Knowing about your sprinkler pumps is important if you want a healthy, green lawn. By counting on the services of Sprinkler Master Repair, we’re here to help you know all you need to know when it comes to these important pumps. If you have any questions or concerns, or perhaps if you’d just like to get in touch with us, click here to be directed to any of our franchise locations around the United States!
Sprinkler Pumps are used to increase pressure in a sprinkler system. Pumps are typically used in low-pressure or large systems. They are usually between 3 and 5 horsepower, depending on the size of the sprinkler system, and are usually connected to 115 volts and 230 volts. The pipe sizes are usually between 1 and two inches with not much fluctuation in between. Though the pumps are simple enough, there are things you’ll need to do to maintain them properly.
Click here to watch a video that gives a general overview of the sprinkler pump, and get in touch with any of our Sprinkler Master Repair locations to get your questions answered or your needs met!
Names of Parts:
Pump: These increase water pressure and volume and are run by an electric motor.
Pump Start Relays: These are electrically operated switches that turn on the pump. It’s started by a surge from the sprinkler timer that sends the power to the pump.
Foot Valves: These valves let water into the system and prevents the pump from draining out. Usually, these are used when you’re pulling water from a body of water such as a canal or a lake.
Loss of Prime Switches: are switches that will turn off the pump if there is no water coming into the pump. This prevents pump burnouts.
Above-Ground Sprinkler Pumps: boost the water pressure in the system by a significant amount. A downside is that they are very expensive, both to buy and repair.
Common Problems with Sprinkler Pumps:
- Not getting power
- The pump is bad
- Cracks in the pump causing leaks
- Bad pump start relay
- Not enough water getting to the pump
- Clogged filter
How to Diagnose and Repair Problems:
With a pump, there can only be 3 sources to a problem.
1. The pump is bad
2. Power isn’t reaching the pump
3. Water is not getting to the pump
You know the pump is bad if there is power running to it, but it’s still not functioning. Use a multimeter to test if there is power on the wires. If the pump is bad, you will most likely need to replace it or have it rebuilt. If no power is getting to the pump, use a multi-meter to see if you are getting power.
There are 4 things that could be why the pump is not getting power:
- Power In: Check and see if there is power coming to the relay. If there is not power, the breaker might have tripped.
- Relay Switch: If power is coming to the relay switch, check the outgoing part to see if you are getting power going out of the relay. If no power is going out, it is most likely a bad relay switch.
- Bad Wiring: If you are getting power going out of the relay but not to the pump, most likely there is a break in the wire.
- Loss of Prime Switches: You can manually override the loss of prime switch to see if that is causing the problem. If the loss of prime is turning off the pump, it’s most likely doing its job and the system lacks the incoming pressure to run stably. If it has enough PSI, but the switch is not working, the switch could be bad but if its low PSI, it could be a filter that needs to be cleaned.
How to Install or Repair:
Pumps should be installed on a flat, secure surface such as a plastic box or cement. Pumps should also be installed with a cover to protect them from weathering and wearing prematurely. For installation of the electrical components, make sure to follow all guidelines from the pump manufacturer, and know if it’s 110 volts or 220 volts coming to the pump. Whenever dealing with any electrical parts on the pump, ensure the breaker is turned off.
If a pump goes out, it can be replaced and hooked back up as long as none of the existing wires are modified or changed. A pump should be on its own breaker and connected to a relay. When connecting a pump to a sprinkler system, make sure it comes right off the main water supply before it connects to any components (except a filter and main valve). Usually, the main water supply connects to the center of the pump (usually a 1 ½ inch female connection) and comes out of the top or side (usually a 1-inch female connection). Since pumps are installed above ground, make sure to use the galvanized pipe.
When you’re finished with the pumps, make sure they are primed — which means that they have water inside that can keep the pieces lubricated. However, if there is pressure coming into the system, you usually won’t have to prime. In the case that you do, there is a primer access port usually on top of the pump. Remove the plug and pour water into it, replace the plug and run it for a few seconds.
Tips and Tricks:
Pumps often run at expensive prices. Be sure that you know what you’re doing, or get in touch with any of our Sprinkler Master Repair locations by clicking here. Our experienced and qualified sprinkler technicians can get the job done right the first time. Choose Sprinkler Master Repair to work on your sprinkler pumps, and so much more!
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I have a new cast iron 1.5hp sprinkler pump I use to pull water from a lake. Works great. In the fall I bring it inside and then reinstall it in the spring (our winters are long and cold). It is currently not covered when installed. Is this a problem? Given the location etc I’d rather not put a cover or box around it.
Thanks for any guidance on this.
Sorry for the very late reply, we’re definitely trying to be better at responding in a timely manner to anyone with questions.
It depends entirely on the pump. If you have the manual still, I would try looking throught hat to see if it has anything inside regarding whether or not it needs to be covered.
I’d say that if it’s waterproof, you should hopefully be fine to leave it uncovered for shorter periods. But the risk is cast iron rusts fairly easy if there’s any nick in the paint anywhere.
If it’s possible, I would at least put some kind of roof over it, while still allowing the pump to breathe.
Again, certainly make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your pump first.