The Best Sprinkler Pump for the Money – Editor’s Top Picks
If you are having a nature-rich garden to take care of, that will be the luckiest thing ever. You might know how meaningful a lovely green corner is to the visual look and aesthetic feel of your sweet home as well as how much of a tough endeavor it is to bring the garden to life.
Among the tactics you have employed to elevate the beauty of your garden, including introducing various plants for a lush feel, taking advantage of the flowery aroma to attract friendly insect visitors, we believe the most powerful beauty tip lies in the irrigation process.
For the sake of an awe-inspiring green space, the best sprinkler pump will do the trick. Many worth-discovering things await, so keep reading!
Table of Contents
How to make a sensible choice of sprinkler pumps?
The added diversity of usage of this product might act as a great challenge for customers when they have no idea which buying guide, among various types, to base on for one that serves their specific needs.
Thus, we will focus on the irrigation purpose that we all care and want to know about. Each time you are shopping around, replay in your mind such questions:
How much pressure do I have to supply?
Firstly, this question will help you determine the right size of your job in accordance with the pressure needs of the pumps. Such pressure requirements differ in varying sprinkler heads and your job is to pick out these figures: Gallons Per Minute (GPM) and Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). You then can multiply the GPM by the number of sprinkler heads to know the minimum requirements of your system.
Even though sprinklers pumps fit well with most yard sizes, smaller irrigation system for the family yard asks for less pressure. In case the system is too large or the sprinkler pumps send out much more water than is needed, there will be the risk of your sprinkler heads getting blown out.
Will there be changes in elevation between the water source and the pump?
For the most part, the answer will be yes, so be prepared as much as possible by picking the sprinkler pumps that can deal with such changes effectively while not compromising on the performance.
The figure called “maximum depth to water” will tell you the direction of flow and the sprinkler pump’s ability to pull water upward against the elevation fluctuations.
Is the pump self-priming?
Not everyone goes for this option, but a self-priming system is by far much more convenient and pleasant to work with in the long run.
For a priming-dependent option, priming occurs once and for all, which means you just have to do this task one time before use, and the pump will maintain this priming for extended use. Priming is to make sure your pump doesn’t suck air.
But when the pump is without water or when winter comes and the pump goes into hibernation, its engine may burn out.
A self-priming pump is undoubtedly free of such risks.
Where do you plan to put the pumps?
As sprinkler pumps pull water from the nearby sources, you need to consider whether or not this is made possible regarding the height, distances, and the terrain.
Water pumping height and terrain
As mentioned above, changes in elevation will somehow affect the pump’s ability to lift water from the source to the pump, and the sprinkler pumps cannot withstand too high-pressure pull; thus, the height of lift had better be below 25 feet, or at best under 5 feet.
If you happen to place the pump more than 25 feet above the main water source, it goes without saying your pump is too weak to handle water up to this range.
The amount of lift or the height limit can differ in different areas of varying altitude. High altitude or high elevation, for example, means less height limit is required.
It’s of utmost importance to calculate the distance from which you pump the water to the sprinkler heads as this figure speaks volume about the water pressure, and the size of discharge pipe you should prepare. It acts as a sprinkler pump size calculator as well.
Through some simple steps of measuring how far it is from the pump to the furthest sprinkler head, you will get the number in hand.
If your number hovers somewhere below 100 feet, a 1-½ inch discharge pipe is enough to do the trick. Otherwise, say, above 100 and under 300 feet, turn to the pipe with double the inch in diameter instead.
As a rule of thumb, for every 300 feet long in the pumping distances, you will have to increase the size of your pipe so that it is in line with the proper pressure needs.
To streamline this procedure, you may want to have a look at the friction loss table.
Places to avoid putting the pump
To have a sprinkler pump that can last a lifetime for your lush green garden, you might have to keep it safe from severe weather, rain, freezing cold, and elements, etc. It needs a shelter that is moisture-free, well-ventilated, but at the same time, does not let in rain. While it’s important to place the pump in a dry area, be cautious as the motor might get too hot.
How much power your pumps need?
Sprinklers pumps don’t run on wind power or air, but they need a power supply to feed the internal parts moving.
On the market, you will mostly encounter dual-voltage rated pumps, and these performers require energy around 115 to 230 volts. This volt option is an ideal one, but it can fluctuate a little bit if you have larger horsepower pumps, say, from 2.5 to 3 HP; then, 230 volts or 208/230/460 3-phase is your best bet.
The need for sprinkler irrigation is greater in rural areas where electricity might be a miss, so an alternative is to resort to the natural supply of solar power to run the system. Besides, you may also love a gas-powered performer.
Demo of our top 5 winners
If you want to have a strong-powered operator for your lovely, large-scale yard, Flotec FP5172 Pump Sprinkler 1.5Hp can’t be a better choice. It offers 30 sprinkler heads and is built to last.
For a smaller sprinkler system that is not only easy on pocketbook but also remarkable in performance, your pick might be WAYNE PLS100 1 HP Portable Stainless Steel Lawn Sprinkling Pump.
Are you bothered by the humming sounds of your previous pumps? Does the daily routine of priming put you off from enjoying the user experience? If yes, then, it’s time to befriend a new partner which is GOULDS Pumps GT15 IRRI-Gator Self-Priming Single Phase Centrifugal Pump, 1.5 hp, Blue
Come on! Water your garden to maintain its fresh-looking image. You don’t need to purchase a specialized sprinkler pump for household use. 1.6HP Shallow Well Sump Pump Stainless Booster Pump is tailored for home garden irrigation, so what are you waiting for?
If you are waiting for an all-around tool to be compatible with all the high-volume applications, Red Lion RLSP-150 1-1/2-HP 50-GPM Cast Iron Sprinkler Pump might be an ideal option.
Review of the best sprinkler pumps For the money
#1: Best Flotec Sprinkler Pump for a large yard: Flotec FP5172 Pump Sprinkler 1.5Hp
If your sprinkler system has up to 30 sprinkler heads to support, you can't go far wrong with this Flotec FP5172 Pump Sprinkler 1.5Hp. Also, Flotec is a world-renowned brand in the industry; thus, you will be given nothing but only is the goods.
You can either use it on an automatic sprinkler system or employ the machine for dewatering and water transfer. The maximum water temperature is undoubtedly satisfying around 60-degree Celsius.
It delivers dual voltage capability, and even though it is factory wired for 230 volts usage, you can switch the motor to 115 volts level with ease.
Another useful feature is its durability, which is reflected via the superb corrosion-resistance properties. Additionally, one thing exclusive to this performer is the construction of rugged, heavy-duty thermoplastic to stand the test of time, with a bonus of fiberglass reinforcement to withstand wear and damages.
Durable, sturdy, and diverse in use, Flotec sprinkler pump is also remarkable in performance.
It offers high-rated water pressure, reaching up to 48 PSI at maximum while the flow rate is at no time lagging, but can pump up to 67 gallons per minute - a pretty generous offer for 30 sprinkler heads.
If your primary concern is about the pump’s ability to operate following the maximum depths to water, you now can feel relieved knowing that the maximum life of it can be 20 feet or less.
Sadly, the sprinkler pump is specially crafted to handle rust and corrosion, but it is susceptible to cracking. Besides, when the pumps are running at maximum capacity power, they might struggle and the buzzing is a real pain in the neck.
We, however, firmly believe that Flotec sprinkler pumps can thrive on mistakes and feedbacks; thus, several defects we find in this set might be improved later.
What we liked
What we disliked
#2: Best Wayne Sprinkler Pump for home use: WAYNE PLS100 1 HP Portable Stainless Steel Lawn Sprinkling Pump
What customers expect from a sprinkler pump, besides its updated functionalities, is the ergonomic design that makes it less cumbersome and takes up less space. Luckily, Wayne offers similar products.
This sprinkler pump is small but mighty. Its 1 HP, together with the impressive flow rate of 720 gallons per hour, adds to the high-powered capacity of the pumps, enabling it to supply adequate water for 2 to 3 sprinklers.
It is much of regret if a sprinkler pump presents users with such problems as the fragile casing that cracks over under use. With this issue in mind, Wayne is determined to reinforce the pumping frame by using stainless steel.
The product comes with a carrying handle for easy control and transportation. It is also lined with a safe and convenient on and off switch, which is useful for years of reliability and maneuverability.
Just like its previous contender, Wayne PLS100 is self-priming, saving you a great deal of quality time from the initial setup onward and has a dual voltage system. Thus, you can expect good results from both 115 and 230 volts electrical outlet.
It offers suction lift of up to 20 feet and total head lift of 80 feet while being capable of running a maximum pressure of about 50 PSI. Additionally, it has 1-inch discharge threads and ¾ inch garden hose adaptor as well, which means the pump system will distribute fresh and clean water all across the yard without the need to move it.
It is hard-pressed to find so powerful a performer this size with this prize. Having the quality at the top ratings, Wayne sprinkler pumps don’t charge customers a hefty amount to possess one.
The sprinkler system is a victim of its own durable stainless material, which generates a higher risk for the moto to get overheating. Using it late at noon when the temperature rises high can be a real threat. To address this minus point, you may have to alter your watering schedule to early in the morning or late in the evening.
What we liked
What we disliked
#3: Best lawn sprinkler pump for outdoor use: GOULDS Pumps GT15 IRRI-Gator Self-Priming Single Phase Centrifugal Pump
Unlike the second candidate, this GOULDS Pumps GT15 centrifugal pump might be more prohibitive. But you get what you pay, we believe so. In return for a costly charge, this centrifugal pump makes it worthwhile by boasting a wide array of top-notch features sure to please users.
First and foremost, it is a quiet operation, which brings about absolute peace for those whose house has babies and the elderly, at the same time, it doesn’t disturb your neighborhood when it is under use in the early morning.
Another convenience is that thanks to the pump chamber, which can store a relatively large volume of water, users no longer have to set the alarm to prime the system every two to three days.
To make up for the limited offer of volts usage, this centrifugal pump features a powerful 1.5 horsepower, pumping up to 64 gallons per minute with 10 feet of discharge lift.
What’s more not to miss?
Its cast-iron body is carefully equipped not to surrender under vigorous use while the heavy-duty design and the durable motor might guarantee a life-long operation. Especially, overheating is no longer a concern in this set since the pump is to prevent the motor from running dry.
This product is designed for outdoor usage partly due to its robust construction as well as the vibrant blue coating which doesn’t get faded quickly. Considering the pull-out design, there is no need to pay a massive amount to hire technical staff for the set-up as you can do it yourself.
On the flip side, that the centrifugal pump accepts 230-volt power only is a big limitation since you may want to convert it to another reasonable range to suit your needs. However, you can consider buying a 115/230-volt converter, except for the fact that this extra accessory may cost more. Another flaw is that the system keeps jamming up occasionally.
What we liked
What we disliked
#4: Best lake irrigation pump: 1.6HP Shallow Well Sump Pump Stainless Booster Pump Lawn
This is among the top trending sprinkler pumps at Lowes. So, if you want to find a prestigious brand you can put your trust in, Shallow Well Sump sprinkler pumps will be a loyal companion to consider.
Our first impression with this beautiful silver black is its build quality, which is reflected through a sturdy, robust outlook. Without a doubt, the front side of this booster pump puts on a stainless-steel coating while the whole body is cast-iron. Definitely, this set will not break soon, but indeed, can fight back against rust and stay with your greenery for a lifetime.
Coming in a perfect cover, its content is also remarkable. This might be the most influential performer in this roundup, offering 1.6 horsepower and requiring 1200W. Even if it is specially crafted with household usage in mind, the ability to pump water up to 23 feet, with head lift reaching 137 feet in total, speaks volume for how potential it is to handle a plethora of projects.
Sprinkler pumps across the marketplace might facilitate different purposes, but this performer focuses on mastering irrigation use and water transport; thus, if you are afraid of distraction in functionalities, this item will prove your fear is wrong. With 66 PSI water pressure and the generation of 700 gallons per hour, the pumps will boost productivity and efficiency.
What’s more, the design is oil-free, making it more comfortable to use. The energy saving features are well-acknowledged, too.
This pump can be employed as a well pump and paired with a tank or large aquariums.
This booster pump is near to perfect if it weren’t for the noisy sound it emits when being used.
What we liked
What we disliked
#5: Best Red Lion Sprinkler Pump for heavy-duty jobs: Red Lion RLSP-150 1-1/2-HP 50-GPM Cast Iron Sprinkler Pump
We rate the Red Lion sprinkler pump as a class-leading model in its industry, that’s why this one becomes our favorite best sprinkler pumps for a review.
The Red Lion is trusted for generations thanks to its top-notch performance delivered even in the most demanding jobs. It pumps water intermittently and handles different tasks at a fraction of time. Its maximum water pressure is 47 PSI, but the system can powerfully move up to 89 gallons of water per minute.
We really appreciate the self-priming feature of this product. It will come in handy when you are too bound by your hectic schedule to care for the priming process, but still, want the system to be in good stead.
Red Lion RLSP-150 is durable, with a cast-iron casing and a rugged pump base, to withstand dents and scratches.
Its compact design and beautiful pattern are big plus points. Besides, assembly is super convenient with simple plug-and-play steps. However, according to the online Red Lion pump reviews, most complaints are directing at the price, which can be more costly than other brands.
What we liked
What we disliked
Sprinkler Pumps Buying Guides
What is a sprinkler pump?
Sprinkler pumps (so-called irrigation pumps) are a go-to solution for homeowners and property caretakers who struggle with the obsolete, energy-intensive ways of watering a garden.
Sprinkler pumps are not restricted to irrigation use as many tend to think, but they are designed for utilitarian use as well.
These pumps are tailor-made to be used in shallow water conditions. They work in tandem with several sprinklers linked together to boost the pressure in a water line and help deliver water evenly to the entire area of the lawn through the sprinkler head.
- Related Article: Best Garden Sprinkler Heads For Low Water Pressure
The main supply of water comes from nearby resources so that these pumps provide a steady flow of water while not asking for too high amounts of pressure.
Types of sprinkler pumps
Sprinkler pumps do not go alone on the market, indeed, they come in different styles and prices, but are all heading towards one ultimate goal: distributing water without being electricity fueled.
This performer has evolved from its old-fashioned version of hand pumps, the ones with a manually adjusted lever handle.
Displacement pumps are best suited for pumping thick fluids made up of solid ingredients like thick fertilizers. Also, they are good for use in a varying pressure condition as they are designed not to compromise on the flow rate.
People identify them on the market with such names as piston, diaphragm, roller-tubes, and rotary.
Centrifugal pumps are a slender, versatile performer that is durably built to suit your varying needs.
It’s good for pumping a large volume of a viscous liquid in lower pressure conditions as well as ideal for supporting the continuous flow of viscous chemicals and fuels to where is needed.
An impeller inside the pumps will cause the water to spin at breakneck speed, fast enough to gather force to move the water out of the impeller and straight to the pump outlet.
You may hear people say the centrifugal pumps can be multi-stage. Stage refers to the process when more than one impeller and casing come to play at the same time to transfer water.
Most centrifugal pumps need priming before the first use, which means they need to have their intake pipe filled with water the first time so that they keep this prime for extended use. However, some advanced models are designed to be self-priming.
End-suction centrifugal pumps
This system is renowned for its portability and is regarded as irrigation booster pumps. “Booster” suggests its ability to push water, instead of pulling it.
It is anchored to an electric motor. The water runs through a suction inlet to head for the pump casing, which means this type of pumps will get things done perfectly when the water level rises higher above the pump.
Similarly, it needs priming for the first use.
Evidently, these pumps have to be fully submerged, deep under the water via installation. This requirement justifies the water-proof electric motor that they are mounted on, so that they fit well both inside a water well or in a lake, ponds, and streams.
When used underwater, they must come with a special sleeve which is crucial for keeping the system cool and unaffected by damage.
They are priming-free and energy efficient as well.
Their main job is akin to that of a pressure booster. Working based on an already existing irrigation system, booster pumps foster the steady flow of water pressure into the sprinkler system.
How to use sprinkler pumps?
Before getting the ball rolling, the most prime step is to sketch out the place you intend to set up the system and how far it is from the water source. This information might help you decided
Submersible pumps or booster pumps will be of service and can do well when being underwater; so, water source that is at the low position might be a good choice.
If yours is a centrifugal pump - which pumps large a volume water in low-pressure condition, you should know better than to place it somewhere so far away from the main water source. It will not strong enough to reach out to retrieve the water.
The next step is assembly and installation which requires little effort with some DIY steps. If your time is too tight to get things done, paying for an expert to help is better.
After the installation steps, everything is nearly ready to come into operation. But remember to calculate in your mind how many sprinkler pumps you may need at a time.
Last but not least, making sure you have chosen the most appropriate pressure levels and flow rates for your system as these two factors guarantee a smooth and effective operation later on. You may not be allowed to elevate both in one try, so be wary of which one is your priority needs.
Prerequisites to using the sprinkler pumps
You can’t keep an eye on the pumps 24/7 to prevent unexpected problems from arising in due course. So here are several points to bear in mind before bringing this friend to your house.
The first and most fundamental thing is to remember to shut the pumps when you are not using them.
If your pumps are going to take water from a nearby river or stream, chances are that there will be debris that might make its way into the motor; thus leading to malfunction of several parts.
To prevent the debris, and marine creatures such as scrimps, fish from entering and blocking your pump system, in the set-up process, you may need a foot valve on the suction side of the pump to act as an initial filter.
Overheating might cause headaches for many inexperienced users, so make sure you are informed of what to prepare so that the motor doesn’t get too hot when left running for a long time. When you are out, remember not to close the discharge as well as the suction lines while the pump is under use.
Many a time we hear the story about users trying to boost the sprinkler pump to its full potential by increasing its capacity to the maximum level. The logic behind this, according to them, is to get the best of the irrigation efficiency.
However, this is not at all an advisable thing since overworking that lasts for a long time can impair the operating power of your pumps and shorten their shelf life. Make a general observation through the sprinkler head to figure out the indicated operating pressure.
Advantages of using sprinkler pumps
If you are not sold on the idea of getting lawn sprinkler pumps yet, that’s probably because you haven’t kept tabs on how well these systems are going to do wonders to your land.
Thankfully, sprinkler pumps are earmarked for an all-in-one irrigation system that can be applied in almost any farmable soil types. This is of service and gone are the days when we suffered a hard time manually watering our expansive undulating slope.
Second, among all kinds of irrigation, sprinkler pumps for lawns stand out as the most portable and compact contenders. Forget the traditional painstaking and labor-intensive task of channel construction that eats up a massive area of our land.
At times, the water volume that the pumps deliver transcend the infiltration capacity of plants and harvest crops, resulting in costly watering habits. However, cheer up as sprinkler pumps can fix it by being customizable in the water distribution intensity to suit the hydro requirements of green plants.
Instead of spraying fertilizers or pesticides separately, lawn sprinkler pumps suggest an economical and time-saving way of handling it, merely by adding these substances into irrigation water. Let’s kill two birds with one stone!
How to maintain sprinkler pumps?
Maintenance is inevitable for every sprinkler pump to be on track. Thus, priming is a must. The priming process can be practiced easily by filling the casing with enough water before booting it.
Watch out for any possible leakage. You may get the hint to spot out this phenomenon, which is when your pump starts sending off humming sounds or makes irritating noise while running. In this event, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible
It’s common practice for people to drain the sprinkler pumps for the winter period to come. This prevents the pumps from freezing and working poorly.
In case your sprinkler pump acts up, you may want to be informed of the symptoms and how to address them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I install my sprinkler pumps to use surface water?
A: To set up your sprinkler pumps for surface water resources, this instruction will help you step by step.
- Measure the distance
- To achieve this, firstly, calculate the distance from the water source to the sprinkler head, so that you can figure out the type of intake pipe you need.
- Disconnect the pump from the power supply
- Connect the foot valve to the PVC pipe and the suction basket to the foot valve.
- Fully submerge the suction basket in deep water
- Attach the pump inlet together with the suction basket
When you finish these steps, merely priming the sprinkler pumps and start your pumps working.
Is it enough for the pump to pull water from the well?
A: Well can be a rich source of water for sprinkler pumps, but for the most part, you may need two or more well points to pull enough water for the pumps. The best solution is to make a system of two connect well points so that the water volume can reach from 30 to 60 GPM, adequate for a smooth operation.
What to do when the sprinkler fails to use up the water from the pump?
A: This is by no means a pleasant situation to bear, especially when this mismatch between the real needs and the current performance of your pump can cause you to waste electricity for an inappropriate horsepower pump.
What you need is to introduce a tee to discharge end of the system. Also, be proactive to customize the gate valve, which decides the amount of water required for the pump system. If there is an excess in water distribution, this volume will make its way back to the main supply.
Which option is more economical, 230 volts or 115 volts?
A: First, it’s worth knowing that what we base on to predict the electricity bill is kilowatt usage. You can take this figure by multiplying the voltage by the amp.
Don’t mistake the intensity of the voltage for the increase in monthly bill payment of your house. Indeed, both option is similar in kilowatt usage.
230 volts seems stronger, but it shows fewer amps, which means you can use a lighter gauge wire. This feature can bring about quite a deal of savings.
The manual suggests the number of 230 volts. Can I use 220 volts or 200-volt system?
With a 230-volt sprinkler pump, you can have a system that operates on 10% more or less compared to the standard nameplate rating. Now you know the answer.
Your pump is the most common type of sprinkler pump on the market, which runs on 230 volts or 220 volts and 240 volts, any within three options are alright. But a system of 200 volts will not be a wise choice to go with, as it is too low considering the much higher range intended by the manufacturer.
However, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a new one. In this case, adjust the motor a little bit to the 115-volt settings and prepare a heavy gauge wire to fit this purpose.
To keep your lawn in a healthy condition, adequate supply of water is a must. But it is easier said than done because manual watering is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Thanks to technological breakthroughs, sprinkler pumps are introduced to the market world.
We suppose the detailed review has done the legwork for you, so the final choice is up to you.
The winner for the best sprinkler pumps review, in our point of view, will be the Red Lion RLSP-150 as this pump proves to be worthwhile of every penny, with the focal points being the convenience of use, aesthetic design, high performance, and above all, durability.