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SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System Simplifies Multi-Pump Specification & Installation

In this month’s blog, we are featuring the Franklin Electric Inline 1100 SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System to provide a simplified way to select a packaged system for boosting water pressure in applications requiring more than one pump.

The system connects easily to any commercial, industrial, or multi-residential plumbing configuration. Instead of choosing individual components within the system, contractors simply determine how much water flow is required to be boosted to the desired constant pressure output. As water volume needs increase, the system instantly accelerates the motor to the proper speed to ensure the water pressure stays constant throughout the application.

This all-in-one constant water pressure system contains the pump, motor, and drive in a compact package for easy and versatile system integration. Powered by water-cooled motors, it delivers quieter operation than traditional air-cooled motors. Power required is a 230-volt single phase transitioning to three-phase through the integrated VFD.

All Inline 1100 SpecPAKs can be mounted in any configuration, providing a zero footprint. Only 14.5 inches deep, the smaller footprint accommodates virtually all mechanical room sizes and fits through standard doorways for worry-free specifications.

Features also include all-stainless components for corrosion resistance and uncompromised water quality, plus electrical design with multiple fuses to prevent surge damage. Simplex systems are also available.

Due to its modular design, the Inline 1100 SpecPAK makes it easy to expand the quantity of pumps after the initial installation should a building expansion or any other increase in water demand arise.

For more information about the Inline 1100 SpecPAK or any other booster pump product, JMI’s professional staff is happy to help. For “No Problem” service, contact “Your Partners in Pumping” at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

What Is Pump Cavitation

Cavitation occurs when the liquid in a pump turns to a vapor at low pressure. There are 2 kinds of cavitation – suction and discharge.

Suction cavitation occurs when there is not enough flow to the pump resulting in bubbles (cavities) at the eye of the impeller. When the bubbles pass from the middle of the impeller to the outer edges, the change in pressure inside the pumps causes the bubbles to collapse or implode with great force.

Discharge cavitation occurs when the discharge pressure is extremely high, resulting for some fluid to circulate inside the pump instead of discharging. Fluid trapped between the impeller and housing at high velocity causes a drop in pressure and the formation of bubbles and their eventual implosion.

A telltale sign of cavitation is excessive noise and vibration. Vibration causes problems for many pump components, including the shaft, bearings, and seals. Left unchecked, cavitation will eventually erode components beyond repair and lead to pump failure.

Causes of Cavitation

Suction and discharge cavitation share possible causes: clogged filters, pipe blockage, poor design, or the incorrect pump for the application.

The pump curve is also crucial – If the pump is running too far right on the curve, it can cause suction cavitation. If it is running too far left on the curve, it can cause discharge cavitation.

Poor suction conditions can also occur when a pump is selected, e.g., for high efficiency, but does not meet Net Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHr) –the absolute pressure that must be present in a liquid for a pump to avoid cavitation while pumping.

The second part to this is the NPSHr must be compatible with the NPSHa – the NPSH made available by the system in which the pump is installed. A pump that requires more NPSH than the system makes available will not operated as designed and internal damage can be expected in a brief amount of time. A rule of thumb is to require a 10% margin or 5 feet of difference between the NPSHa and NPSHr, whichever is greater.

How can cavitation be prevented?

The best way is to have a good system design, which include appropriate NPSH margins, correct piping, and selecting the right pump for the application. When determining the pump to use for your situation, the experts at JMI are happy to assist and provide a customized solution. Contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Thermal Motor Protection

Most quality sump, effluent, and sewage pumps are equipped with thermal overload protection. When excessive heat is detected, the motor shuts down automatically and restarts one the motor cools. Overloads are already built into smaller motors, while larger motors have electronic overloads in the control panel that usually protect from phase loss as well.

Some common causes of overheating or overloading include:

  • Voltage unbalance
  • Jammed or locked impeller
  • Improper float switch setting
  • Continuous operation of the pump
  • Running dry (most submersible pumps)
  • Faulty windings

In a single-phase pump, the winding overload protector operates on the combined effect of temperature and current. This means the overload protector will trip out and shut the motor down if the windings become too hot or the load current passing through them becomes too high. It will then automatically reset and restart the pump after the motor cools to a safe temperature.

However, repeated motor overheating and shutdowns require a deep dive into the problem. Things to check are…

  • the resistance of the motor windings.
  • blockage of the impellers, which will need to be cleared if obstructed.
  • the bearings, which will need to be replaced if not in good working order.
  • if the pump is wired to the correct voltage.

If something is not done to remedy the overload situation, the overload will continue to trip and reset itself until the motor is destroyed.

If you need assistance to troubleshoot the cause of overheating, we can help you with our “No Problem” Service. Contact “Your Partners in Pumping” at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

New Submersible Sewage Pump Available from JMI

JMI Pump Systems recently introduced a new Submersible Sewage Pump, Model PVL-9S-JMI. We’ve improved the design of our longest-standing sewage pump, as the new unit can be used in more applications, with its increased shut-off head and GPM.

Product features are as follows:

  • Rated for continuous duty use in sewage and water transfer applications
  • Energy-efficient low amp draw motor with thermal overload protection
  • Heavy-duty epoxy-coated all cast iron pump
  • 2” solids handling/NPT discharge
  • Cast iron Vortex impeller
  • 20’ power cord
  • Upper and lower ball bearings
  • Carbon ceramic shaft seal
  • CSA Certified
  • 3-year warranty

A JMI Submersible Sewage Pump ran for more than 250,000 cycles in the onsite JMI Proving Grounds. The 9S-JMI and switch still met performance specifications upon test completion.

For more information on the new JMI Sewage Pump, Your Partners in Pumping at JMI Pump Systems are ready to help. Contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Assortment of Control Panels Available from JMI

Known for offering a wide variety of pumps and pump system accessories, JMI Pump Systems expansive inventory allows us to quickly meet the needs of our customers. One such product is control panels, which are designed to operate and monitor pumps and pump systems, managing single-phase or three-phase pumps as well as simplex or duplex pump systems in all water and sewage installations. The following are examples of control panels available from “Your Partners in Pumping.”

Alderon Check It™

Available in Single-Phase Simplex and Duplex and Three-Phase Simplex and Duplex models, the Alderon products are designed for demand dose sewage applications.

The control panels include three 20’ normally open control switches with stainless steel pipe clamps. As the liquid level rises, activating the pump start or lead switch, the pump will start and continue to run until the pump stop switch is deactivated to complete the pump cycle.

During an alarm condition, the beacon will illuminate, the buzzer will annunciate, and auxiliary contacts will activate. If the alarm silence switch is toggled upward during an alarm condition, it will silence the buzzer while the alarm beacon remains illuminated. The alarm condition will reset when the high-level alarm switch deactivates, and the system will auto reset for the next alarm cycle. Auxiliary contacts are used to connect to a building automation system (BAS) or SCADA system and phone dialers for remote notification of alarm conditions.

Both the control and alarm circuits are fused to protect system wiring. With separate incoming pump and control/alarm power, the circuit board remains powered during a pump failure event causing the pump circuit to trip.

The units have Specified FLA Ranges, with a Type 1 (indoor) or Type 4X (outdoor) enclosure, with the single-phase units featuring 120VAC and 120/230VAC and the three-phase models having 208/230/460VAC.

The simplex models include control switches for pump stop, pump start, and high liquid level alarm. The circuit board includes LED indicators for control and alarm power, pump run, pump stop, pump start, and high-level alarm with a hand-off-auto (HOA) switch. This allows the user to check pump operation and see the float status with LED indicators. Terminals are included for control/alarm power, stop, start, alarm, system wiring, and auxiliary contacts.

The duplex models feature the included control switches for pump stop, pump lead, pump lag, and high liquid level alarm. If the lag/high level alarm switch is activated, the second pump will start, an alarm condition occurs, and the pump(s) will continue to run until the pump stop switch is deactivated.

The circuit board includes LED indicators for control and alarm power, pump 1 run, pump 2 run, pump stop, pump lead, pump lag, and high-level alarm with a hand-off-auto (HOA) switch for each pump. Terminals are included for control/alarm power, stop, lead, lag, alarm, system wiring, and auxiliary contacts (lag/alarm jumper wire; factory installed). These units allow the user to check pump operation and see the float status with LED indicators.

Ion Genesis Smart Controller and Sensors

A first-of-a-kind digital pump controller, the Ion Genesis is designed to operate one or two pumps, alternating or simultaneously, with combined amp draws of 12 amps. The Ion digital level sensors are used in place of standard float switches and allow for an adjustable on level from 2.5” to 72” in 0.5” increments. It incorporates smart sensing technology that utilizes critical system information such as pump amp draw, how long the pump operates, water level, and other features.

You can collect and analyze system data never before possible with the level sensor controllers. Any change or variation in system performance will sound an alarm or alert of possible equipment failure before flooding occurs. This new technology allows for adjusting the system turn on level without removing the system cover.

NEX Series® Pump Control Panels

The simplex (8 x 6 x 4″) and duplex (10 x 8 x 4”) pump control panels feature compact designs that are ideal for residential applications. The innovative internal design of components and integral mounting tabs make installation quick and simple. Plus, the universal pump voltage and control/alarm power allows the pump control panels to handle three voltages (120/208/240V).

The simplex panel is designed to control one single phase pump in water and wastewater applications, while the duplex control panel is designed to alternately control two single phase pumps in water and sewage installations, with the alternating action equalizing pump wear. Two control switches activate a power relay to turn the pump on and off. If an alarm condition occurs, an additional alarm switch activates the audible/visual alarm system. In addition to the alternating pump control, these systems provide override control should pump fail.

SJE-Rhombus Model 122 - Redesigned Single Phase Duplex Control Panel

This newly redesigned model controls two 120/208/240V single phase pumps in water and sewage installations. This panel includes an innovation duplex controller for pump control, alternation, and alarm; including float status LEDs, a control/alarm power on/off switch with LED indicator, pump run LEDs, HOA switches, a pump lead lag selector switch, auxiliary contacts, and more. In addition, there are four user selectable field programmable operations: alarm steady state or flashing; alarm auto reset; pump failure notification; and optional seal failure alarm beacon notification or beacon plus horn activation.

Available in the new NEMA 4X enclosure designed for easy installation and provides additional protection from elements. Note: Options may increase enclosure size and/or change enclosure features/component layout.

SJE Rhombus Single Phase, Simplex Grinder Pump Control Panel (Capacitor Start/Run)

The Model SGS (sewage grinder system) control panel provides a reliable means of controlling one 120/208/240V single phase pump. This panel, designed for water and sewage applications, controls pumps of 2 HP or less requiring external capacitor start and run components.

In addition, the Model SGS Build-A-Panel™ control panel provides greater flexibility by ordering through options, allowing customization of a standard panel to meet specific needs.

SJE-Rhombus Ultra Nator™ For Duplex, Plug-In-Play Sump Pump Applications

This system, designed to control two single-phase, 120V pumps, is as large as 1 hp and up to 15-amps. Featuring two receptacles to accept two 120V pump plugs for easy pump connection, no wiring is required – it is Plug-In-Play. In normal operation, the pumps will alternate based on the pump switch level. If an alarm condition occurs, the alarm indicator and horn will turn on. The pump in use will turn off and the other pump will turn on. Pumping will continue until the pump switch deactivates. This alternating action equalizes pump wear and increases the life of pumps, as well as serves as a “stand by” pump, always ready in case of pump failure (which we hope is from old age).

Three Phase, Duplex Alternating Pump Control

The Model 322 control panel is designed to control two 208/240/480VAC three phase pumps in industrial and commercial water and sewage systems. The controller is provided with a pump selector switch that can be set to alternate the pumps to equalize wear or to call either pump to activate first with the other pump to activate in lag condition. If an alarm occurs, the alarm activates the audible-visual system. The alarm conditions include high water, float out-of-sequence, pump fail-to-run, and seal failure. Common applications include lift stations, pump chambers, and irrigation systems.

As with all our pumps and pump system equipment, JMI Pump Systems’ professional staff can help you determine the correct control panel for your application. For “No Problem” service, contact Your Partners in Pumping at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Sump Basins and Covers

An integral part of a sump pump installation is the basin and cover. Basins can be constructed of polyethylene, structural foam, or fiberglass. Each material has positive qualities – what you choose should be best for the application and sometimes a price point.

  • Polyethylene basins are leak resistant and durable as they are molded, one-piece construction without seams.
  • Structural foam is lightweight and mild flexibility, while also maintaining very good strength.
  • Fiberglass basins are watertight as well, durable (corrosion and abrasion resistant), and have the highest strength-to-weight ratio of them all.

JMI’s most popular basin option is the Evolution E-Series Basin from TOPP Industries – a maximum durability structural foam basin that won’t crack or dent. The E-Series features self-tapping lags for cover attachments, dual raised flat pockets for a tight inlet seal, and is gas tight for sewage and radon mitigation applications.

In many cases, the size of the basin for a particular pump is recommended by the pump manufacturer. This is referred to in the owner's manual and this size is usually the minimum. The size and type of basin can also be specified by a plumbing designer or engineer when a building or home is being designed based on the local and/or state plumbing code requirements. Or you can just ask us!

Standard basin diameter sizes are 18”, 24”, 30”, 36”, and up to 72”. The depths JMI stocks range from 24” to 120” in 12” increments. Exact measurement requirements can be ordered with a limited lead time. We also have extensions of various widths and depth for the last-minute adaptations to applications.

Our top seller for commercial water transfer applications is the BIG-EASY Packaged System that includes one 36” x 48” Fiberglass Basin with a solid bottom, one Cast Iron Frame and Grate (or Lid), and one 4-inch Inlet Seal. The cast iron frame has a minimum 24” clear access, which conforms to the State of Wisconsin Uniform Plumbing code SPS 382.34. The 4” rise on the cast iron frame makes it easier to maintain the maximum 12” invert dimension, which is measured from the top of the grate (lid) to the bottom of the outlet. Weighing 118 pounds, it is easy to handle, plus the BIG-EASY can be installed without the use of large equipment.

When it comes to sump, effluent, and sewage applications, an equally important component is the cover. You need the strength, but also require adaptability to specific applications. JMI offers an assortment of basin covers with material options including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, PVC, clear acrylic, structural foam, and fiberglass.

The covers in sanitary sump systems are usually sealed and vented per code. Drainage or stormwater sumps may just have a simple slotted or split cover, however many are sealed and vented because of radon and safety concerns. Matching covers are available to fit the specified basin’s diameter and made to cover both simplex and duplex pump systems.

If you come across a broken or rusted cover, consider a JMI custom PVC cover. We will make it exactly to your specification, and fast. Simply send us a photo with tape measure across the middle of the cover you want to replace. Provide the specifics required regarding the size of discharge and vent, and desire for any of the following: bolt holes, cord grommet, float access cover, clear viewport, pump access covers, etc. Lastly, get this information to our sales staff early enough in the day and we will have the cover ready to pick up or ship that same day!

Visit our website to see before and after examples of transition from steel to PVC basin covers.

For questions on residential or commercial pump sizing, basins, and covers, Your Partners in Pumping at JMI Pump Systems are ready to help. Contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

All About Shut-Off Valves

At JMI Pump Systems, we have an assortment of shut-off valves for your pumping applications. You'll find ball, gate, and globe types and other options available, plus valves are available in different materials, including bronze, brass, and PVC plastic. It is important keep in mind that it’s imperative to choose materials appropriate to the application of the pump system.

Ball Valves

Ball valves control water flow by using a rotational ball with a hollow core through its center. Attached to the top of the ball valve is a lever whose range of movement is a short quarter turn. When the handle is parallel to the water supply pipe, the valve is open as the ball aligns with the water flow. When the lever is perpendicular, the valve is closed. The solid section of the ball rotates 90 degrees and blocks the water flow.

Advantages to ball valves is they can be turned off quickly, they have longevity, and they are not prone to leaks or premature failure. However, closing the valve too quickly can cause water hammer. Clogging can occur when it’s handling water with a large amount of sediment, in which case a sediment filter should be installed to eliminate dirt and debris.

A ball valve should not be used for throttling because the seat of the ball valve will erode, and the valve will fail.

Gate Valves

Gate valves are designed to be either fully open or fully closed. As the name suggests, gate valves are equipped with a wedge-shaped metal gate that can be lowered to halt water flow and raised to allow flow to continue. The gate is controlled by a circular handle or wheel-shaped knob located at the top of the valve. Turning the knob gradually lowers the gate into the valve. Because they open and close slowly, water hammer is avoided.

A disadvantage to gate valves is they are prone to corrosion resulting in failure. Also, gate valves should not be used in application where the water needs to be turned on and off regularly. In this case, a ball valve is the better choice. As with ball valves, gate valves should not be used for throttle pressure.

Globe Valves

Globe valves, used to regulate or throttle the water flow, are spherically shaped, although with a bulge. Inside the globe is a stopper at the end of a valve stem, called a disc or plug. The stem is operated by turning a handwheel knob. It can be opened all the way up, sealed closed or partially open to reduce flow or increase head pressure.

Also, inside the globe housing is a “seat,” a metal frame that divides the body into two chambers and has a hole to allow fluid to pass. Turning the valve stem until the disc is into the seat closes the valve preventing fluid from flowing through. When the valve is open, the fluid flows through the space between the edge of the disc and the seat. Besides being closed or open, they can also be partially open to adjust flow without stopping it.

A disadvantage to globe valves is a higher pressure drop because when fluids change direction, it results in greater resistance against the flow. Unless of course the intention is to increase back pressure.

Some options include combination valves with an elbow, check valves with a gate valve, or a combination of the three. Additional information is addressed in our Szuster Ball Check Valves blog from December 2021.

For more information on shut-off valves available from JMI Pump Systems and for assistance on any pumping application, contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Why You Need a High Temperature Pump

Pumping cold water is normally straightforward, only requiring standard seals and lower-pressure components. However,use of a standard pump in a high temp application may lead to leaking seals, stalled drives, or even cause premature motor failure.

While all pumps can handle a certain degree of high temperature, some pumps are specifically designed to withstand the extra high temperature found in some fluid solutions in applications, such as furnace condensate, waste from boiler blow-down, plant washdown and industrial cleaning sump pits, and transformer vaults.

Among our pump selection, a popular choice is the Little Giant Model PLG-HT10ENCIM-A, Automatic submersible effluent pump that can handle liquids up to 200 degrees with a maximum capacity of 75 GPM, maximum head of 25 feet, and 1.5 discharge NPT. Reliable and robust, it’s equipped with a continuous duty rated, energy-efficient permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor with thermal overload protection. PSC motors provide lower current draw increasing energy efficiency, improved performance, and a cooler running motor.

The motor housing and volute are epoxy-coated cast iron, and the mechanical shaft seal is fluorelastomer (FKM) with carbon and Ni-resist faces to assure maximum protection against pump failure. Other features include a non-clog impeller, stainless steel fasteners to prevent corrosion, and solid handling up to ¾-inch diameter.

Whatever your high-temp pumping needs, our team can walk you through the proper pump selection, considering the liquid being pumped, flow and pressure required, liquid viscosity, and the range of temperatures. Contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Do You Need a Utility Pump?

Utility pumps, also known as water transfer pumps, are available in a variety of sizes, but the function of these pumps built to withstand difficult applications is the same – to move water from one location to another.

Some pumps can discharge the water whether the pump is sitting up or lying on its side, while others are designed to handle liquids up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A fair amount of utility pumps can also run dry for an extended period without damage.

Utility pumps should not be used for pumping gasoline and fuel oil mixtures, detergents, acids, chemicals, beverages, pesticides, fertilizers, or any other flammable liquid or corrosive. If the water contains hard or soft solids, such as mud, leaves, small twigs, sand, and sludge, a trash pump is required.

When choosing a utility pump, consider:

  • Discharge capacity: Gallons per minute or the rate of speed that the water flows from the water source to the discharge point.
  • Horsepower: The higher the horsepower, the greater the gpm or the amount of pressure provided.
  • Maximum head lift: The amount of pressure required to push the liquid to the point of discharge. Note that as the distance from the water level to the point of discharge increases, pump output decreases.
  • Vertical suction lift: The vertical distance that a pump may be placed above the water level and be able to draw water.

Utility pumps can be powered in several ways. Depending on the application, you can find utility pumps that operate on DC power (for example pumping water out of a boat); AC power; fossil fuel; and hydraulics. JMI also has gas engine and diesel driven water transfer pumps available for quotes.

It is best to base your selection on how you need to use the pump. If you are transferring water from locations that are (for the most part) dry, then a non-submersible model will do. But if you need to pump water out of a pond, hot tub, or pool, select a submersible model whose motor is enclosed with watertight housing.

JMI offers utility/transfer pumps for commercial and residential applications. For more information, contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.

JMI Offers High Performance with Barnes Chopper Pumps

Chopper pumps are very powerful sewage processing pumps designed to reduce the size of solids in a wastewater stream. As the solids pass through, they are sliced into pieces and the deep vane impeller passes them along.

Sometimes there is confusion on the difference between chopper pumps and grinder pumps. They are both macerating pumps, but choppers can pass solids up to three inches or more. Grinder pumps can only pass fine slurry. Plus, choppers can pump larger ranges of flow than grinders. Even fibrous and stringy materials can be handled by a chopper, macerated to the point they are pumpable.

The premium chopper pump offered by JMI Pump Systems is the Sithe from Barnes. The Sithe can chop solids including mop heads, pantyhose, wood, plastic bottles, metal cans, wipes, Swiffers, and other materials bigger than three inches. It provides reliable operation in applications like hospitals, correctional facilities, retirement communities, RV parks, truck stops, daycare facilities, and the like.

The Sithe chopper features an open center cutter design. Its slicing mechanism reduces solids to prevent downstream clogging and blockages in piping, valves, and head works.

Built for durability with a cast iron volute, cast iron motor house, and cast-iron seal plate, the impeller is made of ductile iron and the field replaceable slicing blade is heat-treated 440C SS. Robust heavy-duty bearing are cooled in an oil bath. The Sithe also features a plug and play “quick connect” cord that simplifies maintenance and an envie3 high-efficiency air-filled motor.

The Barnes envie3 motor platform's ability to continuously run-in air means that its minimum required submergence is significantly lower than the competitions. This allows customers to set floats lower, resulting in more regular turnover of the lift station, less FOG buildup, and less chance for the station going septic.

Envie3 high efficiency air-filled motors come without application limitations. Its patent pending, closed loop glycol cooling system keeps motors stress-free, even in the most demanding applications — suitable for shallow wells, high water tables, and rocky terrain and available in both vertical and horizonal configurations.

Plus, it’s premium efficient IE3 motor delivers significant energy savings versus traditional motor offerings. Designed to run both submerged and dry run, these motors are available with Barnes and Deming chopper and non-clog pumps.

Sithe chopper pumps are available in standard and explosion proof models in 3-, 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch discharge sizes ranging from 3 to 150 hp with flows up to 5,000 gpm.

No matter your pumping applications or needs, you can depend on JMI’s expert staff to help choose the right solution for you. For more information, contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.