Installing a pump to boost our water pressure.

We are learning that one of the joys of living on the outskirts of a village is that you cannot take anything for granted. This includes things like having enough water pressure to take a shower. The water gets to the shower, however after a short period the geyser cuts off and the water runs cold.

It took me a while to figure out that it’s a safety feature on the geyser. It’s a gas geyser, so my reasoning was that the water keeps the heat exchanger from overheating and melting the solder etc. If there is not enough water, the heat exchanger starts getting too hot, which is when the flames are turned off and we get cold water.

I have swapped out the geyser so was quite sure it was not just in need of maintenance.

I also thought the pipes were rusted to such a degree that they were impeding the flow of water. I now have a pipe going directly from the source, to the upper floor of the house, but this made no difference.

The last thing to do was buy a pump.

Heres the pump we ended up with, it has an attachment that turn the pump on automatically when the pressure drops, i.e. when you open a tap. It can apparently pump up to 4.3 bar of pressure at a height of 10 metres. The highest the pipes in the house go is around eight metres, so we should be getting the full 4.3 bar.

Thats almost 50% more than the pressure we get from the council, which is 3 bar. I also think it does not maintain that values as you could visibly see the pressure drop the longer you kept a tap open.

Here is where it’s going to be connected. You can see I am bypassing the lower floor by having connected another plastic pipe and routed it around the outside of the house.

We also previously tried using this, a pump that we had at the well which is used to pump the water out from the well. At 250 Watt it just does not have the oomf to boost the pressure. I am reusing the fittings and the braided hoses.

It was one of those really warm days, so I assembled the pump indoors, away from the heat and the sun. At this point I had made a trip to the hardware store to buy a fitting, as the pressure switch has a male connector and I was expecting a female, like on the pump and the smaller pump too.

I needed to connect the water at the bottom too, so I used a t-piece with nipples and reducers to get to the correct size. Plumbing is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle for me, having to choose between different bits and pieces then assembling them to get what you need.

The reducer to go from 1″ to 3/4″, it’s funny, countries that have been using the metric system for many many years still reference plumbing fittings in inches. The braided hoses have allowed me to be more flexible (har har) in where I put the pump and how it’s connected.

The outlet is also a braided hose. These pumps should not be run dry, so you are supposed to fill them using the hole where the red top is. Because I am connecting it to the council water, I just opened the top a bit to get the air out, as the water will be forced in anyway.

Finally connected to the new supply for the upper floor, again through the appropriate reducer now from 3/4″ to 1/2″.

I did not get many pictures of the actual process of installation, as is usually the case I start working and only remember to take phots at the end. Here you can see more of the pressure switch, green when it has power, open up a tap and the centre light turns n as well along with the pump.

This is a semi-temporary position, I will move it to the back of the house soon, as well as bury the pipes in the ground. Thats going to take a fair amount of wok and other things are higher on the priority list.

What an amazing shelter! This too is temporary and is primarily to keep the water off. It is right by the street (almost no pedestrians, but still) so it’s a bit obvious and these pumps are not cheap. So I really need to make a plan to disguise the fact that there is a pump here.

Great news is that the water pressure is significantly higher, so high in fact I could switch my geyser from the lowest pressure to the highest. We have gone from not being able to take a decent shower, to taking POWER showers!