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    Thread: Truth In Numbers...Water Pump Testing Station

    1. #1
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Truth In Numbers...Water Pump Testing Station

      This thread will be a work in progress and will probably get changed around over time but I figured it was time to get it started and before I get distracted by another project. I am going to stickie this thread to the top of my marketplace so you can find it easily.

      First off I want to thank those of you that have donated money to the testing station. To date I have received $520 in donations from...(hopefully you don't care that i outed you but if you want to be removed from that list let me know)
      DragonFireSG
      Pond,James_Pond
      Marlo
      icu2
      lukef
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      bobsmith
      BWG
      mplskoi

      The testing station is currently valued at around $1,046 (not including any water pumps) so if you would like to contribute to the cause you can send money as Friends and Family through PayPal to Zac@DeepwaterKoi.com

      I am still in the early stages of station setup, but here is what I have right now...
      Name:  20180314_143138.jpg
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      4' diameter x 4' tall water holding tank with 350 gallons of water.
      4" true union ball valve setup 12" OC from the ground is connected to the 10' long 4" sch 40 suction pipe
      In the center of the suction pipe we have an ultrasonic flow meter... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      Then we have the pump pushing water up through a 2" pipe and then into a 4" sch 40 hard 90 before return back to the pond through 130 or so inches of 4" pipe and through another true union ball valve.
      I went ahead and got TWO digital pressure gauges so I can check both the vacuum and positive pressure values on the pump... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I and still working out the little kinks in the flow meter trying to get a better signal quality from the transducers. I am reading 89 in the signal strength value (ranges from 0-99 with anything over 50 as usable), but I am only getting a value of 60 in the signal quality (ranges between 0-99 with anything over 50 as usable) but I really want to get that number up for more accurate results. I haven't purchased an actual coupling agent yet, but I have used two different greases with the same quality values coming back. I even polished the exterior of the pipe and only got a 1 point increase. I will reach out to the company I bought it from and see what they suggest. The manual says it may be interference from the power source but I have located the power switching unit as far away from the meter and transducers as I can (roughly 12') but I see no increase in SQ if the PSU is right next to the meter or 12' away.

      Once I actually get things dialed in with the meter and start testing water pumps, I will start another thread and stickie it directly under this thread and post the testing results of the different pumps. I will keep that thread CLOSED so that no one can clutter it up with comments, but I will also post the test results in this thread so everyone can freely comment on the results.

      Here are todays surprise pressure gauge readings on a USED for 3 months PerformancePro Artesian2 A2-1/2-76-C pump with no ball valve restriction on either side of the pump...
      Name:  20180314_143059.jpg
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      I am not going to post the flow meter results yet because I do not think the meter is accurately displaying the flow due to the low signal quality. Well, then some of you will think I am being shady and not posting the results because I am in bed with PerfPro so to provide sunlight... The flow was fluctuating between 6300 and 7000 GPH so obviously some work needs to be done stabilizing those readings before we can get any real clarity on the water pumps actual flow capabilities.

      I am also waiting on a reply from PerfPro as to how they run their pump testing station so I can accurately compare numbers. Right now the pressure gauges are screwed into the drain ports on the wet end of the pump so these locations may not be the most accurate places to measure from. But you would think, pressure is pressure so the location shouldn't matter, but maybe it does.
      Last edited by Zac Penn; 04-12-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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    2. #2
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      For industry this is where we typically installed pressure gauges for monitoring water pump performance. Usually a valve was used to shut off and protect the gauge from surges when not in use. Since pond pumps are low pressure valve is not needed.
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      Last edited by BWG; 03-14-2018 at 07:49 PM.

    3. #3
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      For industry this is where we typically installed pressure gauges for monitoring water pump performance. Usually a valve was used to shut off and protect the gauge from surges when not in use. Since pond pumps are low pressure valve is not needed.
      I had thought about doing something like which would allow air to get trapped at the top of the tube and act as a dampening spring to hopefully get a steady pressure readout. I just read through the instruction manual for the digital gauges and they have a dampening feature that allows you to average up to 8 pressure readings and display the pressure as an average so this will make the data recording easier. I was also afraid that installing the gauge directly into the flow path would give false readings due to the low pressure zones created by flowing water (the faster the water flows through a Tee the greater vacuum force (Venturi) it creates in the perpendicular leg of the Tee). That is why I chose the top of the 90 elbow on the first test because the water was crashing into that section instead of rushing passed it, but that probably gave false readings due to the point loading of the water into the gauge. Then I realized the pump has a drain port on both the suction side and pressure side of the pump and figured that should give the most accurate readings which accounted for the 2" restriction going into and out of the pumps. However PerfPro said they install their pressure gauges on the 2" pipe just before and after the pump so maybe I should do the same??????

      Do you the people want me to try and recreate the manufacturers testing setups and put the pressure gauges before/after the pump?
      or
      Do you the people want me to install the gauges inside the pump volute/diffuser so that it is easy for the end customer to install their own gauges in the factory provided holes and easily reference our data and compare the pressures to the actual flow ratings that we have tested?

      Option one can hold a fire to the manufacturers, but is less user friendly. Option two does allow an easy out for the manufacturers to dispute the results.
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    4. #4
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      I just found the Dampening feature in the flow meter manual as well, so I can get the flow rates to overage over certain time period. I will shoot for an average over 20 seconds to get the most accurate results.
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    5. #5
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      I have serious doubts the pressure in a volute is even throughout and even if it is accurate measured on one pump's drain plug it might not be be for the next pump. Measuring in the pipe immediately after exit is standard practice in industry. Try not to screw the gauge past the pipe wall. An option to make it more portable is to make a gauge bracket with gasket where you permanently mount the gauge to. Just drill a hole into the pipe and use hose clamps to secure the gauge and bracket.

      The further the pressure gauge is placed downstream the more inaccurate it will be for measuring what the pump is experiencing. No different than comparing the pressures diving in 10 ft of water vs 100 ft.
      Last edited by BWG; 03-15-2018 at 10:11 AM.

    6. #6
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      I have serious doubts the pressure in a volute is even throughout and even if it is accurate measured on one pump's drain plug it might not be be for the next pump. Measuring in the pipe immediately after exit is standard practice in industry. Try not to screw the gauge past the pipe wall. An option to make it more portable is to make a gauge bracket with gasket where you permanently mount the gauge to. Just drill a hole into the pipe and use hose clamps to secure the gauge and bracket.

      The further the pressure gauge is placed downstream the more inaccurate it will be for measuring what the pump is experiencing. No different than comparing the pressures diving in 10 ft of water vs 100 ft.

      What are your thoughts on the Venturi Effect with a remote mounted gauge through a Tee?
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    7. #7
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      Something like this reducer tee might be low resistance. A standard 2 inch PVC tee has the equivalent resistance of 4.3 ft of pipe on flow run.

      Less restriction and less venturi effect. Keep hole small and don't stick gauge nipple into flow path.
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      Last edited by BWG; 03-15-2018 at 11:30 AM.

    8. #8
      danbo is offline Senior Member
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      Cool! Some thoughts:

      The ultrasonic flowmeter is not a 'traceable' device, so when you get it working suggest you try to 'prove it' otherwise there will be continual arguments on the accuracy of your flow-meter. Your set up allows you to do this as you have a perfect volumetric tank prover. Disconnect the pump and have the line open to the ground. Fill the tank to max. If your flowmeter can do 'total flow' rather than flow rate....switch to that setting. (otherwise you will have to integrate the flowrate over the time). Open the valve and count the seconds it takes to discharge a measured level of water. Times the area gives you the volume. Divide by time gives average flow rate. Compare this with the volume measured by the meter and you have calibrated the device. If you assume your 'tank prover' represents 'accuracy', you can adjust all U/S measurements by a Meter Factor = Tank Prover Vol/US meter volume.

      Pressure measurement points should never be on corners. At corners, the velocity is faster on the 'outside' (therefore pressure lower per Bernoulli's law) and lower on the 'inside' (pressure higher). This is the basis of a corner dp cell flow meter.... Standards for pressure measurement in water would take the tapping at the mid point of the line and slope downwards to the pressure device (line to the device should be water filled).

      Instead of the U/S flowmeter...could have done a diy venturi meter??

      Anyway, interested in the outcome. Hope my comments are taken as constructive....

      Dan

    9. #9
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      The manufactures recommendation for interference from the power supply might be a reference to the power being supplied to the meter not being a clean DC source. (Noise on the DC power)

    10. #10
      danbo is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      The manufactures recommendation for interference from the power supply might be a reference to the power being supplied to the meter not being a clean DC source. (Noise on the DC power)
      Not to be a stickler for accuracy, but this is always the issue with an 'unproven' meter. As far as I know the only meters that do not require 'proving' are differential pressure measurement systems based on an orifice plate or a venturi. Orifice plate and venturi meters are 'approved' on the basis of dimensions and agreed standards.

      I'm wondering (for Zac's interest) if the flow on the pump suction is in laminar or turbulent mode & what impact that has on the measurement...or operation of the U/S meter? Suction and discharge flowrate will be the same, but in industry I would have most often have seen the flowmeter on the discharge side. Maybe the higher discharge pressure ensures the flow regime is turbulent? (certainly equations for orifice and venturi's assume turbulent flow). Sorry if being obtuse here....

      Dan

    11. #11
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      On this setup and lengths of pipe used easy to measure suction or discharge pipe.

    12. #12
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by danbo View Post
      Cool! Some thoughts:

      The ultrasonic flowmeter is not a 'traceable' device, so when you get it working suggest you try to 'prove it' otherwise there will be continual arguments on the accuracy of your flow-meter. Your set up allows you to do this as you have a perfect volumetric tank prover. Disconnect the pump and have the line open to the ground. Fill the tank to max. If your flowmeter can do 'total flow' rather than flow rate....switch to that setting. (otherwise you will have to integrate the flowrate over the time). Open the valve and count the seconds it takes to discharge a measured level of water. Times the area gives you the volume. Divide by time gives average flow rate. Compare this with the volume measured by the meter and you have calibrated the device. If you assume your 'tank prover' represents 'accuracy', you can adjust all U/S measurements by a Meter Factor = Tank Prover Vol/US meter volume.

      Pressure measurement points should never be on corners. At corners, the velocity is faster on the 'outside' (therefore pressure lower per Bernoulli's law) and lower on the 'inside' (pressure higher). This is the basis of a corner dp cell flow meter.... Standards for pressure measurement in water would take the tapping at the mid point of the line and slope downwards to the pressure device (line to the device should be water filled).

      Instead of the U/S flowmeter...could have done a diy venturi meter??

      Anyway, interested in the outcome. Hope my comments are taken as constructive....

      Dan
      Dan thank you so much for taking the time to write that. It was absolutely constructive!

      The meter does have a flow totalizer feature but I fear it would take a few seconds to accurately starts registering the total flow. How would I initiate flow, get it stabilized and then start dumping that water without serious modifications to the plumbing on the outlet side of the pump?

      I do have a scrap 24" diameter plug that I could use as a water collector inside the 4' holding tank but that would fill up incredibly fast as high flow rates.

      If someone can please brainstorm a simple way to prove the flow meter without serious cost improvements I would appreciate it. Now that I have the dampening set to 30 seconds on the flow meter it stabilizes the flow within 5 GPH or so. I just need to wait a few minutes after a valve adjustment has been made to give the meter time to average all those changes to flow and get back to a steady reading. With that said here are the very first full range test numbers on my Used PerfPro Artesian2 A2-1/2-76-C Pump...

      Name:  A2-1:2-76-C Used Data Sheet 1.0.jpg
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      Last edited by Zac Penn; 03-15-2018 at 01:19 PM.
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    13. #13
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      Is this with the pressure gauges in the pump's drain ports?

      Edit - I see your note stating location at the top of the chart.
      Last edited by BWG; 03-15-2018 at 01:36 PM.

    14. #14
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by danbo View Post
      Not to be a stickler for accuracy, but this is always the issue with an 'unproven' meter. As far as I know the only meters that do not require 'proving' are differential pressure measurement systems based on an orifice plate or a venturi. Orifice plate and venturi meters are 'approved' on the basis of dimensions and agreed standards.

      I'm wondering (for Zac's interest) if the flow on the pump suction is in laminar or turbulent mode & what impact that has on the measurement...or operation of the U/S meter? Suction and discharge flowrate will be the same, but in industry I would have most often have seen the flowmeter on the discharge side. Maybe the higher discharge pressure ensures the flow regime is turbulent? (certainly equations for orifice and venturi's assume turbulent flow). Sorry if being obtuse here....

      Dan

      I understand where you are coming from with the pitot tube meters, but I wanted something that wouldn't take any minute elevation changes, and water curvature into account etc... I just wanted the meter to spit out GPH without me doing any converting. Yes I know Excel could have done that for me but you get my point haha

      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      On this setup and lengths of pipe used easy to measure suction or discharge pipe.
      I actually have two of the same U/S Meters, so i am thinking about mounting one on the suction side and one on the discharge side and see what difference there is. Maybe even average those readings together. Based on the manual it say 10X pipe diameter after a 90 and 5X pipe diameter before a restriction like my ball valve. The horizontal discharge pipe is roughly 135" or so... So if I center the transducers 90" away from the 90 and 45" before the ball valve I should be well within the recommended spacing on the discharge side.

      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      Is this with the pressure gauges in the pump's drain ports?

      Edit - I see your note stating location at the top of the chart.
      Yeah I just did that for giggles, and to see how long the whole process would take to test a single pump, which ended up being 75 minutes.
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    15. #15
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      So I almost read a whole post on this thread. it said, and I quote, "BLAh blah blah blah blah, etc etc. it will be done later.
      "Those aren't poodles. They're Dobermans with afros."

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by lukef View Post
      So I almost read a whole post on this thread. it said, and I quote, "BLAh blah blah blah blah, etc etc. it will be done later.
      I would not have even attempted this if i was Zac. He knows who he is dealing with lol. And you instigated the whole thing. Why don't you supply the test rig then and take it in your own hands

    17. #17
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by lukef View Post
      So I almost read a whole post on this thread. it said, and I quote, "BLAh blah blah blah blah, etc etc. it will be done later.

      HAHAHAHAHA Well aren't you just Mr Impatient.

      Just to annoy Luke even more I will post some unofficial "I have always wondered if this was true" data...
      At -12.8 feet of H2O on the suction side gauge and +0.09 feet of H2O on the pressure side gauge the flow meter displayed... 4940 GPH
      At -0.1 feet of H2O on the suction side gauge and +12.75 feet of H2O on the pressure side gauge the flow meter displayed... 4980 GPH

      So based on this single unscientific test the old statement..."Pumps work better when the restriction is on the pressure side" is BS!!!!
      I will test this out fully when I really get into this testing, but it is an interesting result.

      Here is the new setup with the flow meter on the discharge side and pressure gauges remote mounted...
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    18. #18
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      I haven't heard it was different flow wise but that it was "harder" on the pump pull as opposed to push the water...
      would you guess that is also untrue?
      --Steve
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    19. #19
      Zac Penn is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post

      I haven't heard it was different flow wise but that it was "harder" on the pump pull as opposed to push the water...
      would you guess that is also untrue?
      Maybe untrue???
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    20. #20
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      When using pressure gauges on pump output and input:

      (pump outlet head) - (pump suction head) = (pump differential head) (what the pump is capable of and should match performance chart)

      Very interesting on the suction restriction and output. Not what I was always led to believe. This is a very low head system on the output when wide open and might be why the pump performed with these conditions. I still believe though for long term pump impeller and seal life restricting the output doesn't cause the damage restricting the input and cavitation causes.
      Last edited by BWG; 03-16-2018 at 01:33 PM.

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