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Store / Solar Water Pumps / Surface Solar Pumps / Solar Force Piston Pump / Solar Force Piston Pump Accessories
Dankoff Piston Follower #19 for SolarForce
|Item code||Brand name||Model number|
|DAKSF-PSTNFLWR||Dankoff Solar Pumps||SF Piston Follower #19|
Here are some tips from the altE staff
- Do I really need a pump controller?
- In the most basic sense, no. But for a variety of reasons, including the appropriate controller in your system makes for a better, longer lasting pumping system. A key feature to most pump controllers is what is called a linear current booster, or LCB. LCBs improve the performance of DC pumps by adjusting the voltage and current to increase the output in low light conditions, like mornings and evenings, and on cloudy days. But controllers do more than that. They reduce arcing between the brushes and the motor, significantly extending the life of the pump. Controllers also have terminals for a switch, like a float switch or pressure switch. Some controllers come with manual on/off switches, as well as internal fuses to protect against shorts. Finally, depending on the controller, they have low water probes, hi/low voltage protection, and other features. It is for all of these reasons that a pump controller is highly recommended.
- Can I use a float switch without a pump control box?
- Technically, yes. But because of the usual limitations, it isn't recommended. If one were to connect a float switch inline with the electrical circuit for the system, the wires in that switch would be carrying the current for the system. For systems with longer wire runs, comparatively larger wire is needed to reduce power losses. But the wire for a float switch isn't sized to carry large current loads. If one were to connect a float switch inline with the electrical circuit of a long cable run, the wires from the float switch would be insufficient handle the current and would result in significant power loss at best and melted cable insulation (and possibly a fire hazard) at worst. The contacts on the switch itself - what opens and closes the electrical circuit - would wear out sooner. Pump controllers typically have terminals for an electric switch (usually a float, pressure or dry run switch) that is a relay for the switch. As such, it makes it possible for the switch to function without carrying all the current in the system. This is why the wires for the switches are so small.
- What if I just don't want, or can't, use a pump controller, but I want to use a float switch?
- In this case you would have two options. First, if you can reduce the length of the float switch cable to a couple of feet, then probably the loss in the line wouldn't be too significant. But this will vary from one system to the next, and consulting a sales tech is recommended. The second option you have is to use a high current float switch. We have one that is designed for up to 25 amps. However, it contains mercury and is not recommended for drinking water.
- If I want to make the wire longer on my float switch, can I do that?
- Yes, if you are using a control box. The length will vary from one switch to the next, but for many switches you can extend the length up to 1000 feet and for some up to 2000 feet. On the other hand, lengthy runs usually means digging a trench to protect the cable from critters and exposure to weather. To avoid that challenge, one alternative is to use a combination pressure switch and float valve. When connected to a pump controller, a pressure switch will turn a pump on and off based on the pressure it senses in the water line. When the pressure rises, the switch turns the pump off, and when the pressure drops, the switch turns the pump on. A float valve (aka ball valve) is used when one is filling a water tank and will open and close the water line based on the water level of the tank.
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