Return to the Irrigation Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Pump switch for gravity feed tank

Posted by JJVT New England (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 13:11

I have a 550 gallon tank sitting on top of a small hill. I plan on using this tank's contents to supply a tank/pump combo I bought from Harbor Freight Tools which has a pressure regulator on it. I have a pressure regulator and made a manifold with 3 zones for irrigation of fruit trees and bushes.

The issue is that I need to find a way to ensure that the tank doesn't run dry. The tank is supplied with water from an irrigation pond via 1" piping and a 2hp motor. The motor runs hot and the amps require heavy duty 110 power lines. The tank sits about 30' above the pond and the pump is powerful enough to fill the tank when no restrictions are placed on the line. The pump at the pond doesn't have any pressure mechanism on it.

The water source is below the field by 10-20 feet depending on the location. As a result, pumping the water straight to the manifold wasn't giving me sufficient pressure. However, the tank with the gravity and the pump provide sufficient pressure to the top of the field.

How can I control the flow of water (the pump at the pond), so the tank (above) always has water? I am not around to check the level frequently, so it needs to be pretty automated. Right now, the pump is powered by a heavy duty mechanical pump switch with a timing mechanism.

I have researched and seen septic pump float switches etc... but how would that work with a heavy duty pump? I haven't seen any switches which will hold the power.

I don't like the idea of controlling the pond pump with a pressure regulator in-line paired with a foat valve on the tank because of a risk of the hose bursting. If this happened, the pump would run continuously.

Any ideas? Monitoring the water usage on the tank after a regular irrigation cycle is somewhat accurate, but when you add in variables of a rain sensor shutting down a cycle etc... it isn't possible.

Any ideas? Thanks for your contributions. I would be happy to answer any questions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pump switch for gravity feed tank


I just want to make sure I am understanding what you have written. The pond is 30 vertical feet below the 550-gal tank and the field that needs irrigation is 10-20 feet above the pond. The 2 hp tank/pump combo is located at the pond. Is it a submersible pump or one next to the pump? What is the pressure that the pump generates at its outlet when running? What is the pumps flow rate? How many minutes does it take to fill the tank from empty? Is your pump on a relay switch from a controller?

This link may give you an idea:

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Irrigation Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here