What is the Booster Pump? What role does it play in a sprinkler irrigation?

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Booster Pump

Most pumps are used to take water from a standing (or non-pressurized) source and move it to another location. For example, a pump might take water from a lake and move it to a sprinkler system. A booster pump, on the other hand, is used to increase the water pressure of water that is already on its way somewhere. Example; say you have a sprinkler system that needs 80 PSI of pressure to operate. But the water line coming onto your property only has 50 PSI of pressure. In this cases you would install a booster pump to raise the pressure from 50 PSI up to 80 PSI for your sprinkler system. So to put it another way, a booster pump is used to “boost “the water pressure. img_booster_pump

Therefore the required booster pump pressure is simply the desired pressure minus the existing pressure. Just remember that for most pump brands the pressure must be expressed in feet of head, not PSI!

PSI x 2.31 = feet head Feet head x 0.433 = PSI

Example: The existing pressure in the water company mainline you will use to supply water for your sprinkler system is 35 PSI static. Static pressure means the water pressure when measured with all water flows shut off; no faucets running, ice maker is off, no sprinklers on, nobody taking a shower (don’t turn off the water if someone is in the shower!!!), etc. To measure static water pressure just get a pressure gauge at the hardware store and attach it to a water outlet someplace reasonably close to the irrigation system. Make sure all other water outlets are turned off, then turn on the water to the gauge only. The gauge will show the static water pressure.

You have 35 PSI existing pressure. But let’s say your irrigation system needs 50 PSI to operate correctly. So you decide to add a booster pump to create more pressure. The pressure increase needed is 50 – 35 = 15 PSI. So you need a booster pump that produces 15 PSI of pressure at whatever flow rate the irrigation system requires. But wait, for most pumps the pressure needs to be expressed in feet head, not PSI! So convert PSI to feet head. 15 PSI * 2.31 = 35 feet head (round the result up to the next whole number.) That wasn’t difficult at all!

Typical assemblies include the pump, electrical controls, any needed control valves, a frame to hold everything and an enclosure to protect it. All you do is install it on a concrete pad, connect the pipes, and connect it to the power source.

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