The hydraulic ram pump works by suddenly closing a valve in a water line to produce a surge in pressure that is collected in a pressure chamber. The process involves valves that automatically open or close depending on the pressure inside the pump.
The main components of a common hydraulic ram pump are the water pipeline, brass swing-check valve, spring-check valve, and pressure chamber. The process starts with a steady stream of water that passes through the pipeline and the swing-check valve. As the fluid velocity increases, the water pulls the flapper of the swing-check valve and closes it abruptly. This causes a water-hammer effect that produces a quick pressure increase that pushes the adjacent spring-check valve open. The flow of water going into the spring-check valve carries a high hydraulic pressure that is collected by the pressure chamber. This amount of pressure drives the pump. As the pressure dissipates, the spring-check valve closes and the swing valve opens gradually to let the water flow through. The process starts all over again in a cyclic pattern. Hydraulic ram pumps are useful in areas that don't have electricity, because this type of pump does not use electrical power. Instead, the pump is driven by the pressure surge that comes from the innate kinetic energy of the water flow.