If you’ve spent much time around irrigation pumps, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes things can go awry. To save yourself from expensive repairs and potential problems down the road, you must familiarise yourself with the common problems that plague irrigation pumps and what their cause may be. Take a look at different types of irrigation valves.
Once you’ve done this, you can spot these issues coming from a mile away and stop yourself from wasting time, money and effort on something that could have been avoided altogether. Here are 6 problems that are frequently found in irrigation pump systems and what they mean.
- Low suction or flow rate
More than any other problem, a low suction or flow rate is a common area of concern for irrigation pumps. This can result in extended downtime that can cost valuable time and money and cause your project to run over its deadlines.
Several issues could be causing this, and you’ll have to do some digging to figure out what exactly is going on. Whether it’s a poorly connected motor or an obstruction in the intake line, most of the time you should be able to solve this problem quickly and easily if you know what to look for.
- Water supply problems
If little or no water is being produced by your irrigation pump, it’s pretty obvious that something is wrong. While many people would rush to blame this on an issue with the pump, in many cases it’s actually a problem with the water valve or lines that causes this.
Whether they need to be repaired or replaced will depend on the severity of the issue and how soon you catch it, so keep your eyes peeled for any signs of the water supply being compromised.
- Power supply problems
A lack of an appropriate power supply can be caused by an issue with the power grid, with the pumps providing water to the pivots using the highest amount of power. This means that the pumps are the first to be affected if there’s an issue with the power, with the voltage dropping and the amp draw on the system rising.
This will continue on until the system eventually faults due to its low voltage, and can even cause motor failures due to the increase in heat being produced.
- Water quality issues
Water quality can have a substantial impact on the wellbeing of your irrigation pump, with dirty water being expensive to filter out, damaging the pump material and seals with its chemical components and minimising the lifespan of your pump and valves.
It can also cause an increase in energy needed to pump the same amount of water, straining the system and costing more to run.
- Priming faults
If your irrigation pump has been out of use for a while, you may need to prime it to get it up and running at full capacity again. This involves flushing water back into the pump and forcing it through, creating the pressure it needs to start pumping again.
Leaks in the supply pipe and fittings as well as a decrease in water levels can prevent you from priming your system successfully, especially if it’s been shut down during the winter months. Be on the lookout for any cracks in the piping and physical damage that may have occurred.
- Poor system design
Some older or cheaper irrigation systems are poorly designed from the get-go and are likely to be plagued by issues no matter what. Whether it’s anything from the controls to the instrumentation, the bottom line is that every component of the system has to be in working order for it to function properly.
If you’re constantly facing problems with your irrigation system no matter how many times you get it repaired or how well you take care of it, this may be a warning sign that you’re stuck with a low-quality product. Consult with an expert on the best approach to take and whether certain parts can be replaced to improve their functionality.