Intermittent problems with irrigation pump!


Old 09-13-06, 09:31 PM
cavitation101's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: N.W. USA
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Intermittent problems with irrigation pump!

I have a Simer Irrigation Pump, Model 2830, two inch suction inlet and one & 1/2 inch discharge. It's powered by a 1 horse 220 volt single phase motor. I use it for irrigation, the pump is mounted about 24 inches above the cistern from where it pumps water. The suction line has two inch one way footvalve which is under the water about 16 inches. The irrigation ditch which fills the cistern flows fast and does not run dry. So the cistern has more than enough water.

I have had the pump for twelve years and from April-Sept every year. I normally run it 4 hours per day, 3-4 days per week. I never had a problem until now. Once the pump is primed it stays primed until it loses suction, I prime it every spring and again if I have to take the suction line apart to clean the strainer on the footvalve.

Lately, after the pump has been running for about an hour, it's output drops way off so there is not enough water for efficient irrigation. However it dosen't always do this.

I've ckd.the footvalve strainer for clogs.

I've ckd. the coupling on the suctionline for tightness and replaced the "o"ring as a precaution, ckd. coupling surfaces where the "o" sits for dirt.

I've ckd. the suctionline where it goes into elbows for leaks, I use a soap and water solution similar to thah when looking for pressure leaks on gas lines. I thought I'd be able to see the suds get sucked into the line if there was a leak.
I shut off some sprinkler heads to see if that helped, it didn't change a thing.

I called Simer Pump today. They thought the pump might be creating a vortex in the cistern, thus allowing air to enter the pump, I know that's not the case, as I've watched the cistern and the water never gets low enough to be near the footvalve.
They also suggested installing boards to divert more water into the cistern, I had already angled large rocks to divert more water to the cistern, but not impede the flow of the irrigation ditch.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

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Old 09-14-06, 06:05 AM
puey61's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
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I'll assume you have a centrifugal pump and with such you likely have a worn impeller and/or volute. I'd remove the pump housing and have a look.
Old 09-14-06, 06:40 AM
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12 years in an irrigation ditch without ever having a PM :O
The manufacturer of the pump should be able to provide you with a maintenance schedule and part #'s
Old 09-14-06, 09:38 AM
cavitation101's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: N.W. USA
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Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into it.

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