Is My Sprinkler System Killing My Well Pump?
Posted by J. Mastro on July 18, 2001 at 13:55:31:
A couple of weeks ago I had a sprinkler system installed We landscaped our backyard which has a 45
degree incline peaking about 50 ~75 feet above the main floor of our home. The system has zones
that start at the bottom & run all the way to the top of the hill. Since we have a well, & due to the lay
of the land, there were some questions about recovery rate, gallons per minute, holding tank pressure,
etc. Long story short, the installer was able to deal with the issues, and we have a functional sprinkler
system with 10 zones. I noticed that increased my holding tank pressure from 30~50psi to 50~70psi,
(where as the lower number represents when the well pump turned on & the high is the cut off pressure).
The holding tank is 44 gallons with a relief valve set to blow @ 75psi, (or so the label on the tank says) -
tank max working pressure is 100psi. The other morning, I noticed that the system was still on and
decided to go into the basement just to check things out. The pressure gauge was @ about 65psi and the
well pump was running. As I watched the gauge to see how long it took the well to build up to the 70psi
cutoff point, I was surprised to see that it was hardly moving. I watched it through one zone's cycle, (about
10 minutes) & it stalled at about 67psi; the pump never stopped. From what I could see, the rate of the
water pumped from the well equaled the rate going out to the sprinkler heads. Now here's my concern.
Considering a full watering cycle runs for about two+ hours & what I witnessed wasn't a freak, I'd say
there's a pretty good chance that my well pump will be running almost nonstop for a good two hours every
time I water. The big question here is - is this OK or will it eventually lead to a failure? I really don't
want to go back to the installer yet with this type of a question as it may be asking the proverbial fox if the
chickens in the coop are ok -- Any comments you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

J. Mastro

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