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1

Wednesday, September 20th 2006, 5:38pm

Pump Problems

Hi All;

I hope this is not too much information. I am not trying to write a novel, but I have noticed that most of you seem to prefer as much detail as you can get. If it is over kill, please excuse the rookie move.

I have just finished putting in a complete system.

1) Pump = Berkeley SSHM-2 (2HP - 250ft head - 108 psi)
2) Sprinklers = Rainbird 5004 (54 of them)
3) Control Unit = Rainbird ESP 4 MI with 13 Zones (8 active)
4) Pump Start Relay = Hunter PSR 22
5) Pump Inlet/Outlet = Both are 2 inches
6) Main Line = 2 inch PVC
7) Feeding Lines to Sprinkler Heads = 1 1/2 inch

The pump moves water from a pond, up a 50 foot hill, and then to the zones. The longest zone is about 150ft of 2" and 175ft of 1 1/2". PSI is unbelievable (60psi at the head) I have put a pressure switch on the pump as I have also run two 3/4" water spickets to do things like pressure wash the house, driveway, etc.

We were setting up the sprinklers today (the throw and radius) and after about the 6th zone the pump shut down. At first we thought the controller had run out of time, but after restarting it, it once again quit. I noticed on this particular zone that the pump seems to be "hammering" This is probably the closest zone and it has only 5 sprinkler heads in the zone.

My first thought was that there may be too much pressure, but I also noticed the pump seemed to be quite warm. It wasn't too hot to touch, but still it was warm.

The pump was starting, and stopping, starting and stopping. I shut it down, and turned off the breaker just to be safe. I don't believe it was the pressure switch, as the pressure never gets up high enough to shut it down. (It seemed to be hovering around 85 pounds according to the pressure guage on the pump - and the pressure switch is 85-100psi) I was hoping a few of you might have an idea of where to start troubleshooting.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Donn.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,088

Location: Metro NYC

2

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 2:31am

Flow rates per zone? Height of suction lift? A quick google search suggests that you should be running around 20 to 30 gpm. I kind of doubt that you want a pressure switch setting of 85-100. It might be that the motor is overheating, and the thermal protection is cutting in and out. Those additional faucets are probably a bad idea, unless you add a pressure tank to the main line.

3

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 5:47am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Wet_Boots</i>
<br />Flow rates per zone? Height of suction lift? A quick google search suggests that you should be running around 20 to 30 gpm. I kind of doubt that you want a pressure switch setting of 85-100. It might be that the motor is overheating, and the thermal protection is cutting in and out. Those additional faucets are probably a bad idea, unless you add a pressure tank to the main line.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I understand what you are saying about the faucets. The pump manufacturer says not to use a pressure tank with it's pump. The suction lift is about 6-8 feet max and the nozzle settings call for about 2.5 GPM per nozzle at this point.

As I mentioned, there seemed to be no problem until we got to this zone. It is the closest zone to the pump, and also the least amount of sprinkler heads.

If the pump is over heating, do you have any idea of why?

I don't believe the pressure switch ever comes into play unless I am running water through the faucets.

Any information would certainly be appreciated.

Donn.

PS. The total lift to the highest point in the system is a maximum of 50 feet. D.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,088

Location: Metro NYC

4

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 8:20am

The manufacturer recommends no pressure tank? Interesting. That's almost admitting that the pump isn't stable over the same rate of flows and pressures a single-stage jet pump is. (those faucets won't do it any good) You can always increase the nozzle sizes in the one zone, and try to bring down the operating pressure.

Also, be sure there's no voltage drop in the wiring to the pump. Low voltage is not good for motors.

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