Center Pivot Irrigation System Pump and Motor Maintenance

Center Pivot Irrigation System Pump and Motor Maintenance

Maintenance of the pump and motor can increase pumping efficiency and extend the lifespan of the pumping components. As with any internal combustion engine, oil, spark plugs, coolant, filters, and lubricants should be changed according to manufacturer specifications. Bolts securing the motor should also be tightened. Electric motors do not require as much servicing, however, both types of motors should be kept under a shelter, free of debris, and properly cooled. Additional maintenance procedures should include checking for:

(a) Free movement of centrifugal pumps;

(b) Tight sealing of gaskets;

(c) Leaks;

(d) Proper support of pump and piping and necessary lubrication.

Turbine pumps should also be properly lubricated and supported. Pump adjustment may eventually be necessary if decreased flow rate or operating pressure is observed. This may be due to pump impellers wearing over time. Pumping efficiency can be determined by a trained professional conducting a pumping test. Any adjustment needed should only be performed by a professional. Pumps that regularly pump sand will require more frequent adjustment, usually every 3 to 5 years.

Coupling systems used to connect the motor to the pump or line shaft require regular lubrication and adjustment. This may include gear heads, belts, pulleys, and PTO shafts. The motor speed or coupling drive ratio may be adjusted to modify the speed of the pump. However, be careful as optimal performance occurs within a narrow range of flow rates and pressures.4 Well performance may be measured by specific capacity. Specific capacity is calculated by dividing flow rate by drawdown. Well performance should be checked annually, preferably in August, when pumps have been in use, and water levels should be at their lowest.

For further information on irrigation management and parts replacement, please visit the one-stop irrigation components supplier of

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