News: Frankly Speaking

Keys To Maximizing The Partnership of VMS Pumps to VFDs


Our pump expert, Steven Ulrich, Senior Portfolio Manager for Large Surface Pumps, recently wrote an article identifying the keys to getting the most out of your Vertical Multi-Stage (VMS) pumps. Truth is, VMS pumps have become popular because they provide increased pumping efficiency along with energy savings. With a variety of VFDs - Steve Ulrich Storynominal flow ratings and the benefit of multi-staging, the technology features a wide range of discharge pressures and pump horsepower ratings to cover a multitude of hydraulic applications. Combine one of these fixed-speed pumps with a variable frequency drive (VFD) controller, and the affinity laws will provide even more versatility. However, there is a misconception that a VFD allows the VMS pump to function properly without having to appropriately size it according to the application. This article helps you understand how to evaluate the application before installation to ensure a long-lasting, productive and efficient pump.

To read the full article in Pumps & Systems, click here.

DeLancey Davis Appointed to HI’s Board of Directors


DeLancey Davis, Franklin Electric Vice President and President of North America Water Systems, has been appointedDee Davis - Franklin Electric to the Hydraulic Institute’s 2016-2019 Board of Directors. The Hydraulic Institute is the global authority on pumps and pumping systems. As a Board member, Davis is focused on defining organizational priorities and helping guide the Hydraulic Institute’s strategic direction.

“It’s an honor to represent Franklin Electric as part of the Hydraulic Institute’s Board of Directors,” said Davis. “As the largest association of pump industry manufacturers in North America, we have some lofty, yet achievable goals. I look forward to collaborating with the HI board in addressing critical issues confronting the industry.”

About the Hydraulic Institute 

The Hydraulic Institute is not only the largest association of pump industry manufacturers, but it has also established itself as the leading spokesperson for the North American pump industry. HI has served companies and pump users by providing pumping standards and also serves as an intermediary when discussing industry information.

New Fhoton SolarPAK: Fhoton + Sunlight = More Water


The new FhotonTM SolarPAK is a modular, compact, and flexible system solution to meet your solar water Franklin Electric Fhoton Solarpakpumping requirements. By utilizing quality components, innovative thinking, global market inputs, and our technical expertise in groundwater pumping, Franklin Electric has developed a rugged, high-output system which tackles the challenges of harsh and remote environments.

In addition, its new design is more user friendly and allows for installation flexibility. Fhoton’s motor control algorithm and hardware design enable the end user to get a higher solar- or photon-to-water energy conversion ratio, which means more water with less sunlight needed. It can drive a broad range of submersible and surface motor types and can be used in a new solar array or retrofit to an existing array in many cases, providing added application flexibility. No other system delivers the features, benefits, and reliability of Fhoton SolarPAK in just one package.


  • High-flow system for faster tank-fill and significant water output
  • Proven motor and pump technology for long-term reliabilityFranklin Electric Fhoton Solarpak Application1
  • Robust IP66, NEMA 4 enclosure minimizes impact from wildlife, insects, dust, and weather
  • Optimized for use with DC solar array
  • Operating status and fault conditions indicated by multi-color LED
  • Simple installation with no required maintenance
  • Soft-start feature prevents water hammer and increases system life
  • Terminals provided for an optional data communications board
  • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) for maximizing efficiency of input power
  • Allows use of new solar array or retrofit to existing array (subject to size and performance check)
  • Built-in diagnostics and protection
  • cULus and UL approved

Learn more about the Fhoton SolarPAK.

NEW SubDrive Connect & MonoDrive Connect Drive Family


Franklin has launched the new SubDrive Connect and MonoDrive Connect family of variable frequency drives that provide constant water pressure. The new “Connect” platform features a NEMA 3R rated enclosure and offers Wi-Fi connection for use with the FE Connect mobile application.

This new platform optimizes system performance, delivers more precise pressure and system diagnostics on screen, simplifies lead-lag installation, and provides contractor peace of mind. In addition to the Enhanced Features software package listed below, the family incorporates the new 5 hp SubDrive50 Connect model.

SD Connect Graphic

New Features:

Controller Enhanced Features

  • Analog Pressure Transducer Input
  • System Pressure Shown on Drive Display
  • Moisture (Wet Floor) Sensor Input
  • Auxiliary Control Input
  • Run and Alarm Contacts (NO/NC)
  • Traditional SubDrive Pressure Sensor Supported

Mobile App Enhanced Features

  • Real-time System Monitoring (PSI, Hz, Amps, Volts)
  • Advanced Pressure Transducer Settings
  • Drawdown/Cut-in Pressure
  • Built-in Duplex Alternator
  • Real-time Clock for Date and Time Stamps
  • Improved Fault Log Download Speed

Franklin in the Field: Don’t Leave Money on the Table


A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing...

“I needed a new water heater. I totally fit the scenario of the procrastinating homeowner who had delayed the inevitable replacement for too long. So, there we were, my plumbing contractor and me, looking at a basement still damp from when my water heater let go and all my hot water had literally gone down the drain.

What’s the Best Option for Me?

I knew I had two options. I could either go with a tankless water heater or a conventional water heater. I hadn’t hadMark Reeder the time to research the tankless option -- you know, that supposedly provide a never-ending supply of hot water without storage -- so I decided to talk with my plumber about them. 'What did he think of them? Was it a good option for my home? How much more would it cost?' Actually, I already knew it was going to cost more. I also knew that he was probably going to make more money, and he wouldn’t have to lug a conventional heater to my basement. Seemed like a nice win-win. But, I wanted to discuss and hear his professional opinion and ask questions.

Options Cut Short

Do you know what his response was? He said, 'Yeah, a lot of people like the tankless water heaters and we carry them, but I don’t have one on the truck.'

End of conversation and end of story. I was on the fence about it anyway, I wasn’t really sure about the product’s benefits, I was pressed for time, and I needed hot water. The conventional system would give me that.

How many times in the water industry does this very scenario play out? Why is it that so few water systems contractors offer their customers options, and just think in terms of 'getting someone back in water'? People, and especially homeowners, want options and to be part of the decision process. Water treatment, constant pressure, and battery back-up protection all come to mind. When we don’t offer the homeowner that opportunity, we leave money on the table.”

Still Kickin’ After All These Years: Success Stories From The Field


Recently, multiple contractors have shared their pump and motor photos with us. Here is what they had to say…

“Just pulled this bad boy out of the well. It’s been running like a champ since 1979! In 1999, we built a new house, and rather than installing a new well we just hooked the new house to the existing well with a 1/2 hp pump that had been running for 20 years. It’s been almost another 20 years now, and it finally gave out was because of a bad check valve at the tank, otherwise it may have run for 60 years.”FE_Submersible _Motor _Image _2 (1)
-- JC Hall

“I work at a milk processing plant here in Norway, and we changed one of our submerged water intake pumps today. It was still running well, but we needed a bigger capacity one. This is the primary pump that has been frequency controlled, so it has been running 24/7. The plant was built in 1990, and we think this pump might have been in use since then. I started working there in 2000, and I know for sure it hasn't been up since then. So the pump is at least 15 years old. It sure has been durable. I can’t imagine how many gallons of water has passed through it over maybe as much as 25 years.”
-- Bjørn from Norway

“I recently pulled my wet-end Jacuzzi [Franklin pump] from the ground that was dated 1979. This operates a well that is shared between two households. The only reason for pulling it was because an electrician misdiagnosed the problem. After realizing it was a bad underground cable and that the motor was fine, I put it back in the ground. This pump has been very reliable in assisting with water accessibility to both houses for a long time.”

-- Justin

CEU Opportunity: 2016 Jubilee Education Session Schedule


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*:IMG_1810.JPG

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.

Learn more about the South Atlantic Jubilee and other speakers.

New Products on Display at 2016 Jubilee


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:

Franklin Electric Sub Drive Connect

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 Inline _400_Booster _Topconstructed 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.

Learn more about the South Atlantic Jubilee.

Franklin in the Field: Why A Submersible Motor Costs What It Does


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 Mark Reedertrying 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.”

Franklin Electric Announces the 75th Anniversary of its Little Giant® Brand


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 LG_75th _OCYC_Logo _CLR
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 Little Giant Vaporizer Co - Oldtruly 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.