Water pressure is something most homeowners don’t even think of, until it is not there! It is the difference between an average and great shower or being able to water your entire garden effectively through your irrigation system.
Then there is also the need to transfer water from one point to another to be useful. Perhaps you harvest rainwater in a tank for your garden; your municipality’s infrastructure is neglected; or you rely on a borehole and/or reservoir on an elevated stand to supply your home with running water. But how to get this water from point A to B?
Luckily there is a product that can help – water pressure pumps! In this article we explore how does water booster pressure pumps work, and what they can be used for.
The ideal water pressure for a refreshing shower or to hose down your bakkie is between 2,5 and 3,5 bar (36 to 50 psi). Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors we don’t always have this kind of pressure in our water pipes.
To give an idea of how significant this pressure requirement is, if you have a water tank ten metres off the ground, this gravity system will give you 1 bar of pressure when all the outlets / taps are closed. This pressure will reduce significantly as soon as an outlet is opened. This is where a water booster pressure pump can greatly improve the water pressure throughout the whole system.
How does a water pressure booster pump work?
A water booster pressure pump is basically a specially designed and manufactured electric fan that uses an impeller to move water along pipes.
Different types of pressure pumps have different impeller designs with different characteristics. All pressure pumps however have an inlet from the water source – usually a tank or reservoir – an outlet that goes to your house or garden, and a sensing device to switch the pump on and off according to preset parameters. This sensing device can be either electronic – measuring the flow of water, or mechanical – measuring the pressure.
The importance of pressure and flow
Flow and pressure are two sides of the same coin. As flow increases, pressure decreases. A pressure tank is often added to the system to provide a reserve of pressurised water, this prevents the pump from kicking in every single time someone opens a tap for smaller quantities of water, like washing hands or filling a glass of water. This extends the life of the pump, reduces wear-and-tear, and prevents needless power consumption.
Water consuming appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and icemakers also require a minimum water pressure to function correctly. These machines have their own valves to regulate the water flow and often rely on steady, predictable pressure to function correctly. A major washing machine manufacturer recommends that the water pressure shouldn’t be below 1,4 bar (20 psi). Water pressure lower than 1,4 bar can reportedly cause a water valve failure or prevent the water valve from shutting off completely. There is also a fill time limit built into the controls of most washing machines and if the machine doesn’t receive the predetermined amount of water, the wash cycle won’t live up to your expectations.
Remember that to achieve 1,4 bar of pressure with gravity alone will require a tank stand more than 14 metres high!
So in short: A water pressure booster pump pushes water at a faster rate and at a higher pressure than the existing pressure, and switches off automatically when no water is used.
All Pascali’s pumps and motors have stainless steel motor shafts, 100% copper windings, brass impellers and cast-iron or stainless-steel pump bodies to provide many years of hassle-free service.
Hear from our technical expert on this very subject on the informative video below;
No installation is identical, but with the right information in hand, selecting a water pressure booster pump for your home should be straightforward.
Every homeowner has unique challenges when it comes to managing their water-use and pressure. That is why there is a wide variety of water pressure booster pumps available on the market, each to suit a specific need. Deciding which water pressure booster pump will work best in your situation is an important step in the installation journey.
Selecting a water pressure booster pump, especially if it is your first time, can feel daunting, and technical. But armed with the right knowledge, this can be easily overcome.
Below are the important pieces of information you will need to get and consider when deciding on a water pressure booster pump.
DISTANCE: How far will the water have to travel from the source, be it from a rainwater tank, pond or stream?
WATER SOURCE POSITION: Is the water source higher or below where the water pressure booster pump will be installed?
PRESSURE: What is the desired pressure?
VOLUME: What will be the maximum amount of water that might be required?
POWER SUPPLY: How much power will the water pressure booster pump need, as this could affect the size of the cable?
USAGE: What is the water going to be used for? Is it only for household use or do you have a garden to irrigate?
HOUSE DESIGN: Is the house multiple stories high with one, two or more bathrooms?
PIPE SPECIFICATIONS: What is the size of the water pipes already installed in your system?
BUDGET: What is your budget or what are you willing to spend on a pump.
The answers to these questions will help you decide on which water pressure booster pump will be best for your situation. A pressure pump specialist will also ask these questions to determine exactly what your needs are.
Domestic water pressure booster pumps range in size from 0,37kW delivering from 1 600 litres per hour – improving the experience in one shower – up to 2,2kW for a large household delivering up to 10 000 litres per hour.
Flow and pressure can be represented in a graph, with pressure measured in bar (or psi) on the vertical axis and flow in litres per hour on the horizontal axis. If you know what your flow and pressure requirements are, these graphs will guide you to make the right choice when it comes to a water pressure booster pump. These graphs can be found with each Pascali pump on this website.
Each specific pump has a unique curve on the graph; some have a higher head with a lower flowrate and others will have a higher flow rate at a lower pressure. Some have steeper curves while others have a flatter curve.
When sizing a water pressure booster pump, rather opt for the larger of two applicable options, because a bigger pump will be less stressed than a pump running at full capacity to meet demand. Should your water need increase in the future, a bigger pump will also be better able to absorb it.
If all this is just still too technical, or your requirements are a bit complex, we recommend getting advice from specialists like the team from Pascali or staff at your local hardware or agricultural retail store.
They will be able to advise you on exactly what will suit your requirements but have all the information above handy for them to make an informed recommendation.
To have a look at Pascali’s technical advisor’s top tips for selecting the best pressure pump for your needs, have a look at this video;
To contact Agrinet, Pascali Pump’s Distributor, please click HERE.
Whatever your household water solution application requirements, there is a Pascali pressure pump for every job!
In the range of pressure or booster pumps offered by Pascali there are three main configurations, or different mechanisms by which the pumps operate, namely centrifugal pumps, peripheral pumps, and jet pumps. These categories can be subdivided further, but for simplicity’s sake we are just going to focus on these three and explain their features, and highlights.
Each one of these category pressure or booster pumps, is best suited for a specific use/purpose. The type of pumps selected, depends on the amount of pressure or volume that is required, does the pump need to transfer water uphill or downhill, diameter of the pipe etc.
There are 3 Types of Pressure Pumps or Booster Pumps in the Pascali Range:
Self-Priming Jet Pumps
Centrifugal Pressure Pumps
Centrifugal pressure pumps with a single impeller, or set of curved vanes that push the water, are suitable for household, industrial, and civil applications, depending on the size of the pump and the motor.
The electric motor spins the impeller and through centrifugal force the water is flung to the outside of the pump housing and out the outlet with more pressure than it entered the inlet. An easy way to imagine this is the effect of water flicking off a car tyre on a wet road.
Centrifugal pumps have low maintenance costs and are simple to operate. These pumps can only operate when the pump housing is filled with water and should therefore always be installed lower than the water source, such as a tank.
Peripheral Pressure Pumps
Peripheral pressure pumps work in a similar way to centrifugal pumps, but the peripheral pump’s impeller is shaped differently and interacts with the water in a different way. Instead of an impeller with curved vanes, a peripheral pump has a solid wheel almost like a grinder disc cutting through a material.
Peripheral pumps are perfectly suited for domestic use. These pumps commonly deliver higher pressure and higher heads compared to centrifugal pumps. These pumps also have a much steeper delivery curve, meaning that as pressure increases, flow volume will decrease. This topic will be discussed in another article.
Another characteristic of peripheral pumps is that, unlike centrifugal pumps, they can pump water with a relatively high air content. These pumps should be installed below the water source. Peripheral pumps are however less efficient than centrifugal pumps.
Self-Priming Jet Pressure Pumps
Self-priming jet pressure pumps are suited to lift water from its source and can be installed above the water source. These pressure pumps are not severely affected by air pockets in the water as centrifugal pumps are. Jet pumps are suitable for domestic use, irrigation or gardens and delivers a high head. It is suitable to lift water for distribution with a low to medium pressure. The configuration of the jet pump is very similar to that of the centrifugal pump, but with the added jet assembly which aids with priming the pump.
If you are unsure of which Pascali pressure pump is best suited for your needs, please refer to the charts with each pressure pump, or consult a professional at your nearest hardware or agricultural retail store.
With Pascali, you can rest assured, you will be getting great quality. All Pascali’s pumps and motors have stainless steel motor shafts, 100% copper windings, brass impellers and cast-iron pump bodies to provide many years of hassle-free service. Each pump is quality & performance tested before it leaves the factory floor.