Sprinkler Pump Maintenance
We demand a lot out of pumps. In addition to the immense pressure under which they operate, there are external environmental factors like wind, rain, and dust, which can be a lot of stress for a machine to handle. As a result, pumps can become less efficient over time or occasionally malfunction or breakdown completely. Which is why regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your pumps operating at their best efficiency points. In this article, we’ll go through the key points of good sprinkler pump maintenance.
Establish a Maintenance ScheduleGood maintenance should include performing periodic inspections of your pumps. Using the manufacturer’s guidelines, establish a maintenance timeline to determine how frequently you should perform routine checks. Whether it’s monthly, annually, before and after growing seasons, having a system in place is a good defense against wear and tear and deficiencies.
Learn Your SystemOne of the simplest keys to good maintenance is simply knowing your pumps. Being observant and taking note of any leaks, strange noises or odors, or lower than usual pressure, you can catch small issues before they become major problems. This applies not only during maintenance but throughout the year. It’s particularly important to keep an eye on new parts and installations, which may leak when first put in place.
One of the common issues that arises in water pumps is cavitation, where pockets of air form in the liquid. These bubbles can cause pitting corrosion or deterioration. This issue can sometimes be detected audibly if the pump sounds like pebbles are being sent through the system. However, there are visible signs as well. And if you’re pump isn’t operating as efficiently as it should, you may have cavitation.
LubricationOne of the most important maintenance routines is keeping your pumps properly lubricated. There are two types of lubrication: water lubricated pumps and oil lubricated pumps.
Water lubrication uses the water passing through the pump to cool and lubricate the system. However, with this system, it’s important to supervise the flow, as a loss of water or cavitation can damage the system.
Some oil lubricated systems draw oil from a reservoir to keep the system lubricated. The levels in the reservoir must be regularly checked and kept at adequate levels. Refer to the owners manual for the required types of oil or grease. But applying lubricant to the bearings by hand requires caution. Just as important as ensuring the pump is adequately lubricated is ensuring that it’s not over lubricated. If the pump’s bearing has a vent cap, allow the pump to run for a half an hour without it. This should let any excess oil escape.
Mechanical and Electrical InspectionsYou’ll want to check that all mounting points and seals are secured. This is particularly true if your pump uses packing seals which tend to start leaking over time. Inspect pump flanges and couplings for leaks as well as filters to make sure they’re clean. Replace any hoses, O-rings, or seals that appear damaged or worn. And have an electrician examine the electrical components to ensure that connections are secured and operating at the correct amperage.
Performing regular maintenance on your pumps will not only keep them operating at their best efficiency points but increase their longevity as well. Those hours spent keeping pumps in top shape will save you money and headaches in the long run.