Everything You Need to Know About Mains Water Booster Pumps

There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as turning on a tap to wash your hands, or getting into a shower, and suddenly discovering that the water pressure is far lower than you expected. When this happens, you may need to check in with us at Coastal Drains to see if there is a problem with one of your pipes, such as a crack that has sprung a leak. However, if this is a constant issue with your property, you may also consider getting a mains water booster pump.

Read on to find out more about mains water booster pumps and what they can do for your property, or get in touch with us today if you suspect that there may be an issue in your drainage system. Our trained and qualified engineers will come ready and prepared with everything they need to repair the pipes of almost any commercial or domestic property, restoring water pressure and getting your everyday routine back to normal as soon as possible.

Water Centrifugal Pump mains water pump

What is a Mains Water Booster Pump?

An inline mains water booster pump is a small mechanical device that raises the water pressure in your home’s pipes. The pump itself is designed to recognise when the pressure and flow rate is low in your system, giving it a much-needed boost so that your home or business receives the water supply it needs during the day. These pumps are most usually designed to fit easily onto the incoming cold water supply, and should work for practically any appliance around your property. 

So, if you’ve had trouble with the water pressure in your taps, showerheads or any other appliance in your home, a mains water booster pump may be just what you need to get that water flow back up to its usual (and most likely more comfortable) standards.

Booster pumps come in a variety of designs, depending on the type and brand you have chosen for your property, but there are five main aspects you should always look for when preparing to make a purchase:

  • Flow rate: the maximum amount of water that can leave a pump every minute. If you have a larger household, you may wish to look for a pump with a higher flow rate
  • Pressure or bar rating: the pressure at which the water will be ejected from the pump
  • System type: booster pumps can either come in positive or negative types, which determines how the pump will be activated. This will normally be activation by gravity (for positive pumps) or by a drop in pressure (for negative pumps)
  • The head impeller: booster pumps are operated on an impeller system, and most modern units offer single or multiple impellers. The more impellers it has, the more powerful the system is
  • WRAS approval: this means that the pump has been approved by the UK Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

Types of Mains Water Pressure Booster Pumps

There may not be any “best” type of mains water booster pump, but there are several well-known brands and pump types that may work best for your property. These include:

Stuart Turner Flomate Home Booster Pumps

This inline booster pump type can be connected to your water mains, without the need for a cold water tank. They also offer 3 bar pressure, are fully WRAS approved and are suitable for use with combi boilers.

Mainsboost Flomate MBF 12 Low Water Pressure Pumps

This pump type is designed to output up to 12 l/min (12 litres per minute) and is suitable for low-occupancy properties, especially those with only one bathroom. As such, if you have a small commercial property and know that not many people will be visiting your bathroom every day, this might just be the pump type you need. Visit their site here.

Salamander Home Boost 1.5 Bar Mains Water Pressure Booster Pumps

This pump design is more compact than most, making it ideal for smaller domestic properties. It’s also perfect if you’d like to boost the water pressure in your system at peak times of the day, such as when you and your household are getting ready in the morning, or using the bathroom in the evening. Like the Flomate, it’s also approved by UK Water Regulations. Visit their site here.

Grundfos Home Booster Packaged Pumping Systems

These booster pumps come in both 3 bar and 4.5 bar versions, and are self-contained systems that come complete with an integrated 200L storage tank and stainless steel pump. This keeps them working for as long as possible, with the greatest levels of efficiency. They can also come with an additional slave tank for greater storage, if your property has a high water demand or extremely low pressure. Visit their site here.

Dab e.sybox Electronic Water Pressure Systems

These units differ slightly to the other water pressure devices listed, as they offer a more ergonomic design. They’re fully equipped to operate quietly and offer electronics that match the speed of the pump, saving energy even as they work. However, it must be noted that under UK by-laws, they cannot be connected directly to a water supply offered by your local water company. Instead, it must be fed by a break tank. Visit their site here.

These are just some of the inline mains water booster pumps and pressure systems available for you in the UK, so we would suggest browsing online to find the one that suits your property best. Whether you need a smaller, 1.5 or 3 bar pump to boost water pressure at peak times in your domestic property, or even if you manage a large commercial or industrial building and need a bigger storage capacity (e.g. a 500L model), there will be a product out there for you.

We also highly recommend that you make sure any unit you choose is WRAS approved before you make your purchase.

How do Mains Water Booster Pumps Work?

An inline booster pump’s working process can be split into three steps:

  1. The booster pump draws in the water through the mains supply, or through a breaker tank if it cannot be connected directly.
  2. The water enters the pumps chamber, activating the impellers (these are the inlet and outlet pipes attached to the pump; you’ll need twin impellers to boost the hot and cold water supply, but you’ll only need one if you’re looking to raise the pressure for your hot water).
  3. The impellers spin at a high rate, boosting the pressure of the water before exiting through the outlet.

Installing Booster Pumps on Your Property

If you think you need a mains water booster pump for your property, you should start by carrying out a test on your property’s water flow. This will determine if you need one or not. To begin, make sure that you have a measuring jug (preferably 1-2L in size), a stopwatch and a calculator. Take the jug, put it under a tap or showerhead and turn the appliance on to full. From there, you should time how long it takes for the water to fill up the jug.

If it takes longer than 6 seconds for the jug to be filled, then it’s likely that you have low water pressure and may need a booster pump. However, there may also be another explanation if your water pressure has suddenly dropped when it was excellent before, so you may also consider calling a specialist drainage firm to inspect your system for damage or blockages.

Installing the Pump

If you intend to tackle the task of installing your new purchase yourself (though it’s also understandable if you would prefer to call a professional and ensure the work is done correctly), then you will have everything you need to carry out the installation as soon as you have the product with you. Every kit should come with the parts it needs, as well as a full instruction manual for you to follow, and should only take around an hour to complete.

For More Information About Your Mains Water

If you have been considering solutions to boost mains water pressure for your commercial or domestic property, you may wish to have your pipes checked before you consider purchasing booster pumps. At Coastal Drains, we often see cases of properties that have suddenly lost water pressure, only to find that it was due to a leak somewhere in their drainage system.

We are proud to work as specialists in the drainage industry, and we are more than happy to carry out fast, effective leak detection services that could save you time and money that might have otherwise been used on unnecessary equipment. We will even be able to help you with any insurance work, before carrying out the professional repairs you need and getting your faulty drains back to their full working order.

Our emergency drainage services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so whenever you’re suddenly surprised by a leak springing up somewhere around your property, we can be there to help. Our dedicated engineers can come to your location in no time at all and they’ll be fully equipped with everything they need to get your system flowing at its ideal pressure.

Author: Greg Child

Greg is an expert in drainage and has been in the business for over 30 years. He's the owner of Coastal Drains Ltd and a very, very friendly chap.