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5 Tips for Common Pump Needs

Pumps are a lot less complicated than they appear at first glance. Understanding a few basics will go a long way, but you don’t have to be a pump expert. Whether you’re starting your pump for the first time, or you’re a pump service pro, these handy tips will help guide you through your next pump project.

  1. Troubleshooting the Munro SmartBox

Did you know that during a normal “run” cycle, no lights should be lit on the time delay? Should a sensor detect a possible system problem, the “on” light will engage. If the system is shut down during a cycle both the “on” and “up” lights will be lit for the duration of the lawn controller cycle.

  1. How to Clear Centrifugal Switch Debris

To avoid an unnecessary trip to a repair center, try jostling any debris inside the pump free before bringing your pump to a repairman. Debris can get caught in the centrifugal switch inside the motor. A soft hammer or 2x4 board can be used to firmly tap the butt of the motor. After three or four taps, try to engage the motor. If necessary, repeat.


  1. Pressure Testing System Performance

A pressure gauge on the pump is a good indicator of system performance. Low pressure while the pump is running indicates a suction or obstruction problem. Normal pressure readings at the pump commonly indicate a sprinkler head or pipework problem. Did you know that 80 percent of all pump issues are on the suction side?


  1. Pump Safety Tips and Precautions

Servicing your pump can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Below are a few tips that can help keep you protected.

  • Remember when using any tool, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper use.
  • Always turn the breaker off to work on a pump. Some troubleshooting checks require the pump to be energized, be sure the area is secure prior to the task. Be sure to turn the breaker off again if the problem persists.
  • Never examine, make wiring changes or touch the motor before disconnecting the electrical supply. Thermal overload protectors automatically reset and can close the electrical circuit without warning.


  1. Checking for Air Leaks

Union joint O-rings and cam fitting gaskets should be inspected or replaced every year or two. O-rings and gaskets can harden over time and become brittle, causing air leaks. You can check for air leaks by wrapping plastic wrap tightly around a potential air leak path (union joint or cam fitting). If an air leak exists, the plastic wrap will tighten to the area when you turn the pump on.

For more helpful tips, call the experts at the Ewing Pump Hotline at 1-844-PUMP-PRO.

TAGS: Irrigation, Munro, Pumps