News: Frankly Speaking
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“In my job, I do a lot of airline travel. Although I’m generally a limited talker with whomever ends up next to me, I often get the question, ’So, what business are you in?’ From these and other random encounters with the general public, I’ve built up a sizable database of its perceptions of water wells and the groundwater industry.
What follows isn’t a revelation by any means, but I’m continually amazed at how little the general public knows about groundwater and the groundwater industry. Even end-users such as homeowners and farmers who have their own private water systems generally have little knowledge of how water gets to their tap. Given this, here’s a short series around the ten things I wish the public knew about our industry in hopes that it may help you better communicate with your customers. You’ll find the first five below, with the rest to follow in a subsequent post.
1. Chances are, your water comes from a well, even if you don’t know it.
I consistently hear: “I’m on city water; I don’t get my water from a well.” Actually, there’s a good chance you do. For example, I live in a good-sized city with several water sources, including a river and a couple of reservoirs. However, my city also has numerous large water wells, and a significant amount of our water is supplied from those wells.
2. Groundwater is important. So important, in fact, that we literally can’t live without it.
The general public has little appreciation of groundwater’s importance. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is freshwater and of that, 69% of that is locked up as ice at earth’s poles. What’s left is surface water and groundwater. Between the two, surface water comprises only 0.4% and the rest is groundwater. That’s not nearly enough surface water to supply the needs to humankind. Not only does much of our clean, fresh drinking water come from the ground, we have to have it to survive as a civilization.
3. Groundwater contractors are experts with unique professional knowledge.
Not only do groundwater contractors have to be good business people, they must also have very specialized technical expertise. Drilling contractors, for example, often maintain more than a million dollars worth of equipment, with more bells, whistles, levers, and buttons than most people can imagine. They have to understand geology and hydrology. Pump installers must have an outstanding working knowledge of electricity and hydraulics, and more often than not, electronic technology as well. Not everyone can do this job.
4. Groundwater expertise is different than plumbing expertise.
Not all groundwater contractors are plumbers, and not all plumbers are groundwater contractors. In fact, although some water well contractors and drillers provide plumbing services as part of their business, most of the time they don’t overlap. The groundwater industry requires a distinct knowledge base and skill set, and even different equipment. Think of it this way: someone who works on melting furnaces in foundries is not the same person who would work on the furnace in your home, and vice versa. Some of the underlying science and mechanics might be similar, but these are really two different jobs requiring distinct expertise.
5. We work under tight regulatory constraints.
Groundwater is a precious resource and, appropriately, obtaining a license to access and drill into it is a formidable task. In addition, nearly all states require water well contractors to receive a certain number of hours of continuing education each year in order to maintain that license. Of course, given the size and complexity of a drilling rig, there’s a significant safety and driver training component as well. We don’t just punch holes in the ground; we have to be well-trained and ensure regulatory compliance.”
Franklin Electric’s expanded VR Series line of vertical, stainless steel multi-stage pumps will be on display at the 2016 AHR Expo in Booth 4842 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, January 25-27. Even if you simply dabble in HVAC, this is a show you shouldn’t miss!
The expanded VR Series line of pumps deliver water under pressure for HVAC applications. These booster pumps are now available in 3, 5, 9, 15, 20, 30, 45, 65 and 95 m3/h options with a flow range up to 600 gpm and 750 feet of total dynamic head (TDH). Each pump features all 316 stainless steel hydraulic components for optimum durability, efficiency and performance – even in corrosive water applications. Impellers and diffuser stages are fabricated from heavy gauge stainless steel using advanced welding technology. The
oversized ball bearing/coupler assembly eliminates the need for stack height adjustment and supports the axial thrust load. The elimination of axial thrust allows the VR Series pumps to utilize industry standard motors instead of the high-thrust motors commonly required in similar industry applications.
Our newest solar innovation will be on display at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Booth C1836 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 19-21. If you’re in the area, stop by to check out this great new product:
The new Fhoton™ SolarPAK system utilizes Franklin Electric’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 an easy way for contractors to provide “off-grid” water pumping to their customers.
Franklin recently donated 34 water transfer pumps to the city utilities department at the City of Fort Wayne to assist with future flooding and water transfer needs. The pumps vary in capacities from 60 gpm (gallons per minute) up to 264 gpm and are ideal for high-volume water transfer and dewatering, such as flood water removal, emptying excess ditch water, removing swimming pool water and more. The pumps are gas engine driven and do not require electricity for operation, often making them a desirable solution during power outages and other urgent need water removal applications.
“Given the high volumes of rain and flooding across not only much of the U.S., but also in our local community, Franklin Electric recognized the need to provide an inventory of gas engine drive water transfer pumps to the City of Fort Wayne to combat similar challenges when they occur in the future,” said Tom Strupp, Franklin Electric Vice President of Global Human Resources. For the allocation of these pumps, Franklin Electric contacted the United Way of Allen Country, who then referred the offer to John Clark, Deputy Director of City Utilities at the City of Fort Wayne. Clark expressed the need for the pumps and implemented a plan for utilization. Fort Wayne residents will have access to the pumps when needed to protect their property from water damage.
“These will be a nice addition to the city’s sandbagging efforts and the current large pumps we use to protect entire neighborhoods,” mentioned Clark. “It is a very emotional and stressful time when water is threatening to enter residents’ homes. For residents who’ve experienced flooding in the past, they know the threat is real. The portability and size of the donated Franklin Electric pumps are a great match for homes that are being threatened by rising water. The recent donation of 34 pumps will help residents protect their investments and symbolizes the partnership we have with a valuable company to Fort Wayne.”
Sometimes conventional pumping methods just aren’t the best choice. Take JT Byrne, owner of Homeplace Farm in Lowry, Virginia, for example. Byrne was looking to provide drinking water to his cattle up on two hills of his 250-acre farm. Initially, he looked into running conventional electricity to both hills before realizing that the price tag of $15,000 would be cost prohibitive, along with the fact that running this electricity would potentially interfere with his neighbors’ properties. Solar water pumping became a viable option.
With the help of Franklin Electric, contractor David Holdren of Agriculture & Home Water Services, and CMC Supply of Roanoke, Virginia, two SubDrive SolarPAK pumping systems were recently installed. The result: Byrne is now providing his cattle with fresh drinking water for a fraction of the cost it would have been to run electrical lines to the well. The small footprint of the four solar panel arrays, combined with the pumping efficiency of the Franklin Electric SubDrive SolarPAK systems are providing plenty of water to two separate 1500-gallon tanks that supply ample drinking water for his cattle.
But that’s not the only benefit. “There is an initiative to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the rivers and streams that are part of this estuary,” said Franklin Electric Territory Manager Robert Rufh. “Part of this initiative is to work with cattle farmers to keep their cattle out of the ponds, rivers, and creeks, and to provide alternative ways to get the cattle drinking water. Cattle stir up the water in the ponds and creeks and then drink this water that has sediment in it, acting as sandpaper that can deteriorate their teeth. Cattle manure in the creeks and ponds also spawn bacteria (such as E. coli). All of this has been eliminated without the costly running of electricity.”
This is just one unique example of how solar can help solve a problem. Other applications include: irrigation systems, fountains, rural water supply for villages and homesteads, and vineyards. And, we can make it easy to determine the optimal system for you. Just utilize our user-friendly SubDrive SolarPAK Selector, input a few data points, and the system will automatically recommend the model and solar panel array configuration best for your application.
If you’re interested in solar water pumping, contact your Franklin Electric solar certified contractor today or call our Technical Service Hotline at 800-348-2420 to help you find one.
If you are a water well professional and are interested in becoming a Franklin Solar Certified Contractor, you can also contact our Technical Service Hotline at 800-348-2420 to arrange a training session.
Holiday Schedule: Technical Service Hotline and Customer Relations
From the Franklin Electric family to yours, we hope you enjoy the Holiday Season with your family and friends as our employees do the same. Below is our Technical Service Hotline and the Customer Relations Holiday Schedule.
Technical Service Hotline Holiday Schedule:
- Dec 21-27: Closed
- Dec 28-30: Open 8-2:30 CST
- Dec 31: Open 8-2 CST
- Jan 1: Closed
- Dec 24: Open 8-3 EST
- Dec 25-27: Closed
- Dec 28-30: Open 9-4 EST
- Dec 31: Open 9-3 EST
- Jan 1: Closed
- Dec 24: Open 8-3 CST
- Dec 25-27: Closed
- Dec 28-30: Open 9-3:30 CST
- Dec 31: Open 9-3 CST
- Jan 1: Closed
Customers Relations Holiday Schedule:
- Dec 24: Closed at 11am CST
- Dec 25: Closed
- Dec 28: US – Normal Operations; Canada – Closed
- Dec 29-30: Normal Operations
- Dec 31- Jan 1: Closed
Normal operations resume Monday, January 4, 2016.
Quick, simple and applicable in the field. Don’t miss it! Join us in Las Vegas for the 2015 NGWA Groundwater Expo in booth 719, December 16-17, for complimentary training sessions (10-15 minutes in length) at our Hone Your
Craft Expert Hub focusing on solutions to questions commonly asked by water well professionals. Following is a complete list of in-booth training sessions:
Wednesday, December 16*:
- 1:30pm – Submersible Pump Sizing: Avoiding Mishaps
- 2:15pm – Driving Optimal Efficiency: P-Series VFD Setup
- 3:00pm – Seize Your Competitive Edge: Solar Certified Contractor Program
- 3:45pm – Your Onsite Companion: Meter Utility 101 (Voltmeter/Ammeter)
- 4:30pm – Your Onsite Companion: Meter Utility 102 (Ohmmeter/Megger)
- 5:00pm – Jump On Board with Wireless Connectivity: Navigating FE Connect (SubMonitor)
Thursday, December 17*:
- 9:30am – Your Onsite Companion: Meter Utility 101 (Voltmeter/Ammeter)
- 10:00am – Your Onsite Companion: Meter Utility 102 (Ohmmeter/Megger)
- 10:30am – Jump On Board with Wireless Connectivity: Navigating FE Connect (SubDrive NEMA 3R)
- 11:00am – Seize Your Competitive Edge: Solar Certified Contractor Program
*Does not apply towards CEP credits.
Here’s yet another reason to join us in Las Vegas for the 2015 NGWA Groundwater Expo in booth 719, December 16-17. Franklin Electric will be unveiling two innovations designed around the needs of the water well professional – SubMonitor with FE Connect and FhotonTM SolarPAK. Come talk to our product experts about how you can utilize these two new products to add revenue to your business.
The new SubMonitor with FE Connect provides enhanced capabilities with real-time performance monitoring to improve troubleshooting while protecting three-phase motor and pump systems with ratings between 3 and 1000 A. The unit protects against damage due to adverse conditions, such as low-flow wells, pump damage, clogging, bound pumps, and power mishaps. Utilizing the innovative FE Connect mobile technology app, contractors can easily monitor current, voltage, power, and fault history through the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity.
The new Fhoton SolarPAK system utilizes Franklin’s proven solar technology with the new Fhoton solar drive that features a smaller modular design, providing flexibility and simple maintenance to the contractor. The entire solar package of panels, pump, motor and drive are backed by Franklin’s team of Field Service Engineers, creating an easy way for contractors to provide off-grid water pumping to their customers.
See you at the show!
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing…
“If someone ever asks me the importance of water systems contractors, I tell this story. Years ago, I visited a big box retail hardware store (you know them) and proceeded to their pump section. I asked for their most experienced salesperson on water pumps (“I need an expert on this”). He soon arrived quite eager to help. Then, I told a fib … I explained that I was building a new home in the country and after my well was drilled, I wanted to install the well pump myself. I explained that I had never been the owner of a water well, but had heard there wasn’t much to installing one of these pumps. I asked, “What do you think?”, then proceeded to stand back and listen. He assured me there wasn’t; I looked like someone who could do it. I politely asked a lot more questions to see where this would go. I just couldn’t help myself. Of all the bad answers, there was one that stood out and summarized it all.
What’s This Extra Wire For?
Looking at the store’s product display, the submersible pump had 3 wires coming out of the motor (2-wire + ground). I asked about cable and sure enough, “Right over here is our submersible cable; how much do you think you need?” Now, I had already noticed that the cable was 4-wire. That is, this outlet carried the odd combination of 2-wire motors and 3-wire submersible cable. So, my question was, “I am going to have an extra wire here; what do I do with that?” In my mind, I really thought I had him stumped, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Without missing a beat, he said, “Oh, that’s for a double ground. A lot of your better pump contractors around here use a double ground, so that’s what we recommend.” I was at a loss for words.
By the way, I still patronize this outlet and they are generally helpful and knowledgeable. But, I know a little bit about submersible pumps, and if I ever have a well (and I hope I do someday), I’m calling my professional contractor for the installation. One of the truly better ones … one who doesn’t use a double ground.”
For more information about submersible pumps, click here.
Franklin Electric's surface pump offering is now available in ONE catalog. Combining all surface pumps into one catalog will assist customers in understanding the breadth of product offerings and solutions from Franklin Electric.
Improved Layout & Flow
One of the first enhancements you will notice are the new sections combining like items for quick comparison. At the beginning of each section we provide you with general applications and a comparison table of the products in that family to quickly focus your search.
Simplified Product Selection
The products with customizable options and various motor options are more clearly defined.You now have a step-by-step guide to order the CVJ families of product. We have also separated the 56C pump end BT4 offering to clearly differentiate them from the square flange selection.
More Information at your Fingertips
The catalog now provides updated images, dimensions, and performance charts for all products.
We hope you find the new catalog informational and helpful. It's available for download from the Franklin Electric website here.