Pump controls are necessary for most automated systems using a pump. When using a pump in a system with an irrigation controller, not only does there need to be a start/stop signal to control the irrigation valves for each zone but a start/stop signal is also needed to operate the pump. Pump controls, more specifically referred to as pump start relays (PSR), are the communication link between the controller and the pump. Think of a pump start relay like a light switch in your house; when a signal from a controller is received by a pump start relay, that signal communicates to the pump providing on/off functionality.
A signal via a controller to a pump start relay is not the only method for engaging a pump. Other signals from devices such as float switches, pressure switches, and toggle switches can influence pump operation as well. The PSR requires a signal receiver that must match the incoming signal voltage to engage and send power to the pump.
There are a wide variety of features that a pump start relay can have. The only function of some relays is to start/stop the pump, while others have more advanced features such as pump protection (such as pressure and temperature sensors), multi-signaling, and water level control. That being said, how do you figure out what pump control might be best for you? Here are a couple of examples of recommended pump control choices based on specific functionalities you might want:
While there are many pump start relays and control boxes that come standard with necessary features, some specific features like the capability to control multiple pumps or the ability to start or stop a pump on demand require specialty controls and have to be custom-made. Here is a table that provides information on several different pump controls that we offer: