News: Frankly Speaking
Franklin experts will be easy to access during the 2016 South Atlantic Jubilee, including 3 that will be leading educational sessions over some of the industry’s hottest topics where contractors can receive CEUs*:
Thursday, June 16:
• 3:15 – 4:15pm – “Increase Your Revenue Potential with Packaged Systems and Pressure Boosting” presented by Scott Stayton, Director of Portfolio Management
Friday, June 17:
• 8:00 – 9:00am – “Solar Water Pumping: How this Growing Renewable Energy Opportunity can become your New Viable Revenue Resource” presented by Jeff Frank, Senior Project Manager, Advanced Application and Innovation
• 10:30 – 11:30am – “Why Submersibles Fail: An Insider’s Perspective” presented by Rick Campbell, Manager, Inside Technical Support
*Note: CEUs are subject to state requirements. Each state gives credit differently.
The South Atlantic Jubilee is always fun and family friendly. We plan to have a little fun ourselves with a booth full of activities for children and new featured products! Check out Booth 301 to see the following innovations:
1. New SubDrive Connect – This family of variable frequency drives incorporates both a model addition and the inclusion of the standard Enhanced Features software package. The new 5 hp SubDrive50 Connect is the only constant pressure drive of its size that will run a 3 hp, single-phase motor. The new Enhanced Features package includes an analog pressure transducer with user selectable set point, moisture (or wet floor) sensor, and system run and fault relays. Utilizing the innovative FE Connect Wi-Fi app, contractors also benefit from the advantages of drawdown, an auxiliary control input, and the built-in duplex alternator. The end result is a drive platform that optimizes system performance, delivers more precise pressure and system diagnostics on screen, simplifies lead-lag installation, and provides contractor peace of mind. The FE Connect app compatibility still offers real-time performance monitoring to improve troubleshooting.
2. Inline 400 Pressure Boosting System – This proven product is now rated as a NEMA 3R outdoor system constructed of UV-resistant materials, an impact-resistant control cap, and a protective rain cover when mounted vertically. The all-in-one system couples a proven Franklin Electric 4-inch pump and motor with simple flow-based controls to provide a typical water pressure boost of up to 40 PSI, depending on the application’s need.
3. AG Series Line Expansion – These Centrifugal Close-Coupled Pumps now include 10 pump families covering the most popular hydraulic performance ranges with models from 3 through 75 hp, flow ratings from 50 through 2000 gpm, and heads up to 300 feet. Each AG Series Pump is equipped with either a NEMA standard JM or JP motor for mechanical seal or packing gland configurations, both of which include a 416 stainless steel shaft sleeve for durability and ease of service. Its standardized mounting dimensions and plumbing connections provide a quick and easy retrofit, reducing downtime, and the product’s back pull-out design makes repairs fast and simple.
4. New SubMonitor Connect – It provides enhanced capabilities of real date and time stamped system monitoring to improve troubleshooting while protecting three-phase motor and pump systems ranging from 1 to 700 hp. The electronic overload relay protects against damage due to a variety of adverse conditions, such as low flow wells, clogging, bound pumps and poor or unreliable power. New application based Basic Setup enables contractors to get up and running quickly while ensuring their motor is still protected. Utilizing the innovative FE Connect mobile technology app, contractors can easily monitor systems status live, complete basic or advanced setup, save commonly used setups for later use, and view/send fault history through the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity.
5. New Fhoton™ SolarPAK System – It utilizes Franklin’s proven solar technology with the new Fhoton solar drive that features a smaller modular design – providing flexibility and simple maintenance for the contractor. The entire solar package of panels, pump, motor, and drive are backed by Franklin’s team of Field Service Engineers, creating a solution for contractors to provide “off-grid” water pumping to their customers. And, while at the show, contractors can learn how to become a Franklin Certified Solar Contractor, which will help them identify market trends, selling tips, and become a solar pumping expert.
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“At some point in your water systems career, you have no doubt stood in front of a homeowner or other end-user who was indignant at his submersible pump cost. This conversation often stems from having replaced another motor around the house at some time. Maybe it was an HVAC motor, a sump pump, whatever; 'That motor cost me this much, and this submersible motor you want to sell me is way more than that! What gives?'
Here’s what gives. They’re not even close to being the same. The conditions and environment in which a submersible motor is expected to operate are totally different from any of their above-ground counterparts. Different environments, different motors. Here are six things that make a submersible motor unique (and more expensive):
1. A submersible motor lives underwater. One of the first things we all learned about electricity is to never mix it with water. So, what do we do? We take an electric motor and install it not just a little ways underwater, as in the case of a sump pump, but potentially hundreds of feet underwater. That means a tremendous amount of water pressure trying to reach the electrical part of the motor. There are numerous design and manufacturing considerations that go into keeping the water in the well away from the electricity in the motor.
2. All motors generate heat, and heat is the arch enemy of motor reliability. Engineers who design above-ground motors just give them enough surface area to dissipate all the heat. However, a 6-inch motor, by definition, has to fit in a 6-inch casing. So, a lot of heat is concentrated into a small cross-sectional area. Special and proprietary materials are required to make sure that the heat generated in a submersible motor gets carried away.
3. When we push water up the drop pipe, it pushes back with a lot of force. No above-ground motor ever sees this challenge. But, a submersible motor needs specialized and highly-machined thrust bearings to handle all the down thrust it generates when it delivers water out of the ground.
4. Electrical surges and lightning are looking for the easiest path to ground, and the water strata is ground. So, a submersible motor resides in the very place a surge is looking to go. As a result, submersible motors and systems need specialized surge protection.
5. Not all water that we place a submersible unit in is the same. Sometimes it’s corrosive and special materials are required. Once again, an above-ground motor will never see this challenge.
6. Finally, a submersible pumping system has to be extremely dependable for two reasons: it’s delivering a critical resource to the home, business or farm, and, it’s not easy to replace. Special equipment is required in the form of a rig, along with specialized troubleshooting and application expertise.
A submersible installation remains one of the most reliable things out there, performing flawlessly for years and years. However, that’s because of the engineering and manufacturing that goes into it, along with the expertise of the installing contractor. Beyond a couple of general principles, submersible motors aren’t even related to above-ground motors. And, the value and cost just can’t be compared. So next time, when someone doesn’t understand why a submersible motor or pump costs more than an above-ground one, don’t hesitate to pull these points out of your back pocket to explain the difference.”
Little Giant®, Franklin Electric’s leading worldwide brand of plumbing, HVAC, dewatering, outdoor living, and utility pumps, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Little Giant was purchased by Franklin Electric in 2006 and has
helped the company become a preeminent provider of complete pumping systems across a variety of applications. With the combined Franklin engineering and manufacturing teams, the Little Giant brand has continued its focus on providing innovative products that solve contractor challenges in the pumping industry.
“Little Giant products and people have been an important addition to the Franklin family,” said DeLancey Davis, Franklin Electric Vice President and President of North America Water Systems. “The Little Giant brand was built on dedication to quality and availability and is a testament to our loyal employees who put their craftsmanship into every Little Giant product to support our customers’ craft. We are truly grateful to our ideal collection of employees, customers, and business partners who have teamed together for 75 years to make Little Giant the leader it is today.”
For the full history of Little Giant, click here.
A true story written by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“Here’s a question that more of us should know the answer to. How much water can you get for $1?
With a submersible water system, it’s easy to figure out. We just need to know 3 things:
1. The GPM delivered by the pump
2. The power consumption of the motor turning that pump
3. The price of electricity
For our example, we’ll use the most common unit in the United States, a ½ horsepower, 10 GPM pump. We can ignore whether it’s 2- or 3-wire, since the power consumption is identical for both units.
From page 13 of the Franklin Electric AIM Manual, the power consumption of a ½ hp motor is 0.96 kilowatts. But, we pay for electricity in terms of kilowatt-hours. That is, the number of kilowatts used multiplied by the number of hours we used those kilowatts. So, if we run that ½ hp pump for 1 hour, we’ll consume 0.96 kilowatt-hours (0.96 kilowatts x 1 hour).
According to the latest figures from the US Department of Energy, the average retail price of electricity in the US is 11.90 cents per kilowatt-hour. For the sake of keeping the math simple, we’ll just round that to 12 cents.
So, putting it all together, if we run that pump for 1 hour, we’ll pay:
0.96 kilowatt-hours x 12 cents = 11.52 cents
To get to $1, we would need run the pump about 8.7 hours, or 522 minutes (8.7 hours x 60 minutes in an hour). With our 10 GPM pump, that would mean 5,220 gallons for a dollar.
So, for $1, we provided over 5000 gallons of water. A pretty good deal, huh?”
Check out the following new videos in Franklin Electric's "Training & Support Video Toolbox” on YouTube at www.youtube.com/franklinwater:
- As a contractor, wire sizing for your customers’ new pumps is crucial. This video quickly walks you through everything you need to know.
- Did you know that approximately 85% of water pumps are centrifugal pumps? This new video discusses a variety of things to help you better understand them, including: how they work, how they are best utilized, how to reach optimum performance, different configurations, and more!
- You can increase the utility of your portable generator by teaming it with a Franklin Electric submersible motor. This video discusses how to properly select and size the generator, how to install it, and other special tips that you should know.
Be sure to visit the FranklinWater YouTube page regularly to see what’s new!
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing….
“I spent a few days hanging around a horse show at one of the largest facilities in the country for these events. Overall, it’s a first-class facility and portrayed as one of the most beautiful facilities.
Like any event, there’s always some complaining and over the course of this extended weekend, I heard the usual grumbling from the competitors: 'that one judge is biased, the food’s expensive, and the events are running behind schedule’, etc. But do you know what the number one complaint was?
'The water pressure here is awful.'
'They’ve got plenty of wash racks but there’s not hardly any water if more than a
couple of people are using them. It takes forever just to fill a watering bucket.’
It was frustrating to hear, because I knew it didn’t have to be that way. There are numerous pressure boosting products available that could address this or at least make things a lot better. But from what I could tell, a single 6-inch submersible with an undersized pressure tank is supplying the entire facility and all those acres. And beyond the pump house, it’s a hodge-podge of PVC piping that’s been put together over the years as the facility has expanded. Even without knowing all the details of this system, it’s obvious that a few variable-speed or simply single-speed pressure boosting systems would work wonders here. And the cost would be trivial when taken into the overall expenses of managing and maintaining this facility.
Once again, the competition in terms of constant pressure and pressure boosting isn’t necessarily between manufacturers. It’s the alternative of doing nothing. And here’s another case that by doing nothing the owners and management of this otherwise very nice facility constantly keep their customers annoyed.”
If you didn’t catch it, Franklin Electric recently teamed with the Military MakeoverTM national television series on the Lifetime® Network to provide retired Technical Sergeant Kevin Parke and his family of seven with multiple water system solutions for their home in Crestview, Florida. These solutions, including the Inline 400 pressure boosting system, were featured over a three-episode series of Designing Spaces® Military Makeover.
In addition to the Inline 400, you’ll see the many other sides of Franklin Electric’s product offering, through the installation of:
- A stunning Koi Pond featuring a Little Giant® pump, skimmer, biological water filter, liner and LED lighting for the Parke’s relaxation pleasure.
- Little Giant WRS Series sump pump system attached to a new utility sink in the garage to help the family clean up before entering the home.
- VCMX-20 Series condensate pump to remove condensate created by the new ice maker in the garage.
- A beautiful Little Giant Disappearing Fountain outside the front porch that produces the calming sound of flowing water.
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“’Barriers to entry’ is a marketing term that sounds sophisticated, but all it really means is, ’How hard is it to get into a business?’ Barriers to entry are simply those things that keep someone new from entering a market.
Barriers – Good or Bad?
Barriers to entry take many forms. One of the most common is simply a high amount of capital ($$$) required for someone new to enter a market. The airline industry is a good example here. Related to a high amount of capital is scale, or how large does the business have to be in order to be profitable. The automotive industry is a prime example. Other barriers to entry are an entrenched and loyal customer base (think Starbucks or Harley Davidson), or even legal and regulatory hurdles (think liquor stores).
Obviously, if you’re already in a market or industry (the marketing books call this the incumbent), you want the barriers to entry to be high in order to keep competition out. But if you are starting a business (that’s the entrant), you want the barriers to entry to be low. However, the problem with markets with low barriers to entry is that in the long-term, it’s very difficult to make a profit. That’s because even when you’re first, everyone quickly sees that you’re making a profit and it’s easy for them to jump in.
Here’s a great example: cupcakes. Cupcake shops used to be all the rage. But I ran across an article recently about the “cupcake bubble”. Come to find out, the cupcake market has reached saturation and even been overbuilt in many regions. Many shops are going out-of-business because there aren’t enough people to support all the cupcake shops.
So why a cupcake bubble? Because the barriers to entering this market are so low. There are always hurdles to starting any business, but opening a cupcake shop in the scheme of things is pretty easy. So, lots of people saw a profitable trend with low barriers and jumped in. But as a result, it became difficult for most of them to make a profit over the long-term.
It’s a Great Time to be a Water Well Driller
So what does any of this have to do with water well drilling and the water systems industry? Well, if you’re a professional water well contractor, the barriers to entry for someone who wants to enter your market are fairly high. It takes specialized equipment that represents a significant capital investment. It also takes specialized expertise, knowledge and experience to be successful. There are also regulatory barriers dealing with licensing and DOT regulations. And, chances are you have a loyal customer base.
The point is that not everyone can do what we do as an industry and what you do as a water well contractor. We are unique. And when you couple that with the value and quality of the product we deliver at a reasonable cost, you start to realize that once again, we’re in a great industry.”
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“Let’s face it. The term ’sales’ in many circles has a reputation for trying to sell us things we don’t need or even want. But, truly successful sales people will tell you that’s not how they do business. They’ll tell you that what’s made them successful is a relentless focus on helping their customers get the products and solutions they need. They see themselves as educators and consultants, guiding their customers through a decision-making process and providing options.
There’s no area where that’s truer than with the professional water systems contractor. Most don’t like to think of themselves as sales people. But, a huge part of the job is just that. You are industry educators and representatives to the rest of the world.
What makes this especially true is that water systems are far more reliable and have a greater lifespan than most of the appliances in our lives. As a result, most homeowners will only need a new water system or something repaired every 10 years or so. That means that you will only get the chance to stand in front of your customer once every decade or so. So, we need to make the most of that opportunity.
In many cases, the homeowner is out of water and is literally desperate to get it back. Nothing highlights the critical nature and value of water more than not having it. As a result, the conversation becomes a one-way, two-part question of ’how soon and how much?’ Try to slow things down. Have a conversation. A few minutes goes a long way. Show them how their water system works. What does that tank do anyway? Explain why they are out of water. How has their home and lifestyle changed since someone last looked at their water system? Have you always had that garden?
Why do this? Because two things will happen, both of which are good for you. It will be a springboard to upgrading their water systems. Perhaps it will be a constant pressure system, or dry well protection, or water treatment. Maybe it will be simply a larger tank. More importantly, you will have instilled confidence, both in their water system and you. From there, they will tell their neighbors.
What will they be telling them? In so many words, that you listened to them, the two of you had a great conversation, and they ended up with a far better solution and water system than just being ’back in water’. What they didn’t get was a sales pitch.”