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You are here: Home > Sprinkler School™ > Parts and Components > Irrigation Pumps & Pump Start Relays > Pros And Cons Of Various Irrigation Pumps
Pros and Cons of Various Irrigation Pumps

Pros and Cons of Various Irrigation Pumps

Pumps - Parts and Components

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When shopping for a pump for your irrigation system, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to transfer water from your water source to your sprinkler system as efficiently as possible. An efficient pump system is one where the pump matches the needs of the water source, the piping system, and the irrigation equipment.

Because there are so many different pumps on the market in general, and a fair number of pumps designed specifically for irrigation applications, it can feel overwhelming to try and pick one. The power and capacity of the pump you choose will be based on your system's exact specifications, but knowing a few pros and cons of the various pump designs can help you decide what kind of pump you want, and give you some direction in your shopping.


Pump Type Benefits Points to Consider

Propeller

Propeller Pump
  • Simple construction
  • Doesn't need to be primed
  • Efficiently pumps very large flow rates at low TDH
  • capable of pumping water with some sand in it
  • Can use electrical or tractor power, as well as internal combustion engine
  • Portable
  • Cannot generate suction to lift water
  • Provides low (less than 75 feet) energy output
  • Cannot be valved back to reduce flow rate
  • Critical intake submergence depth

Submersible

Submersible Pump
  • Compatible with deep wells and crooked wells
  • Closed impeller for maximum efficiency
  • Doesn't need to be primed
  • Easy to install
  • Can be less expensive in applications requiring a pump with a smaller diameter
  • Ideal for booster applications
  • May be more expensive in applications requiring a pump with a larger diameter
  • Can only be powered by electricity
  • More susceptible to lightning strikes
  • Requires moving water to cool motor

Centrifugal

Centrifugal Pump

 

  • Simple
  • Highly efficient in many applications
  • Easy to install
  • Can use electrical or tractor power, as well as internal combustion engine
  • Constant flow rate
  • Doesn't overload with increased TDH
  • Priming required
  • Must be located within 20 ft. of water supply surface
  • Lost prime may result in pump damage
  • Motor may overload if the TDH is much lower than the design value

Turbine

Turbine Pump
  • Quiet operation
  • Can use electrical power or internal combustion engine
  • Efficiently provides high TDH and flow rates
  • Doesn't need to be primed
  • Compatible with well use
  • May be used in conditions where water depth fluctuates
  • May be more difficult to install, inspect, and repair
  • Impellers must be periodically adjusted to maintain high efficiency
  • Installation costs higher than centrifugal pumps
  • Repair and maintenance more expensive than centrifugal pump
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