How to Ensure Long-lasting Center Pivot Pipelines

How to Ensure Long-lasting Center Pivot Pipelines

Mar 14th 2023

Have you installed a center pivot irrigation system at your farm? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Our equipment experts at Flatwater Sales can help you understand how to maintain your center pivot irrigation system and its pipelines.

Center pivot irrigation systems can run for a long time without maintenance. But they do need some maintenance from time to time. Otherwise, they might break down. Just like your car's transmission needs work occasionally, or if your truck's breaks begin to squeal, you'd drive your vehicles to the repair shop. While you can't drive your irrigation system to the nearest mechanic, you can ensure timely maintenance yourself or call an expert to make sure all your individual components are working smoothly.

Here’s how you can ensure long-lasting center pivot pipelines with timely maintenance:

Prepare Your Center Pivot For The Season

Winter is now behind us. However, If you installed your center pivot irrigation system after the winter, you might not have faced this issue yet. So, this winter, you'll have to be more vigilant and winterize your center pivot irrigation pipelines.

If you live in a colder climate, you must’ve noticed that water can freeze inside your home’s pipes and cause the pipes to expand, leading to pipe leakages and breakages. Similarly, the water inside your center pivot irrigation pipes can also expand and damage your pipelines and nozzles if you don’t drain them.

So, the first step in winterizing your center pivot irrigation system is to drain your pipelines and remove any condensed water from gear motors and gearboxes. Next, grease all your moving components. You should apply grease to the mechanical parts at least once a year. Otherwise, the friction between the two steel parts can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your center pivot irrigation components.

Ensure to include rollers, corner legs, towable hubs, pivot point bearings, and other moving parts connected to the pipelines and water distribution nozzles.

Check Your Sprinklers

The second step in center pivot irrigation system maintenance is checking your sprinklers. You should check your regulators, pads, nozzles, and other sprinkler components after ten thousand operation hours.

Check The Water Pressure

Water pressure affects your center pivot irrigation system in two ways. Firstly, it affects the water application uniformity or the way the water is applied and distributed to your crops. Secondly, it affects the shape and size of the sprinkler nozzles you must install to control the water flow along the pivot pipeline.

Usually, you can get specific sprinkler packages on the market designed according to your irrigation system’s pressure and water flow rate. However, if your water pressure is lower than your center pivot irrigation system’s pipeline’s designed capacity, it can affect the water droplet size when you run the system. It also decreases the velocity of the water as it exits the nozzle and decreases the overall water flow along the pipeline.

Larger water droplets will escape the sprinkler nozzle because they aren’t designed to distribute water at a lower pressure. Also, most of your crops will be overwatered in the central span of the irrigation system and underwatered near the center and the outer edges.

Moreover, if the water pressure in the pipes is too high, it’ll form smaller droplets at the sprinkler nozzle that won’t reach the crops because they’ll either evaporate or be caught in wind drift.

So, excessive and insufficient water pressure will wear down your pipeline and raise energy costs due to water overapplication. To counter this problem, you’ll need to check the following:

- Terrain elevation.

- Water leakages in the pipeline.

- Worn pump impellers.

- Declining groundwater in the growing season.

By checking the terrain elevation, you’ll be able to adjust the water pressure and reduce the wear and tear on your center pivot irrigation system’s pipelines. Also, if you notice any leakages, get them repaired immediately. Leakages can affect your water pressure and water application rate.

You should also check if your pump impellers are worn out. It can affect your water application rate and radial fluid discharge. Lastly, check if your water source has adequate water and can withstand your water supply demand. It’ll ensure optimal water pressure in your pipelines and adequate water application to your crops.

Use The Correct Nozzle Size And Installation Sequence

Your center pivot pipelines will never work optimally if you don't install the correct nozzles and sprinklers according to the designed sequence. Your center pivot irrigation system and pipelines need special sprinklers and nozzles designed to apply water according to optimal water pressure and flow rate. This way, it'll deliver the right quantity of water to your crop without overwatering or underwatering them.

So, choose a nozzle size based on your center pivot irrigation system’s water pressure and ensure to replace any broken or old sprinklers attached to your central pipelines. Otherwise, you may underwater or overwater your crops, leading to a decline in overall crop yield and undue wear and tear on your pipelines.

Get Valley Center Pivot For Sale At Flatwater Sales Inc Today

If you’re looking for quality center pivot sprinklers, Zimmatic center pivots, Valley center pivots, and Reinke pivots for sale, check out the irrigation equipment at Flatwater Sales Inc. We sell everything from radial tires and center pivot gearboxes to Kifco water reels and pumps and much more.

We also sell used farming equipment like used center pivots after a thorough inspection process. Get in touch with us today for more information about the irrigation equipment listed on our website.