InspectAPedia®

Water pressure boosting system pump and tank (C) Daniel FriedmanWater Pressure Booster Pump & Tank FAQs
Questions & answers about water pressure boosting pumps & systems

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Questions & answers about how to choose & install a water pressure booster pump:

FAQs about water pressure increase by using a booster pump systems.

This article series describes the use of water pressure boosting systems that add a pump and pressure tank to improve water pressure and flow, including improving water pressure & flow on the upper floors of tall buildings.



Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.

Water Pressure Boosting Pump & System FAQs

Jet pump used as water pressure booster system (C) Carson Dunlop & InspectAPedia.comOur sketch, courtesy of Carson Dunlop and edited by the author shows a simple one line jet-pump and pressure tank connected to the incoming water line in a building. Our photo at page top shows a typical water pressure booster pump and tank system for sale at Don Pedro's Ferreteria in San Miguel de Allende.

[Click to enlarge any image]

These questions were posted originally at WATER PRESSURE BOOSTER PUMP - the home page for this topic.

On 2017-10-12 by (mod) - pumping water over large uneven terrain

Tony I have seen a variety of piping materials used to move water up and down hilly terrain in Costa Rica and Mexico as well as the U.S. including galvanized iron (no-freezing climates) and various plastics including ABS and PVC. In regions where freezing is a risk there will need to be a measure to avoid that damage, burying below the frost line, drain-back systems, or (less practical) heating systems.

Depending on distance, pumping stations are needed enroute. A common procedure is to pump up to a point from which water can continue onwards by gravity, perhaps using an intermediate reservoir.

On 2017-10-12 by Tony O NEILL

Hi I was wondering if water had to be transported over great distances over mountains or forest regions what type of pumping and piping system would have to be used

On 2017-10-03 by Anonymous

Buster pump previously it works in high pressure but now it given a low pressure why?

On 2017-10-02 by Mod: how much excess water will be consumed when we use a pressure pump

None

On 2017-10-02 by s n naik

can you let me know as to how much excess water will be consumed when we use a pressure pump

On 2017-08-13 by Bobby H

Our home pressure is 45 PSI and the flow rate is 1.6 (1 point 6) GPM. This explains why if I flush the toilet the water at the sink slows to a trickle. My neighbor has the same problem and says the City water line is to small. The City says the pressure is legal and won't help us.

A plumber is willing to install a water pressure booster but says that may not help much when using more than one fixture at the same time. I understand the concept of the pump can only work with the volume of water available at the inlet. Is there any options I'm not thinking of?

My neighbors have adopted the "just living with it" attitude and I'm fine with that if no options. The pump and inlet are in the basement. Thank you for your suggestions.

On 2017-07-31 by Sunil

I need to know difference between VSD operated water booster pump and pressure booster water pump

On 2017-06-02 by (mod) - fixing jumping pipes usually means correcting water hammer

Daze

Jumping pipes can certainly occur when a water pump starts or stops - a notorious source of leaks. But I agree with what I infer from your comments that looking into water hammer controls might help - along with taking care to secure the pipes against movement.

See WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE at http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Water_Hammer_Noise.php

On 2017-06-02 by Dazed

We have a pressure booster package installed in the basement of a 7 story building with a diaphragm type hydro-accumulator tank installed on the top floor to keep the size down.

The piping for the tank is 1-1/2" & connects from the tank to the 6" loop for the 7th floor. Occasionally the piping between the tank & the loop jumps drastically & will swing back & forth in the cradle mounts for a moment. It is odd because it will sometimes do this when the booster pump isn't even running, sometimes it will do it after the booster pump has been on for a few minutes & sometimes it will do it while the booster is completely off.

The booster is a good system with check valves installed correctly at each of the 3 pumps on the station. It's almost like extreme hammering, but way more than anything I've ever seen. What could be causing this? The cut-in pressure for the top floor is 40 PSI & the initial fill on the tank is 35 psi. Any idea what is causing the piping to swing & jump wildly at odd times?

On 2017-05-30 by (mod) - deliver pond water for landscaping

Mark,

That's a 15 gpm flow rate from your well - which should be adequate for lots of outdoor uses. But we can't confuse flow rate at the well with
- the pump's output rate or capacity in gpm
- the effect of restrictions in the piping system: filters, controls, pipe diameters, lengths, elbows, sprinkler heads

Yes you could add a pressure tank and booster pump or a simple pressure-sensitive booster pump like the new Grundfos SCALA2 (search InspectApedia for PRESSURE SENSITIVE PUMP for details)

There's something you could try first - avoiding running wires out to whoknowswhere. What about installing some control valves at the heads of the closest sprinkler zones so that you can partly close them, slowing the water volume into those zones and giving more water to the more distant zones?

That's simpler and cheaper even than installing pressure regulators at the zone heads - another alternative.

On 2017-05-30 by Mark

I have a 1hp, 950 gph shallow water pump with a 30/50 pressure switch and tank that I am using to supply water from my pond to my landscaping.

The watering zones that are closest to the pump are working fine. But, as the zones get further away from the pump, the water pressure decreases.

I'm sure some of this is due to friction from the irrigation piping and tubing. Can I put a pump inline between the current pump and the zones that are located further away to increase my water pressure to the sprinklers in these zones>? If so, what type of pump should I look for?

On 2017-05-29 by (mod) - water use increases when we boost water pressure

Lata

In my OPINION, yes, unless we take great care, we will use more water when we convert a gravity-fed water supply system (say from a rooftop water tank) to a water supply system that uses a pressure-pump.

That's because the higher "pressure" provided by the pump will increase the water flow rate in litres per minute or gallons per minute at the building's sinks, showers, tubs. (Flush toilets won't use more water than before, they'll just fill faster).

Even with a pressure booster pump set to a rather low 25 psi you'll see a much greater flow rate at the sink or tub faucet. And if your building water supply is from a low pressure municipal supply the same effects will be seen.

You can buy back some of the increased water usage by changing faucets and shower heads to low-flow fixtures.

On 2017-05-29 by Latasiddharth @gmail.com

Does consumption of water increase when we use a pressure pump

On 2017-05-23 by (mod) - delivering water in Columbia

Jack

It's perfectly reasonable to use a pressure boosting system to do what you want. After all, plenty of people also are pumping water out of a ground level or below ground cistern or tanaka that collects rainwater.

see WATER PRESSURE BOOSTER PUMP at http://inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Pressure_Booster_Pumps.php

and also, WATER PUMP PRESSURE SENSITIVE http://inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Pump_Pressure_Sensitive.php

Pressure sensitive or "tankless" pressure booster pumps are widely used in my area of Mexico where we just installed one. The new Grundfos SCALA2 will give you the pressure you want provided you're not lifting the water too many stories up.

Here's a photo of the system as we were installing it

http://inspectapedia.com/water/Grundfos-Scala2-Pump-Installation-300-DJFs.jpg

On 2017-05-23 by Jack

Dear Plumbers,

First of all thank you for your interest. I live in Colombia and in a rural part to boot.

Everyone here has a water tank for reserve in case there is no water due to a line break or some other problem. Most people have their tank on top of their house which is gravity fed into the home. In my case we have 2, 1100L tanks which I would like hooked up with a pump to pressure our house.

I prefer this to building a huge column strong enough to support it.

The thing is that with gravity pressure its not nearly enough to reach the 20PSI needed to turn on the water heater. Can I have a pump between the main line that enters the property and the reserve tanks, set so that when there is a drop of pressure or a loss of water all together we still have something like 40PSI?

We also don't want to just run a pump for our water pressure needs 24/7. Really that increased water pressure is needed for taking a shower and thats it. The rest of the time anything is better than nothing.

Here they sell JET pumps as well as the membrane style pumps, but I don't know what is best for me or what size tank/power of pump.

All our water lines are 1/2in and are located close to the main tanks if that makes a difference.

On 2017-04-19 by (mod) : how to use the The Darcy-Weisbach equation vs the Hazen-Williams equation to calculate friction head loss in water piping systems

John, the Engineering Toolbox to whom I sometimes turn for greater depth in engineering calculations offers this comment

The Darcy-Weisbach equation with the Moody diagram is considered to be the most accurate model for estimating frictional head loss for a steady pipe flow.

Since the Darcy-Weisbach equation requires iterative calculation an alternative empirical head loss calculation like the Hazen-Williams equation may be preferred: - 2017/04/18 original source http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/hazen-williams-water-d_797.html

The engneers also tell us to add a coefficient to the William Hazen equation for pipe material. - http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/hazen-williams-coefficients-d_798.html

And they offer a cute little head loss calculator at http://apps.engineeringtoolbox.com/head-loss-water-pipe-a_15.html

You'll see that you need, besides pipe diameter and pressure, pipe length, elbows, etc. Pump output ratings like the one you mention also are lift dependent - though lift may be trivial in your application.

h = 0.2083 (100 / c)1.852 q1.852 / dh4.8655 (1)

where

h = friction head loss in feet of water per 100 feet of pipe (fth20/100 ft pipe)

c = Hazen-Williams roughness constant

q = volume flow (gal/min)

dh = inside hydraulic diameter (inches)

Note that the Hazen-Williams formula is empirical and lacks a theoretical basis. Be aware that the roughness constants are based on "normal" conditions with approximately 1 m/s (3 ft/sec).

Now plugging in your data and using a smoothness coefficient of 140 (typical smooth pipe interior) I got

31.5 (ft H2O/100 ft pipe) head loss

13.6 (psi/100 ft pipe) head loss

473 (ft H2O) head loss

205 (psi) head loss

13.3 (ft/s) velocity

Perhaps the high head loss is a factor of that long run of 1500 feet - that's pretty long for a 2" pipe.

On 2017-04-19 by John

Just to clarify, I have 280 ft of 3 inch pipe before the softener, and 1500 ft of 2 inch pipe after the softener.

I work at a metal finishing shop. Supplied water pressure from the city is 48 psi, in a 3 inch line. By the time some process water gets used, the pressure drops before reaching my 30 cubic inch water softener. Pressure drops to approximately 28 psi.

I need 60 psi to lift the resin bed and properly backwash. I am looking at a booster pump that will supply 130 gpm at 85 psi to correct this problem.

When I use William Hazen's equation to determine pressure loss in a 2 inch pipe at 1500 ft, it comes out to be over 100 psi. I know this isn't true. (PVC pipe, schedule 80). Am I using this equation improperly or should I be using a different formula to calculate?

On 2017-04-04 by (mod) : InspectApedia does not sell any product nor service, including pumps or tanks

To protect reader confidence, we do not sell any product nor service so cannot offer price quotes.

Before choosing a pump or changing out a pump you've bought you will want to determine the water flow rate needed, water source, pump lift height, and then to compare those with the specifications for the specific pump you are considering.

On 2017-04-04 by yunus

We have guest house / we do not have problem BUT . like to installl 2x 750lt jo jo tank/ pls advice size pump is required.

i have purchace tank with a pump 3.7 / how much will a bigger cost.

On 2017-03-16 by (mod) re: using a pressure tank with a pressure booster pump?

It would be unusual for a municipal water supply pressure to be below 7 psi in most countries - you don't say where you live.

But certainly installing a combination of water pressure tank and booster pump or a type of booster pump that doesn't require a separate pressure tank can deliver improved water pressure.

A common-sense approach would be to consider not just the pressure you need but the quantity of water you neeed - as that may argue for a large pressure tank in addition to a pump.

On 2017-03-16 QUIKCLEAN said:

My machine needs 7 to 145 psi pressure, as building pressure is not adeqaute for my machine, tell me attached link is useful or not.NOT.

On 2017-03-15 19:19:39.457499 by (mod) re: do you need a booster pump for water pressure or not?

It's not clear why you need a booster pump unless your current building pressure is inadequate for your machine.

On 2017-03-15 by QuickClean

RE-posting without screaming capital letters

Qiuikclean said:
I want contineous flow of water in my electrolux washing machine, but condition is that machine will take water automatic from pump, so suggest me booster pump is useful for me and how?

On 2017-02-28 by (mod) re: need for a foot valve or check valve

Lokuge

Indeed if you are describing a well pump, you need a non-return valve or check valve, either at the pump or at the bottom of the well piping ( a foot valve) - otherwise when the pump stops, water drains back into the well from the water tank and building piping.

That causes not just extra pump cycling (that can burn up the pump motor) but it can also cause loss of prime and thus loss of all water.

Rae:

See my advice to Lokuge above. Sounds like you need a replacement foot valve or check valve on your system.

On 2017-02-28 3 by Lokuge

When there is no non return valve fitted before the pump, the water return through the pump impel-or.
when this happens, the pump runs even when water is not in use.

On 2017-02-04 by Rae

The water pressure booster pump is on the top floor plant room above my bedroom. When the pressure drops to 2 bar which is every 2 minutes, the pump kicks in to boost it back up to 3 bar. When reaches the 3 bar shut off it does so with a load thud which reverberates through the walls and keeps us awake.

The drop of pressure happens whethere someone is using or bot using water. It's a new pump and pipes but pressure loss is still apparent. Any suggestions to assist in resolving this nuisance. I am thinking there must be leaks in the pipes internally or externally causing it to drop so rapidly. Please help. Thank you.

On 2017-01-22 by (mod) re: pump won't stop running

This comment and reply were posted originally at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE

Guner said:

In my weekend house there is a water tank on the roof. below the water tank there is a pressure pump there start when we use the water (2 - 5 sec delay). when no water use... motor close down. The other day i burn my hands on the "cold" water.

The pump does not stop running and the heat from the motor make the water in circulation loop very warm. I trip to close the loop, clean the filter (take it out) there is no use anywhere in the house (i close the outlet) but the pump continues running. I opened the pump to see if the rubber was broken... it was intact... I can find the error... any suggestions?

Mod replied:

This sounds as if the pressure controller right on the pump has failed. I agree that the system is unsafe.

On 2016-12-02 by (mod) re: gravity as a source of pressure loss

Cindy Tesler said:
I didn't realize that gravity could be considered another source of pressure loss. You also said that energy is required to push the water up hill. I think it's important to choose a pressure tank that is in an accessible spot.

On 2016-04-23 by (mod) re: number of bars of pressure a water storage tank can withstand

Anon, the information in your question is incomplete, but typically, a residential water pressure tank is rated to withstand 100 psi or about 6.89476 bar.

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see a link to a separate collection of recently-posted questions, comments, replies. There we include a very detailed answer to your question.

On 2016-04-23 12:50:19.394718 by Anonymous

How many bar will storage or presure tank of 8ft x 5ft will contain

Question: to get more water pressure on higher building floors do we add a second pump or a higher-level water storage tank?

(Aug 23, 2011) Anonymous  said:

I have a building that has 23 usgm requirement with 4 floors. WE installed a booster pump that supplies 28 usgpm @ 50 psi. The 3rd and 4th floor is only getting 30 psi and is not adequate to flush the toilets w/ electronic flush vales, Should I add a 2nd pump inline to boost the pressure or add a storage tank on the 4th floor and gravity feed the floors?

Reply:

Anon, your question worries me that we're missing something. It's normal that if you start with 50 psi at a ground level that four floors up the pressure will be down around 30.

OPINION: A storage tank on or even immediately above the 4th floor may still not provide enough pressure and volume to operate the flush toilets. I'd add a booster pump and a separate pressure tank to supply that floor.

And I'd look closely at that 23 USG per minute requirement against the conditions in the building during periods of heavy toilet use - say in the AM and PM.

If you visit a large plumbing supplier in your area I would guess they'll have an engineer or technician on staff who will confirm the best design solution for your case.

Let us know what you do - it'll help other readers.

Question: can I run a pressure booster pump without a pressure tank?

(Oct 13, 2011) tan  said:

what if i want to eliminate the pressure tank due to space requirements, what system can replace it?

Reply:

Tan if there is no pressure tank at all on the system you risk short cycling and burning up your pump or pump switch as well as unsatisfactory water flow. You might, however, install a smaller tank in the same space, or you may be able to simply move the tank to elsewhere on the plumbing supply piping system.

As long as the tank is located on the incoming cold supply line ahead of other plumbing components (like water heaters) you can move it elsewhere. It will mean running longer wires. You won't be installing the tank as recommended, however, if it is remote from the pressure sensing switch. Keep them together.

An exception we see is for irrigation systems whose pump and piping are designed to run continuously during the time that the irrigation or watering system is on. Some of those installations don't use a pressure tank; when the system is on the pump runs continuously.

Question:  how much can a pressure booster pump increase city water pressure?

(Dec 5, 2011) Anonymous  said:

if a pump is rated at 45 psi and the incoming city water pressure is 40, does THAT MEAN THE PRESSURE WILL BE BOOSTED TO 85?

Reply:

Anon, if a water pressure pump is only capable of pumping to 45 psi (which sounds very odd) that means that it can not increase pressure above that amount. If the incoming water pressure is at 40 psi your pump will boost pressure to 45 psi.

In general, booster pumps use a combination of a pump, pump pressure control, and pressure tank to increase municipal water pressure by pumping pressure into the tank to a higher level than that supplied by the municipality. Typically those systems operate at on-off pressures of 20/40 or 30/50 psi, though higher pressures, up to a safe limit of about 70 psi, can be obtained from some equipment.

Question: Where does the booster pump go?

(May 14, 2012) BRYLLE  said:

Where should the booster pump be installed? Is it before or after the tank? If it will be used for an industrial building.

(Mar 18, 2012) Ed Brown  said:

our water supply comes frome a well,and this well provides water to 4 other homes also
can i put in a booster pump just for our home?the water pressure is terible

Reply:

Brylle, the booster pump is usually piped so that its output feeds both the pressure tank and the building water supply piping. You can see these connections at the typical tank tee fitting; that allows the pump to simultaneously re-pressurize the tank and deliver water to the building.

Ed: yes you can install a pressure booster pump for just your home; the pump and pressure tank are installed in your home, typically close to the point at which your community water supply enters your home. Don't forget to include a check valve on the street side of the new equipment - preventing a back-flow of water from your home into the community system should the community system pressure happen to fail.

Question: where does the check valve go in a pressure boosting system?

(Feb 1, 2014) heather hardiman  said:

hi im having issues first im a girl tryin to do a mans job, 2nd my job didnt work i based my hole set up off of pic #2 then the booster pump doesnt shut off at first it was short cycling so i made some adjustments and now it just runs non stop and then i find pic 5 showing check valve in a different spot .

So where does the check valve go and how do i either adjust the switch correctly or should i move it between the check and pressure tank like pic 2 shows? so thanks for your help and time its much appreciated.also im missing the floats inside the main water storage tank how do i hook that up ?and i cant post the pics so if you could send me an email i will send them. my email is ou8peaches@yahoo.com

Reply:

Heather, without details of your plumbing system I'm reluctant to risk safety or function by guessing about check valve location. You may need help from a plumber or your building department - they should be glad you asked, regardless of gender.

Generally municipal water supply systems require a check valve to prevent possible back-flow from the building water piping into the municipal supply system - a SNAFU that can occur if the municipal system loses pressure. So that check valve would be installed on the street side of the booster pump.

Question: how will increasing water pipe size improve the delivery of water to our water storage tank?

(Feb 5, 2013) Said  said:

With street level water pressure water reaches my tank 8 hours during the day, if I change the pipe (the part that goes to the tank, the vertical section) to half inch pipe instead of 1 inch pipe, could the water reach the tank more easily?

Reply:

Said, larger diameter water piping in general improves the flow rate of water through a building - which occupants perceive as "water pressure" improvement.

But for the case you describe, increasing the pipe size for water pipes feeding your water storage tank at a building where water from the municipal source is provided only during part of each day, you would principally see that your water tank may fill a bit faster - since you are reducing the restriction between the street hook-up and the tank.

Question: what is the typical cost of a water pressure booster pump and tank system?

(June 21, 2012) Bob  said:

What is the cost of an average system?

Reply:

Bob, other than tripping over marketing hype or a bait-and-switch contractor there are good reasons why people are nervous about quoting a price for installing anything at a site they've never seen. I've seen a 5-minute job to replace a water heater tank pressure relief valve turn into an all-day very costly repair that made me wish we'd just bid on replacing the whole darn unit.

You can figure that water pumps run in the hundreds of dollars as do water pressure tanks - so maybe $1000 gets you right by order of magnitude. But space, location, ease of access, amount of plumbing work, amount of electrical wiring needed, and other particulars will make for plenty of variables in the actual cost to install a water pressure boosting system.

Question: what causes wildly-fluctuating pressure gauge readings on a booster pump system?

2/15/2014 John Tomko  said:

My pressure gauge on my booster pump fluctuates wildly during pumping. I have a separate pressure gauge on my bladder tank and it operates smoothly through its range from 40 psi to 60 psi. Once the cutoff pressure at the bladder tanks is reached (60 psi) the booster pump stops running and my pressure gauge at the booster pump drops to zero. I have check valves at both the inlet and outlet of the booster pump. Check valves and pressure gauges are all new.

My question is why is the booster pumps pressure gauge fluctuating wildly during pumping, and shouldn't it read around 60 psi after shutdown with the two check valves in place? Pressure gauge at booster pump is inline at an outlet tee from the pump.

Reply:

John, depending on the quality and mounting location of the water pressure gauge, and further affected by the properties of the booster pump and controls in use, the indicator needle on a water pressure gauge can indeed vibrate and fluctuate like crazy while the pump is running.

But a gauge pressure that drops to zero when the booster pump stops running should read at the "cut-off" pressure of the system when the pump stops. It would help me to see a photo of the pump and gauge, full view of all of the equipment (so I can see piping and valves) and closer views of the gauge location - use the CONTACT link at page bottom to send me photos if you like.

Just guessing: if there is a check valve between the gauge and the building water supply system (including the pressure tank) it's possible that the gauge is isolated from the building water supply system pressure and JUST sees pressure while the pump is running.

I'm curious about why you have two check valves in place; in at least some water supply system designs that doubling can itself cause chattering and pressure problems. So I'll want to know just where the check valves are installed too.

As an aside: it's normal for the pressure gauge needle to vibrate while a pump is running - the amount of vibration depends on gauge quality, location, and pump properties. Gauges mounted right on the pump tend to vibrate more than ones mounted at the tank tee or on the pressure tank itself. But this won't be the problem for the case you describe. See

Question: how to remove clogs in a water pipe

(Oct 30, 2011) John Potter said:
My situation: Summer cottage on a lake--The lake the ONLy water source---Cottage approx. 10 feet above, and 30 feet from the water. What type of booster pump should I consider and what size expansion tank? Cottage has one bath with shower and one kitchen sink. HELP!

(Nov 11, 2011) chad said:
My well pump is not keeping pressure, when we take a shower we have to stop everything else. The pressure is fine but we should be able to do several things at once. Is my pressure tank bad?

(Nov 14, 2011) Anonymous said:
how to remove clogs in waterpipe

Reply:

Anon, see WATER PIPE CLOG REPAIR

Question:

(Aug 15, 2012) jeff stone said:
we have added three filters 20 to 1 micron and an ultraviolet system taking the 1 1/2 inch pipe down to 1 inch and back to 1 1/2 after the UV. Pump is sub mersable at 10 gpm. What will the drop to 1 inch cause in pressure

(Aug 30, 2012) T.Muthukumarasamy said:
Is there any possibility to increase the velocity at high level and at the rear end of the cooling system

(Sept 15, 2012) Anonymous said:
I have a concrete water tank on the first floor of a house which is fed by a water pump located in the ground floor. The water pump pumps up the water from a reservoir tank that is replenished daily by the city water supply.The first floor water tank supplies water to the ground floor.
I am now building rooms on the first floor which will presumably need to be fed by another water tank which will have to be built on the second floor.

What is the best way to supply water in both the tanks so that both water tanks get equal share of water? I am trying to avoid adding another water pump in the ground floor. However, if required I am ready to replace it. Also, I would like to keep the first floor and second floor water tanks separate.

Reply:

(Sept 22, 2012) femi gbolahan said:
Thanks very much for this medium. I am a plumber, I want to know if using NRVs for both suction and distribution lines in installation of pressure booster pump is correct. If yes, what are its useful?

Question: wildly fluctuating pressure gauge mysteries

(Jan 29, 2013) Abyjam said:
We have a booster pump installed in our society which contains all independent houses.
I have installed a water tank in my house due to water scarcity about 5 months back.
Now suddenyl there is a drop in the water pressure becasue of air entering the pump.What can be the reason?

(Feb 15, 2014) John Tomko said:
My pressure gauge on my booster pump fluctuates wildly during pumping. I have a separate pressure gauge on my bladder tank and it operates smoothly through its range from 40 psi to 60 psi. Once the cutoff pressure at the bladder tanks is reached (60 psi) the booster pump stops running and my pressure gauge at the booster pump drops to zero. I have check valves at both the inlet and outlet of the booster pump.

Check valves and pressure gauges are all new. My question is why is the booster pumps pressure gauge fluctuating wildly during pumping, and shouldn't it read around 60 psi after shutdown with the two check valves in place? Pressure gauge at booster pump is inline at an outlet tee from the pump.

Reply:

John, depending on the quality and mounting location of the water pressure gauge, and further affected by the properties of the booster pump and controls in use, the indicator needle on a water pressure gauge can indeed vibrate and fluctuate like crazy while the pump is running.

But a gauge pressure that drops to zero when the booster pump stops running should read at the "cut-off" pressure of the system when the pump stops. It would help me to see a photo of the pump and gauge, full view of all of the equipment (so I can see piping and valves) and closer views of the gauge location - use the CONTACT link at page bottom to send me photos if you like.

Just guessing: if there is a check valve between the gauge and the building water supply system (including the pressure tank) it's possible that the gauge is isolated from the building water supply system pressure and JUST sees pressure while the pump is running.

I'm curious about why you have two check valves in place; in at least some water supply system designs that doubling can itself cause chattering and pressure problems. So I'll want to know just where the check valves are installed too.

As an aside: it's normal for the pressure gauge needle to vibrate while a pump is running - the amount of vibration depends on gauge quality, location, and pump properties. Gauges mounted right on the pump tend to vibrate more than ones mounted at the tank tee or on the pressure tank itself. But this won't be the problem for the case you describe.

(Feb 15, 2014) Anonymous said:

There is a check valve both at the inlet and outlet of the booster tank. I basically replaced what had been there for 25 years with the old pump. The gauge is located at the top of the outlet tee. I checked again and it appears that this gauge is reading pressure but at 20 to 30 psi less than the bladder tank pressure gage. I had a small leak at the union from the tee to the check valve so this could be why the pressure is less, and steadily decreases with time. I've tightened and will periodically check to see if this does it.

I also noticed that my third pressure gage after my particle filter is showing 65 psi when the pressure switch cuts off the pump at 60 psi. Is that a concern?

thanks

John

Reply:

Sounds odd I agree; but the whole system should see the same pressure all the time; a small leak at one point may be dropping the whole system pressure but only if the gauge sensing water pressure near the leak point is separated from by a check valve from a gauge reading water pressure elsewhere would I expect to see a pressure difference.

And yes you are on to a good diagnostic point about particle filter clogging; a clogged filter will of course itself reduce water flow through the filter; but beyond that, if the water is high in sediment or debris, in my experience that debris can clog the small pressure sensing orifice of a pressure gauge or of a water pressure control switch - leading to erratic behavior.

Sometimes we can detect a gauge or switch that is on the verge of total blockage but is still working - erratically - by tapping on the gauge to see if it will turn the pump on when it is off, or vice versa.

If I find debris-clogged pressure switch or gauge problems when replacing the pressure switch I also replace (or at least clean out) the small diameter pipe nipple on which the gauge mounts (and through which it has to sense water pressure)

About that high pressure - debris clogging will indeed throw off both pressure switch and pressure gauges. Try tapping on a "stuck gauge" (gently) to see if it changes.

Watch out: too high pressure (IMO over 70 psi) asks for leaks, and way too high pressure can blow a water tank or piping - very dangerous - and should be protected against by a pressure relief valve at the water tank.

Question: air pumps added to water system

(Feb 18, 2014) James Seet said:
My building is 3 storey high. There is a water tank on ground floor and another 2 on the roof top. on the roof top, a water pump is installed and on the ground floor, there is another water pump to lift the water to the roof top water tanks. May I know why the plumber added 2 air pumps (110KW each) on the ground floor away from the ground floor water pump? Isn't the water pump on the ground floor is sufficient to lift water up to roof top? TQ

Reply:

James, I don't know. Use the CONTACT link to send me photos of the installation and I may be able to comment. OR tell me what the air pumps are connected to and what turns them on and off.

Question: outside faucets take all the water

(Apr 15, 2014) Bob K said:
When I turn on my outside faucet, all water pressure in the house disappears. What causes this, and how do I fix it?

Reply:

Sounds Strange, Bob, but in fact if the outside faucet is first in line in your building water supply it may reducing the water pressure in the system enough that you're not getting water at any higher fixtures - which in turn would suggest an abnormally low system pressure. If you have a water pressure gauge on the system, tell us what the pressure gauge indicates when

- no water is running
- no pump or water equipment is running

and again when

- the outdoor faucet is opened.

Question: how do I know if my house will withstand high water pressure?

Apr 22, 2014) walaa said:
i need to buy whole house water filter with max pressure 20-100 psi .
i do not know my home psi.
how can i know that filter will withstand my home pressure or not.
we had water pump applied in our mail home pipe system because water flow is weak.

Reply:

Walaa

It would be very unusual for a home water system pressure to exceed 70-80 psi and unusual for a home water filter to be unable to withstand that pressure range. As an example,
Perfect Water Technologies installation instructions for their systems may specify that there is a *minimum* water pressure of 40 psi for proper operation of some systems such as reverse osmosis, while looking at the company's simplest home water filter, their HMF 1C installation instructions, you will see these instructions:

Feed water: PSI 20-90 PSI;
for pressure greater than 90 PSI install a pressure regulator set to 75 PSI
Feed water Temperature: 40̊-100̊ deg F

Frankly you should never see home water pressure operating over 75 psi - as higher pressures make for leaks and risk other damage.

Walaa, I'm moving this discussion over to

inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Filters.htm

where we discuss home water filters - as it may assist other readers and may give you more useful information.

Question: water pressure troubles in the 8th floor hair salon

(May 27, 2014) Help. We have 11 psi said:
We have a hair salon and we are on the 8th floor of a very old building. The water pressure is 11 psi, the water source and hot water heater is in the basement. How can we increase the water pressure (we need both hot and cold)?

Thank you for any help you can offer. Jeanine

Reply:

You'd need to add a pressure tank and booster pump at your floor, on the cold water line. From the cold water outlet of the booster system you'd feed a water heater on your floor so you'd have good hot and cold water pressure.

Question:

(June 3, 2014) Barry tibbetts said:
I want to install a booster pump on my domestic well for irrigation to get 80 lbs pressure house is 50 lbs

(June 6, 2014) Anonymous said:
is a 1 hp pump is enough to take water to a 5 storey building?

(June 9, 2014) jim said:
will this work with a house and then two house trailers

(July 11, 2014) Steven said:
What do I do correct a pressure pump that is going on and of in rapid succession.

Reply:

Steven

in a companion article series starting at

WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING - home

we give the diagnostic procedure to find and fix the rapid pump short cycling problem. Often it's just fixing a water-logged pressure tank.

Jim:

Yes.

Question:

(July 15, 2014) anon said:
what would recommended working clearances be for a commercial-grade booster pump? Cannot locate any reference to this except that
proper clearance is necessary per mfr.

(Nov 26, 2014) Sajeesh said:
how to select a booster pump for 5 store building what is the procedure

Reply:

Anon

I have not seen a specification other than the one you cite. It's possible that some manufacturers may not even cite a working distance, figuring that if you could install the pump and hook everything to it then you can also access it to remove those connections if needed.

Re-posting without "Megan"'s self-advertising link

Megan said:
This is great information about water pumps. I didn't know that a plumbing system will typically lose eight psi of water pressure in a two-story house, getting the water from the basement up to the second floor bathroom. How can we avoid something like that? Or is it even really a big enough deal that you'd want to avoid it? I'm thinking my house will probably need a new water pump soon.
Megan

...


Continue reading at WATER PRESSURE BOOSTER PUMP, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS

Or see WATER PUMP PRESSURE SENSITIVE - tankless water pressure booster systems

Or see WELL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENT

Or see these

Water Pressure Diagnosis & Improvement Articles

Suggested citation for this web page

WATER PRESSURE BOOSTER PUMP FAQs at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to WATER SUPPLY, PUMPS TANKS WELLS

Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


...

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman