Interested in learning how to install a water pressure booster pump?
The installation of a high pressure booster pump requires cutting into the main water line, just after main water shutoff valve.
In this guide, I will go over...
- My 10 steps to installing booster pumps
- Why draining water from the piping is actually two steps (before & after cutting)
- Optional safety features such as a pressure relief valves and low pressure cutoff switches
Let’s get started with this guide!
How To Install A Water Pressure Booster Pump?
Imagine this: you come home after a long day at work, and you want to take a long hot shower. Unfortunately, one of your kids decides to take a shower at the same time, and your decent water pressure goes down to a trickle. So if you've made a decision to install a water pressure booster pressure booster pump.
Installing a water pressure booster pump isn't for the faint of heart, or homeowners with zero plumbing skills. The best location to install a water pressure booster pump is usually right next to the main water shutoff. And after draining the plumbing system of air and water, you will be required to cut into your main water line, solder or glue the new elbows, unions, and pipe sections for the pump. It's also a good idea to install a check valve, a pressure relief valve, and a low pressure cutoff switch which adds additional layers of safety for your home.
#1. Location of Install
The first step is deciding where you want to install the water pressure booster pump.
Booster pumps are usually installed just after the main water shutoff valve. (Main water shutoffs are usually located in the basement.)
You also want to install the pump in a location that is easy to access. If there is an emergency, and you need access to the pump, you don't want it to be an issue.
Also, you want to install the pump so that you minimize the amount of piping and elbows. The more turns and piping you add to your home, this will negatively impact your water pressure due to the friction.
After determining the location of install, you will want to take the correct measurements so you know where to cut the main water line. You will need to take into account pipe threads, the elbow sizes, and other considerations. Basically, you don't want to mess this part up — measure twice and cut once.
It is at this point that you also want to measure for bypass piping if you want to install one. Bypass piping allows you to retain water in your home if you need to remove the high pressure booster pump for replacement or maintenance.
#3. Mounting The Pump
You will to install the pump on a solid base. If you have a concrete floor, you may be able to mount it to the ground, but installing the pump on some type of solid platform is preferable. You may also be able to mount the booster pump to your foundation wall.
Booster pumps have a lot of power, and with that power comes vibrations. You don't want the pump vibrating the piping which cause leaks and subsequent water damage which is a why a solid base is a requirement.
#4. Turning Off & Draining Water
Before you cut into the main water line, you want to turn off the water by closing the main water shutoff valve.
After you have shutoff the water, it is time to drain the existing water from all of your piping. Just open up the lowest faucet in the home until it runs dry.
#5. Cutting Pipe
Using a tube cutter tool, cut the piping section required to install the booster pump.
Don't be surprised if a small amount of water leaks out of the piping after you make the cut.
After the cut, you will want to remove the burrs and shavings so you can make solid pipe connections.
#6. Remove Remaining Water
Even though before you made the pipe cut you drained the water, there may still be some water in the piping section in between the lowest faucet and where you made the cut.
To remove any residual water, all you have to do is open the highest level faucet in the home, which will allow air into the system (breaking the vacuum) so the remaining water can drain.
Make sure you have a bucket underneath the cut pipe to catch the water.
#7. Pump Installation
Install the elbows onto the main water line, and make sure they point towards the pump.
Install any piping unions required for your installation.
And don't forget to install a check valve. A check valve is a one way valve that prevents the higher pressure water from going back to the street—water can only move forward into your home. The arrow on the check valve needs to point in the direction of water flow.
Read Also: What Is Defective Polybutylene Water Piping?
You may also want to install two safety features: pressure relief valve and a low pressure cutoff switch.
A pressure relief valve relieves any extreme pressures in the system, and releases water out of its valve. It is basically the same type of valve that is on your hot water heater tank. These valves prevent catastrophic failure if the pressure in your piping exceed a pre-determined limit.
In addition the pressure relief valve, you may also want to install a low pressure cutoff switch. This means that if no water or low water runs to the pump, it will automatically shutoff its operation. Some water pressure booster pumps run the risk of literally exploding if they run without any water in them.
#8. Turn On Water
Now its time to slowly turn back on the water at the main shutoff.
Carefully check for any signs of leaking from your new piping connections and the pump itself. If there are any leaks, shutoff the water again and fix the problem.
Repeat until you are sure there aren't any more leaks.
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#9. Run Water Until Primed
Before you plug in and turn on the pump, you should open up a faucet in order to remove all of the air in the piping and in order to prime the pump and filled with water.
Once there is a normal and steady flow of water from a faucet, you can shut it off.
#10. Plug In Pump
Now its time to plug in the pump into a GFCI outlet, and allow it to run for several sections.
It should turn off automatically after several seconds once it has reached the target water pressure.
At this point, is it a good idea to carefully inspect all of the piping and the pump one more time for any leaks. If there is a leak, unplug the pump, shutoff the main water line, drain the system of air and water, and fix the leak.
Read Also: How To Take An Instant Hot Water Shower?
There you have it, my rough guide on how to install a plugin water pressure boosting pump.
If your boosting pump requires a dedicated circuit, hiring a qualified electrician is definitely recommended. And of course, for most homeowners, a licensed plumber will also be required for install.
Don't forget to check your local municipality for any permits that may be required. Your local area may also require additional safety features like a pressure relief valve or a low pressure cutoff switch.
If you screw up a high pressure pump install, you may literally flood your home or damage your plumbing system. How would you like to not have water for a week? If you aren't fully prepared to install a water pressure booster pump, please find a licensed plumber for this project. Depending on your city or county, you may also need to get an installation permit.
It's also a good idea to read the installation model for your particular water pressure booster pump. All pumps have their own installation idiosyncracies, and they all have different features that you need to be aware of.
Even if you hire a licensed plumber for the installation (recommended for most), I would still read the installation manual just to make sure he doesn't miss anything.