Do You Need A Pump For A Misting System? (Everything Worth Knowing)

By Dairy Farming Hut

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Misting systems are must-haves for dairy farms since cooler temperatures have been proven to improve milk production. With the size of many dairy farms, misting systems are often the most efficient way to provide cooling. But they can be expensive, which leads many to ask, do you need a pump for a misting system on a dairy farm?

A misting system with a pump is best for dairy farms. Low-pressure misting systems create larger water droplets that won’t evaporate quickly, making them less efficient at cooling the cattle down and creating a layer of moisture on your equipment. A pump and high-pressure misting system solve this.

We all want to save money, and installing a misting system without a pump is an easy way to save a few dollars on a dairy farm. But it’s really not worth it, neither long-term nor short-term.

Let’s compare low-pressure misting systems with mid- and high-pressure systems to see why.

Why Do Misting Systems Need Pumps?

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To understand this, we must first look at what a misting system does to reduce the ambient temperature.

How Misting Systems Work?

A misting system uses pressure to push water through nozzles in a fine spray (mist). The idea is not to have the droplets fall on anyone or anything because even though this will have a cooling effect, it will only cool that area instead of the surrounding area, and the water could even cause damage.

So, instead, a misting system depends on the heat in the area to evaporate the water droplets, absorbing the heat energy in the process, which cools down the ambient temperature rather than the site where the water lands. For this to work, the droplets must be small enough to evaporate rapidly.

Misting Systems Without Pumps

A misting system without a pump is called a low-pressure misting system. It operates at approximately 40 to 60 PSI of pressure, similar to the municipal water supply outputs. Depending on your water supply on the dairy farm, it might be even less, but it’s unlikely to be more since most commercial and residential water systems are only designed for that pressure and no more.

Low-pressure systems create a mist with droplets approximately 300 microns in size. The small size leads to fast evaporation, which is what we want, but (depending on the heat) they won’t evaporate quickly enough. This means you can technically use a misting system without a pump, and it would be better than nothing, but it has four caveats:

  • Some of the water droplets won’t evaporate quickly enough, which means a lot of the moisture will fall on your cattle, which is generally not a problem in itself, but also on your expensive equipment, which could cause damage. It also turns it into a less pleasant working environment as it will leave you feeling sticky and wet.
  • It takes longer to cool the area. Depending on the ambient temperature, it could take more than just a few minutes to make a noticeable difference.
  • It only reduces the temperature by approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite good but not consistent enough to minimize heat stress in your cattle.
  • Low-pressure systems can use more water to achieve the same (or worse) results than misting systems with pumps.
  • As you extend the system, the pressure reduces, so you are limited in terms of how far the system can go.

Home use is an ideal scenario for low-pressure misting systems, and setting one up on your patio can create an excellent atmosphere for a relaxing summer afternoon. However, commercial applications like dairy farms require something with more power, which is what a pump provides.

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What Difference Does A Pump Make To A Misting System?

Adding a pump to a misting system increases the amount of pressure. Higher water pressure means the water can pass through smaller nozzles, which creates smaller water droplets.

In the end, the smaller a water droplet is, the faster it will evaporate. This offers you plenty of benefits:

  • Few water drops, if any, will fall on the cattle, the equipment, the workers, or you. It’s much better for your equipment and creates a more pleasant working environment.
  • The ambient temperature will cool down much faster. The finer the water droplets are, the quicker they evaporate and dissipate the heat. It could take as little as a few seconds for a proper misting system with a pump to make a big difference in the temperature.
  • Good misting systems with pressure pumps can reduce the temperature by more than just 20 degrees Fahrenheit, quickly reducing it by 30 or even more.
  • You may use less water since the water will evaporate more quickly, achieving ideal temperatures much faster, with less water forming on surfaces.

Different Misting Systems With Pumps

There are two types of misting systems that include pumps. They are mid-pressure and high-pressure systems, each with unique features and requirements.

Mid-Pressure Misting Systems

A mid-pressure misting system uses a pump that generates about 160 to 250 PSI of pressure and forms water droplets of approximately 100 microns. These finer droplets evaporate more quickly, so you don’t get as much spillage, and it cools the area down much faster than a low-pressure system.

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High-Pressure Misting Systems

A high-pressure misting system uses a strong water pump that generates between 750 and 1500 PSI of pressure with water droplets that can be as small as 10 microns. They require special pipes, nozzles, and connectors, but the finer droplets evaporate faster, leading to near-instant cooling. They can also cool the ambient temperature by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Do Misting Fans Also Require Pumps?

Fan misters work on the same principle as other misting systems, with only one exception: they include a fan that disperses the water droplets across an area, leading to more even cooling. As such, you can also get low-pressure, mid-pressure, and high-pressure fan misting systems, and the mid-pressure and high-pressure variants still require pumps.

As with other misting systems, a fan mister without a pump will still create larger drops, which the fan will distribute more evenly. However, those with pumps offer the same benefits as regular mid-pressure and high-pressure misting systems with more even cooling and smaller drops.

You can also check our complete guide on best misting systems for the dairy farms. This guide include various sprinkler systems, sprayer booms, hybrid systems, fan misters etc.

What To Check If Pressure On A Misting System’s Pump Is Low?

If you have a misting system with a pump but there’s a pressure problem, there are a few things you can check. Assuming your pump comes on and doesn’t trip the power, but you find that it’s not delivering the right amount of pressure, check the following:

  • Look for the leaks as water leaks somewhere along the line can reduce the pressure of your misting system, and this can often happen because of sub-standard pipes or fittings used in a high-pressure system.
  • Is the system too long? All misting systems have a specific distance rating. High-pressure systems can be much longer than mid- or low-pressure systems, but they are still limited. Having too much pipe for the rating of your pump could cause pressure problems.
  • Check the pump’s internal parts, specifically the pump seals and pistons. You can also check if there’s water in the crankcase oil.
  • Check the pump for oil leaks. Sometimes, these can be caused by something simple like loose oil drain plugs or damaged oil seals, which is easy to fix. Otherwise, you might need a mechanic to restructure or replace the pump to solve the pressure problem.

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