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Two Water Pump Purchasing Tips for the Home Gardener

Having your own garden is a great way to produce your own food. However, if you live in a drought-prone area, you know water is at a premium and you may have to get creative to keep your garden green and growing.

Part of getting creative means understanding which features to look for as you invest in a water pump station. Make sure you check out these two tips before purchasing a water pump for your irrigation system.

• Look at the pump’s performance curve and compare it to your system requirements. A pump’s performance curve will show you the relationship between flow-rate (GPM) and pressure (PSI). For most centrifugal pumps, the higher the pressure the lower the flow-rate, and the lower the pressure the higher the flow-rate. Many homeowners purchase pumps at the big box stores based on horsepower alone and do not consider the pumps performance. For example, stores will advertise a pump “delivers up to 75 GPM” or “delivers 60 PSI”. This can be somewhat misleading. While the pump in question will indeed deliver 75 GPM, it does so at a very low pressure (not 60 PSI), and yes this pump will deliver 60 PSI, but it will do so at a very low flow-rate (not at 75 GPM). The lesson to learn here is, look at the pump’s entire performance curve (or chart) to determine if it meets your system’s requirements.

• Consider using a self-priming centrifugal pump if you are pumping out of any body of surface water (pond, lake, or stream). Self-priming centrifugal pumps are commonly used for irrigating average-sized lawns and gardens. These ease of operation make them ideal for many DIYers. The pump casing on self-priming centrifugal pumps does need to be primed (the process of filling the pump casing with water before turning the pump on) before system start-up. However, self-primers can usually tolerate small suction leaks that would cause straight centrifugal pumps to lose prime.

That bumper crop you’re dreaming of is only a few months away. With a water pump system in place, you don’t have to worry about irregular rainfall. Just pump your own, and keep your garden growing!

For advice on which water pump system will work best for your needs, ask the experts at W. P. Law, Inc.

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