News: Frankly Speaking

In Case You Missed It: World Ag 2018


After 50 years of existence, this continues to be one of the largest outdoor agricultural expositions. Yet again, many of our innovations were in attendance, including the new MagForceTM Permanent Magnet Motor System.

Weren’t able to attend the show this year? No problem. View our Facebook page to see the show from our point of view.

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Success Story: Franklin System Runs Like New After Sitting Dormant for 13 Years


Success Story from the Field: “I still can't believe this product that has been underground for over 3 decades and was not used for the last 13 years is operating as well as the day it was installed. In 1977, my parents purchased Franklin Electricthis small cottage approximately 75 minutes north of Montreal. The only source of water at the time was a surface well, which if we had a very hot and dry summer season, it did not supply enough water to even do the dishes. We had an artesian well dug nearly 175 feet and had a Franklin Electric submersible pump and control box installed sometime around 1984. To date, the only Franklin Electric component to be replaced was the control box due to the harsh surroundings it had to endure. In 2004 my father passed away, my wife and I were busy with hockey and soccer with our children, and my mother didn't like the drive up north by herself, so the cottage took a back seat in our lives. Fast forward 13 years. While it was still standing, squatters, rodents, and the like ransacked just about every inch of the place. We did major renovations this past summer, from the roof to the complete interior, including the water piping system. This is the interesting part. We contacted a local well company about a new submersible pump since we thought there was absolutely no chance of the pump operating after being dormant for 13 years. When I mentioned we had a Franklin system in place, the service employee said that we should try the pump first before making any new purchases since it had a good reputation. I was more than skeptical, however, we heeded his recommendation and purchased the new pressure tank, switch, and gauge, and wired everything up. To our astonishment, water came gushing out within 30 seconds of flicking on the breaker. I was more than surprised because I only finished piping approximately 3 feet from the pressure tank, had left the valve open, and ended up getting totally soaked. So hats off to those of you who work hard in making dependable products!”

--- Mike Wozniak, Homeowner in Montreal, Canada

Success Story: 40+ Years & 3 Homeowners No Match For Franklin Submersible Motor


Nathan Rutledge, an industry veteran and respected water well contractor recently shared his story about the value Franklin Electric brings to his business and why he will continue to be loyal to our products. Here’s what he had to say…

“I have used pumps with Franklin Electric motors for more than 30 years. Although the pump brands may have changed from time to time, the one thing that has remained a staple in my business are pumps driven by FranklinNathan Success Story motors. A great reason why was shown yet again in November when Rutledge Well Drilling and Pump Service was called to a mature lake side residential neighborhood in Indiana for a ‘no water’ issue. Upon arrival, there was no visible well, however, after some investigating the well was located and the pump was removed. I started inspecting the failed unit and identified it as a 1/2 hp, 230-volt pump. That is when I noticed the date code showed the motor was manufactured in 1976. This pump had been used for a custom home in an upscale lake community pumping at 60 feet of head for 40+ years. The combination of a high-quality motor, a well-maintained pressure tank, and proper sizing allowed this pump, original to the home, to deliver water to 3 different homeowners without a single pump issue. The pump was replaced with a Franklin Electric 3200 Series after a riser was installed. I am confident that with proper tank maintenance, this new pump will provide many years of dependable service to this home.

Franklin’s commitment to their service technicians has been unparalleled and the quality is never a question. For every Franklin motor I have stood behind, Franklin has stood behind me with technical support, product sizing, and a no hassle warranty process. I personally have used Franklin motors for 30 years and intend on using them for another 30.”

--- Nathan Rutledge, WD/PI, Rutledge Well Drilling and Pump Service, in Atlanta, Indiana

Now Available: New MagForce Permanent Magnet Motor System


The new 6-inch MagForceTM Permanent Magnet Motor System is an ultra-efficient, high-performance alternative to standard induction motors. End users benefit from significant electrical cost savings via a motor efficiency FE Permanent Magnet Motor Front Heroimprovement of 10-12 percent, providing a typical investment payback of less than one year in long- or continuous-run applications*.

Why You Should Choose This System

  • Features a rugged SandFighter® motor and optimized drive package to provide high efficiencies at constant horsepower
  • Permanent magnet technology allows the product family to cover the nine traditional pump horsepower ratings from 7.5 to 60 horsepower in three distinct motor models
  • Operates at full pumping and electrical efficiency with a range of pumps, maximizing contractor flexibility
  • Ideal Applications: 
    • Long- or continuous-run applications, such as large-scale livestock operations; municipal well, high-volume transfer applications; and mining or dewatering applications 
    • Areas facing DOE efficiency regulations or those expecting tightened standards in the future

*Results based on field trial data.

Proven Technology, Proven Efficiency
Permanent magnet motor technology has helped power efficient motor-driven systems in many industries for years. It utilizes a unique design with a magnetic rotor, meaning that the magnetic field needed to turn the motor is already created. This is a significantly more efficient process compared to an induction motor that must create the magnetic field. The MagForce Permanent Magnet Motor requires less current, and operates at a lower temperature, thus increasing the potential life cycle of the motor itself.

In addition, the Franklin Electric AIM App now offers the MagForce Savings Calculator to estimate annual energy savings with four simple data points:

  1. Select the motor hp/kW
  2. Enter the number of hours the system is expected to run per day
  3. Enter the number of days per year the system will be running
  4. Enter the local energy cost per kW/hour

Then select the Calculate Savings button for an annual energy savings estimation. You can download the app from both the Apple® App Store and Google Play Store* or by searching for “Franklin Electric AIM” on your smartphone.

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For more information on the MagForce Permanent Magnet Motor System, click here. To see our new video and hear contractors and end users talk about their experience with this new technology, click here

Ready For Download: New AIM App


The new AIM (Application, Installation, & Maintenance) App provides contractors with instantaneous information to make working in the field easier. Available on both the Apple® App Store and Google Play Store* by searching AIM Launch Social Email Graphic Ios“Franklin Electric AIM”, this new application brings the most commonly used Franklin Electric submersible motor sections of the legendary print version created in the 1960s into an easy-to-access digital form.

Benefits of the AIM App

  • Provides access to precise wire and cable sizing assistance
  • Offers detailed motor specification information
  • Allows contractors to pinpoint alternative installation options when applicable
  • Works online as well as offline so it’s available even in remote areas
  • Applies to both 50 and 60 Hz products
  • Comes in English, Spanish, and Portuguese versions 
  • Provides an easy call button that dials directly to the Franklin Electric Technical Service Hotline
  • Its database updates automatically in the background whenever a change is made, so contractors can be certain that it provides the most current information available

As engineers, inspectors, and utility companies require more detailed motor data, contractors can look up motor specifications by model number or rating. The mobile app then provides the user with a list of helpful data, such as full and max load amps and watts, winding resistance, service factor, and more.

Contractors can also size wire and cable for jobs by using the cable selection calculator that walks the user step-by-step through the process and details of the application. Once the phase, horsepower, voltage, cable temperature, and wire gauge data is selected, the app will generate the exact type, gauge, and maximum length of wire to use – saving the contractor time and money by simplifying the process and reducing scrap and excess wire use. In addition, the app calculates requirements for using two wire sizes. By inputting distances between points and existing wire gauges, the app automatically computes requirements for the remaining distance.

Lastly, the app features a direct link to the complete electronic format of the AIM Manual on the Franklin Electric website. At the touch of a button, the entire manual is accessible and searchable. In addition, the AIM Manual is still available in printed form, allowing contractors to choose the version that works best for their business.

*Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.

Up To Speed: DIP Switch – Why The Funny Name?


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.

“Franklin Electric’s SubDrive product line offers remarkable flexibility. Much of this flexibility comes from the internal switches inside the SubDrive/MonoDrive Connect family used by the installing contractor to select various options during installation. In the installation manual and elsewhere, these switches are referred to as ‘DIP switches’. For example, in SubDrive Connect, moving the DIP switch labeled SW1 to the ‘ON’ position enables WIFI operation. Position 5 of the SW1 selects between a pressure sensor (PS) or a

Dip Switch Zoom

 pressure transducer (XDCR). Other DIP switches tell the unit which motor and pump are installed.

DIP switches aren’t unique to Franklin Electric and are used in many products. However, here’s the mystery… why on earth are they called DIP switches? Seems like an odd name for a switch or a row of switches. Unless you’re involved with electronics manufacturing, you would have no reason to know that DIP is an electronics acronym for Dual Inline Package. A 'DIP' is simply a rectangular component with two (dual) parallel (inline) rows of pins that mount through a circuit board. If that package has incorporated switches, then they are DIP switches.

There are a slew of other acronyms like this used in electronics manufacturing. For example, another type of circuit package is called a quad flat package, otherwise known as a QFP.

In the case of Dual Inline Package switches, over the years, the term DIP switch has taken on a life of its own, with most of us initially having no idea what the term actually means. Of course, you certainly don’t need to know where the term comes from to set a DIP switch, but now you know the origin of that funny name.”

Now, you’re up to speed.

Up To Speed: One Small Solution Will Prevent Many Future Headaches


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.

“The best way to deliver groundwater is still with a submersible motor and pump. As you know, a submersible installation can be a tough environment. Even in the best of installations, things that are simply out of your controlPumptec Product Grouping can go wrong, such as: water levels can drop, electrical power can intermittently go bad, and pumps can become clogged. All of these things can quickly damage the unit downhole and lead to that frantic 'we’re out of water' call from the homeowner or farmer.

A Simple Solution for Your ‘Toolbox’

The above phone call doesn’t have to happen if you employ a slightly different, yet still cost-friendly approach. My tip for you: More times than not, the best investment you can make isn’t just in the product itself, but rather what you do to protect it. Your customer has invested a lot in you and their water system. A small additional investment in a Pumptec product will help ensure you won’t have to see that motor and pump for a very long time. They’re happy and you can focus on new installations.

Have You Met Pumptec Yet?

The Franklin Electric family of Pumptec, QD Pumptec, and Pumptec-Plus make protecting a submersible installation easy. It’s been proven in our industry for years, but I’m still surprised at how underutilized it is, costing thousands of dollars in damaged motors and pumps and headaches for contractors. To begin with, the entire Pumptec family protects against a dry well condition. Since submersible pumps are water lubricated and submersible motors are water cooled, any out-of-water condition in the well can make things even worse by damaging both. Pumptec products continually monitor the load on the motor and detect if it has become 'underloaded' or is not working as hard as expected. If that occurs, within three seconds, Pumptec will shut the system off and wait for the well to recharge (you get to choose how long).

Other conditions such as a flow restriction, a deadhead condition, or even a gas-locked pump will also cause a motor underload. The Pumptec family safeguards against these issues as well, saving the pump and motor from damage.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, a bound, tight, or clogged pump will create an overload condition on the motor. Once again, Pumptec protects the installation from any further damage by taking the motor offline within three seconds.

Underload and overload conditions are both mechanical issues, but what about electrical issues? Bad power can be a real problem, especially in rural areas. Voltage has no impact on the pump, but the motor must have the proper voltage. If it’s too high or too low, the motor will be damaged and eventually fail. Pumptec to the rescue. It continuously monitors the voltage going to the motor and if that voltage is off more than 10 percent either way, it removes power from the motor until the voltage returns to normal.

What is the Difference Between Them?

Pumptec and QD Pumptec look different, but the functionality of each is nearly identical. The only difference is in the packaging. Pumptec uses a QD Control Box enclosure and wires in minutes into either a 2- or 3-wire installation. QD Pumptec installs inside a QD Control Box in literally seconds. Pumptec-Plus adds capability up to 5 horsepower and has some added features, such as the rapid cycling detection that might occur with a water-logged pressure tank.

Underload, overload, undervoltage, and overvoltage can occur in any submersible installation. Franklin Electric’s Pumptec family protects against them all, making your job easier and less stressful for a very small additional investment.”

Now, you’re up to speed.

Up To Speed: Is it a Pressure Switch, a Sensor, or a Transducer?


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.

“When options are added to any product, it’s important to eliminate the risk of a mix-up. One somewhat common and understandable point of confusion we hear is the difference between a pressure sensor and a pressure transducer.Pressure Switch

Before we clarify sensor versus transducer, let’s take a step back and first explain the pressure switch. We call it the on/off switch in a traditional water system. The pump/motor has two speeds, either on or off. A pressure tank stores the pressure and the pressure switch tells the motor when to start and when to stop. If we’ve installed a 30/50 psi pressure switch, it closes at 30 psi and starts the pump and motor. At 50 psi, the contacts in the pressure switch are forced open and the pump stops and waits for the next cycle.

In a variable speed system, the pressure is more precisely monitored and the pump speed adjusts to maintain a constant pressure. So, if the pressure is 48 psi and we programmed the system to maintain 50 psi, the pump speed increases a small amount. If the pressure reading is 52 psi, the pump speed decreases. This continuous adjustment in pump speed is what delivers constant pressure and matches demand.

This job of continually adjusting the speed of motor and pump falls to the variable frequency drive (VFD), sometimes just called the controller. Of course, for the controller to do its job, it must accurately know the system pressure. Franklin Electric has two different devices that accomplish this.

Clearing Up The Confusion: Sensor Vs. Transducer

1. Pressure Sensor – This is also known by some as a ‘Hobbs switch’. The key word here is sensor, as it Pressure Sensordifferentiates this device from the conventional pressure switch noted above. Similar pressure sensors are used in a multitude of other products as well, most notably in various engines to detect the presence of (or lack of) oil pressure.

In conjunction with a VFD, pressure sensors are similar to pressure switches in that they are either open or closed. However, unlike pressure switches, pressure sensors are very precise and good for millions of cycles. Around a given setpoint, say 50 psi, they are either open or closed. That is, 49 psi = closed; 51 psi = open. The controller continually adjusts the pump speed around this set point. Pressure sensors are remarkably simple and highly robust. Their only drawback: for more advanced installations, their capabilities are limited.

2. Pressure Transducer – It can be any device that measures and converts some physical parameter into an electrical signal. Hence, a pressure transducer converts pressure into an electrical signal. The key difference between a pressure transducer and a pressure sensor above is that the signal isn’t just on or off, it’s continuous. So, a 0 – 100 psi transducer can accurately tell the VFD the actual system pressure.

In the case of Franklin Electric’s SubDrive Connect, we give you both options. The product ships with a pressure transducer as ‘standard’, but the unit is still compatible with the pressure sensor (Hobbs switch). Please note: since the sensor and transducer function differently, they connect to a different set of terminals inside the SubDrive Connect.

Proper Connection

Here’s the punch line: The pressure transducer must be connected to the terminals labeled XDCR (short for Pressure TransmitterPressure Transducertransducer). The pressure sensor must be connected to the terminals labeled PS (pressure sensor). Connecting either one of the above to the wrong terminals will prevent the SubDrive Connect from operating.

One additional installation note: If you are using the pressure sensor, move the DIP switch to the PS position as well. This tells the SubDrive Connect where to look for the pressure measurement.

So, pressure switch, pressure sensor, or pressure transducer. Three devices that all have pressure in their names. Three devices that get the job done, but each in their own way.”

Now, you’re up to speed.

New Video – An In-Depth Look at SubDrive Utility


National Driller magazine stopped by our Groundwater Week 2017 booth and asked about our new variable frequency drive. Product expert Jeff Frank went into detail about the product, including the big advantages of choosing this drive. He touched on topics such as performance, electrical protection, clean power output, and constant pressure.

Click here to watch the video.

National Driller Subdrive Utility Video 2017

New Videos - Franklin Features SubDrive Utility, Solar Advancements, & MagForce


Listen to Franklin Electric’s own product expert, Jeff Frank, discuss three new innovations and advancements that bring value to customers while at Groundwater Week 2017. They include:Subdrive Utility Video Snipit 002

  • SubDrive Utility™ – The SubDrive Utility Variable Frequency Drive converts 2-wire conventional submersible pumping systems, ranging from 1/3 hp up to 1-1/2 hp, into constant water pressure systems. Designed with a compact footprint, it features a sleek NEMA 3R enclosure rated for both indoor and outdoor use, and retrofits to most pumping systems utilizing a Franklin Electric motor. Separate of the pump and motor, the drive makes troubleshooting and maintenance of the pumping system significantly easier compared to all-in-one units.
  • Solar Advancements – Franklin Electric continues to develop our solar product line, including these three specific advancements: a new backup power source, new Helical Rotor pump style, and a WiFi module to better capture data.
  • MagForce™ Permanent Magnet Motor – This 6-inch high-performance alternative to standard induction motors provides electrical cost savings via an efficiency improvement of 10-12 percent and a typical investment payback of less than one year in long- or continuous-run applications*.

*Results based on field trial data.

To watch the SubDrive Utility video, click here. To view the Solar Advancements video, click here. To watch the MagForce video, click here.