Common Operational Problems and Repair of Center Pivot Irrigation Systems

Center pivot irrigation systems are efficient and cost-effective when they are working properly; however, when they are experiencing problems and require irrigation system repair, they can be extremely frustrating.

Fortunately, most of the issues that irrigation system services see with these setups are based around the same operational problems that are fairly easy to prevent.

With some knowledge and good observation, anyone with a center pivot irrigation system installation can avoid these frustrating and resource-wasting problems and experience great service from their system.

  • Operating Water Pressure Issues - Every center pivot irrigation system installation is designed to operate using certain water pressure. When water pressure drops below the minimum recommended pressure for the system, it might seem like the system is not performing well and irrigation system repair is necessary, but this is not always so. Reduced water pressure due to wells and other water sources lowering and terrain elevation making it harder to pump water to the system are prime reasons for poor performance. Leaky nozzles and worn water pump impellers can also reduce water pressure within the system, affecting performance.
  • Nozzle Type and Sequence - To achieve uniform water delivery at the correct pressure, it is essential that the right replacement nozzles be purchased from irrigation system services, and that those nozzles properly maintained. Each system is designed to work with a specific nozzle and all nozzles must be cleaned regularly to prevent mineral and debris buildup that can lead to blockages and out-of-sequence irrigation.
  • Control Panel Programming - Every center pivot irrigation system comes with a control panel and center pivot application chart to help determine how the system should be programmed to irrigate as required. Many of the reasons that some believe they need irrigation system repair simply boils down to incorrect programming with the control panel. It is essential to be fully informed on how the system programming works with respect to travel speed and gross water application, what is required for the crop, and how to achieve that with the control panel. Deviations to this, whether that means delivering too much water or not enough, will result in lower crop yield.

While center pivot systems sold by irrigation system services are extremely effective for helping farmers get the highest yield from their crops, these three common problems can prevent that.

Whether the issue is a poor understanding of system programming or a required irrigation system repair due to clogged nozzles or worn-out water pump impellers, staying observant of these three issues will ensure better system performance and higher crop yield.