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Best Practice Method for Installing Dosing Pumps

Best Practice Method for Installing Dosing Pumps

There are five key things to keep in mind when you are installing a dosing pump for livestock applications. They apply to all different brands and types of dosing pumps, not just those we sell. So if you have purchased a Dosatron, Chemilizer, Mix-rite or some other kind of the pump, the points below are still very important when you are installing your machine.

1. Don’t make anything permanent!

This is an easy mistake to make. You may already have PVC pipes or maybe you just want to glue things in place for a little extra peace of mind. There is a very simple reason to avoid doing this. Most dosing pumps require some level of maintenance and this usually involves pulling the pump apart to some degree. If you glue the fittings in place it will be much more difficult for you to remove your doser from the line when you need to perform maintenance.

2. Filter the water.

This one is very important but is often ignored. As a late friend of ours was fond of saying “Using a dosing pump without a filter is like having unprotected sex with a stranger!”. We have seen the truth of this first hand. To give one (extreme) example, one of our staff was called out to solve a problem with a dosing pump on a farm and found that the machine was full of small fish!! Installing a filter before your machine is an easy way to reduce the level of maintenance required and keep the machine running smoothly.

Think Livestock can provide a number of different types of filters including Rusco Spin-down Filters and any of the cartridge filters available in the Philmac catalogue.

3. Pressure Loss

It’s crucial to note that in any water system there will be some level of pressure loss through the pipes. This is increased by adding a dosing pump (especially a pressure driven pump) to the water line. You need to make sure that you are going to have enough pressure to still get your water to the end of the line after all this pressure loss is accounted for. One part of ensuring this is to make sure you are using pipes that are large enough. 1 inch is fairly common but in some situations 2 inch pipe may be required.

4. Set up the doser in a bypass.

This is a very common practice and is a great way to set up your pump. When you set up a dosing pump in a valved bypass (or parallel line), you give yourself the option of shutting off water to the doser and sending it directly to your livestock.

Why is this important?

Firstly, you want the option of removing the doser from the line for maintenance. This is A LOT easier to do when you don’t have to shut off your water completely to do it. Secondly, you may not be dosing 100% of the time. When you aren’t dosing, it’s not a bad idea to bypass the doser so that you aren’t wearing out parts for no reason.

Another added benefit of setting up a doser this way is that you can partially open the valve of the direct line to divert only part of the flow through the doser. This is mostly useful with fixed-rate dosers like the Gator.

5. Know where your water is going!

Water systems on farms tend to evolve over time and sometimes end up with water travelling to unexpected places. If you aren’t sure about where the water is going from the point where you are planning to installing a dosing pump, it is very easier to put a tracer such as Vac-Pac Plus (or even just some blue food dye) through your water to see where it is ending up. Think Livestock can supply Vac-Pac Plus if required.

The other important thing about knowing where your water is going. If there is any concern about ‘back-flow’ in your system it’s important to put a non-return valve in your line to prevent treated water from going to the wrong place. The rule of thumb for non-return valves when used with a dosing pump is that you want to place them before the injection point for the machine.

For pressure driven pump like our Gator XL, simple place the valve before the machine. For our Select Dosers, place it between the Flow sensor and the injection point so that it also removes any potential for the water to flow backwards through the flow sensor.


We can supply all the components for a bypass system in a handy “plumb and play” kit (like the one shown in our video above). This gives you everything you need to get set up. The cost for this if you buy it from us is as follows:

    • Just the bypass system with no filter or non-return valve – $250.00 inc. GST
    • Add a Spin-Down Filter – $130 inc gst
    • Add a Non return valve – $38 inc GST
    • Burger with the lot – $418.00 inc GST