News: Frankly Speaking

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.

Now Available for Inline 400: 2-Liter Expansion Tank


Inline 400 Expansion Tank FE FE 2LX FrontThe Inline 400 Pressure Boosting System is now available for order with a 2-liter expansion tank at no additional cost. The standalone Inline 400 unit can be purchased, should a different size or style tank be needed, to meet installation needs. If additional 2-liter tanks are needed for other uses, or as a replacement part, they can be purchased independently.

For more information about the Inline 400, click here.

In Case You Missed It: Groundwater Week 2017 Post-Show Photo Gallery


The groundwater industry’s signature event returned to Nashville, Tennessee, this year and it didn’t miss a beat. With incredible educational sessions, enthusiastic attendees, and impressive exhibits, this is the place to be if you’re in the business.

Weren’t able to attend the show this year? No problem. Click here to see the show from our point of view.NGWA 2017 Booth 015

Groundwater Week 2017: Everything You Need to Know Before the Show


Gw Week Logo 2017 (2)Franklin Electric will utilize Groundwater Week 2017 as an interactive platform for field data reveals, new product displays, and contractor education sessions in booth 725 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, December 6-7. Here’s everything you need to know about the show!

Welcome Party/Cocktail Reception
Franklin Electric will once again be the featured sponsor of the Groundwater Week 2017 Welcome Party. Join us for light hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and networking.

  • Tuesday, December 5 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Davidson Ballroom at the Music City Center

Field Data Reveals & New Products

  • Unique to Groundwater Week 2017, Franklin Electric will serve as host to a veteran groundwater contractor in the booth to reveal their recent personal experience and success in a field trial of one of the company’s latest innovations – the MagForce™ Permanent Magnet Motor. Show attendees will hear firsthand the specific cost savings and application improvements it’s afforded the end user. The 6-inch motor is a high-performance alternative to standard induction motors, providing 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. It features SandFighter® construction and covers the nine traditional pump horsepower ratings from five to 60 horsepower in three distinct motor models.
  • Another new product at the show will be the SubDrive Utility Variable Frequency Drive which 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.

Unique Educational Opportunities – Booth 725
As part of the in-booth experience, contractors can attend a number of 15-minute, first-time to the industry in-booth educational sessions**.

  • Wednesday, December 6
    • 12:30 p.m. – A 2-Wire Value Proposition: SubDrive Utility for Constant Pressure and Protection
    • 1:30 p.m. – A Beneficial Partnership: Maximizing the Key Dealer Suite of Services
    • 2:30 p.m. – An Attractive Sell: Permanent Magnet Motors
  • Thursday, December 7
    • 10:30 a.m. – Simplicity at Your Fingertips: Benefiting from App Connectivity 
    • 11:30 a.m. – Training Without the Travel: FranklinTECH Online
    • 12:30 p.m. – Expanding Your Application Toolbelt: Solar Portfolio Innovations 
    • 1:30 p.m. – More Than Submersibles: Expanding Your Surface Pumping Options

Educational Sessions for CEP Credit
In addition to in-booth educational sessions, Franklin Electric product experts will also be highly involved in a number of Groundwater Week 2017 CEP sessions, including the following hour-long topics:

  • Tuesday, December 5
    • 8:00 a.m. – Permanent Magnet Motors: Utilizing Efficiency to Appeal to the Market
    • 10:30 a.m. – Solar Water Pumping: Strategic Partnerships in Untapped Markets
    • 1:45 p.m. – Uncovering the Mystery of VFD Filters – How, Why, and When?
    • 3:00 p.m. – Leveraging Application-Based Sizing Software
    • 4:15 p.m. – Boosting your Water Systems Earning Potential with Aeration Systems
  • Thursday, December 7
    • 10:00 a.m. – Selecting Pump Control Solutions: Residential and Light Commercial Applications

For more information about Groundwater Week 2017, click here.

* Field trial data.
**Does not apply toward CEP credits. Drawings featuring valuable prizes will be held for all attendees immediately following each session.

Now Available: Fhoton™ AC/DC Power Converter


Franklin Electric is pleased to announce the addition of the AC/DC Power Converter to the Fhoton™ product family.FE Fhoton AC DC Power Converter Right Angled Left 1 This accessory accepts either AC (single-phase) or DC power sources and becomes the input supply to the Fhoton solar drive. By utilizing the AC/DC Power Converter, users of the Fhoton SolarPAK system acquire the ability to connect an AC power source as a backup power supply for continued operation during times when solar energy is either inadequate or unavailable. Providing this flexibility, the Fhoton AC/DC Power Converter can be used by anyone needing an alternative power source.

Product Features

  • Accepts either AC (single-phase) or DC power source*
    • 115 V AC for use with 3-phase, 100 V Franklin Electric submersible motor
    • 230 V AC for use with 3-phase, 200 V Franklin Electric submersible motor
  • Converter box output power becomes the input source supplying the Fhoton solar drive
  • Output short circuit protection
  • NEMA 4 indoor/outdoor rated enclosure for durability
  • UL and CE rated

*Source power from a single-phase

For more information on the new Fhoton SolarPAK or the AC/DC Power Converter, click here.

Now Available: New Inline Controls


Franklin Electric is excited to announce the launch of the much-anticipated Inline Controls! The new Inline Controls include five pump starting and control devices that pair with a variety of submersible or surface pumps to provide or boost the system’s overall water pressure – and in many cases, without the need of an additional bladder tank. Depending on application requirements and the selected model, this product family offers various forms of system protection. They also offer two unique features that ensure the system remains functional and hassle free, including: a daily motor rotation start designed to energize the motor at least once every 24 hours (to prevent system locking), and a unique automatic restart feature eliminating the need to manually restart the pump in the case of an unexpected trip or fault.

Features by Model
Features By Model ChartNote: Proper pump selection is essential for use with the InlineFLW, SWC, SWP, and ADJ as pump shut-off pressure will be realized within the system prior to shut down. If the pump size can not be reduced, select the InlineCTL with built-in pressure reducing valve.

Ideal applications for the Inline Controls family include: well systems as a replacement to a standard 30/50 switch and tank combination, garden or watering applications that are long distances from a well, municipal boosting applications, and other water pressure boosting applications where a bladder tank is not conducive.

For more information on the new Inline Controls, click here.

Prefer a video explanation? Click here to hear our product expert explain a little more about this new product.