Irrigation system on a well pump

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mihomeowner, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. mihomeowner

    mihomeowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I am on a well. I have a 12 zone sprinkler system around my house. When these are installed, are they set up so the flow rate is calculated to be exactly what the well puts out, so the well isn't cycling on and off?

    I've done some research, and I've read a couple things where people have said that your well pump should run continuously while your sprinklers are on. This make sense to me, because the well starting/stopping a bunch has got to be bad for it.

    Some zones, it runs perfectly, and the well pump and zone work in unison so that the pump isn't cycling on and off.

    However, I have a few zones where the pump will run for a minute, then shut off, then the system will lose pressure and cycle the pump back on. I can hear my pump clicking on and off about every 2 minutes. I know this can't be good for it (and it causes some water hammer as well). My system is set at 30psi low end and 50psi on the high end.

    My basic question is - am I correct in assuming it should run continuously? There must be something up with the zones in question that are making it cycle. Perhaps they aren't putting out enough water?

    Thanks for any tips.
  2. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    If the zones are close to using the total output you might be able to adjust the pressure switch or re nozzle some heads. Or install cycle stop valve
  3. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    It all depends on how your well is configured to operate. Based on your comments; to me it appears the pump is setup on a pressure switch? You could have a VFD or a Cycle Stop Valve which does function like you mentioned.

    Standard irrigation design practices are to have the zones running within 5-10% GPM of the pump output.

    You do have the right idea, but it would help if you give us some additional details.
  4. mihomeowner

    mihomeowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm trying to figure out if the zones are using too much, or not enough water.

    The I way I look at it, my pump is set from 30psi to 50psi. If a zone is making the pump cycle, it means the pump is shutting off (getting my system to 50psi). So the way to stop it from building that much pressure is to have more water flowing, so it doesn't reach 50psi. Is that correct logic?

    So these zones that are making the pump cycle, could it be that not enough water is coming out?

    When you say renozzle, are you talking about a higher flow rate nozzle?
  5. mihomeowner

    mihomeowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Yes, the pump is set up on a pressure switch. When the pressure gets to 30psi, it kicks the well pump on. When it reaches 50psi, it shuts it off. I am not familiar with VFD or a Cycle Stop Valve, but those can be installed in the well, correct?

    I'm not sure what additional information you need, but see my reply above to the other poster. If you can help and have any other questions, I would be happy to supply pictures or whatever of my setup!

    Thanks for your help
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    Wondered where you went.

    1) actual water supply in GPM.
    2) actual water demand per zone in GPM, discription of use for ea (turf, drip etc.)
    3) controller, heads, nozzles (you're getting the drift)

    Post the above without guessing, somebody will help you.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. mihomeowner

    mihomeowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    That's a lot of info that I don't have yet. I'm just trying to get a basic understanding of how this should work.

    Water supply in GPM... how do I even get that? I have to install a meter on the line most likely? (which I've considered, to measure the GPM of the zones). All the zones are for turf.

    I've thought about going around and checking the heads and nozzles. If I get the model numbers on these, should I be able add everything up and see if the flow is correct? Are sprinkler nozzles rated in GPM?

    Also, if a sprinkler head/nozzle is damaged could this affect the entire zone?

    Thanks for help.
  8. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,764

    How many seconds does it take to fill a 5 gallon bucket?
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    Almost everyone on the coast has shallow well pumps for irrigation. When I install a well, a 40-60 pressure switch is used. All you have to do is to increase your cut off pressure higher (usually a few turns). Or as mentioned increase your outflow on the rotors or add another rotor. Set your timer to about a 5 minute delay between zones to let the motor windings cool.
  10. mihomeowner

    mihomeowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Your saying a lot of people have a separate well for irrigation? I guess it makes sense. In my neighborhood in Michigan, I think everyone just has the main well for their house which also is for irrigation.

    I might try to tweak up the pressure some off of 30-50psi. It makes sense that this would help the zones that are using too much water.

    How do I increase the outflow of the rotors?

    Thanks for help

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