Can pumps get tired? Please help

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by banksant, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. banksant

    banksant New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
    I have just had a brand new Rainbird sprinkler system professional installed. The water is pulled by a pump from a spring fed large pond. There are 9 zones with only 3 sprinkler head per zone. The very next day and the first time I had it on automatic timing I noticed the sprinkle heads in Zone 7 hardly working.i.e., a very low pressure. I switched it off and restarted in that same zone manually and the pressure was fine. The next day the exact same thing happened in Zone 6. I have had the company out but they cannot find anything wrong with it. The service guy said it must be some dirt in the system that keeps another zone on that causes the other zone pressure to be so low. I do check and there are no other zones on. Its as though the pump gets tired and does not pump out as much water. once it has been on for a while? If I turn the pump off and restart it the pressure is then OK. This morning the pressure was so low that I had to pull up the head myself and then the water came through, but still as a low pressure. The pump is obviously working and I did check to see if it is maintaining its prime and it is. But it is unable to maintain the pressure throughout all the zones. ( I have noticed the problem on zone 6,7 and 8). I then have to do it manually. The problem is only when the system is on automatic and the pump as been on a long time, the pressure drops. Any help would be most appreciated.

    The pump is a Berkley ( on the land not submerged) 1HP, KW.76 , V115/230, RPM 3450, Hz 60, the only other number on the pump is 10HN

    Can pumps get tired?

    Thanks so much
  2. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    check the foo tvalve for blockage at the screen
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Pumps dont get tired until old age, but PRO'S sometimes get lazy

    You need a very serious screen around that footvalve and a means to get to it easily. Then I would have a couple of 10 or 20 micron filters after the pump, before the valving. without that, you are going to go nuts fixing valve and spray heads weekly. Pieces of a fish or bug moving at random through your valves will make them useless after a few hundred gallons of pond water.

    If your "PRO" didnt tell you that, better drop that phrase to JOE.

    After filtering is in place you might have to open up each valve to get the muck out. The fun of a job half done!

    PS ...... Of course your pro has unions at the valves so you can remove them easily, right?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  4. banksant

    banksant New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
    Sorry what is the "screen" please? Is this the end of the foot valve?
  5. banksant

    banksant New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks so much for the replies. I do have a pre pump filter? Should I also put on a post pump filter? The foot value in a small container with meshing around it. but I am going to do a better job with some lava rock as well. . The pump was not new probably 7 years old. as I had a previous cheaper sprinkler that I had lots of problems with, ( as you have described changing valves etc) and I got so fed up with it, I decided to go with a complete new system and now faced with this problem. The pre pump filter is new, I did not have that before, so I was upset that I now have this problem. At least it is not the pump. Thanks
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You never want a filter on the suction end. move it after the pump. Improve the pond "filter". Such things are sold commercially. I would gang up 2 or three, 50-20- 10 micron if you can keep you flow rate or parrallel 2 units with a 20 just after the pump, or do a long tom filter, but the economics of filters seem better on the small sizes. I find them for $1.60

    You might be getting air intrusion SLOWLY on that suction filter and that takes out your pressure over a few minutes of run.

    If its a standard "true value" type whole house filter, they are not designed for suction applications, especially if it has an air release valve.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  7. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    I have a suspicion that the screen around the foot valve is probably loading up with leaves and crap as the pump is under suction, then when it shuts down the crap falls off the screen and all is well for awhile.
  8. banksant

    banksant New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
    Can pumps get tired

    Thanks for the help. I looked at the pre filter attachment and one of the clips supporting the pipe was broken so air could have been getting in there. I moved the filter to post and all seems to be working now.
    Thanks again
  9. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    there you go
  10. banksant

    banksant New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
    Jet pump keeps turning off

    My jet pump which sucks water out of my pond for the sprinkler system turns its self off as soon as I swtich it on. It is not tripping the fuse, the pump itself is just turning off. Is the pump shot? Do i need a new one? It is wired in directly and we have not chagned anyhting to the wiring when it was working ( no extension cords)
    Thanks
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,450
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    It may be tripping the motors internal breaker.

    The start switch may not be working or the capacitor may be bad.

    You might want to see if you can rotate the motor shaft, to see if the impeller will turn.
    If it does not turn then you could have a bad bearing, or trash in the pump.


    DonL
  12. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    Oak leaves.
  13. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I suspect the nozzle in the venture of the pump is plugged or partially plugged. This prevents the pump from building pressure. Try removing the smal 1/8" or 1/4" pipe plug below the suction line on the pump and run a stiff rod in the hole to clean out the nozzle. If this is plugged or partially plugged the pump may pump but will not build pressure. NOTE: Be sure the power is off and pressure is drained before removing the plug. Jet pumps don't usually wear out, but the nozzles do plug up!
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