News: Frankly Speaking

Up To Speed: SubDrive Pressure Transducer Versus Pressure Sensor—Why Not Both?


Up To Speed Graphic Thin VersionUp To Speed  is a concise, technical blog compiled by industry veteran Mark Reeder. It provides an interesting fact, answers a thought-provoking question, or offers a cliffhanger from an actual site visit by one of our world-class Field Service Engineers.

In a previous post, we discussed two pressure switch options available for SubDrive®—the pressure transducer versus the pressure sensor. Both communicate the system pressure to the variable frequency drive (VFD). Once the system pressure is known, the VFD can continually adjust the pump and motor speed to maintain a constant pressure. A pressure transducer is an electronic device, offering the ultimate in flexibility and options. A pressure sensor, or Hobbs switch, is a basic mechanical device with unparalleled reliability. Both devices are used in a myriad of applications beyond water systems.

Sensor And TransducerA pressure transducer (left) and pressure sensor, or Hobbs switch (right), ensure ultimate reliability and flexibility with your Franklin Electric pressure controls.

But did you know Franklin Electric’s SubDrive has separate connections for the pressure transducer and pressure sensor? During installation, you can easily wire in both pressure switch options, ensuring ultimate reliability and flexibility, using a simple tee.

As a contractor, this trick of the trade is gold. Unconvinced? Just ask Wisconsin-based Franklin Electric Field Service Engineer Tony Eisinger.

“After 35-plus years in the industry, you learn to think outside the box. When coming off the water tank, connect both the transducer and Hobbs switch (pressure sensor) into each side of a three-quarter-inch tee,” Tony said.

Next, connect both the transducer and the sensor connections into their respective connections on the SubDrive control board. Franklin Electric has two VFD options—the SubDrive UtilityTM and the SubDrive ConnectTM. The SubDrive Utility comes standard with a pressure sensor, while the SubDrive Connect is paired with a pressure transducer. Depending on your VFD, purchase the extra needed piece to take advantage of this trick.

SubdriveThe SubDrive Utility (left) comes standard with a pressure sensor, while the SubDrive Connect (right) comes standard with a pressure transducer.

Of course, when wiring both connections into the control board, make sure the pressure sensor is connected to the “PS” or “pressure sensor” input, while the pressure transducer is connected to the “XDCR” or “pressure transducer” input. It’s also important to tell the unit which device you are using via the DIP switch—most likely you will use the more precise pressure transducer, with the pressure sensor in place as a backup option with a simple flip of the DIP switch or by using the FE Connect App when you want to quickly restore water.

Subdrive TransducersMake sure the pressure sensor is connected to the “PS” or “pressure sensor” input, while the  pressure transducer is connected to the “XDCR” or “pressure transducer” input. 

FE Connect AppThe FE Connect App can be used to switch control options from the pressure transducer, to the pressure sensor.

“In the event of transducer failure, all you have to do is shut the power off, go in, flip a switch, turn the power back on, and you’re good to go in five minutes,” Tony said.

It’s the best of both worlds—and affordable insurance.

Now, you’re up to speed.

In Memoriam: Industry Veteran Mike Keen, Sr.


Sadly, Franklin Electric announces the passing of Michael E. “Mike” Keen, Sr., Senior Field Service Engineer. We remember and honor his life and legacy as a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served during the Vietnam War, and a member of the National Ground Water Association as a Master Groundwater Contractor. Mike will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched.

The official obituary may be accessed here. Memorial contributions may be made to Noah’s Ark of Central Florida, P.O. Box 92221, Lakeland, FL 33804.

Mike Keen 01

Up To Speed: Troubleshooting Made Simple – Don’t Forget The Curve


Up To Speed Graphic Thin Version

Up To Speed is a concise, technical blog compiled by industry veteran Mark Reeder. It provides an interesting fact, answers a thought-provoking question, or offers a cliffhanger from an actual site visit by one of our world-class Field Service Engineers.

This Up To Speed  topic comes from a Field Service Engineer visit to a mine in Southern California to diagnose the cause of large motor failures over the past few months. After reviewing a teardown analysis of each motor failure and the gallons per minute (GPM) delivered, he suspected the problems were due to an upthrust condition. The pump/motor assembly was operating on the far-right side of the pump curve, indicating a tremendous amount of water flow, with a small amount of pressure.

To verify that an upthrust condition was, indeed, the cause of the motor failures, the Field Service Engineer began troubleshooting with the customer asking, “What is the pump’s curve?”

There was silence, followed by the answer of “We don’t have the pump curve.”

When troubleshooting, it’s impossible to know where you are on the pump curve without having a copy of it on hand. Without the proper data that it shows—where the pump should be running in terms of flow and pressure (100 gpm @ 100 feet)—the Field Service Engineer could not confirm his assumption behind the failures.

Simple Ways To Find Your Pump Curve
Franklin Electric pumps are designed to operate within 20 percent of the pump’s rated flow. The pump curve provides the optimum level of pressure and flow in which a pump should be operating. This is also known as the best efficiency range. Any time while troubleshooting a potential issue, it’s critical to know if you’re operating either too far left, or too far right on the pump curve.

Luckily there’s an easy solution for this.

  1. Find the model number of your pump. 
  2. Easily generate the pump curve via the Franklin Water site or FE Select.

To access via the Franklin Water site, within the Submersible Pumps category on the Products page:

  1. Select the submersible pump type (i.e. 4-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch, etc.).
  2. Select the Downloads box on the far right, immediately followed by the pump name catalogue series PDF file underneath. The pump curve (pictured below) is found within the product catalogue download. 

 Curve Graph 1The Franklin Water site can be used to access a copy of your pump curve.

To access via FE Select, find your pump’s curve by:

  1. Choosing Select from List of Products within the Pump Finder category.
  2. Select the Market from the top left drop down menu, followed by check marking the appropriate product line catalogue.
  3. Hit the yellow Next button.
  4. Choose the model of your pump and FE Select will display the pump’s curve.

Curve Graph 2The FE Select App can also be used to access a copy of your pump curve.

Back to the site visit.

The Field Service Engineer returned to the site and this time the pump curve data was on hand. The cause of failure was exactly what the engineer had suspected—an upthrust condition. The pressure was adjusted using a ball valve to correct the placement on the pump curve, allowing the pump to have a long service life.

Now, you’re up to speed.

“It’s Nice To Have A Partner Like Franklin”: Success Stories From Our Testimonial Library


Over the past year, multiple contractors and homeowners have shared their pump and motor success stories with us. Here is what they had to say…Vincent P Monticello Web Story Photo

“To get 31 years out of a pump is awesome! Recently, our driller pulled this pump and motor. It was the original that I had installed for my house and family when it was built back in 1986. Between last summer’s drought and little rain this year, the water table dropped significantly. The pump ran dry, was sucking air, and burned up. We were so impressed that we had a Franklin pump and motor installed again this time. Our driller, Jay Payton Well Drilling, recommended installing a Pumptec protective device on the system this time, which will shut it down before it burns up in the case of a water table drop or power surge in the future. We have been very pleased. Thank you for a great product.”

-- Vincent P. Monticello Sr., Homeowner in Ithaca, New York

“Pulled this 115 V motor the other day…44 years old, that’s amazing! The pump was for a typical residential home to use, roughly 300 gallons per day I would guess. In my experience of 24 years, pumps set at a shallow depth of 100 feet or less last almost double the amount of time. Whenever I see a date code with ‘72 in it, I would say that’s not too shabby. And that’s one of the reasons we are exclusive to Franklin Electric.”

-- Evan Robert, Thomas Nigro & Son Plumbing from East Granby, ConnecticutAdam Meihls Web Story Photo

“Here is one reason we are exclusive to Franklin Electric. I recently pulled this 1973, ½ hp motor from a flowing well that was set 40 feet deep. It was mainly used in a residential application, however, for part of its life it also supplied a small farm. So, chances are it’s gotten a little more use than your typical residential motor. The motor was still operating just fine, however the wet end was bad. My dad started the company 19 years ago using Franklin motors, and we’ve been completely exclusive to Franklin for pumps and motors for the past 3. They’re the best, and they have an amazing service and support team. From my distributor, to the Franklin Territory Manager, and even the Field Service Engineer in the rare cases I have questions or challenges, they are always willing to help me out. It’s nice to have a partner like Franklin.”

-- Adam Meihls, Dan Meihls Well Drilling in Sterling, Michigan

Product Enhancement: SubDrive Utility PSC & Surface Pump Functionality


As part of our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, Franklin Electric is excited to announce the addition of submersible permanent split capacitor (PSC) and surface pump functionality to the SubDrive Utility™. This standard product upgrade provides easy setup methods to achieve constant pressure in submersible PSC, above-ground booster, and jet pump applications. The new capability has been rigorously lab validated to properly function with Franklin Electric C1 Series, MH Series, BT4 Series, DDS Series, and VersaJet pumps.FE Subdrive Utility Angled Right Hero With Shadow

Product Features

  • Support for 115 V and 230 V single-phase 2-wire submersible PSC, above-ground booster, and jet pumps with overload current ratings from 4.6 A to 13.1 A
  • Basic DIP switch settings allow for easy setup of overload current, pump type, motor voltage, and system response settings
  • Software version 1.3.1 or later adds the ability to download a fault and configuration history file from the SubDrive Utility onto a USB storage device for enhanced troubleshooting capability

The SubDrive Utility drive model, order number, and pricing are NOT changing as part of this running product upgrade. Drives with submersible PSC and surface pump functionality may be identified by the software version 1.3.1 or later firmware noted on the shipping carton label.

Updating Current Drives
The updated SubDrive Utility firmware file, along with additional installation instructions in PDF form for submersible PSC and surface pumps, are posted in the Downloads section of the SubDrive Utility product page. Customers may download the updated firmware (version 1.3.1 or later) and update units in inventory via a USB storage device to add submersible PSC and surface pump functionality.

For more information on SubDrive Utility, click here.


“Here’s My Find Of The Day”: Success Stories From Our Testimonial Library


Over the past year, multiple contractors have shared their pump and motor success stories with us. Here is what they had to say…

“Here’s my find of the day! A 1974 1/3 hp Franklin Electric motor set at 80 feet to pump 5 gpm. When I pulled it, the motor was still running perfectly. The pump shaft was worn out and needed replaced. This is precisely why we continue to use Franklin Electric pumps and motors today!”

-- Jason Emmons, Paul's Water Works, Inc from North Smithfield, Rhode Island

“We recently pulled this 1973 Franklin motor from a well that has high iron and low pH supplying a two-familyCaitlin Fay Web Story Photo house. This motor also supplied a big filter system. The motor quality was obviously a huge reason for its longevity, but it didn’t hurt that we properly sized the wire and capacitor start tied into a WX 205 tank that was cycling frequently. We love Franklin motors so much that we switched to Franklin pumps as well. There’s just not a better motor on the market!”

-- Caitlin Fay, Bob Butler and Niece Quality Water Systems in Massachusetts

“Look at this old beauty from 1979 that we pulled out in Gardnerville, Nevada! It has been used seasonally to irrigate hay, pumping about 300 gpm with about 100 feet of total dynamic head. This is just another example of the quality you get when you choose Franklin products.”

-- Mike Shoaf, Carson Pump in Carson City, Nevada

“This motor hasn’t seen daylight since 1972! In our area, we often replace pumps every couple of years due Kevin Tempel Web Story Photothe iron levels that eat them alive, so this is a pretty big deal. This 1 hp, 10 gpm pump was the original installed when the home was built. Hung on 1-inch poly pipe at 110 feet, it served a two-bath house until the residence was turned into a business with eight employees using water on a daily basis. With a pump like this, we were able to deliver sustained performance to the customer with no maintenance, which helps us focus on more profitable new installs. This type of quality combined with the training and support I get from my territory manager and distributor is why I only install Franklin Electric.”

-- Kevin Tempel, Sierra Pump Company in Somerset California

Now Available: New SSI Series Submersible Pumps


The new SSI Series Submersible Pumps are now offered as a cost-effective, high-flow option to meet the demanding pumping challenges in irrigation, agricultural, industrial, and municipal applications. Available in 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-Franklin Electric SSI Seriesinch models with flows from 85 to 1300 gpm at a maximum of 1250 feet of head, this stamped stainless steel pump family is fully serviceable and corrosion resistant.

What Makes The SSI Series Unique

  • Its I-Blade technology increases the structural integrity of the pump’s internal components, pumping more water per horsepower and improving efficiency when compared to traditional impeller designs.
  • Utilizing tungsten inert gas (TIG) progressive welding, the metal materials are mixed during the process, creating a stronger bond for durability in harsh environments.

The entire series can be sized using Franklin Electric’s “FE Select” sizing and quoting software. Other series features include the PTFE floating wear ring, ceramic bearing journal, and Nitrile rubber-fluted bearing that ensure added durability against wear for long-lasting performance and reliability.

For more information about the SSI Series, click here.

Now Available: SubDrive Utility QuickPAKs


FE Subdrive Utility Angled Right Hero With ShadowFranklin Electric’s SubDrive Utility™ Variable Frequency Drive converts 2-wire conventional submersible pumping systems, up to 1.5 hp, into constant water pressure systems in both 115 V and 230 V applications. In addition to being offered as a standalone unit, SubDrive Utility is now available in a SubDrive Utility QuickPAK featuring the drive and a Franklin Electric pump and motor designed and tested to work together at peak efficiencies all in one box. This product bundle makes sizing simple and saves time for both the contractor and distributor.

Ordering Information

Subdrive Utility Quickpaks Now Available 


  1. QuickPAKs listed in the Ordering Information are supplied with a pressure switch-controlled SubDrive Utility, item number 5870202003.
  2. Pricing information may also be found in the Packaged Systems Price List (M2145) on page 1.

For more information about the SubDrive Utility, click here.

Product Update: Standardization on Sand Fighter Construction, 6-Inch Submersible Motors


To better achieve Franklin Electric’s Key Factors of Success, with focus on Availability and Quality, we have 6In Standard Well Motorstandardized our product offering for 6-inch submersible motors. We have discontinued production and stocking of water well construction, 6-inch submersible motors in favor of Sand Fighter® construction, 6-inch submersible motors.

Standardization Details

  • Production of 6-inch water well construction models ceased on April 2, 2018, and the remaining inventory will be offered for sale until stock is depleted. 
  • Stocking levels of replacement shaft seals (Order No. 305426002) will be maintained for field repair for five years. 
  • No pricing changes to the Sand Fighter models will be implemented with this update. 
  • Sand Fighter models are equipped with Franklin Electric’s exclusive Sand Fighter sealing system for sand or other abrasives that provides superior performance in all applications. 
  • SubTrol™ heat sensor is standard on Volt-X Sand Fighter models. 

If you have questions concerning the conversion to Sand Fighter construction, 6-inch submersible pumps, please contact your local Territory Manager, Field Service Engineer, or the Franklin Electric Technical Service Hotline at 800.348.2420.

Product Enhancement: 1 hp 15 gpm Tri-Seal and Series V


Our 1 hp, 15 gpm Tri-Seal and Series V pump ends now have an additional stage to enhance performance at no additional cost. Below is a performance curve so you can physically see the improvement.

If you have questions, please visit or contact your local Territory Manager, Field Service Engineer, or the Franklin Electric Technical Service Hotline at 800.348.2420.

 Seal Seriesv Performance Comparison (1)