How to choose and maintain an irrigation pump?

Annemiek Dubbe|4 minutes to read

It is important to use the correct irrigation pump for each application. But how do you know which pump it is? And what do you have to take into account? From adjustment to maintenance; we will explain it to you!

Which pump is suitable for which situation?  
Consider the size of the garden or field when choosing a pump. A self-priming jet pump is generally suitable for a normal garden. On a somewhat larger field or for a nursery with larger nozzles, a larger non-self-priming centrifugal pump is a good choice. Choose a large bore hole pump when using a large irrigation reel.

In addition, buy a pump with the right capacity; not too low or too high. A pump with a too low capacity will not reach the required pressure and litres per hour and a pump with a too high capacity will not be able to discharge the water, so the impeller will run in its own water. This causes cavitation; the pressure in the pump is then lower than the vapour pressure of the liquid. This causes air bubbles or gas bubbles in the pump which then implode. This causes damage to the pump.

How do I know if the capacity and discharge head are in accordance with the nozzles and the piping system?
In order to select the right pump, it is important to know what the pressure drop is.

Depending on, for example, the number of nozzles in combination with the nozzle type, the litres per hour are determined. The distance of the spray jet is determined by the nozzle at a certain pressure. It is a sum of the total requested litres at a certain pressure. Each pump has a curvature table. You can find this on the product page of the pumps in our webshop. Through these tables you can select the right pump. If there is a large pump in the selection, you could also choose to spray in two or more sections, so you can use a smaller pump.

What is the best way to adjust a pump? 
Does your pump have a hydrophore or other automatic turnoff? With a hydrophore, with a pressure switch or pressure regulator on the pump, the pump turns on when the pressure in the system drops below the pre-set value. It turns off when it reaches the maximum pre-set value.

In the case of a frequency control, you simply set the pressure yourself. The pump maintains the pre-set pressure throughout the system, regardless of the litres taken off. When there is little water, the pump runs slowly and therefore consumes less power.

What does the suction height actually mean? 
The suction height is the height from the water level to the level of the pump. This is a maximum of 8 meters. But beware! At an older well, the water level may drop when the pump is switched on. This also changes the suction height.

How to maintain a pump in summer and winter?
In summer: 
In a dry summer, your sprinkler pump runs overtime. Therefore, make sure that you install the pump correctly. It is important that the pump sucks in enough water and that no air is sucked in. Air in the suction line always causes problems and the pump will never reach the desired pressure and capacity. Also choose the right pump for the circumstances. A centrifugal pump can suck water up to eight meters deep. Is the groundwater deeper? Then a bore hole pump is a good option. This pump has no suction pipe and can be hung in the well at any desired depth.

In winter:
Drain the above-ground centrifugal pump well in the winter, so that there is no freezing in the pump housing. This can be done by taking the drain plugs out of the pump housing so that the water drains away. Freezing water in the pump housing causes a lot of damage and this causes unnecessary costs. A bore hole pump can seize when left over the winter. If the pump is not used for a long period of time, it is a good idea to let it run for a short time once in a while so that the pump does not get stuck.

Tip: Suction from open water
If you want to suck in from open water, make sure that no pollution, such as twigs or water plants, can get into the pump. Pollution will cause the pump to become clogged and therefore the desired capacity will not be achieved. Avoid contamination in the pump by using a suction filter and suck the water off the water surface.

Do you have questions about centrifugal pumps or bore hole pumps? Or do you need help choosing the right pump? Please contact your account manager or us by sending an email to

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Annemiek Dubbe

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