Eric Holtan tapped as Agricultural Market Manager

Brings extensive agricultural pump experience, troubleshooting, and product knowledge to the position

Cornell Pump is pleased to announce Eric Holtan has been appointed as the Agricultural Market Manager, with responsibilities for all Cornell Pump irrigation, manure, and other related agricultural product lines around the world. Holtan succeeds Bob Jansen, who is retiring.

Eric Holtan joined Cornell Pump in 2002, and brought a wealth of experience in farm implements and distributorships from his experience with farm machinery sales, as well as first-hand pumping experience from working on his family’s farm growing up in eastern Oregon, and tending his own acreage in Newberg, Oregon.  A graduate of Oregon State University, he has a BS in Agricultural Engineering Technology. Eric has gained 18 years of pump experience at Cornell, and is very familiar with our agricultural product line, priming systems, pump selection, and troubleshooting. He also has spent time the last several quarters on road trips meeting distributors around the county, and offering sales support to the agricultural market beyond his traditional inside sales roles, such as technology implementation.

Holtan takes on his new responsibility at Cornell, as the company remains an industry-leading manufacturer of end suction centrifugal pumps. He will support the continued roll-out of Cornell’s new agricultural series, Cyclone® Vertical Turbines, along with our pump telemetric system, Cornell Co-Pilot, and new smaller series of irrigation pumps.

“Eric has been an integral part of Cornell’s success in agricultural pumps for nearly two decades, said Marcus Davi, Cornell Pump Vice President of Sales. “Holtan will do very well in his position with his extensive product knowledge, strong understanding of pumping principles, and connection to our dealer and distributor network around the world. I know he ready for this expanded challenge, and expect him to be very successful for Cornell and our customers.”

About Cornell Pump Company
Cornell Pump Company, is a Clackamas, Oregon based company that provides premium quality, efficient centrifugal pumps for industrial, agricultural, mining and municipal applications. Since 1946, Cornell Pump has engineered products to be rugged, durable, and dependable— efficient by design.  Cornell pumps are found in products and applications around the world.

Cornell Pump is a subsidiary of Roper Technologies, a diversified technology company that is a constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000, and the Russell 1000 indices. For more information on Cornell, please call (503) 653-0330, or visit

Pump Housings and Coverings

It’s the height of summer here in North America and the sun is often beating down; but pumps still need coverings even in the hot/dry weather! We’ve had NPSH issues because of temperate increases of pipping being in the sun, and even pumps misaligning because of being painted black and sitting in direct sunlight, causing thermal expansion.   

Pump House

Proper pump housing will also be important in six months during winter weather, when the elements can cause pipe freezing, issues with dry-priming systems, electrical issues in water, and more.

Pump Shelter

How to use the Cornell Pump wood box?

Euromacchine, a Cornell Pump distributor in Italy, showed us how they repurposed our shipping crate into a tree house! We’re looking forward to seeing how additional pump shipment crating will be used to make into an expanded deck for the tree house, or even a second-level addition.  

We meticulously pack pumps for sea shipping or even expedited air freight for distributors outside of North America—as well as doing a great job for those shipments making shorter trips by truck from Portland, Oregon. Cornell Pump sells in more than 70 countries around the world, offering outstanding sales support through our distributor network; from Argentina to Zambia, you can find a Cornell Pump working in the field. 

Cornell Cyclone Turbine—VT Series Video

Cornell designed and built our short set vertical turbines—the Cyclone VT series—to be robust, reliable, and efficient. Based on our very popular RB and H series centrifugal pumps, the short set vertical turbines are great for pivots, micro-irrigation, and other agricultural applications.

Offered in enclosed and open lineshaft models, with up to 100 PSI of head, and flow rates of ~300 to 3,000 GPM across five models, the Cyclone VT series is a great performer for various markets, including agricultural, industrial, and municipal. Learn more about the series in this quick video introduction.

Tuesday Tip: Troubleshooting Refrigeration Pumps

Cornell Pump has been manufacturing (and troubleshooting ) refrigeration pumps since the 1950s. Our open drive CB Series has been a consistent performer for decades, and our Arctic King line of hermetic refrigeration pumps has proved very popular since introduction in 2013.

Here are some symptoms, possible causes, and corrective actions to take when dealing with Cornell’s CB (open drive) and HT (semi-hermetic) series refrigeration pumps.

Loss of prime at start-upVolute vent line feeds to another line instead of directly into the receiverVolute vent piping should be directly into the separator above the maximum liquid level
Vent line closedOpen volute vent line
Pump started before completely filled with liquid or before cooled downFollow the “start-up instructions”carefully and allow ample time forsystem to balance and pump to cool down
Pump started with discharge valvefully open Throttle discharge valve at start up to almost shut-off and open it very gradually
Loss of prime during operationCavitation Cavitation due to an excessive flowrate, the closing of the stop valve will bring about immediate recovery—adjust the hand expansion valves as necessary to bring the flow rate within NPSHA limitations
RecirculationUtilize a bypass line to ensureminimum flow requirement
Vapor entrainmentEvaluate false load condition
Reduce rate of temperature draw down in receiver by the compressors
Raise liquid level in receiver
Motor overloading new installationIncorrect rotationEnsure proper rotation
Incorrect pump selectionReview performance conditions and consult factory
Incorrect hand expansion valvesetting Adjust the hand expansion valves as necessary to bring the flow rate within NPSHA limitations
Motor overloading existing installationOil indigestion from system Check amperage and voltage, compare with normal power, oil ingestion will increase power requirement and potential tooverload the motor
External seal (characteristics) leak (only on open drive pumps/ not HT)Failure of outboard mechanical seal assembly Mechanical seal replacement required with a Cornell mechanical seal replacement kit
Internal seal leakFailure of inboard mechanical sealassembly Replace mechanical seal with a mechanical seal replacement kit Characterized by high oil consumption but no visible oil leak

Proper Submergence of Inlet to Avoid Vortex

If a pump suction is not placed an acceptable distance from the surface of the liquid, the pump can experience vortexing.  Similar to cavitation, with the loss of efficiency and damage that can occur to the pump, vortexing is the result of too much water relative to the pit/sump depth being drawn into the suction line. A depression forms on the surface of the water and is commonly seen as a whirling vortex.

Many have seen a whirling vortex form when a sink or bathtub drains. As the water level in the tub decreases, the ferocity of the whirlpool increases, with a column of air often visible all the way into the drain. A noticeable whirl on the surface of the body of liquid being pumped does not need to be perceptible to human eyes to cause damage, and in the worst cases, a column of air can lead straight into the suction pipe.

Vortexes form between the pump suction and intake tank fluid surface. This causes air to enter the pump suction, and the entrained air reduces pump capacity and efficiency. Excessive shaft deflection is also produced by the entrainment. The pump’s mechanical seals, bearings, piping, couplings and impeller can be damaged by the vortex condition.

Ideally, vortexing can be anticipated in the design phase and eliminated with the proper amount of suction for the water level. However, if a pump experiences vortexing, the issue can be reduced or stopped by changing the velocity of the water entering the pump. Reducing or eliminating vortexing can be accomplished through:

  • Increasing the size of the inlet piping or installing a flared suction line
  • Increasing the depth of the fluid source (or raising the pump to increase the distance between the bottom of the fluid source and the intake)
  • Reducing the pump flow rate
  • Operating at a different level to reduce head
  • Slowing the system Reducing the number of pumps running in the fluid source
  • Using diffuser screens or baffles
  • Alerting the fluids/solids ratio in the intake
  • Realigning the return line to reduce a waterfall effect in the liquid source
  • Floating large balls on the surface to dissuade vortex formation
  • Cleaning the trash screen to remove restrictions

Keep Your Condensed Hydraulic Data Book Handy

A couple of weeks ago, Cornell had a request for some of Condensed Hydraulic Data Books from a P.E. in South Carolina. These slim, pocket-vest sized books have been offered by us for decades. The engineer who requested the books wrote:

“I have had the pleasure of using the Cornell Pump condensed hydraulic data book for hundreds of designs since1984. It’s my go-to source for all hydraulic calculations.

I’ve got a young engineer I’m bringing along and would love to have a copy to give him. Would it be possible to obtain a copy or two?”

We are certainly happy to oblige. The engineer even sent a picture of his copy of his much-referenced data book. (We sent him along a couple of new copies he can use as well…)

Cornell provides thousands of these diminutive books with C values, nomographs, and more for handy in-field calculations per year. Use our contact form to request one for yourself.

We also encourage you to use the mobile tool kit on your phone (Apple IOS and Android Play). The apps come in Imperial and metric versions, and allow calculations for TDH, NPSH, friction loss, and suggest Cornell pumps to meet specifications entered.

With these resources, you can make accurate system calculations on the fly!

Memorial Day 2020

In honor of those who gave their lives in service to our country, Cornell Pump Company will be closed for Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and we will be back on Tuesday, May 26th.

Tuesday Tip: Easy Shaft Sleeve Removal With No Special Tools!

Often, pump maintenance and repairs are done out in the field with no access to shop tools. One of the most common maintenance tasks is replacing the shaft sleeve. Did you know there’s an easy way to remove the shaft sleeve, using only two hammers? This method works so well that it is often preferred over shaft sleeve pullers and other methods inside the Cornell shop!  

Keeping one hammer steady on the shaft sleeve, strike the opposite side of the sleeve with the other hammer. Do this along the length of the sleeve, until the sleeve metal is stretched enough to be pulled off by hand. Watch the video to see how quickly and easily this method works!

Find more instructional videos for pump maintenance on the Cornell youtube channel.

40 Year Anniversary of Mt St Helens. The eruption was just the beginning.

Many may remember the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980. Cornell Pump is located about 50 miles from the volcano as the crow flies, and the eruption was fiercely felt and imminently visible for our hometown. During that eruption, 57 people were tragically killed,  the mountain blew more than 1,110 feet (335 m) off its top, and 3.9 billion cubic yards (3 billion meters cubed) of debris raced down the mountain into the surrounding landscape, choking off rivers and damming Spirit Lake, on the North flank of the mountain.

Above: the ad created at that time, touting our involvement.

Those initial lahars (violent mudflows of earth, ice, snow, and water heated by the volcano) and subsequent smaller eruptions had created a dire situation by 1983. Debris had plugged the lake’s natural drainage and if the “earth dam” had been overrun it would have caused flooding and damage to the recovering towns below, with massive property damage and loss of life possible.

The Army Corp of Engineers called on Cornell to provide pumps that could be shipped very quickly, operate efficiently and reliability, and remove the massive amounts of water needed to reduce the breach risk. Cornell answered with 20 of our 10YB model pumps, removing more than 100,000 GPM—working within a month of the contract award.

See more Cornell accomplishments on our history timeline.