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Irrigation Water Pumps Are A Crucial Component of Your Irrigation System

So, you’ve designed your dream landscape and you’re ready to buckle down and bring it to life. Chances are, you’ve reached the conclusion that an irrigation system would be an effective and efficient way to provide the water required to sustain your landscape.

Before you get much farther on putting your plans into action, consider the role of irrigation water pumps within the design of your irrigation system. Irrigation pumps are a crucial component of your irrigation system and play a huge role in its success.

It’s important to understand the role of the irrigation pump. So, consider the function of the pump and the types that are available. An irrigation pump is used to push water through the irrigation system – usually from a water source to another location (as in, from a pond, lake, or well and into your garden).

There are two main types of pumps:

  • Displacement pumps are primarily used to move either thick liquids (like fertilizers or chemicals) or liquids at high pressure. Since displacement pumps are not often used in an irrigation system, you will most likely be considering a centrifugal pump for your design.

  • Centrifugal pumps spin water at very high speeds through a chamber or casing. This action creates enough pressure to move the water through the system (think of the barrel ride at an amusement park).

The most common type of centrifugal pump is an end–suction pump. This type is mounted directly to an electrical motor and may look like a single unit, rather than a separate pump and motor. Water generally enters through a side inlet (also called a suction inlet) and exits through the top. Most portable pumps are end-suction pumps.

Also, if you go with an end-suction pump and are getting your water supply from a body of water (like a lake or stream), then make sure you install it on a secure pad situated above the high water level.

A submersible centrifugal pump is one that, as the name implies, is completely submerged in water. These are typically a single unit of combined pump and motor and are shaped like a cylinder. This is because they are designed to fit inside of a well casing. However, you can also use a submersible in a stream or lakebed by laying it on its side or mounting it to a pier pile (a post).

Many centrifugal pumps will require a sleeve to fit over the pump to keep the motor cool – without one, you may run the risk of burning up the motor. And, since the power chord will run through the water, be sure to keep it wrapped and protected from damage. The advantage to a submersible pump is that, because it’s already under water, it doesn’t need to suck the water into the pump. So, the centrifugal pump can be more efficient.

Turbine pumps are used for your more large-scale irrigation systems – like a golf course or a city water system. Quite efficient, these pumps are basically centrifugal pumps connected to a motor by a long shaft and use gravity to move the water through the system.

The reason it’s so important to understand the basic types of pumps is because the pump is what enables you to get the water where you need it to go – without a pump, you don’t have an irrigation system! And what’s more, the design of an entire irrigation system is dependent on the type of pump you have.

Your irrigation system won’t work if you have the wrong kind of pump. So understanding how the pump works will help ensure your irrigation system will provide the adequate flow of water needed to make your landscape dream a reality.

For more information irrigation components, please read overview on irrigation systems.

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