What is a Booster Pump?
Booster pumps are simply a machine that will increase the pressure of a fluid…in our case, pool or spa water. They increase the pool water to a water pressure level required to improve the water’s flow rate. They are plumbed in addition to your main circulation pump and come in a variety of horsepowers. One can use any single speed, or variable speed pump as a “booster”. These often cannot achieve the desired service pressure. They may often cause the other pumps in the circulation system to “cavitate”. Cavitation is caused by the water turning into a vapor. Usually it is because there isn’t enough pressure on the suction side of the pump or “insufficient Net Positive Suction Head available” (NPSHa). Some pumps have the special designation as a “booster pump”, especially when used for high pressure side automatic pool cleaners that require 30 psi (pounds per square inch) or more.
When Would I Need a Booster Pump?
A lot of spa owners utilize a booster pump to force water into their jets, making use of the spa a more enjoyable experience. If you have a fancy pool with water features such as a waterfall, spillover, infinity edge or geyser would be some prime examples. Separate pumps are often required to operate these.
Another common need for a booster pump is to operate your pressure side cleaner. With a suction cleaner, whether run through the skimmer or a designated suction line, ,it uses the suction of the pool pump to vacuum dirt and debris into the swimming pool filter. This adds extra strain on the pump and can require additional filter cleans.
Pressure side cleaners are just the opposite. There is a designated pressure line built into the pool. The cleaner is pushed around the pool by the force of water. These cleaners have a self-contained bag or canister to collect dirt and debris. How do we get the force needed to operate such a machine? If you said “a booster pump”, you would be correct!
Popular Pressure Side Cleaners
The most popular pressure side cleaners are made by a company called Polaris. They come in different models, some of which do not require a booster pump. Certain models, greater than the 280 model, require a booster pump.
How Much Do Booster Pumps Cost?
A popular booster pump is made by the name Polaris and is called a PB4-60. If you were to go to a pool supply and repair store for this model, you would be looking at anywhere from $450-$500…just for the pump. Installation? An average pool store would charge $250 or more to install or replace a booster pump. Prices ,of course, will vary depending on the region. I went and searched some online stores for this name brand pump. They ranged from $350-$399. Honestly, you are paying for the name. Pool Parts To Go has a universal model that lines up exactly with the PB4-60. This may eliminate the need to hire a professional to install it! Even if you did need to hire someone, say because you owned a different model prior or you just aren’t technical (Don’t worry…I am not an installer either), the money you would be saving on purchasing this model could go towards the labor to pay someone else to do it for you.
About the Universal Booster Pump
At only $229.99 (no, you did not read that wrong) this name brand, Blue Torrent, universal booster pump is a direct replacement for the Polaris PB-460 motor. While it comes pre-wired for a 110v it is actually a dual voltage motor. (115/230v). It replaces a booster pump of 1 HP max rated, which is the same as the Polaris model! It even includes fittings to fit older Polaris units. (Please note it does not include a cord). You can also rest at ease with the peace of mind of a 1 year warranty.
So, to answer your question on how much it costs to install a booster pump, well, it depends on where you shop! Pool Parts To Go to the rescue! See you poolside!