Irrigation pumps

Hi everyone:) just wanted to hear your favorite pumps for irrigating your plants. Or if you have a recommendation for a smaller 190 plant garden moving about 40 gallons per day it would be really appreciated. I’ve only got experience with the cheap submersible pumps from
The hydro store. Super unreliable and crappy pressure. Id like to find commercial grade pumps for this application but there are so many types and brands id really appreciate some advice. Thanks a lot


Having pulled out a number of self-built irrigation nightmares, I can tell you:


@Jess may be able to give you some advice. Seems like she has it down for what you are trying to accomplish.


Berkeley makes some fine .5HP pumps…closer to 750-1000 gph…but you can run a 1 in. manifold and reducers at the beginning of your runs to create consistency.


Do you have a pump model? Most of the Berkeley submersibles are either multistage well pumps or cast iron sump pumps. Cast iron will infect your nutrients.


Oh you’re looking for a submersible? Why not run a 250 gallon rez and feed into a centrifugal? How long do you typically hold onto a rez?


Hey there,

I agree with @D.Ward, Wayne pumps are a good choice. Also, I would recommend Red Lion sumps. You could also look into Zoellers: and Little Giant: 6 Series | Sump Pumps | Wastewater | Little Giant | Franklin Electric
In general, you’ll want to be sure that whichever you pick is corrosion free, so going with bronze, stainless steel, or epoxy-coated cast iron housings is your best bet.



No, I thought submersibles is what was being referred to and what Vinny is looking for. I would use and Ebara EPD-5 1/2 hp submersible w/stainless steel to water up to 200 sites, but that’s for a low pressure/high flow configuration (50 GPM) - not a drip system.

Also, the systems I work with are recirculating and would use a 350 gallon tank for that config to run the whole week.


Thank you for all the reply’s I really appreciate all your input. Can anyone expand on how to size the right pump for a drip system? Also I don’t care about submersible or not. In fact I’d prefer not. My reference to subs is just what I’ve experienced in th past. I’m looking for the best solutions going forward with what ever tech works best


I’ve seen several videos on YT regarding pump sizing for hydroponics but they have incomplete and/or incorrect information based on my experience so, won’t point them out here.

Do you have an extra 2’ of floor space per tank in your tank room for an end-suction pump?

More importantly, do you have the extra time and money to experiment?


Vinny, here is the pump that I’ve seen used in commercial drip systems about your size here in LA. But, at 1,500+ (heavily discounted from Growershouse) I think they’ve pretty much lost favor.


If you are coming from a Atmospheric tank you could use a Grundfos MQ3-45. We use it in most of our applications as the repress pump. It is a variable speed pump up to 20 gpm,m 109 psi.

Just another option.


Im coming from a reservoir…


Unfortunately the MQ3 would not work. We would need a little head pressure to feed the pump.


Ok. Like what? What would work? For a simple drip system from a normal reservoir. Just looking for a straight answer


With a Atmospheric tank the pump would get head pressure from the Bulkhead being on the bottom. The pressure will vary from driffernet tank size. Even with very little head pressure the pump will perfom at its peak. The pump is capable of up to 26’ suction lift (meaning run a line from the pump intake to a cistern or resivor) but it will cut into the perfomance of the pump. These pumps are great until they start getting taxed. Grundfos considers the MQ3 a “throw away” pump. If it breaks down under warranty, they will have you field scrap it and send out a new one. Most of the time, a simple part replacement and its running again lol. We had a stock of them in our warehouse from returns so we rebuilt them and sold them “as is” at a insane price. Needless to sat they sold quick lol.

I hate to say it but all my smalller Aquatec pumps need a flooded inlet, they won’t be able to pull water, and my access to submersible pumps is limited.


The issue of pressure is a result of your decision to use a drip system. This requires a multistage pump (such as MQ-3), if you are going to use a centrifugal pump. Using a positive displacement pump can be less expensive pump-wise but, unless the feed circuit is properly engineered you will have regular pump burnout. Either way the costs can be a wash.

A drip system also determines your watering plan, which can also affect the yield.

The MQ pump could work as it has the ability to self-prime up to a 26’ depth. On the other hand it also has a PPO (Polyphenylene Oxides) impeller which will interact with your nutrients affecting yield and possibly passing testing.

Having made my living engineering commercial-scale nutrient delivery systems and pulling out a number of these “simple drip systems”, I can tell you from first hand experience they are anything but simple and rarely work well (considering time and cost to experiment and resulting low yield).

Once you accept that and give me a budget I can give you further assistance. Again, this is your business we are talking about and success or failure can easily be determined by how you proceed on this issue.

If you are tight on budget, then perhaps you should consider getting one or two rooms going to start with by installing a properly engineered (expensive, if you will) system then build out the others using that pattern as profits allow.

That’s is the straightest answer that can be given. What you need to figure out, imo, is what is really expensive to you in relation to having a successful business.


I’ve heard of/ met/ seen in real life or online a total of 0 other people using the methods you subscribe too and are trying to sell me. The principals seem to make sense but You guys reference jungle boys and they don’t use that system anymore as far as I can tell and it seems they switched to using dosatron on drip. 2 emitters per plant. So i remain a bit skeptical that this is any better then anything else.
My budget is what ever it takes to get it done.
This is a 12 light room with 16 plants per light. My pump room 6’x23’ and needs to feed 4 rooms on different harvest schedules eventually.
I can’t fit bigger then 250 gallon reservoirs in that space but I can fit 5 of them. If I drip im using about 40 gallons per day per room. Filling up my res every 6-7 days and not having to worry about multiple pumps for each room as I can just drain to waste. No return issues, no nutrient imbalances.

At the end of the day I was invited to this forum to learn from the pros but all I’m finding is pros trying to get me to hire them or buy their stuff instead of actually sharing any knowledge like this forum is predicated on.



I do also see what you mean about vendor interactions here. But, I’m not the guy with a price tag attached to everything I do.

I was trying to sell a used system which I had installed in LA to help a friend and would have received nothing from it, offering to put you in direct contact with the owner. I did offer to refactor it for your needs and, of course, would have needed to get paid for such labor but never once threw out any numbers. In fact, I’m not otherwise active in the space while remodeling my house, but am preparing seminars for cannabis investors to help them understand TCO and ROI. I’m working with others but will see if I can get you a discount invite to one if you like.

JungleBoys never used the recirculating system. Their drip system is what they originally went with using the Dab pump I referenced, and which I had also seen in other locations as well as in local hydro stores - for a minute.

I believe I also provided at least some value by providing you several CAD layouts with the final source file and much discussion as well as having shared much hard-won knowledge that required many man hours, decades actually - it’s a complete growing method also - and hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop for free.

I notice you changed from your original layout plan to 16 plants/light after that discussion. Not a penny asked for and am still here helping you with understanding drip system issues even though that’s not how I roll. Either way, drip or not, I still recommend a properly engineered system and there are companies who specialize in that for cannabis.

Apologies if I offended, but am only trying to help you succeed. Consider it ‘tough love’.


Successful growers like to keep their secrets to themselves. One even offered to buy the intellectual property to keep it for themselves.

There’s a 500 light facility running it in the mid-west. Can’t say more.


Let me put it this way:
Would you like me to build you a Nova, Beamer or Maserati?