Booster Pumps Explained


A booster pump is often recommended to increase water pressure to a desired level and improve its flow rate. They are also useful in applications where a single pump cannot deliver the desired service pressure and ensure that other pumps in the system do not cavitate. Let’s find out how booster pumps work and when to use these pumping devices.

What is a Booster Pump?

booster-pump-systemA booster pump acts like an intermediary between the water source and endpoints like taps, faucets, and showers. A booster pump takes in water from the source and pressurizes it to get the desired pressure at the endpoints.

Generally, booster pumps are not the only devices used to move water within a system. They work in conjunction with a source pump to increase the fluid pressure.

There is a range of applications where booster pumps are useful. For example, moving water through a high-rise building or uphill requires a high pressure head that these pumps can deliver. Sprinklers and high-pressure spraying systems may also need a boost in pressure head since they require high water pressure to function properly.


Some of the major industrial applications of these pumps include:

  • Filtration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • HVAC
  • Boiler feed
  • Any industrial process that requires high fluid pressure

How Does a Booster Pump Work?

The idea behind the booster pump is to increase the water pressure by introducing an additional pump in the fluid flow system. Therefore, these pumps work like any other ordinary pump.

Most of these are centrifugal pumps that take water from a source, move it through an impeller (single-stage) or multiple impellers (multi-stage) to increase water pressure. The high-pressure water then flows through an outlet.

You can also install a series of booster pumps along a pipeline to achieve the desired pressure required.

Booster Pump Types

Booster pumps are typically available as ordinary pumps or Variable Speed Drive (VSD) pumps.

Ordinary booster pumps - Work at a constant rate don’t have the provision to increase flow rate or adjust speed

Variable Speed Drive (VSD) pumps - Can adjust speed based on the different pressure head requirements. For example, if the water pressure at the source varies, you can adjust the performance of the booster pump to get the required endpoint pressure. These pumps are also great for cutting energy costs.

Choosing between Multi-Stage and Single-Stage Booster Pumps

A single-stage booster pump is best suited for independent houses and residential buildings where the pressure requirement is moderate. Typically, a single-stage booster pump is enough for one building. A multi-stage booster pump becomes useful when the requirement of water pressure is extremely high. Such applications include pumping water uphill or for a residential area containing multiple buildings, maintaining the city water pressure, and carrying water over a very long pipeline.

Do You Really Need a Booster Pump?

While booster pumps can help you increase water pressure, it is important to understand that low outlet pressure doesn’t necessarily mean that the source pressure is low. There may be other reasons at play worth checking before investing in a booster pump.

Clogged Pipes: Clogged pipes introduce high resistance to the water flowing through them, affecting both flow rate and water pressure.

Peak Demand: When the water distribution system experiences peak demand, it results in low water pressure. However, this condition will not always stay constant.

Faulty Water Meter Valve or Pressure Regulator: Both these devices play an important role in keeping the water pressure at the desired level within the water distribution line. Any fault with these devices will likely affect the water pressure.

How to Choose the Right Water Booster Pump?

Choosing the right booster pump is a little tricky. You should consider several factors ranging from the state of your pipelines to the desired level of pressure head to meet your requirements.

As the oldest and largest pump distributor in the Northeast, our expert team of engineers at Hayes can help you make the right choice. Reach out to us with your queries, and we will assist you in selecting an ideal booster pump to suit your unique fluid pressure and flow rate requirements.

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