Selecting the right pump control box can affect your project’s timeline, budget and the performance and longevity of the irrigation system. With a little planning, you can select a pump control box that best suits the job, allowing you to confidently move on to your next job. Here are the top four tips to help you get started.
TIP #1 – Understand the System
As you review the irrigation system, keep these questions in mind.
- Does the system require multiple controllers or multiple pumps?
- Do you need to limit run time and frequency of a pump or lighting system?
- Are you trying to maintain a liquid or tank level? Or do you need a simple pump start relay for turning the pump on and off?
Determining the primary function of the control box will help you define your needs and requirements.
TIP #2 – Determine Which External Device is Being Used to Signal the Pump Start Relay
Pump start relays work with a variety of start/stop signal devices. The type of device, and the signal it provides, will contribute to which pump control you require. When you take a look at how the irrigation system is configured, pay attention to:
- Lawn controller(s) – some lawn controllers provide less than .35 amps for pump start signaling, thus requiring a 2-Wire Decoder Compatible StartBox or SmartBox
- Manual switches
- System pressure monitors
- Pre-programmed timer
- Liquid level in a tank – floats or transducers
- Weather triggered devices
TIP #3 – Add Pump Protection
Pumps are pricey and, if the water quality or conditions are not ideal, they can be damaged, causing unhappy customers. Adding protection features to a pumping system will mitigate the potential for pump damage or failure. These devices provide protections to any irrigation system that uses a pump.
- Pump Start Relay – A pump start relay provides a simple start/stop functionality, relaying the electrical signal from the irrigation controller or other external device and the pump. At the direction of an external signal, the pump start relay closes the contactors and sends the electrical signal to the pump.
- Pump Start + Pump Protection – The Munro SmartBox provides the start/stop function + protection. The SmartBox senses pressure and temperature to protect the pump from running dry or overheating due to loss of prime or dead heading. A SmartBox will open the contactor to discontinue power to the pump if one of the sensors indicate that a problem exists. Once the lawn controller has stopped sending the ‘on’ signal, the SmartBox clears the protective shut-down and will send power to the pump again at the next cycle.
Given the cost of a replacement pump, and the extra labor required to address the damage, the benefits of adding pump protection are undeniable.
Tip #4 – Know the Amps and Voltage the Pump Requires
Knowing the run voltage and horsepower of the pump is also important. Standard relay contactors can provide 110v to 220v for ¾-3hp pumps. For pumps larger than 3hp, a different contactor and overload protection may be required.
Avoid frustration and hassle by following these four tips and consulting with your local Ewing branch to select the right pump control for the job.
For more helpful tips and for help selecting the right pump control box, call or email the Ewing Pump Hotline at 1-844-PUMP-PRO or email@example.com.