How to choose the right Water Booster Pump for your home

May 10, 2019
Updated on February 18, 2021

What is a Residential Water Booster Pump?

A residential water booster pump is designed to work in environments where the water pressure of your mains is below 3 bars or unstable (unreliable municipal water, or water supplied from water tanks level with the house). It increases the pressure and flow of water coming out of the taps and appliances in your home or garden, making daily tasks like showering, washing dishes and brushing your teeth a lot easier, even in a double-storey house. It also avoids letting your geyser run dry.

The recommended pressure for a residential use is 3 bars - below this a booster pump is recommended. Click here to see Recommended Water Booster Pumps.

A booster pump lacks the suction to work straight out of a wellpoint or borehole: a wellpoint pump or a submersible borehole pump must be used for this purpose. Wellpoint pumps are often of the jet type: jet pumps can handle air entering the water column without completely losing suction. Borehole pumps are submersible pumps specifically designed to fit at the bottom of your borehole pipe. Click here to see a range of jet pumps for wellpoints and here to view a range of borehole pumps.

How does a Water Booster Pump work?

Traditional booster pumps have a two-part design: a pressure tank and a pump with a basic controller (switch). The pressure tank works as an expansion tank: it is lined with a bladder and is pressurised. As the pump pulls water into the expansion tank, it compresses the air inside the bladder and the water becomes more pressurised. This allows the water to be at the necessary pressure level after it leaves the tank. The pump only runs when the pressure tank is empty, so the bigger your pressure tank, the less often your pump runs. This is a pleasant feature to limit noise levels.

Modern booster pumps tend to skip the pressure tank and rely on a precise pump controller (switch), that enables the pump to maintain constant pressure. When water is drawn, the pressure level falls and causes the pump to automatically switch on. The pump also automatically switches off when all taps are completely closed. The integrated check valve and pre-filter protects the pump from back flow of water and dry running which extends the life span of the pump.

Some booster pumps also have a variable speed drive or a multi-stage impeller to modulate the power of the pump and the water flow. These are typically more quiet and energy efficient, and provide a very steady flow of water from each open tap, no matter how many taps are simultaneously open.

Installing a booster pump improves the water flow to all of your appliances, including:

  • Showers and taps
  • Toilets
  • Washing machines and dishwashers
  • Garden sprinklers 

What you need to consider when buying a booster pump:

  • Distance: Over what range will the water be moved?
  • Water source: Is the water source situated above or below the pump?
  • How much pressure is needed?
  • Power: How much power does the pump need to operate?
  • Flow rate: How much water can it produce?
  • Pressure boost: How much pressure can the booster pump add to the existing water pressure?
  • Realise the extent to which the pump needs to work – Is the house multiple-story, with one, two, or more bathrooms?
  • How much water is needed to move/ how many outlets should the pump be able to supply at one time?

Where do you install a Water Booster Pump?

You would need to install a water booster pump between your water tank (whether it is borehole or rain water) or municipal line and the mains of your house. If you are drawing borehole or rain water from a tank, make sure your water is going through an adequate filtration system before being pushed through the mains. Also note that you will need an "air gap" to prevent your purified tank water from going into the reticulation system that supplies your house with municipal water.

Pro Tip: It is beneficial to first test your water pressure with a pressure gauge before you install a water booster bump. If the pressure reads below 200 kpa at the highest point in your house, your water pressure is considered too low and you would benefit from using a booster pump. If it reads above 500 kpa at the connection of your mains, your water pressure is considered too high. If it is too high, it is recommended that you insert a Pressure Reducing Valve to avoid leaks and damage to your appliances.

Benefits of using a Water Booster Pump

  • Increase in water pressure
  • A steady supply of water at a good flow rate
  • Easy to install
  • Light and compact machine, making it easy for transportation
  • Hardly any maintenance, besides ensuring the pump is installed correctly
  • Can be used for residential, industrial and commercial purposes

Recommended Water Booster Pumps

LEO MAC550 Variable Speed Drive Pressure Booster Pump (0.55kW, 220V, 47dB)
LEO MAC550 Variable Speed Drive Pressure Booster Pump (0.55kW, 220V, 47dB)
Reliable, intelligent & super silent silent water booster pump

Dab E.sybox Water Pressure Booster Pump Variable Speed

DAB E.SYBOX MINI³ Water Pressure Booster Pump With Variable Speed Drive
Very smooth & quiet water pressure booster pump

 TRADEPOWER MCOP1408 Self Priming Jet Booster Pump (0.70kW, 0.95hp, 220V)

TRADEPOWER MCOP1407 Self Priming Jet Booster Pump (0.55kW, 0.75hp, 220V) 
Reliable, cost-effective & simple water booster pump

TRADEPOWER MCOP1402 Water Pressure Booster System, 220V

TRADEPOWER MCOP1402 Water Pressure Booster System, 220V
Compact, reliable & cost-effective water booster pump 

Do you recommend installing a Water Booster Pump?

Definitely, if you are looking to increase the water pressure in your home or garden. If your home sustains low water pressure and it takes a long time for water to come out of the faucets, then you should consider installing a water booster pump.

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