The majority of pumps for irrigation are centrifugal pumps, which use centrifugal force to move the water through a sprinkler pump. Multi-stage pumps for irrigation force water through more than one impeller and casing to increase water pressure along the irrigation route. Common types of centrifugal irrigation pumps include end-suction centrifugal pumps, submersible pumps and turbines or jet pumps. Submersible pumps, turbines and jet pumps submerge the pump under water, while an end-suction centrifugal pump remains out of water.
Displacement pumps move heavy or thick liquids and are another type of agricultural water pump. If you plan to use fertilizer mixed into the water, you need to use a displacement pump for the irrigation water pumps. Piston, diaphragm, roller-tube and rotary pumps are displacement pumps.
Before you choose a water pump for irrigation:
- Find out the specific flow and pressure requirements for your project.
- Design your irrigation system to match your needs.
- Evaluate which type of irrigation pump is the most cost efficient in your situation.
Determine whether your sprinkler pump needs a booster pumpBooster pumps work in much the same way as multi-stage centrifugal pumps in that booster pumps increase the water pressure along the irrigation route. To find the right amount of pressure needed, you subtract the desired pressure from the actual pressure. If the pressure shows in PSI, you need to multiply by 2.31 to find the pressure in feet head.
Choose diesel powered irrigation pumpsDiesel powered pumps work well as pumps for irrigation in areas with limited electricity. Most diesel pumps are designed for fuel economy while maintaining optimal performance.
Use an electric powered water pump for irrigationIrrigation pump suppliers generally offer diesel and electric irrigation pumps. With the price of fuel continually increasing, many people prefer to use an electric pump. Electrical irrigation pumps reduce the costs associated with fuel.
- Fuel powered irrigation pumps use different formulas than electric powered pumps to calculate flow, pressure and horse power.
- Pressure should be expressed in feet head, not PSI.
- Lower pressure results in higher flow.