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What is an Irrigation Pump?

By Ken Black
Updated May 17, 2024
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An irrigation pump is a pump used for providing water to a section of land. This may be for aesthetic reasons, such as making sure a patch of grass stays healthy, or may be used on a farm, where a family's livelihood depends on irrigation. There are several major types of irrigation pumps. Depending on the irrigation system, and the overall purpose, the individual must choose a pump that suits the job.

An irrigation pump can be powered by a couple of different sources. Most are powered by electricity. Some may be powered by other fuel sources. Electricity offers the convenience of a constant energy source as long as the service is available. For more remote areas, other fuel sources like gasoline, diesel or propane may be the only option. Any irrigation pump using a source other than electricity will need more attention when running to make sure the fuel supply is adequate.

There are many different ways a pump can be used to get water from one location to another. These include displacement pumps, submersible pumps, turbine pumps and centrifugal pumps. The centrifugal irrigation pump is the most common. Choosing the proper pump will often depend on the situation and the preference of the manager of the irrigation system. Cost is an major factor for many people. Even more important, however, is choosing a pump of the right size to do the job.

To choose the right irrigation pump size, it is necessary to estimate the required water flow, along with the pressure needed. These two traits are not necessarily linked together, and should be considered separately when purchasing any type of pump. Measuring the flow needed, especially for a new irrigation system, may be an inexact science, but there are guidelines and formulas that are available. Also, asking a local landscaper or an experienced farmer, depending on the setting, may be beneficial.

In some cases, an irrigation pump may only be needed to increase the constant water pressure already available through the regular pipe system. Due to the fact that city water systems, for example, already have pressure, the goal may be merely to increase the pressure already there to handle the needs of the system. This is where a booster irrigation pump can play a role. This takes the water pressure already available and increases the pressure to a level that will be adequate for the system. In most cases, a centrifugal pump is the pump of choice for this job.

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Discussion Comments

By dwilli4110 — On Aug 05, 2009

I have a 2hp Wayne irrigation pump that I would like to put a pressure switch and tank on to have on demand water and spigots. What size switch and tank should I get in order for the pump to still work properly?

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