Sprinkler Pumps FAQ

Questions & Answers

Can I install the sprinkler pump vertically?
Pump MUST be installed horizontally on a solid flat surface, with discharge on top.
Can I leave the pump right out in the rain and sun?
No, the pump motor is “drip-proof” but not weather-proof. Protect the unit from weather and water damage due to rain or flooding or freezing temperatures. Allow adequate space for servicing and ventilation.
The piping that’s already in place in my system is smaller than the connections on the pump. Is that OK?
Piping should be no smaller than the suction and discharge connections and kept as short as possible avoiding unnecessary fittings to minimize friction losses. If the suction pipe is smaller, the pump will have trouble drawing the water in. This could cause cavitation in the pump and will reduce the pump’s performance. If your depth-to-water is close to the limits of what the pump can lift, a smaller pipe could mean the difference in whether it will pull up the water at all. On discharge side, a smaller pipe will reduce the amount of pressure that makes it to the far end, and can cause excessive back-pressure in the pump. This will mean your sprinkler heads will not put out the pattern they should and the pump’s life could be shortened.
Do I have to support the piping?
All piping MUST be independently supported and MUST NOT place any piping loads on the pump. Do not force piping into place at pump suction and discharge connections.
Why doesn’t my sprinkler pump deliver a lot of pressure?
Sprinkler and centrifugal pumps are designed to deliver a lot of water but not a lot of pressure. They are designed for irrigation systems or for transferring high volume of water at 30 to 40 PSI discharge pressure . They are not designed to run one or two lawn sprinklers.
Why doesn’t my new lawn sprinkler pump hardly puts out any water through two garden hoses?
If you have the pump connected to a system that does not allow the required amount of water flow, the pump will not perform properly. For one or two regular lawn sprinklers connected to a hose or two, you would be better served by a jet pump.
Will the pumps you sell replace the 1-1/2 HP another Brand self priming pump that I have?
The pumps that we sell should match or exceed the performance of the pump that you are replacing. To find out which of the pumps will work right for you, you will need to know how much water your sprinkler system needs (in GPM) and at what pressure (in PSI. Different brands do not necessarily have the same mounting dimensions and might need re-piping. The horsepower rating is not the only piece of info that is important.
How high can above ground pumps lift water?
All sprinkler and centrifugal pumps are considered to be for “shallow wells.” A shallow well is defined to have a depth-to-water of 25’ or less at sea level. Depth-to-water is the depth from the level where the pump will sit, down to the surface of the water. It is NOT the total depth of the well. Please note that in higher altitudes, that depth may be less. Very high altitudes may be only 18’ – 20’ or so.
Can sprinkler pumps pull water out of a lake or river, too?
Yes. Sprinkler & centrifugal pumps can use any source of clean, fresh water. If pulling from a lake, river, or stream, you should install a foot valve with a large screen area so that foreign objects (seaweed, fish, etc.) cannot be pulled in.
I have a well point that I need to pull water from. Will it be able to supply enough water?
In most cases, you are going to need more than one well point in order to provide enough water for a sprinkler pump. Most systems are designed to flow between 30 and 60 GPM (gallons per minute) and that much water usually can’t be supplied by one well point. You may need to drive down more and connect them together.
My sprinkler system doesn’t use as much water as this pump will put out. What are my other options?
It is best to match the performance of the pump to the requirements of the system. That way, you are not paying for electricity to run a higher horsepower pump than you need. If this is not an option for some reason, you can put in a bypass line. At the discharge of the pump put in a tee. Run half of the tee out to your system. The other half you will run to a gate valve and then back to the source of water. You can adjust the gate valve to a point where the sprinkler system is getting the water it needs, while the excess water is going back into the source of water.
The manual says to connect my power wires to two screws in the motor. Does it matter which screw gets which color wire?
No. As long as you have been careful to match the incoming voltage to the voltage the motor is set for, it doesn’t matter which screw gets which wire. There is no “polarity” in the AC voltage these pumps use.
I have 230v at the pump but I have four wires: Black, Red, White, and Green (or bare). Where do they go?
When running on 230v you don’t use the white wire. Connect the Black & Red wires to L1 & L2 and connect the green or bare ground wire to the green ground screw.
How can I tell whether I have 115 volts or 230 volts?
The best way is to have a professional electrician check the voltage at the wire where you will connect the pump. Match the motor’s voltage to the incoming voltage. You can also trace the wiring back to the circuit breaker (or fuse) box. See if the wires connect to a single pole breaker or to a double breaker. A single breaker will be 115v. The double-wide breaker is usually for 230v…….but….if you are wrong the motor will burn.
I checked with a meter and have two115v wires connected to my pump motor, but it won’t run. Why?
You should check the voltage between the two wires; NOT the voltage from each wire to ground. It is possible for a system to be connected with two 115v wires coming out but the two wires may have been connected to the same “leg” of power in the breaker (or fuse) box. This results in a net voltage of zero at the pump. You need to have a double-pole breaker in the breaker box to supply 230v. Consult with a qualified and competent electrician .
I have 240 volts instead of the 230 volts specified in your manual. Can I use the pump?
Yes you can, pumps can run 10% over or under the nameplate rating. There are two basic systems in place in the US. The most common one runs on 230 volts and it also called 220v or 240v.. The other system is a 208 volt system. If you have a 208 volt system, it can be too low to provide power to the pump when it’s set for the higher 230 volt setting. In a case like this you may need to switch the motor to run on 115v and supply that voltage to the unit. Be sure your wire is heavy enough gauge to feed the pump (see your owner’s manual for details).
Is it cheaper to run the pump on 230 volts instead of 115 volts?
No, the kilowatt usage is identical. You pay for kilowatt usage. A kilowatt is 1000 watts. A watt is 1 volt times 1 amp. To figure out the math we take the voltage the pump is running on (115v or 230v) and multiply that by the amps it draws. When we look at the performance of a pump we see that the amp draw when running on 230v is half what it is when running on 115v. The one place where you can see a savings by running on 230v is when setting up the system. Because the pump pulls fewer amps hen running on 230 volts, you can usually use a slightly lighter gauge wire. The savings is in purchasing that lighter wire.
I don’t have a green or bare ground wire coming out to the pump. How do I ground this?
You should consult with a qualified and competent electrician to ground the equipment as per all applicable electrical codes and ordinances.
What size generator do I need to run this pump?
You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts. An AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ˝ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs. This is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.
Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?
You should contact a qualified and competent contractor. Installation and parts manuals are provided only as reference tools. The manufacturer does not make any representation or warranty of any kind to the Buyer that he or she is qualified to neither install nor make any repairs to the product. In fact, most manufacturer expressly state that installation, repairs and parts replacements should be undertaken by qualified and competent technicians or contractors and not by the Buyer.
Do I need to use a check valve or foot valve with this pump?
Use a check valve or foot valve to maintain the prime in the pump between uses. If none is present you would need to prime the pump every time you use it. The check valve should be installed in the suction side piping as close to the source of water as possible. It should not be installed within 2’ of the pump’s inlet. A foot valve functions just like a check valve plus has a strainer on it. It goes on the end of the suction line in the water.
Can I use a sprinkler pump to boost the water pressure in my house or sprinkler system?
A sprinkler pump can be used as a pressure booster, with a few limitations. First, the total of the incoming pressure plus the boost pressure cannot exceed the pumps maximum working pressure. Most thermoplastic pumps are not recommended for booster service since they cannot exceed 70 psi. Most cast iron pumps, can handle 80 -100 total pressure. The second thing to consider is pump cycling. A pressure tank, sized for a one-minute pump run time, must be added to the system. The third thing to consider is that the sprinkler pumps are not high pressure pumps. They can add a bit to the incoming pressure but not usually a lot.
Will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than I am manual system?
No, an automatic sprinkler system may actually save water. A well designed irrigation system applies exactly the amount of water needed by your landscape. You will never again have to worry if you forget to turn off the hose. Plus, with a rain shut off sensor your system will know when it is raining and simply turn it off when water is not needed. Does having a sprinkler system really save me time? Yes, your new system will do all the watering for you, even when you are away from home.
Will automatic sprinkler system water as well as I do when I water by hand?
An automatic sprinkler system will do a more efficient job because it will be designed based on your landscapes diverse watering needs, using specific products designed to water grass, trees, shrubs or garden plants. What are the components of an automatic sprinklers system? A typical system includes a controller (which functions as the brains of the system), valves (which open and close to release and stop the flow of water to underground pipes) and sprinklers (which distribute water to specific areas). The sprinkler system can be customized further with rain shut off devices, soil moisture sensors and drip irrigation zones.
Can I save money by installing my own system?
It depends. Remember, product cost is only one part of an efficient irrigation system. Experienced professional irrigation contractors bring years of experience designing and installing the most cost-effective and efficient irrigation systems. Contractors have also invested heavily in specialized installation equipment to help speed up the job and many have gone through detailed training courses and certifications.

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