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I need a new ag pump

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  • I need a new ag pump

    I'm talking about the portable kind that you'd use to move water from one body of surface water (like a pond) up to a field for irrigation, in this case moving water about 25' up hill.

    The pump we had been using came with the house and has always been fussy. Your nice basic heavy engine with a grab bar to move it and a string to start it. Because pumps like to push rather than pull, it has do go down near the water source, and it has to be moved out of there any time there's a threat of significant rain, so take a fussy pump that might not run, is really heavy, and quite awkward to carry, and the net result was that my fields did not get watered last year.

    What's out there in pumps these days, and how do I choose one? I know all about how pumps work and sizing them, but not much about the practical choices in the marketplace and which ones will be easy to use and maintain.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

  • #2
    Since all pumps would rather have a positive pressure on the suction side... Build a permanent shed for the pump at the pond. If electricity is available, the operating costs and ease would be considerably improved.
    Equus makus brokus but happy


    • Original Poster

      A permanent shed is not an option at this location (it is subject to flooding).

      I did come across some advice that suggested that a portable electric pump would be a better choice, even if it meant a couple hundred feet of extension cord. I'm looking into that.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        I wouldn't run an electric motor with 200' of extension cord-even #12. It'll run, but its life will be shortened considerably. What would be ideal is a submersible well pump if you can get it a clean source of water.

        If you end up getting another gas driven one, get one with a Honda motor. I'm still keeping some 25 year old B&S motors running, but the ones that finally played out I've replaced with Hondas, and I won't buy anything else now.


        • #5
          Might check with landscape co. that builds ponds /lakes, they have catalog with what you need. Pump can be hard wired, might even have solar options now.
          Look for co. with irrigation specialist. check out http://irrigationmart.com/pumps/


          • #6
            Check with your local Co-Op and AgExtension Agent. The Co-Op will probably try and sell you something, but most actually have some knowledge of ag. requirements. The Extension Agent won't sell you stuff, but will have information on types, capacities, etc.

            The best "big box" option would likely be Northern Tool. They sell commercial grade equipment.

            Electric power is only going to be an option if you have a generator capable of running the pump. As noted, extension cords won't work well, if at all.

            How high does the flood water get at the pond? One alternative is a pump shed "on stilts" to keep it above water.

            Good luck in your project.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


            • #7
              You state “up hill”. You will need to know the elevation gain so as to “size” the pump for your needs. The pump not only has to suck the water up but push it up hill and then push it the distance you need it to go. Water in quantity gets very heavy. So you will need to know how much lift, head and suction you will need from the pump. This link gives a pretty good explanation of what I am talking about.


              Once you know your needs then you can go shopping with confidence that it will do the job.


              • #8
                You could build yourself a little "pump boat". Place a tall post and put your pump on a platform that'll float up and down with the post as its anchor/attachment point.
                Rule makes submersible bilge pumps but IDK how much head they have and Grainger sells a whole bunch of different kinds - DH says that they prefer commercial accounts around here and our farmette doesn't count, but we used to buy loads of stuff from the one in Rohnert Park.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • Original Poster

                  Honda is what my favorite ag store wants to sell me; it's good to hear that they're making good product. The one I'm replacing is a B&S.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket