.

  2. 2

    Locate the piston disc on the end of the shaft. The piston disc is a small circular disc with a lip. Unscrew the nut that holds the piston disc in place and pull both the metal and rubber portions of the disc off the shaft.

  3. 3

    Flip the piston disc around so that it is facing the opposite direction that it was facing when on the shaft. Then, slide the disc back onto the shaft and secure it in place with the nut.

  4. 4

    Compress the piston disc between your thumb and forefinger, then gently slide the shaft and pump handle back into the cylinder. Reattach the lid to the cylinder.

  5. 5

    Remove the attached hose from the pump by unscrewing it with a wrench. The portion of the hose that was attached to the pump will have a hose fitting attached to it with a small barb. Remove the hose and barb from the hose fitting by sawing it off.

  6. 6

    Find the small ball that is used as a seal inside the hose fitting. Most of these sealant balls are held in place by two small, bent pieces of metal. Insert a screw into the hole where the ball is and gently fold the pieces of metal back towards the sides of the hose fitting. Slide the ball out of the fitting.

  7. 7

    Reattach the hose fitting to the pump and tighten it with a wrench.

  8. 8

    Attach a short piece of PVC tubing to the hose fitting, then attach the other end to the check valve. Make sure the arrow on the check valve is pointing towards the pump. The PVC tubing should be secure on the valve, but attaching a clamp can guarantee security.

  9. 9

    Attach the remaining PVC piping to the free end of the check valve.

  10. 10

    Place the open end of the PVC piping into water and pull the pump handle to begin siphoning.

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