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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bblawncare, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. bblawncare

    bblawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Hello everyone-I have introduced myself here before, but have been a very sporadic poster and mostly just a lurker. I have decided tho, that I would very much like to get into irrigation work. Right now I am a solo lawn maint operator have been for nearly 19 years. Two devastating thefts of my equipment in 06 has left me looking for different and more profitable work-but still related to my field.

    I have done a lot of irrigation repairs for my customers-put in new pump (had electrician do wiring upgrade/work), taken out indexing valve and replaced with individual zone valves, added a zone to a system, replaced screens on intake lines going into canals, repaired valves, pipes, heads, etc. I have always been "afraid" to post here because so many times I see you guys say "let a pro do it", but I very much want to become a pro and the only way I know how is to actually get in there and do the work. But I also know that there can be a lot more to it than I realize, and I need to be able to ask questions. My irrigation shop is very helpful, but I want to utilize all the resources I can so I would like to be more active on here. (I can even contribute to the football banter because, besides my dogs, football is #1 here with me-2 TVs in living room going @ all times during the season)

    Anyway, back to the subject: I take this very seriously-I am not just looking to make more money-I want to do it right or I might as well not do it. I not only want to do it right, but fully understand why it is right. I have an extensive irrigation library (Turf Irrigation Manual and Trouble Shooting Irrigation Control Systems included) and am currently compiling a ring binder with anything irrigation for my van (different nozzle data, pump data, manuals for all the different controllers I encounter, valve info, troubleshooting guides, friction loss charts, and anything else I come across that I think will help me. I realize tho that experience is probably my best teacher-in fact, I probably would not understand a thing in my books if I had not already "dabbled" with it in the field.

    So, with that long winded re-introduction, here's my first question/dilema: this pressure tank system is leaking where the pressure valve connects to the pump (in fact you may be able to see the drip in the pic). I am thinking I should replace all the galvanized parts making up the T there. (the prop. owner removed the pressure switch cover) Is that correct or overkill? My second question is-is the pressure tank even necessary on an irrigation only system? I realize that is probably too general of a question and you guys may have to prod me with other questions. I can tell you that the pump is 5HP, going into a lake/pond less than 20' away with approx 5' elevation difference. The property area being watered is approx 3 acres (not sure of the flow demands of each zone-all rotors, by the way) I have no intention of taking out the pressure tank set up-I just want to understand why it is necessary or helpful. By the way, there are no QCs or hydrants.

    I respect all of your knowledge and experience and would greatly appreciate any thoughts or guidance you would allow me. And I promise to keep my posts shorter after this!

  2. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,586

    I don't normally use pressure tanks on pump systems, but w/ a 5 hp pump he might not have enough heads/zone to satisfy that pump. I don't thing you'd have to replace the parts maybe just take it apart and re-tape and thread it. but you can check the threads when you take it out, maybe it's cracked?

    Messages: 18,668

    BB I've been doing this stuff for 27 years and you are already ahead of me on this kind of stuff. So I'll stay out except to say keep posting. Most of the ones we ask to get a pro have the attitude any monkey can do it. You obviously don't. When you get to ET timer questions, wire troubleshooting, layout, dealing with customers, etc. I'll weigh in.
  4. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,444

    stay with a metal piping. pvc will not hold up to any HEAT produced by that pump, the threads will melt and cause a blow out.

    Try to find a brass nipple or just replace the current galvanized one rewrap with tape. Or reuse the original if its not too badly corroded
  5. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    If it is leaking at the pressure switch then replace the 1/4" nipple and pressure switch at the same time, this is because of the corrosion inside the 1/4" nipple. Look on the back of the pressure switch cover for the type IE: 40/60, 25/40, this is the kick-on and kick-off pressure. The system uses the pressure switch and tank for kicking on and off the pump when pressure is low vs a pump start relay which runs the pump continuously .
  6. bblawncare

    bblawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Thanks for the input so far. I will be working on this either Tues or Fri-also have to replace the screen on the intake in the pond, but I think I'm ok with that. If not tho, I'll be posting pics and questions. I've got more jobs coming up this month-valve replacement (cracked just before the T with no room for repair:cry: and coverting an old Toro Custom II hydraulic to electric)
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,629

    As others have mentioned, a brass nipple will tape cleaner and tighter.The pressure tank and switch shuts off the pump to keep it from creating too much pressure and blowing things apart.

    The other way to do it is with a pump start relay. Doing it that way you will want to use almost all of the water the pump is pumping. You may have to double jump zones to do that , or renozzle up.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,267

    A centrifugal pump, like the one in the photo, is much happier in the existing configuration, than it would be with a pump relay. It holds prime much better.
  9. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Welcome aboard again. Good questions are always appreciated. As others mentioned, retaping or replpacing your one nipple with some nice new tape may solve your leak, but evaluate once you get it apart.
  10. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,586

    that's a really big pump, how big is the system?

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