Pump Me Up!

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I now have a 12 volt, 40 psi water pump, which I installed yesterday.  Ben and I built the box out of the last of the plywood, which was quite easy to put together, and I made a lid to fit without hinges.

I installed most of the components in the box before putting it in place, then ran the wiring from the battery box, along the wall, across the top of the pool gate and along the ground to the pump box.

Here is the inside of the box in all its glory.  The dead leaves are from the conifer tree that I had to wrestle with to get the box in position.

The water comes in from the right with both tanks being connected to this hose.  I had to step down from the 19mm pipe to 13mm pipe which I forced onto the 15mm connector on the pump.  It was a bit of a struggle to get it attached, but I don’t seem to have had any loss of water pressure due to the reduction.  I realise that my wiring job is not that pretty, but by the time I hooked it up I was fairly knackered.

The rainwater passes through a small filter to keep the pump clean,

and out to the left to the garden irrigation system.  The reverse conversion happens this side from 13mm pipe to 19mm.  

Finally the switch to turn it on and off.  I didn’t opt for an electronic timer switch as I already had this toggle switch in my box of bits, and didn’t want the extra expense.

I showed Kim, and the first thing she said was that it was not painted, which I must admit was an error and oversight on my part.  I gave it a lick of grey exterior paint to help waterproof it which was a pain in the butt because I wasn’t going to disconnect the wiring or plumbing, so just struggled and painted as much as I could.

The result is outstanding.  All of the micro sprays I have in the veggie patch work better than if I was using mains water, and the pressure is better than I expected.  The solar charge controller indicates that it draws about 8.2 amps when running, so well within the 10 amp tolerance of the AWG 16 wire I used for the wiring to the pump.  It was the first time that I have seen the solar PV input via the charge controller above 2 amps, and it hit 9 amps when charging the battery during the pumping.

The pump can draw 17 litres per minute, but as I am using drip irrigation and micro sprays, it is not pumping that much water.  In fact when the pump ran for 20 minutes, I estimated that it should have used  340 litres, however the tank level had hardly dropped at all.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the project, and Kim will be putting her very creative side to work and painting the name on the lid in the next few days.  Pimp my pump box so to speak!  It will be the coolest, pimped up pump box in Melton.  Something to be proud of.

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