View Full Version : Installing first system using Pump from Creek

07-15-2008, 04:00 PM
Hey everyone, I have a good customer in a very rural area and cannot find a adequate fairly priced subcontractor to do a sprinkler system for him, so I am taking this on myself. The customer has an existing pump which is a:

Wacker PS2 750 he likes the pump a lot, but I am unsure how compatible it is with a irrigation system. See http://www.ishoplandscaping.com/product/Wacker-PS2-750-Electric-Submersible-Water-Pump
for the specifications.

We are designing a system for a very large area at the entry of the house using Impact heads but I am unsure of which to use for sure - local supplier recommended Rainbird 35A we need about 30'-40' distance and adjustable operation.

I have a few questions:
1) How do I know the pump is compatible with a pump start relay ? I can't find anything about this?
2) How many GPM should I use in planning zones (pump states MAX GPM at 73) can I safely use 90% of this?
3) Is 26 PSI that the pump puts out enough to run Rainbird 1800 popups? Or will these clog up using 'dirty water' - what should I use? I have one area 18' x 58' rectangle and a weird right (90degree) triangle with the sides 27x 22 x26.
4) What is the typical installation cost of a pump start relay done correctly that you bid?

Any other general advice will be greatly recommended.

I am sure this thread will grow over the next few days as I get the details of the project figured out further.

07-15-2008, 04:53 PM
if you are asking these questions, you should not put in the system.

Mike Leary
07-15-2008, 06:02 PM
Get a qualified pump guy out there & go through the
system with you..let him tell you the parameters. We can help, but our "from afar" advise could be like throwing you under the bus.

07-15-2008, 06:11 PM
Nothing can get more complicated than pumping ground water into lawn sprinklers. If it only now occurs to you to ask about it, that means you are in for a lot of searching and reading. And if you want the money for the work, then you will work for the knowledge.

Or pay someone who already has the knowledge.

Dirty Water
07-15-2008, 07:33 PM
I have a few questions:
1) How do I know the pump is compatible with a pump start relay ? I can't find anything about this?

A pump start relay is just a simple relay. The bigger question is does this pump need an additional control box, like most submerisables...HOwever, its an non issue because....

3) Is 26 PSI that the pump puts out enough to run Rainbird 1800 popups? Or will these clog up using 'dirty water' - what should I use? I have one area 18' x 58' rectangle and a weird right (90degree) triangle with the sides 27x 22 x26

26 PSI as a max operation pressure is absolutely a no go for irrigation. Ditch the pump, its design for High GPM low pressure, and what you need is 10-20 GPM with 50-60 PSI. You won't have much luck with that pump.

4) What is the typical installation cost of a pump start relay done correctly that you bid?

$0, because electrical wiring should be done by electricians :)

Any other general advice will be greatly recommended.

If you could not figure out that 26 PSI/73 GPM made this pump a lousy pump....you are in for a bit of trouble. What is your planned pipe sizes?

We have a ridiculous bid of over $5000

Red Flag Alert! The first sign of naivety is not understanding the cost of something.

07-16-2008, 01:33 AM
Rawtoxic, go to irrigationtutorials.com, get some knowledge, then come back once you know the right questions to ask.

No pro would EVER use that pump for a system. Call a local pro, pay him a consulting fee, pick his brain on the issue. Do the same for the system. AFTER you've been to the above website and learned something.

By the way, ML, all I need is ice - I like my Herradurra cold.

07-16-2008, 09:58 PM
I wanted to thank those of you who gave useful advice, I went down to my wholesale supplier and discussed the project with the manager and we have come up with a game plan for the system and he is going to come out on the weekend and help me for a few hours set everything up as he has done about 30 similar systems. My electrician I use for various tasks gave me a bid of $200 to wire the Pump Start Relay, this includes all wire and his parts, I will be buying the PSR itself - does that seem reasonable?

We will be replacing the pump with a high PSI but lower GPM pump, installing some sort of filter jets to automatically keep the filter clean, a check/foot valve will also be installed.

My bid will be coming to around $4000 with the pump replacement so the $5000 bid was not that high but I have lots of cushion in mine for first time mistakes etc. It would be interesting to note the $5000 bid did not allow for pump replacement so I guess this individual was not very qualified either or bid it without checking pump specifications.

While a bit overwhelming this is not impossible and a few hours of reading, note taking and research went a very long ways.

A few things I would like to get a few peoples opinions on:

1) He did say (wholesale supplier I entrust) we could use Rainbird 1800 popups requested by customer that we should run them without the spray nozzle filter. We are going to be using high GPM nozzles like 15H as these will not clog easily.
2) I have the max rating for the GPM and PSI - is it better to design the system using only 80% of the pumps rating to extend pump life or so system will still operate well when pump goes on a downturn? Is there a recommended 'buffer zone' ?
3) Does Pump Start Relay REALLY need to be 15' from irrigation controller customer would prefer keeping all these items near his existing utility cluster.

Thanks for any help you may offer.

07-16-2008, 10:02 PM
Dirty Water- I forgot to say I was planning on using 1" poly pipe. Any comments on this?

It was very hard to explain to my customer how his pump can adequately run 5 large impact sprinklers but will not work for our planned irrigation system. Basically I had to say "New pump or I am not installing the system"

Dirty Water
07-16-2008, 10:22 PM
1. Run the rain birds with the filters. Filters are cheaper to replace than nozzles.

2. If you are on a pump start relay, you can safely use less GPM than the pump provides. If you were on a pressure switch/tank combo you would want to avoid this.

3. The pump start relay should be next to the pump. It really doesn't matter where it is, as long as you aren't so far away that the 18 gauge relay does not lose too much voltage (ie, 1000+ feet)

4. If you are planning on using ~20 GPM, I would go with a 1.25" mainline, instead of 1". You want to keep water velocity below 7 FPS to be safe on the fittings. 20 GPM moving through 1" poly is around 8 FPS, while it is only 5.2 FPS on 1.25" pipe.

5. Impact heads operate well at extremely low pressures. Rotors and sprayheads don't. Thats all your customer needs to know :)

Finally, I recommend installing a Rusco Spindown strainer on the mainline after the pump. These can be self flushing by installing a 1/2" solenoid valve and piping it back into the creek. You can set them up as a single zone that runs from the timer for a few minutes.

Dirty Water
07-16-2008, 10:24 PM
Double post

07-16-2008, 10:28 PM
Better to use impact heads, if you can't adequately clean the water supply.

CAPT Stream Rotar
07-16-2008, 10:30 PM
use the rainbird scrubber valve for the dirty water.

def the best.

07-16-2008, 10:41 PM
I dunno, for one rectangle and one triangle, you could manage everything in a single zone.

Go old school and use brass impacts on galvanized risers.

07-17-2008, 09:54 AM

The areas I mentioned, the triangle and rectangle are the high-end yard areas like outside his outdoor bar and close to house. There is an area near his entry 10x there size we will be doing with the large impacts but it's not as important to him that coverage be flawless.

I should mention he has a creek diversion with a 55 gallon plastic drum dug in with a river rock type screening system in place that really cuts down on sediment etc. The water is pretty clean as this is Colorado mountain stream.

I am looking into scrubber valves and the other filter system this morning.

Dirty Water I was planning on using 1 1/4" pipe for the main to the valve box but in the main where I have the 'filter cleaning' jets that loop back to the pump I lose 4-5 GPM in this process from my understanding so do you think 1" would be ok from the valve box out?

07-17-2008, 10:01 AM
Use a strainer downstream of the pump, say 20 or 30 mesh. That lets you keep the strainers in the sprayheads.