Booster pumps are widely used to enhance the performance of a shower. Not all people like to have water hurled at them at high velocity, though some prefer to feel as though they've been blasted with a pressure washer. While there may be some sort of sadomasochistic force at work with the bigger models, power booster pumps range in performance and at the entry level offer a means to turn a disappointing dribble into a worthy event. As pressure and flow rates increase so does the enjoyment of having your skin massaged with jets of water. Whatever it is for you there are a few simple yet important factors to take into account otherwise you may end up regretting your investment.
A booster pump may only be used on a gravity fed system.
This is where the supply to the pump emanates from a header tank (also known as a cistern) often sited in the loft. It is to increase the performance (pressure or flow rate) of a system directly fed from the rising main.
If you have a mains pressure hot and/or cold water system you may not add a pump in an attempt to make it more powerful (this is why you should be mindful of your supply pressure and flow rate when opting for a mains pressure system. You do not have the option of boosting supplies should you subsequently discover they're not to your satisfaction.)
Combination Boilers and booster pumps
You must not attempt to increase performance by adding a pump ahead of the boiler (to increase incoming pressure and flow which is fed directly from the main) or after the boiler to enhance output. As the boiler is already working at maximum output there is little point trying to make it work harder.
Booster pumps are designed to take a 'low pressure' feed and boost it. The pressures that can build up in a mains supply (especially at night when water demand is typically low) can be high and are likely to blow seals. Connecting your pump to a mains supply will invalidate its warranty.
Booster pumps on a gravity water system...
A gravity water system (that's one fed from a header tank) is the ONLY type of water system to which you may fit a booster pump. For various reasons you may not fit a pump to any other sort of system. Installing a booster pump to a gravity supply will normally increase the water pressure substantially, but you should consider what sort of pump to buy carefully based on your shower equipment and more importantly your expectations.
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