Bore pumps offer countless benefits to homeowners with unreliable water supply. Installing them ensures round-the-clock fresh water supply, and they can be run efficiently by powering the pump with solar panels rather than electricity. Understanding how a bore pump works is important to be able to keep it functioning properly. The following tips will help you learn more about your centrifugal bore pump and best practices that will extend its usable life and save you a ton of money in premature repairs.
Don't allow the pump to run dry
Your pump has an inverse flow-pressure relationship, which means that discharge pressure increases with decrease in water flow and vice versa. Centrifugal pumps use water as the running medium, which also acts as the system coolant for the moving pump components (movement produces heat). If the pump runs dry for long periods, moving parts generate heat, which eventually causes the pump to seize and get damaged. Your pump should have a pressure switch that is designed to turn off the pump when pressure exceeds a certain point.
Install and monitor pressure gauges
Ensure that your pump has a pressure gauge – it should be located in the direction of discharge, adjacent to the pump outlet. Pressure gauges are useful for troubleshooting pump faults and checking efficiency. Having another gauge on the suction side will enable you to compare the pressure difference (discharge vs. suction) and hence determine its efficiency. This will help you to identify potential problems like clogging of the suction strainer among others.
Ensure valves are installed and working properly
The following are the most important valves to monitor in your centrifugal bore pump:
- Suction valve – to allow water to get into the pump
- Discharge valve – allows water to flow out of the pump into the system
- Priming valve – removes gases/air from the pump prior to start-up
- Check valve – confirms that there is water in the pump at all times, since it should never be operated while dry
- Recycle valve – recycles water back to the suction side of the pump, maintaining water flow within the pump when the discharge pump has been shut down. This prevents build-up of heat
- Drain valve – installed at the pump casing bottom to drain out water for the pump to facilitate maintenance/repair work.
Using gate valves for the discharge and suction valves is recommended because they can be shut off tightly and have no flow resistance. Butterfly valves are the more common option, but while they close faster than the former, they aren't as leak-proof. Talk to a professional about replacing butterfly valves with gate valves.
You can also contact a professional with any other questions you may have about your bore pumps.