Friday, May 3, 2024

New Pump

In general, most ranchers would not consider themselves farmers too. The Lungren's are a rare breed. We came to town farming and only in the next generation did we pick up on ranching. Subsequently, farming is always in our blood. And if your are going to farm in the Big Horn Basin, you better get good at irrigating. 

The valley around here was pretty much settled on flood irrigation. But over the years, pumps and sprinklers have prevailed. Our little place has always been pumped. Grandpa started out with a 25hp pump, but after we put a pivot sprinkler system in, we didn't need that much pressure. So Dad toned it down to this 15-horse, which has served well for the past 15 years or so. But with our set up today, we could use a bit more power. 

So we set out to exchange this good and faithful servant with a new 20hp set up. 

There's a bit involved in this pump station. Beings we pump right out of the canal, we have a moss-catcher that sits right in the water and a horizontal filter immediately after the discharge. 

The first step was to unbolt the filter. 

Then break loose the fittings. Only a 36" will do. 

Once unbolted, our handy farmhand lifted it right out of the way. 

Then cleaned the pad up for the new pump to bolt in. 

In a project like this, make sure and have plenty of WD-40 on hand. 

Safety first. 

To our surprise, it bolted right up. Gear-wrenches are handy in places like this. 

All the fittings lined up as well. Made sure and doped the threads good. 

Then re-bolted the filter back up. 

And put a new gage on, rated for higher pressure. It’s good to use a liquid filled gage when working with components that vibrate a lot, such as a pump. They just hold up longer. Also, when using teflon-tape, always wrap with the direction of the threads. 

This is a three-phase pump, so it can run in either direction. We had a 50/50 chance of wiring it right the first time, but we were wrong and had to switch two wires. No problem at all. 


We like to use this little cover to shade the motor from the sun. Helps it run cooler and use less energy. 

It fired up and ran real smooth. This centrifugal pump has packing that allows the input shaft to drive the pump without water leaking by. That being said, a little water trickling through is necessary to keep the packing lubed.  

Nice. 80psi at the wellhead. 

And 48psi at our big gun. 

Sweetness. It's easier to deal with too much pressure than not enough. This new pump certainly enhanced the one-sprinkler-wonder on our little alfalfa corner, and will really lite-up the hand-line on the 5 Acre as well as the pivot on the big barley field. It's like my old ranching buddy would say, rain will make a farmer out of anyone. True, but around Worland it doesn't rain enough to grow a weed. Thankfully, the Good Lord made a river run right through our little valley. From it, we can grow the best crops in the state. Irrigation is great, but it comes with a cost. If you want to be a farmer/rancher in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming, you best get used to pumping water. 

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