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The Method for Quickly Selecting a Pump Control Box

Selecting the right pump control box can affect your timeline, budget, and the performance and longevity of the irrigation system. 

We’re here to help provide the knowledge and resources you need to select a pump control box that best suits your application. To make the selection process quick and easy, here are four things to consider before you start your irrigation install or repair.

Understand the System

Understanding the system is the first step in selecting the correct control box. These questions can help you narrow it down:

  • Does the system require multiple controllers or multiple pumps?
  • Do you need to limit run time and frequency of a pump or lighting system?
  • Are you trying to maintain a liquid or tank level? Or do you need a simple pump start relay for turning the pump on and off?

Determining the primary function of the control box will help you define your needs and requirements.

What External Device is Being Used to Signal the Pump Start Relay?

Pump start relays work with a variety of start/stop signal devices. The type of device and the signal it provides will contribute to which pump control you require. When you contact your local Ewing branch about how the irrigation system is configured, consider the following:

  • Lawn controller(s)–Some lawn controllers provide less than .35 amps for pump start signaling, thus requiring a 2-Wire Decoder Compatible StartBox or SmartBox.
  • Manual switches
  • System pressure monitors
  • Pre-programmed timer
  • Liquid level in a tank – floats or transducers
  • Weather triggered

Why You Want Pump Protection

Pumps are pricey and, if the water quality or conditions are not ideal, they can be damaged, causing unhappy homeowners. Adding protection features to a pumping system will mitigate the potential for pump damage or failure.

A pump start relay provides a simple start/stop functionality, relaying the electrical signal from the irrigation controller or other external device and the pump. At the direction of an external signal, the pump start relay closes the contactors and sends the electrical signal to the pump. This is an essential device for any irrigation system that uses a pump.

The Munro SmartBox provides the start/stop function plus protection. The SmartBox senses pressure and temperature to protect the pump from running dry or overheating due to loss of prime or dead heading. A SmartBox will open the contactor to discontinue power to the pump if one of the sensors indicates that a problem exists. Once the lawn controller has stopped sending the “on” signal, the SmartBox clears the protective shut-down and will send power to the pump again at the next cycle.

Given the cost of a replacement pump, and the extra labor required to address the damage, the benefits of adding pump protection, like the Munro SmartBox, are undeniable.

What Amps and Voltage Does the Pump Require?

Knowing the run voltage and horsepower of the pump is also important. Standard relay contactors can provide 110v to 220v for ¾-3hp pumps. For pumps larger than 3hp, a different contactor and overload protection may be required.

Avoid frustration and hassle by gathering the information you need ahead of time. For helpful tips and for help selecting the right pump control box, call or email the Ewing Pump Hotline at 1-844-PUMP-PRO or info@ewingpumppro.com.

TAGS: Irrigation System, Irrigation Solutions, Irrigation Basics, Irrigation, Munro, Pumps, Irrigation Pumps