Booster Pump Gauge

7 Common Problems with Booster Pumps and How to Fix Them

Booster pumping systems or booster sets are a proven and effective solution for increasing water pressure, particularly in larger buildings.

Booster pumps are commonly used in environments such as apartments, hotels, schools, leisure centres and other buildings where it is essential that all outlets have access to adequate water pressure.

Unfortunately, booster pumps can experience problems; especially when they are not properly maintained. Booster pumps underperformance or complete failure can be extremely disruptive and often results in some or all building occupants having no access to water or experiencing low pressure.

In environments such as apartments, a booster pump failure could mean that residents do not have sufficient pressure to carry out essential daily tasks such as having a shower, flushing the toilet or using their taps.

To prevent this, our latest blog post takes a look at 7 problems with booster pumps and how you can fix them. The most common problems with booster pumps include:

  • Pump won’t start
  • High running noise
  • Leaking from pump
  • Contamination
  • Low water pressure
  • High operating costs
  • Pressure too high

Pump Won’t Start

A booster pump that won’t start means that water will not be available to any outlet fed from the pumps.

There are several reasons why a booster pump doesn’t start including a lack of power, water in the break tank, tripping, sensor failure, problems with the control panel and motor failure.

Firstly if there is a power cut then the pumps won’t run and there will be no water delivered.  When the electricity is reinstated the pumps might need to be reset to work, if in doubt please call our professional engineers for further assistance.

If the ball valve has failed in the break tank and the pumps are fitted with low level protection then the pumps won’t start.  Check the tank has water.

If these have been checked the other potential causes can be difficult to fix the issue without sufficient knowledge and expertise of booster pumps. Therefore, it is recommended to arrange a full inspection from a pump engineer.

High Running Noise

A high running noise from your booster pump is not only a sign of potential problems, but can also be frustrating for building users as they may be woken or otherwise disturbed by the higher operating noise.

There are several reasons why a booster pump can make excessive noise including high demand, incorrect positioning, worn or old components and excessive vibration from the pump or pipework within the building.

Along with regular maintenance, it’s possible to prevent noise from your pump by ensuring it can meet demand and using vibration isolators such as vibration mats, bases, and springs.

To find out more about this problem, take a look at our blog post on best practice for controlling noise in booster pumping systems.

Leaking from Pump

Leaking from your booster pump reduces its effectiveness and can result in more serious problems if not addressed. Leaks can be caused by issues such as broken valves, worn or cracked seals and the water pressure being too high.

To determine the cause of the leak, we recommend carrying out an inspection of the pump and its components. If you are unable to identify the issue, a full service should be arranged with a pump engineer.

If you are responsible for the maintenance of a booster set, take a look at our free booster pump maintenance inspection checklist which covers the key components of the pump that should be inspected regularly.


Contamination is a serious issue in any pumping system, but even more so with a booster set where end users are likely to be using and drinking the water it’s distributing.

Contamination can be caused by inadequate cleaning of the pump or failing to manage the maintenance requirements of the cold water storage tank.

If there is contamination within the pump, it should be switched off immediately and a full inspection should be arranged with an engineer who can test, clean and disinfect the cold water tank.

Low Water Pressure

The primary purpose of booster pumps is to increase the pressure of water, so it’s an immediate cause for concern if low water pressure is experienced.

A drop in pressure could be caused by high demand, the age and suitability of the pump, a faulty sensor, valve failure or a leak.

We recommend carrying out a visual inspection on the unit before arranging an inspection by an engineer who can assess whether a repair is required or whether the pump is no longer up to the job and needs replacing.

To find out more about what causes low water pressure and how you can improve it, take a look at our blog post on how to improve water pressure.

Low water pressure in showerhead

High Operating Costs

If you have noticed an increase in operating costs, it may not be down to increasing energy prices alone. As pumps age, they become less efficient; particularly if they are not being professionally maintained.

With the new features offered by modern pumps, upgrading can offer potentially thousands in cost savings whilst providing a better experience for residents and reducing your carbon footprint.

If your bills are increasing, we recommend arranging a pump energy check. This check gives you an accurate view of current pump performance and can calculate whether any cost savings could be made by upgrading the unit.

Pressure too High

When a pumps pressure is too high, it puts unnecessary strain on the pump and pipework without offering any real benefit to the users of the building.

One of the most common reasons for the pressure being too high is the pressure relief valve (PRV) which controls pressure being set too high or being stuck open.

If your pressure is running too high, we recommend checking the pressure gauge and manually reducing the pressure if required. If the PRV does not close or the pressure will not decrease, organise an inspection from an engineer.

Professional Booster Set Repairs and Maintenance

If you are experiencing issues with your booster pumps, we can help. Our engineers have years of experience in the design, installation and commissioning, repair and ongoing maintenance of booster pumps from leading manufacturers.

For more information, call us today on 0117 954 8030 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you.

Booster Pump Set

How Much Could a Booster Pump Energy Check Save You?

Booster Pump Set

Booster pumps are an effective method of increasing water pressure and ensuring building users can access water of a suitable pressure, regardless of the number of outlets in use or size of the building.

Booster pumps are often used in larger sized buildings with multiple occupants such as flats, apartment blocks, office buildings, hotels, schools and Government buildings where mains pressure alone isn’t enough to meet demands.

Many booster pumps we find in operation are old units with antiquated controls which become less economical and efficient over time. With environmental impact becoming very important and the cost of electricity always rising, it can pay dividends to understand how economical your pump is and take steps to improve it.

Read our blog post to find out more about the considerable savings that can be unearthed through an energy check, the benefits of a modern booster pump and the importance of keeping your booster set professionally maintained.

Booster Set Energy Check Savings

A pump energy check gives you a clear view of your pumps current performance and the associated cost savings that could be made by upgrading your existing booster pumping system. When carrying out an energy check, the following factors are considered:

  • Pump & head flow
  • Motor power data
  • Operating hours per year
  • Age of pump
  • Pump use
  • Operating needs

From this data, the test can ascertain what energy savings could be made with the installation of a new booster set, including how long the payback time would be.

At Mawdsleys Pumps, we regularly carry out energy checks in line with the ISO 14414 Pump Energy Assessment Standards before making system recommendations to clients, often revealing thousands of pounds worth of energy savings that could be made.

In a recent test we carried out, we uncovered potential savings of over £40,000 over a 10 year period at an NHS facility in Bristol, read the full case study here.

The Benefits of a Modern Booster Set

Modern booster sets are made up of several components designed to enable adequate water pressure to any sized building. As technology has improved, so have the number of benefits a booster set offers, the key advantages are:

  • Variable Speed Drives – Modern booster sets are fitted with variable speed drives, these drives have pressure sensors and flow sensors which keep the pressure constant with varying demand, extending the life of the pump and meaning you only pay for what you use.
  • High Efficiency – As technology has improved, booster pumps have become more and efficient, offering adequate pressure on a normal mains water supply.
  • Environmental Benefits – As a result of improved efficiency and variable speed technology, modern booster sets use less energy, reducing the carbon footprint.
  • Duty, Standby and Assist – Modern booster sets are usually compromised of multiple pumps, meaning that there is a backup should the demand exceed the main pump, plus a standby pump should one fail. These are known as ‘duty’, ‘duty – assist’ and ‘standby’ pumps.
  • Lower Running Costs – Equally, improved efficiency and reduced energy use results in lower overall running costs, building owners can expect a booster pump to pay off its installation cost long before the end of its life.

Keeping Your Booster Set Well Maintained

Due to their critical nature, there is never a good time for a booster pump to fail or start to underperform.

In order to keep your booster set running at maximum efficiency, it is recommended that you have your pump serviced by a professional pump engineer.

As well as keeping the pump running at full strength, regular servicing ensures that any developing faults are rectified, reducing the risk of breakdown.

Additionally, there are maintenance checks such as visual inspections that can be carried out every month to complement annual servicing.

To help keep on top of routine maintenance, we have created a free inspection checklist for responsible persons. Click the button below to download your copy.

Download free booster pump maintenance checklist

Booster Pump Installation, Energy Checks & Service Contracts

At Mawdsleys Pumps, we offer an end to end service for the design, installation, repair and ongoing servicing of booster sets; with servicing contracts including regular preventative maintenance to keep your pump running efficiently, which will reduce risk of breakdown.

We also carry out energy checks for booster pumping systems, to highlight and inefficiencies in your system and suggest upgrades which could improve efficiency, reduce energy usage and save on running costs.

For more information about our energy checks, booster pump service or maintenance contracts, give one of our expert team a call today on 0117 954 8030 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you.

Low water pressure in showerhead

How To Improve Water Pressure

Water pressure is an essential part of any building with a water supply, yet it’s often taken for granted until something goes wrong and the pressure drops.

Low water pressure can be caused by a number of factors such as high demand and can affect every water outlet in the premises including toilets, showers, taps, pumps, washing machines, and water tanks.

Experiencing low water pressure is extremely frustrating for building users and in commercial and agricultural environments, can result in huge drops in efficiency due to the extra time taken to output water.

Read our latest blog post to find out more about the causes of low water pressure and how you can improve your water pressure.

What are the Causes of Low Water Pressure?

Water pressure is effectively the force that transports water through your pipes, so lower water pressure means that the water flows at a lower velocity.

There are a number of reasons why your water pressure may have dropped. The most common reasons for low water pressure are:

  • When demand for water is higher, pressure may be impacted
  • Properties that have a shared supply are more likely to experience issues with water pressure
  • In larger buildings such as hotels, offices, or blocks of flats, water outlets at the top of the building tend to get lower pressure
  • In gravity fed systems, your water pressure depends on how high the source of water is above your property
  • Additionally, the distance your property is away from the water source will impact the pressure you get
  • Old or damaged pumping facilities may no longer be able to cope with the demands of the building
  • Pipes restricting the flow of water due to diameter, corrosion, blockages, and leaks can reduce the water pressure

Low water pressure in showerhead

Why Water Pressure Matters

Low water pressure can create several issues in all environments, whether it’s a domestic premises, commercial office or leisure facility.  The most common complaints about low water pressure include:

  • Showers and taps can be reduced to a trickle of water
  • Toilets may not flush properly
  • Results in reduced efficiency in commercial premises
  • Any activities requiring higher pressure such as irrigation or high-pressure cleaning may not be possible
  • Certain modern appliances do not work below specific pressure thresholds
  • Equally, certain pumping equipment requires a specific amount of pressure to work

All of this can contribute to a poor experience for the users of the building and in a commercial building such as a block of flats, gyms, schools or a hotel, is likely to attract complaints.

Steps To Improving Your Water Pressure

If you’ve noticed a drop in your water pressure, here are steps you can take to try and increase it once more:

  • Check that the outlet for your water is not clogged up or blocked in any way
  • Check that the water valves for your property are fully open
  • Check for blockages in your water system
  • Check for any leaks in your water system
  • Ensure that your current pumping system meets your requirements
  • Test your appliances at peak times vs quieter times to see if there is a difference in the water pressure you receive
  • Invest in appliances such as power showers which can enable higher output even when overall pressure is lower

If you own the premises, you can take it upon yourself to check these or contact a professional if you do not have the expertise.

However, if you are a building user or rent a space in the building, it is likely that you will need to contact the landlord of the building to investigate further.

Benefits of a Booster Pumping System

If you are still struggling with water pressure, it is likely that you need to consider taking measures to increase the pressure of water to your system, this can be done very effectively with a booster pump.

Booster pumps are installed to increase the water pressure throughout a building and are an effective means of improvement in any type of building.

They can be installed in most properties whether you rely on a typical water supply or get your water from a private supply (such as a borehole or well).

A booster pump is a long term investment that will serve your property for years if properly maintained, download our free booster pump inspection checklist to find out more.

Booster pumps are available to suit any premises, whether it’s fixed speed or a range of multiple pump variable speed sets to meet demands and offer energy saving benefits.

Booster Pump Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Can changing a shower head improve water pressure?

Yes, in some cases simply changing the shower head can improve the water pressure you get.

Shower heads can also become blocked up with limescale which restricts the amount of water that can be output, so in some cases a simple clean will help improve the water pressure.

Additionally, some showers have water saving heads that intentionally reduce the water pressure to save money.

How to improve water pressure from a well?

If you rely on a well as your water supply, it’s critical that you get adequate pressure from your system given that there is no backup.

A booster pumping system can be used to effectively increase the pressure received from private domestic water sources.

Can I install a booster pump to the mains water pump?

Yes, a booster pump can be installed to the mains water pump.

However, due to water supply regulations, pumps that draw more than 12 litres of water per minute cannot be connected to a supply pipe without permission, therefore, it’s typically a better option to install a separate water tank for your booster pump.

It’s highly recommended that you engage with a booster pump installation company who will be able to recommend the best course of action based on your situation.

Talk to the Experts

We hope that this post has given you some ideas on how you can improve the water pressure at your premises.

If you are still struggling with water pressure and want to find out more about how a booster pump could significantly improve your situation, talk to Mawdsleys Pumps today.

We are experts in booster pumping systems and have installed units in locations including domestic properties, schools, hotels, apartments, and regularly work with facilities management companies to keep booster systems performing well.

If you would like to know more, contact our expert team today on 0117 954 8030 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you.

Block Of Flats

Best Practice for Controlling Noise in Booster Pumping Systems

If you’re a facilities manager, public building owner or a tenant living within an apartment or block of flats; you will understand the vital role an efficient booster pumping system plays – providing water of sufficient pressure to every water point within the building.

However, one of the main reasons we are called out to attend booster pumping systems is due to noise coming from the system, attracting complaints from residents who may have been woken in the early hours of the morning by the pump.

In our latest blog post, we’ll cover off reasons why booster pumps make noise, how you can control it and essential regular maintenance checks you can carry out to ensure your pumping system runs efficiently without generating excessive noise.

Booster Pump Set

How Working from Home Could Be Impacting Your Pumps

Booster Pump Set

One of the biggest impacts on people’s daily routines because of COVID-19 is the increased amount of time they are spending at home, with many continuing to work remotely where they can to adhere to lockdown rules.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that in April 2020, when the first lockdown was announced, 46.6% of Britain’s workforce did some work at home.

The shift to remote working has posed many challenges, with businesses and staff needing to adapt quickly to ensure staff can work efficiently from home whilst retaining a work/life balance.

A victim of remote working that has perhaps been overlooked is pumps. These systems that we rely on every day keep water pressure high and facilities such as toilets working properly, but with increased usage; these essential systems can run less efficiently and are at a higher risk of failure.

Find out more about the types of pumps that have been impacted by working from home and how building owners can ensure users always get a high level of performance from their pumps in our latest blog post.


Golf Course Pumping Systems – Tips for a Successful Winter

As winter starts to bite, golf courses across the UK will be making preparations for the challenges that the cold weather brings including frost, snow and stressed grass.

Clubs and groundsmen are generally well prepared for the challenges that winter brings, with many being able to continue serving golfers for the majority of the cold season.

However, pumping systems found on golf courses such as irrigation, boreholes, booster sets, multistage pumps and sewage pumps are often overlooked – with a lack of expertise available on site to complete vital maintenance and prevent potential failure when the cold hits.

In our latest blog post, we run through essential steps clubs and groundskeepers should be taking to ensure they can continue to operate throughout the winter months or reduce the risk of damage to pumps during winter closure.

Booster sets

What to Expect From Your Booster Pump Maintenance Contract

Booster pumps play a vital role in environments such as schools, blocks of flats and apartments, public buildings and offices; increasing water pressure to enable the transportation of water across several storeys.

When booster pumps fail, the result can be extremely disruptive for building users, with water pressure dropping and in some cases water supplies being cut off completely.

Unfortunately, many premises that rely on a booster pump neglect regular qualified maintenance, leaving essential tasks to on-site maintenance and repair teams who may not have the skills, tools and expertise to properly maintain pumps or notice when something is wrong before it’s too late.

Read our latest blog post to find out more about the recommended frequency of booster pump maintenance, what should be checked during a service, signs that a service may be due as well as providing  a  checklist to help you carry out routine checks yourself.

Pumping system maintenance for schools

Back To School – Are Your Pumps Ready for the New Term?

Pumping system maintenance for schoolsWith summer coming to an end, the new term is looming for schools and other educational establishments across the country.

In these environments, proper maintenance of pumps and associated equipment is essential, but stretched budgets, no maintenance plans and lack of knowledge can often result in schools dealing with unexpected breakdowns.

In our latest blog post, we’ll run through the risks of failing to maintain pumping equipment in schools, the pumps most commonly found in schools, checks you can carry out and how Mawdsleys can help ensure your pumps stay up and running all year round.