Irrigation pumps are essential components in systems which move water from one location to another for a variety of purposes. They are commonly used in boilers, filtration systems, high-rise building pressure boosting, irrigation systems, air conditioners, water-cooling systems and industrial applications.
Choosing the correct pump for a project can be a frustrating task. This guide will inform the uninitiated pump buyer how to make the right purchase the first time.
Features to Consider When Choosing an Irrigation Pump
Choosing the correct irrigation pump is crucial, as they are designed for specific industries, markets and applications. For example, ANSI Centrifugal Process Pumps are associated with industrial manufacturing of textiles, automobiles and chemicals, as well as the processing of foods and beverages.
Vertical In-Line Pumps are used extensively in plumbing and air-conditioning applications, while Vertical Multi-Stage Pumps are employed with boiler systems and high-rise building pressure-boosting systems.
Pumps are rated for efficiency, noise level, size and compactness, ease of serviceability, purchase and operating costs, interchangeability with various existing pump systems and other technical factors of pump operation, such as ratings of suction, discharge, horsepower, pressure, flow and revolutions per minute. For advanced buyers with knowledge of the calculations involved with the above factors, the next step is understanding ‘pump characteristic curves,’ which graphically depict the relationship between factors such as head, discharge, speed, power and limiting suction lift (cavitation susceptibility). These curves often make selecting a pump easier at a glance.
Know your Equipment
Start by determining the equipment that will be used with the pump. Do not buy the pump first and try to match equipment to it later. Pumps are highly-specific machines that are not easily interchangeable, and a buyer might be forced to purchase expensive, unnecessary and specialized equipment and adaptors later if the wrong pump is purchased first.
As a point in case, in home applications, such as sprinkler systems, understanding technical factors of a pump is essential because purchasing a pump with the wrong features will often result in a complete failure of the system. Pumps purchased in home improvement stores may have misleading labels. Therefore, you need to fully understand how product labels’ descriptions of gallons per minute, pounds per square inch and horsepower relate to one another in the performance of the pump. Buyers who are unable to understand these complicated relationships should consult a specialist or store attendant for advice before purchasing.
Determining Pump Size
Having chosen the equipment to be used with the pump, the following step is to choose the size of the pump needed for the job. Obviously, a farm’s irrigation needs require a much larger pump than a home sprinkler system. Often buyers of home sprinkler systems purchase far too little or far too much power for the size of their lawn. Know the size of the area you are irrigating in square feet or meters and equate this to the amount of pump power you require.
Water Source Matters
After deciding on the size of the pump needed, knowing the water source location is incredibly important. Irrigation water can come from water pipes, springs, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, drainage pipes and even wastewater sources.
The location and source of the water supply should be considered because different pump types are designed to extract and pump water from different heights. For instance, deep well submersible pumps extract water from hundreds of meters underground. They require specific design characteristics and power ratings.
Finally, price is always an issue in commercial and non-commercial pump applications. Pumps range in price from less than 100 dollars to thousands of dollars. Once you have a pump type in mind, contact a reliable manufacturer for a price quote.
This is also a terrific opportunity to discuss a project with the sales representative as a final check that you have selected the correct pump for your project. If you raise price concerns at that time, the sales department might be able to locate an alternative pump that suits your purposes. In some cases, sales representatives can point out problems with the project you are using your pump with and suggest an entirely better system for your pump application.
Pump buyers should be very careful and do their research concerning not only the pump itself, but also the equipment intended for use with the pump. Buyers should also know where the pump will be housed for space concerns, pump power needs, the source of the water supply and the prices of different pumps. In the case that questions arise, one should always consult a professional before purchasing to avoid wasting money on incompatible or inappropriate parts and equipment.