Which hydroponic irrigation pumps should be used
Hydroponic pumps are at the heart of your irrigation system. Many people tend to neglect this area just because they do not understand what is involved in selecting the right hydroponic pump and the requirements for pumps used in hydroponic conditions. It must be emphasized that the pumps used in hydroponic systems have different requirements than those used for pumping clean water or for that matter swimming pools.
The nutrient solution made up for hydroponic production is as corrosive as sea water. No swimming pool pump or water pump will last long if used for hydroponic use. The main property for hydroponic pumps is that the impeller and inside of the pumps that is in contact with water should be made from either plastic or stainless steel!!! Impellers made from copper will cause copper toxicity in plants. Impellers made from steel will cause iron toxicity in plants and those made from aluminium will cause aluminium toxicity in plants. Be extremely careful when buying a pump and make sure it is made from the right material.
A qualified person should install a hydroponic pump so as to ensure continuous circulation of water 365 days of the year. Any interruption in water supply of nutrient supply will affect the quality and total yield of the crop. It is highly recommended that one install a backup pump just in case something goes wrong.
The size of the pump is determined by the volume of water that needs to be pumped. The height above the pump the water needs to be pumped and the thickness of the pipes that will be used from the pump to outlets. The number of outlets should also be taken into account, especially with large installations. Pressure is not so important, the highest pressure closed and open systems use is 1-2 bar. Note, low pressure, high volume pumps are used in hydroponic systems.
Some pumps are designed for continuous use and others are not. Make sure that the correct pump is obtained since a pump that is designed to work for a couple of hours a day has a different cooling system than the continuous types and can burn put very quickly. Make sure there is some safety measure build in the pump that it will switch of automatically if it gets to hot.