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Can I use this 12volt pump outside

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  1. #1
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    Default Can I use this 12volt pump outside

    Hi. I'm wanting to set up a simple watering system for a small collection of orchids we have. Basically, all I want is a drum of water in the back yard, with a pump inside, which turns on for about 1 minute once per day under the control of a timer on a GPO inside the house. From there, the water will travel over a couple of hoses to about 10 drippers on hanging baskets. The problem is this is at a holiday home, which we rent out in holiday periods, mostly to families with kids. This makes me reluctant to have 240 volt wires trailing around the back yard where unsupervised kids could play with them. That's why I want to use 12 volt.

    So I have looked at 12 volt pond and fountain pumps, and nothing within a reasonable price range is able to create the 2-3 metre head which I need to get the water up high enough. Then I found this pump below, which is 12 volt and seems to have a more then adequate head.
    So my question is: Is there any reason I cant use this ? Also, how do I attach the pump to the GPO - is it just a matter of getting the right size AC adaptor ?

    the specs on this pump are :

    Flow rate (GPH) : 500GPH
    Volts(V) : 12V
    Current : 2.2A
    Head(m) : 3m
    Wire lead(m) : 1m
    Outlet Dia : 19mm/3/4"

    cheers and thanks
    Arron

    pump.jpg

  2. #2
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    You will be disappointed with these as they are bilge pumps for boats and are high flow low head and the restriction from the dippers could be excessive.

    As for running you could proberbly get a plug pack to do the job.

    Jaycar one Jaycar Electronics: SWITCHMODE MAINS ADAPTOR 12VDC 2.5A

  3. #3
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    You will be disappointed with these as they are bilge pumps for boats and are high flow low head and the restriction from the dippers could be excessive.

    As for running you could proberbly get a plug pack to do the job.

    Jaycar one Jaycar Electronics: SWITCHMODE MAINS ADAPTOR 12VDC 2.5A
    I don't know anything about these pumps but if the flow is too great, what about using a pressure limiting valve as used in older caravans to get it more manageable. Also, maybe a caravan pump might be a better choice if the amp draw is low enough.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I don't know anything about these pumps but if the flow is too great, what about using a pressure limiting valve as used in older caravans to get it more manageable. Also, maybe a caravan pump might be a better choice if the amp draw is low enough.
    Flow is not the problem but the lack of pressure can be as they were designed to be in the bilge and pump up to a max of 2M. Flow is easy to limit just restrict it no relief valve needed but the dripper heads could be to much for this type of pump unless you get some tube and drill holes to the size needed as drippers are a considerable restriction.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I use this 12volt pump outside

    A few other ideas you may considder. If you have enough head on the drum you could use a solinoid valve to control the drippers. You may need to drill the holes out a little and/or increase the watering time to account for the lower pressure and resultant reduced flow. Or put the drum on a stand.

    Otherwise use a smaller volume header tank/cistern arangement. And just set a pump up to fill the cistern periodically.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like a lot of work to get a few drips onto some plants.

    We ran a drip system off a tap with a battery powered timer for many years.

    You can them for 240 volt and fixed plumbing for a reasonable price. That way you don't have to worry about running out of battery power or using a hose/bucket that tenants might disturb.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  7. #7
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsaltoz View Post
    Sounds like a lot of work to get a few drips onto some plants.

    We ran a drip system off a tap with a battery powered timer for many years.

    You can them for 240 volt and fixed plumbing for a reasonable price. That way you don't have to worry about running out of battery power or using a hose/bucket that tenants might disturb.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Yes, of course. Remember a friend's setup. Centrally controlled remote solenoids. All low voltage from a plugpack.

  8. #8
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    Default We use two

    units that run from 2 x AA batteries that are programmable and go inline between the tap and the retic hose. We use these as our large block makes running any wires a non starter.
    I got a year from the last set of batteries, happy with that.
    Got them from St Green Shed. $99.00 with two solenoids and $39 for additional solenoids.
    I get the tank of water thing but for a few mins a day running off the tap is the go, there's all the pressure you could need there...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    You will be disappointed with these as they are bilge pumps for boats and are high flow low head and the restriction from the dippers could be excessive.

    As for running you could proberbly get a plug pack to do the job.

    Jaycar one Jaycar Electronics: SWITCHMODE MAINS ADAPTOR 12VDC 2.5A
    I dont get that. The specs for the pump mentions a head of 3 metres. Am I reading that wrong or failing to understand something?

    Also, if the problem Is that the drippers would provide too much back pressure, then what about if I use an additional drum mounted just above the drippers, so the pump moves water up to the secondary tank then switches off, and the water flows out of the secondary tank to the drippers by gravity.
    I think this is maybe what post #5 is talking about - not really sure.


    Cheers
    Arron

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsaltoz View Post
    Sounds like a lot of work to get a few drips onto some plants.

    We ran a drip system off a tap with a battery powered timer for many years.

    You can them for 240 volt and fixed plumbing for a reasonable price. That way you don't have to worry about running out of battery power or using a hose/bucket that tenants might disturb.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    That was my first option too, but you would probably have to see the place to understand why its not suitable. To use the timer-on-tap option then the whole thing would have to be in the barbecue/kids play area space. However, if I use the 12volt/pump in tank option then the whole thing is behind a screen on the quiet side of the house. A kid could still get there, but it would have to be wilfull. There are two issues here, one is damage ( which doesnt bother me much) and the other is injury/litigation.

    And yep, its a pretty small collection of no great value, so it doesnt justify an expensive solution. We basically just keep them there to soften the brick and concrete look of the place. They dont flower much but its just enough to give the place an exotic touch.

    Cheers
    Arron

  11. #11
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    Yes the head is 3 m but with a hose the diameter of the pump outlet and very short line remember they are just made to lift the water out of a bilge and pump it over the side, put any restriction like longer hose, smaller hose and drippers this pressure will drop off considerably.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    Yes the head is 3 m but with a hose the diameter of the pump outlet and very short line remember they are just made to lift the water out of a bilge and pump it over the side, put any restriction like longer hose, smaller hose and drippers this pressure will drop off considerably.
    So therefore if I design it so there are no restriction on the outlet I should be able to lift water 2 metres or more, but if I place any restrictions then the head will drop off exponentially ?

    If so, then the options are to use a secondary tank, or to minimise the restrictions created by the drippers, or raise the height of the primary tank. If these are the options, then removing the restrictions by dropping the drippers is the easiest one. I currently just water them by running the hose into the baskets at full volume, so there is no need for dripping.

    I should also clarify that it needs only a short line, as the drum will be almost below the first plant in the group.

    Is all this thinking correct, and thanks for your help getting me to this point.

    Cheers
    Arron

  13. #13
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    Ok, I am not understanding the issues but the requirement was for a 12v pump to push water through a drip system. That would still require a 240 to 12v supply, wouldn't it! A reticulation system requirement would have the same power supply set up and no dangerous voltage lines. Or is the problem having the water supply permanently connected?

  14. #14
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    The only tap available for a retic system is in the middle of the play/barbacue/social area. I would have to run a water line from there at ground level, then up a wall, over several other obstructions and thence to the start of the line of hanging pots. That's not how we want the back yard to look. Until I read the replies here I rhought we would also need to have power lines run out to the timer as well, though now I understand these things are normally battery powered.

    My other issue is that if this system 'fails on', then it will continue to spill out water till I get up there for a weekend. We had this happen with the lawn watering system in the front yard - it failed on and just kept running for a week till we happened to come up for a weekend. It could even be a month between visits. This is something I worry about - but maybe these timer things are designed so they cant do this ? Anyone confirm this ?

    I guess if I could be confident that it couldnt fail on but always failed off then I could overcome my other objections, and maybe bury the hose or something. Maybe a simple retic system with battery timer would be easier.

    Cheers
    Arron

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    If I was in your position I would get a pump and try it by running of a 12 V battery but remember not to restrict the flow to much and I'm sure it would work. You could make your own drippers just by using a lengths of small tube off a manifold as the restriction would be enough to restrict the flow.

  16. #16
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    Ok, a tank of water you replenish when you visit. I come back to the caravan components. John Guest small diameter tube and fittings snap together. No flow restriction with this, and a small 12v pump of low amps:

    Caravan Electric Pumps | Shop Online CaravansPlus

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Ok, a tank of water you replenish when you visit. I come back to the caravan components. John Guest small diameter tube and fittings snap together. No flow restriction with this, and a small 12v pump of low amps:

    Caravan Electric Pumps | Shop Online CaravansPlus
    The main negatives I see with caravan pumps - correct me if I'm wrong about these - is that they cant be run dry for any significant period of time. Say I fill the tank up, expecting to come backin a week, but dont get to come back for a month. The tank is going to run dry, and a caravan pump will burn out. The bilge pump has an internal float valve so it isnt bothered by low water level. I also note that the caravan pumps appear to be demand driven - they go on when you open a tap - but I need one to go on when a timer tells it to do so.

    I guess I could fit a float valve/switch to the tank which would prevent the burnout thing, but its all starting to get a bit too complicated. Maybe its time to rethink the simple retic system off a tap timer. Given a battery powered timer, It might be better to spend the time and money burying the hose and sanitising the look of the bits I cant bury. There is a small issue of interference from nosey kids, but really I dont mind the water being switched off for a spell- the worst case scenario is we loose a few plants. What concerns meis the timer failing in the On position and the system running for days or perhaps even weeks without me being there or anyone noticeing.

    Starting to favour the simple tap timer/retic system now.

    Cheers, and thanks for all the guidance so far.
    Arron

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arron View Post
    The bilge pump has an internal float valve so it isnt bothered by low water level.
    Are you sure of that as none of the bilge pumps I have used or seen have an internal float switch. A float switch if needed is added as an extra.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arron View Post
    Say I fill the tank up, expecting to come backin a week, but dont get to come back for a month. The tank is going to run dry, and a caravan pump will burn out.
    I also note that the caravan pumps appear to be demand driven - they go on when you open a tap - but I need one to go on when a timer tells it to do so.
    Arron
    Could use a very big tank of water.
    The thing is you would control it with a timer, so no open tap required as it would always be open. Also, from a $2 shop I once bought an electronic aquarium low water level sensor alarm. I mucked around with it, used some gold flashed metal pins, and changed it all to give me a water level indicator for a tank I made up. Runs faultlessly.
    With a bit of thought maybe there is some kind of device like this that can be modified to control the timer so it won't activate below a certain level.

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