irrigation pump problems-need advice

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Old 06-14-09, 03:32 PM
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irrigation pump problems-need advice

about a month ago we had a flotec 1.5 hp pump installed to my current irrigation system that was previously running on our city water. the irrigation system only has 1 zone. for the first 2 weeks the pump ran great with great pressure, but during the last few weeks the pump will not reach the designated 40 psi that we had set for shut off. it stays around 20-30 psi and will occasionally dip to around 10 psi and then surge back up to 20-30 psi, but will now never get any higher than that. this isn't enough pressure to raise the sprinklers heads and the pump just continues to run. we had a hose bid installed just below the pressure and we i turn that on we get a pretty steady flow of water, but again, it will surge up and down every few seconds between 10-30 psi. what do you think the problem could be?
 
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Old 06-14-09, 05:00 PM
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It sounds to me like there is air in the system. If the pump is sucking in air somewhere, that can cause it to surge, and not build up pressure like it should. It may also have air trapped in the pump.
It may be something to look for.


Travis
 
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Old 06-14-09, 06:23 PM
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thats what i've been told by just asking around. so how can you diagnose if thats it or not? how can that be fixed? would the entire plumbing need to be taken apart and then re-plumbed?
 
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Old 06-14-09, 07:21 PM
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You say you were using city. Try re priming the pump again, and see if that helps. Is your sprinkler system still hooked to city water? Try using it to pressure your system up, and look for leaks from the pump back to it's source.


Travis
 
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Old 06-15-09, 05:04 AM
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no, its not hooked up to the city water supply anymore. how can it be re-primed?
 
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Old 06-15-09, 07:54 AM
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It sounds like the pump is either sucking in air, as waterwelldude stated, or the pump is starving for enough water. A pump can only pump as much water as is being supplied.
What is the source for water, now that is't no longer on city water?
Ron
 
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Old 06-15-09, 08:35 AM
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its a shallow well about 15 feet. but i live on a barrier island about 100 yards from a sound (bay). you can hit water here at about 2 feet with a shovel....we are basically at sea level. i know it hasn't rained in a while, but i would think there's water down there. if it is sucking air, how can i figure out where the air is coming in at?? or would i just need to replumb the whole thing?
 
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Old 06-15-09, 11:57 AM
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New wells need to be developed before they will work very well. To develop them, surging air compressors, fresh water, etc. is used. Google "Water Well Development"

If the intake screen (there is one?) or the pipe is in fine beach sand, it won't work very well. Course bar sand is best, so you may not be deep enough. Fine sand does not allow water to flow through it. Tends to pack tight when wet.

If you are looking for leaks, then the best way is to use shaving cream. Slather it pretty thick around a joint, then turn the pump on. Take your time and swivel your head underneath and all around. Look for a dimple or pinhole in the shaving cream. After a few minutes, move to the next. Take your time.
 
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Old 06-15-09, 05:14 PM
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ok. i re-primed the entire pump and after re-adjusting the manual solenoid valve by accident, the system worked! so, my pressure is holding steady when the pump is off and is working at about 15-20 psi when on. i have to manually turn the solenoid valve to get the whole thing to work. what could the problem be?? do solenoid valves get clogged? remember, i went from city water to a shallow well, so could that have clogged the valve so it doesn't have enough power to open fully unless manually turned?? the battery on the solenoid is at half power according to the battery icon on it. the battery hasn't been replaced in 3 years.
 
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Old 06-15-09, 05:40 PM
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"do solenoid valves get clogged?"

If they do, they won't close fully. Dirt gets in there and keeps them from snapping shut.
 
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