Install a booster pump or replace valves - or both?

maire_cateMay 8, 2011

Our irrigation system was installed in 1996. The last 2 or 3 years the water coming out of the irrigation heads has diminished drastically yet the water pressure inside the house is fine. The township came out to the house to check my water pressure at an outside hose bib and said that it's 65 which they consider better than average.

My irrigation contractor said that my valves are wearing but that it would be cheaper to install a booster pump rather than replace all the valves. My concern is that I'll install a booster pump and then he'll tell me I still need new valves.

Does this sound reasonable to those of you with more experience?

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Doesn't sound right to me. The purpose of a booster pump is to boost the pressure. You pressure is very good. Valves don't wear out, but they can malfunction over time and restrict flow. Check your flow rate from your hose bib. Has the decline been slow over time or drastic say within 6 months. Pipelines can restrict flow over time(calcium build up) but not within 2 years. Can you determine if the flow has diminished unevenly from zone to zone? If the flow is across all zone, I would replace the hose bib valve or a mainline shut-off valve. Do you need help determining flow rates for your mainline and zone areas? This investigation is what your contractor should do before suggesting a booster pump. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 9:52PM
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Thanks Lehua. Your suggestions make perfect sense. The irrigation contractor hasn't checked the pressure at the hose bib - he simply observed the reduced spray from the irrigation heads. And it does appear that the flow has diminished across the zones - it's more obvious on the larger heads that are designed to shoot the water 20' and less obvious on the little ones that only spray in a small circle. When I asked him how much a pump would cost he said $1000.00.

We did replace our mainline shut-off 6 years ago and installed a ball cock valve which dramatically increased the pressure. I've never seen the water shoot so far in our irrigation system. It worked great for another year or two then began to dimish.

I will speak with him this week and get more information. But I'll also call my regular plumber and explain the problem and ask his advice - and ask for a quote on a booster pump just to compare prices. It might even be prudent to have a different irrigation company come out to assess the problem.

Thanks again Lehua.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 11:01PM
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