What You Need to Know About Irrigation Pumps
Are you thinking about getting irrigation pumps for your property?
Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about them here.
Irrigation has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of uses. This great advancement can help fields, crops, cities, and even things as small as your own yard. In modern times, irrigation pumps can bolster irrigation and help in more specific situations where a big system would be difficult to implement.
But what kind of irrigation pumps can people get for their homes, and how do they work? Here are some key facts to get you started.
What Do Irrigation Pumps Do? For homes and yards, irrigation pumps are basically a necessity for many types of irrigation systems. They pump the water through, giving you enough water pressure to spray through an irrigation pump system. If you're pulling from a lake, pond, municipal water source, or another source, pay attention to your water pressure. If it's not enough to run your sprinklers, you'll need an irrigation water pump. Irrigation pumps can come in various styles, but they all use a motor to pump water through your system, helping the water flow through and adding pressure. Without an irrigation pump, your water might not reach the nozzles or might not spray far beyond them.
What Kinds Are There? There are quite a few types of irrigation pumps for sale out there that you can install on your property. The main types used for yards are surface centrifugal and submersible. There are also propeller and turbine/jet pumps, but those will probably not suit your yard's needs. Aside from these irrigation pumps, there are also displacement pumps and booster pumps. Displacement pumps are typically used for thick liquids or for producing very high pressures and are not usually used in yards. On the other hand, booster pumps help provide more water pressure to systems and be quite useful in some yards. Even if someone has one of the pumps listed below, they may still need a booster pump to help things along if they don't simply want a drip irrigation pump.
Surface Centrifugal: These pumps are installed above the water level and are the most common type of lawn irrigation pump.
Typically they require "priming" or filling initially with water, although some of these pumps are self-priming. The motor spins the water inside the pump quickly, sending it out towards the exits with centrifugal force. These pumps aren't really as strong as other types of pumps, but they can do the job well enough in many situations. The most common types of centrifugal pumps are end-suction centrifugal pumps. These are oftentimes useful as booster pumps but will usually struggle as a primary pump. Other types of pumps, such as those mentioned below, may use centrifugal force, but they are considered their own category or subset. The surface centrifugal pump is relatively low power and can be cheaper and easier to use. Unfortunately, it also can get damaged if it loses its priming.
Submersible: A submersible pump is designed to be placed completely underwater, including the motor. They are much more efficient and typically don't need priming. Some downsides to these pumps are the fact that they'll usually suck a lot more power to run. Also, lightning strikes can wipe these types of pumps out, so choose wisely if you live in an area with lots of electrical storms.
Should You Get One? While you may have decided on your favorite type of pump already, don't just rush out and buy one! The kind of pump you need depends heavily on what your water situation looks like. At the very least, you need to know your irrigating system flow rate and your system operating pressure. The level of these two variables and the ratios between them will determine what kind of pump you need. Don't just buy a pump that you think will work before checking the specifications! If you have no idea how to measure rate and pressure, or even really what those mean, it's probably a good idea to consult an expert. They can look at your system and determine whether you need a pump, what kind you should get, and how it should be installed. Besides not buying a pump before you know what kind you need, you should also be wary of accidentally buying something that isn't a true system pump. Some pumps are advertised as irrigation pumps but are typically only designed for use with one hose or sprinkler head. You want something for the whole system!
You'll need to also factor in winterization if you live in a cold climate. If you leave water in your pump or hoses, the freezing weather will cause the ice to expand and crack them. It's important to avoid this costly issue! But at the end of the day, if your grass and plants are dying and you really feel like it would be helpful or necessary to add a pump, do your planning and go for it! You'll have to do all the measurements and planning, but at the end of the day, you should be quite happy with the results.
What Size Do You Need? It's important to know what size of pump you need, even if you know what type you want. There are a few key steps, which you can read more about in detail here. First, find your required Gallons Per Minute (GPM). Sprinkler heads each have their own GPM, so you'll have to find the required amount for your type of sprinkler head, then multiply it by the number of heads in your yard. Then, you'll have to calculate your Total Dynamic Head (TDH). This involves a lot of steps, but the equation is: TDH = PSI + Elevation Change + Suction Lift - Pressure Boost + Friction Loss To find out what all those terms mean, you'll want to read the in-depth instructions for calculating TDH. Finally, you'll need to know your power source and water source. Can you get electricity to your pump, or will you need gas? And is your water source clean, or will it require filtration? Once you have all of these things calculated, you can look at pump performances to see what kind of pumps offer what you need. If you find one that fits the bill, you know that's what you need for your system! Learn More! If you'd like to find out more about irrigation pumps and materials or are interested in purchasing your own system, we're here to help! We offer a wide variety of equipment to fit almost every need. And if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us or create an account! We want to make sure you feel confident moving forward with your irrigation system and pumps.