Basics of installing a water pump at your home.

A blue Pascali water pressure pump connected to an irrigation system.

Written by admin

October 6, 2021

Installation of a water pump at your home does not need to be a complicated task, but because a water pump combines electricity and water, the utmost care should be taken to ensure that the installation is done safely. You will need some basic technical and hands-on skills to install a water pump.

If you are in any doubt whatsoever, please consult a professional installer, especially if your situation is more complicated, or if you live in an estate with shared services and maintenance on outside fixtures.

If you are confident that you have the required plumbing and electrical skills, there are some details you must keep in mind while planning and installing your pressure pump system.

Installation starts with the water tank or static water source.

Pressure pumps are always used in combination with a water tank or water source because a pump cannot increase the water supply provided by your municipal supplier.  (If your municipal supply is only seven litres per minute, (for example) and your pump is designed to deliver more than 15 litres per minute, the motor will be strained – reducing its service life – and the results will be disappointing.)

Decide on the position of your water tank or static water source.

The location of the water tank will depend on the space you have available, the distance from the nearest water pipe/ gutter pipe and power supply.

Distance is important, because pressure and flow is affected by friction inside the pipes, so the further the pump has to push the water to where it is needed, the lower the flow and pressure will be.

You will also need a power supply for the pump’s motor, so the distance to the pump will affect the length of cable you need to install, and this will influence the installation cost.    

Also understand the size of your water tank which can range from small to massive storage tanks.  The tank should always be installed on a sturdy, smooth and perfectly level surface that won’t collapse under the weight of the water. Remember that a full 5 000 litre water tank will weigh more than five tons! It is a good idea to raise the base of the tank a little off the ground so that the pump can be installed slightly lower than the tank’s outlet. This will help to keep the pump primed, or full of water, and prevent it from running dry and possibly causing damage.

How is the water tank filled?

In simple terms your water tank is kept full of low-pressure water coming in through a simple float valve connected to the municipal supply/alternative static water source which closes when the tank is full. When water is extracted, this valve opens to refill the tank again in the same way a toilet’s flush system works. The pressure pump uses this water to feed into your house at a higher pressure. The pump switches on and off automatically as water is used. 

What size water tank should you get?

The size of the water tank will depend on your average water consumption and can range from a small 750 litre tank up to 10 000 litres, depending on if you want to also harvest rainwater.  This can be determined on your water reading meter if you want to draw from municipal lines.

Determine and install electrical components.

Now that you have identified and prepared the location of our tank, and there is enough space for your chosen pressure pump and tank, you must install the correct electrical cable and isolator switch for the size motor you plan to install, keeping in mind the power rating of the motor.  

Keep in mind the cable sizing, as the kilowatts of the pump you select will determine what cable you need to use to supply the pump with power.

Ensure the pressure pump is firmly mounted to the ground.

Pressure pumps come with mounting holes in the base so that it can be fixed to the floor. This ensures that the pump always stays upright and in the correct position. Any kind of vibration or the mere on/off operation can cause a loose-standing pump to wander out of position.

Install a non-return or one-way valve.

There should always be a nonreturn valve, one-way valve or check valve installed as part of the pump system and these are usually included in the package.

Ensure the inlet pipe is straight and big enough.

One important factor to consider is the routing of the pipe coming from your tank into the inlet of the pump. This should be as straight as possible for at least 100cm to prevent any turbulence in the water entering the pump.

Installing 90-degree elbows close to the pump’s inlet causes turbulence which can result in air bubbles forming which can damage the pump. 

If you have a small pump, it is possible to use flexible piping between the pump and the rest of the water system to avoid any possible vibrations being transmitted throughout the house. This can cause irritating noises and the vibrations can also cause leaks over years of use.

Ensure your water pipes are the right size.

Make sure to use the correct size pipes and try to match the existing size of your house’s water supply system. Every time the pipe diameter changes, or there is an elbow in a pipe, it disturbs the even flow of water, and this leads to pressure and flow losses.

Install cut-off valves at the inlet and outlet.

Make sure to install cut-off valves so that the pump can be isolated and tested without having to pump water throughout the whole system. You must be able to bypass the pump in case it has to be removed or serviced. This will also simplify the process if you decide to upgrade to a bigger pump in the future.

Protect your pump from the elements.

The pump should also be protected from the elements like rain, excessive dust etc. to ensure a long life and continued performance.  Pump housing products are available.

Contact the specialists at Pascali who are standing by to advise you on exactly what will suit your requirements.

Hear straight from the experts on how they approach a pressure pump installation at homes;

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