Do You Need a Pressure Booster Pump?

White pressure booster pump connected to under the sink plumbing

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

A pressure booster pump can be used to increase the pressure of the water coming into the house. If you have really low water pressure coming from the city supply or have low pressure because you are on a well, installing a pressure booster pump could be the solution you have been looking for.

There are many types of pressure booster pumps so you will have to do some research and find out which pump is right for you. Read reviews, talk to others, and make a wise decision for your home based on your situation. All-in-one pressure boosters are often a good choice because they have the pump, motor, check valve, pressure and flow sensor, and diaphragm tank complete in one unit. These units are usually affordable, compact, and relatively easy to install. What you will not normally get with these units is a way to control how much extra pressure it provides. This means it is important to find out how much water pressure you have now and how high the booster pump will increase the pressure.

Test Your Current Water Pressure

A water pressure gauge can be used to test the existing water pressure. A pressure gauge can be purchased from a hardware store that will tell you how much PSI (pounds per square inch) you have. Normally, the pressure should not go over 75 psi because it is not good for the plumbing system. So, if the current psi is 40 and the aim is to get to 75 psi then you will want to get to a pressure booster pump that will provide no more than an extra 35 psi.

Other Things to Consider

  • What size is the main water line that comes into the house? You can adapt down or up to any size pipe but it will work more smoothly if the pressure booster pump fitting size matches the pipe size of the incoming line. Installing flex lines to the booster pump will make it quick and easy to work on so make sure you know what size to get.
  • Is there room for a pressure booster pump? That space thing is always an issue. Even when the pump is small it still needs clearances to allow for maintenance and room to breathe.
  • Is there an electrical outlet nearby? Most pressure booster pumps come with a 6' to 10’ cord. When figuring out the location of the pump check that there is an outlet nearby that you do not mind losing. If not, will you have to run a new electrical line for your pressure booster pump?
  • How much work will it be and are you comfortable with it? Installing a pressure booster pump will require you to cut into the water main and reroute it through the pump and then back to the main. There are some nice push-fit fittings like Sharkbite and Gatorbite that can make the installation quick and easy if you can use them. Measure and double-check that they will work before attempting to use them.
  • Get estimates; you can call local plumbers to find out how much it will cost to have a pressure booster pump installed and save yourself some work. At the very least, you will know how much you will save if you install it yourself.
  • Is the garage well-insulated or are you going to have to insulate the pressure booster pump to keep it from freezing? Maybe keeping a light on in the garage is enough or maybe you will need more freeze preventing precautions. Keep freezing conditions in mind when you choose a location for the pressure booster pump.

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