Recommendations for an outdoor irrigation pump

Hi, all.

I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation for an irrigation pump for use outdoors. I currently have a Redlion jet pump with a pressure tank that I got last year. It is a piece of shit, as far as I am concerned! If it is too hot outside, it shuts off after only 30 minutes of operation. The pressure gauge needle managed to get stuck.

So, I’d like some recommendations for a more study model. I’d also wouldn’t mind one that doesn’t need the tank.



Interesting topic! We also use a Red Lion pump and have had issues with it seemingly overheating. However, I had my suspicions that our issue was with the really long power line we use to get power to it, and after testing that theory I was right. When there isn’t enough voltage to the pump, the thermal fault kicks in and stops the pump. So your issue could be the same as mine, so maybe check the voltage coming into the pump?

We don’t use a pressure tank and we run into “pump slip” issue when irrigating through a 12-PSI regulator for our drip tape. I haven’t found a way to solve that problem but we are going to try and use pressure tanks. If I were in your shoes, I would keep the pressure tank as you wouldn’t have any other way to regulate the pressure going into the system from the pump (which could blow your connections). Why did you want to forego the pressure tank?

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Okay, that’s good to know. My pump does have a long cord to it. I wonder if replacing it with a better gauge of wire would help with that? I think the current power line is just a regular extension cord that was repurposed by the previous farm owner. I think I’ll get some higher gauge wire and shorten it and see if that makes a difference.

I don’t have anything against the pressure tank issue. I was just thinking that if there was a pump out there that didn’t need it, that this would be good.

How long is that cord? Typically a higher gauge helps (it’s like using a larger pipe for water, it allows for more flow and reduces friction), but of course higher gauge cords are more expensive. You might want to use an online wire voltage loss calculator beforehand just to make sure you’re buying the right gauge.

The only problem I can think of regarding the pressure tank is constant pump cycling (it coming on and off every minute or so), which is hard on any pump. Is that the case for you?

It’s about 44’ of approx. 1/4" thick orange extension cord (again, from the original owner). Okay, I’ll get my specs and look up an online wire voltage loss calculator. I have a feeling that’s what the problem is.

I think once I get the pressure gauge fixed, then I can tune the pump to minimize the pump cycling. I have done that before. I don’t have too bad a case for pump cycling. On the other hand, my backbone is probably 150’ - 200’ long, so it might be working harder than normal.

Hey, Denis. Your suggestion was spot on! I rewired the pump with a heavy duty extension cord that was on for half price. Ran the pump for 1.5 - 2 hours and it worked like a charm. I also noted in the pump’s manual that they recommend not using a 14 gauge wire with it (which is what was used!). Thanks again!

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