How to choose a good water pressure booster pump and install it correctly
Many residential owners face the problem of increasing water pressure or higher flow rate for different plumbing activities such as repressurizing the water tank, improving overall pressure for the household, pumping water from a lake or a pond, or even for a private swimming pool. In the USA, it is allowed to increase the pressure in the water system with an elevated tank, hydro-pneumatic pressure booster, or water pressure booster pump. The topic of this article is a water pressure booster pump.
Also, the higher the building is, the more necessary a booster pump. By the way, pressure side pool cleaners require booster pumps for their work. The booster pumps are required for industrial applications as well.
When you face the problem of low pressure in your water system, first check that your pipes are not clogged, have the proper size, and do not have partially closed cutoff valves on the line. Otherwise, like any other solution, a booster pump will not help with water pressure increase.
The components of a booster pumps
All booster pumps are centrifugal pumps with one or more impellers boosting pressure and flow by centrifugal force. Each pump consists of a casing, a motor, an impeller, impeller blades, inlet, and outlet valves. In addition, it could have additional features such as pressure sensors for changing the required pressure on the outlet. In simple words, a booster pump works like a fan.
The booster pump can be with a single or multi-stages. The single-stage pump has one impeller and is less efficient than the multi-stage pump having impellers in quantity equal to the stages, but it is smaller.
How to choose a booster pump
To choose a booster pump, you need to consider several main options: the size, the type of motor, the brand, the power of a booster pump, and installation.
The size of a booster pump is determined by the number of users, the distance from the pump to the users, the required outlet pressure, the required flow rate (gallons per minute), and the amount of water going through the water system, the location of a water source. The power of a booster influences as well as the pump size on the outlet pressure. The pump’s power can range from 0.1 HP to 2.0 HP; the more HP, the more pressure will be.
It is also required to have a tank with a proper size determined by the size of the pump and its runtime after the pump to prevent pump failure and prolong its service life (prevents frequent start and stop).
There are a lot of brands on the market producing top-quality booster pumps: Stuart, Zodiac, Aquatec, Salamander, Kolerflo, Davey, Burcam, Simer, and many more. Each model has its advantages: price, energy efficiency, quiet operation, pump dimensions, possibility to work 24/7, remote control, easiness in installation, perfect balance between pressure and flow, pump protection from failures, and warranty duration.
It is also essential to consider the casing quality if you install the pump outdoors; it should be water and rust protected, work in a wide range of ambient temperatures, and the whole construction should be firm.
The last but not most minor aspect is the simplicity of a pump installation. In most cases, for a handy owner, the booster pump installation is an easy process. Still, it is vital to check the warranty conditions that can be canceled with installation, not by certified professionals. Therefore, please check in detailed recommendations for pump installation to understand if it is an easy process for you or not.
How to install a booster pump
The inlet of a booster pump should be installed on the waterline with low pressure; the outlet should be connected to the plumbing system. It is good to install a pressure gauge to check the incoming pressure and a check valve to prevent the high-pressure water from flowing back from the pump on the inlet line. In the outlet line, a pressure gauge is good to be installed as well. Some states in the USA require installing a low-pressure (10 psi or less) cutoff switch to eliminate the possibility of vacuum creation on the pump suction side. Each booster pump should have a bypass in case any emergency occurs. Before a pump installation in the water system, it is essential to test the booster pump somewhere to check for leaks.
The normal vibration of the pump during regular operation should be considered for installation. If you have a standard flange connection to the piping, it is possible to have a vibration in the whole plumbing system. A good solution is to use flex connectors for the inlet and outlet. All pipe connections should be fixed appropriately to prevent any leakage.
Each booster pump requires electricity as well. The armored cable should be used to connect the pump to the circuit. The pump motor should have the connection to the three wires in the cable – ground, neutral, and power-in. Each wire goes to the required spot at the motor. The other end of the cable goes to a dedicated circuit breaker. During the work in the electrical cabinet, you should be sure that the main breaker is off.
It is always recommended that professionals execute all water and electricity connections.
There are many areas where a water pressure booster pump is required. Low-pressure water is one of the top complaints of household owners. The water pressure booster pump resolves this problem and increases the water pressure by 25-50 psi. But, choosing a good pump is tricky, and it should be based on technical parameters, brand reliability, and installation process.
Before investing the money in complicated mechanical equipment, it is vital to check that low pressure is not the problem of the overall system that can be resolved by changing or cleaning its parts. The best efficiency of a booster pump is achieved when it is adequately sized, has a motor with high power, and the proper size of piping is chosen.