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Solar Powered Irrigation Pump, water just keeps on RUNNING!

Solar Powered Irrigation Pump, water just keeps on RUNNING!

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  #1  
Old 05-06-12, 03:55 PM
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Question Solar Powered Irrigation Pump, water just keeps on RUNNING!

There is no electricity available on our remote property. We have a submersible deep well pump that we run with a generator when we are there. Have a 500 gallon tank that we fill from our well. Have a 180 gallon an hour Shurflo pump hooked to a solar panel, battery and 12 volt irrigation clock to pull water out of the tank and run a 180 emitter drip system for our orchard, blueberries and garden. Cool huh!

Here's the issue. The outflow valve off of the tank is about 30 feet uphill (about a 3ft rise) from the water pump. When the tank is full the water level is about 9 feet above the pump.

After the water leaves the pump it runs down hill 200 feet (about a 30 ft drop). The pressure from the tank and the suction from the drop overwhelm our 200 psi check valve we installed after the pump.

We installed an inline irrigation valve and hooked it so it opens when the pump comes on. Great! But it doesn't close after the pump shuts off. Installed a 2nd 200 psi check valve after the first one. Now we have an irrigation valve and 2 200 psi check valves and the water just keeps on flowing.

Any ideas? We have taken apart the valve, played with the bleeder and flow valve AND loosened the casing screws to loosen up the diaphram. We changed the 24 ac volt solenoid over to a 12 volt dc one the new dc one gets hot (anyone know why?).

Our best result so far has been to open the bleeder, which opens the valve (duh) but the suction slows down and wastes considerably less water.

I am at my wits end. Almost ready to put a ball valve on a stock tank and draw from the stock tank. That would require lots of digging and plumbing changes. I am new here. Hope someone out there is smarter than me!!!

Thanks,

Leslie
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-12, 10:35 AM
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I just had an idea valve guys can you confirm?

If I hook the pump up to S1 on the irrigation clock and the solenoid to MV so the solenoid fires before the pump it will still open when the pump comes on. Will it close before the pump goes off? (a few seconds) Is it the pressure difference that is messing with the valve closing?
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-12, 10:48 AM
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You've given a lot of information about several different things and I'm getting confused. Right now I am focusing on your one issue with the check valve. What is the purpose of the check valve? Is it to prevent the tank from siphoning dry when your irrigation pump (Shureflow 180) turns off?
 
  #4  
Old 05-07-12, 04:52 PM
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The one, then 2 200 psi check valves were to stop the flow when the pump shut off. They don't. Then I installed the irrigation valve which opens on cue but doesn't close after the solenoid closes or manually when we bypass the electonics.
 
  #5  
Old 05-08-12, 04:36 AM
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A check valve allows water to flow in one direction. If your plumbing is downhill from your pump causing a siphon a check valve will not work since the water flow with the pump on or off is always in the same direction, down hill.

What type of irrigation valve are you using? Some types require water pressure behind the valve to operate. Basically using a servo system where the electric solenoid opens & closes a small valve which lets the water pressure open and close the big valve. Without water pressure behind the valve it might not close or close competely. If you are using a valve like used in a residential landscape irrigation system you may need to consider a non-servo operated valve like an electrically operated ball valve. You could also try commanding the irrigation valve to close while the pump is still running. Let the valve close and then turn off the pump. I'm not sure if it will remain closed when the pump is off and the pressure drops but it might be worth a try.
 
  #6  
Old 05-08-12, 05:16 AM
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It is a 200 psi valve. It needs 200 psi to open, it's spring loaded. Never in a million years thought we'd get that much pressure so close to the tank without the pump on.

I am going to switch the pump and the solenoid this weekend so the solenoid closes first. Only a short delay, not sure if long enough for the valve to close may have to get another clock.

As far as that electrically operated ball valve, I am on my way to google right n....
 
  #7  
Old 05-08-12, 05:33 AM
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wow

321 bucks . Have to try the wiring switch over first.
 
  #8  
Old 05-13-12, 02:14 PM
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OK, no matter what I tried the valve wouldn't close, ran zone 2 forever!. It was the *&%*! brand new 12 volt solenoid. It opens and never closes again. Put in the 24 volt one that came with the valve and walla! The water stopped running. Every single time. Programed zone 2 to run for 1 minute just in case so the pump would run with solenoid off if for some reason it doesn't have enough pressure to close while we are gone.

Woo hoo, all that just for a faulty solenoid....boy do I feel dumb.
 
  #9  
Old 06-13-12, 05:13 AM
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Follow up

It's been exactly one month and everything is working as planned. Orchard and kiwis are doing great no supplimental watering needed. Blueberries and the garden get a good soak everytime we go up. Surprised how well everything is doing and we aren't there to babysit them. Soooo looking forward to living there when we retire.
 
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