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Increasing Water Pressure from OHT's: Alternate Methods Sought - Bangalore

We live in an independent house comprising of ground floor and 1st floor in Bangalore. We fully depend on corporation water for our water needs. We have a sumptank of 6000 ltrs and 2 over head tanks of 1000 ltrs each (both connected in parallell) The portions on the 1st floor experience low water pressure in all taps & showers, when we contacted a plumber he said it is because the over head tank is not high enough.

Now we cannot increase the height of the tank, is there any solution to increase the water preassure in the 1st floor houses? Is there some kind of motors or pumps which can help us? Kindly suggest an appropriate remedy to the same.





Dear Vinayak,

Upon reviewal of the responses you would have got fairly a good idea of the problem you are having.

Once again, it is suggested that you get hold of a competent plumber from your society, and connect the lines with proper air release system at the OHT outlets.

To say specifically the outlet line from both the tanks that you claim that are connected in parallel to have a down pipe for supplying to all lines feeding into the house and then to have an air-release pipe leading up-wards upto a level 6"/ 150mm above the level of the OHT.

i.e the pipe junction at tank outlet to have a connected to outlet from tank, one outlet down to house and one outlet upwards as indicated till above OHT level.

and also at each down-comer pipe to have an uptake air release till the level 6" above OHT tank level.

Most urban homes have OHT located at the ceiling level of their own house height, and get water at ample pressure for all needs in either kitchen-wash or baths or else-where, the head would be within 4 to 5 Feet/ 1.5 Mtr. or so...
only problem could be at shower lines which requires a little more head..

We find that you are also not giving inference to any of the responses given by many experts.

Trust you can sort out this simple problem, and do advise us.

with well wishes from VigyanVijay,

Ajit Seshadri

Er. Ajit Seshadri,Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation


Dear Vinayak,

A couple of reputed international companies which manufacture pumps have a big presence in India. They make booster pumps which can be fitted on a pipe-line to boost the pressure in the pipe line. One of these companies is Grundfos and I find they regularly advertise in our daily newspapers as they have an office in Bangalore. I suggest you to contact this company and find out how much a booster pump will cost.

There is a possibility that a booster pump may be required for each bathroom, but this Grundfos can say only if they come and see the layout of the house and plumbing.

If you have RCC tanks on your roof, I realise that elevating these can be a very expensive exercise. However, if you only have Sintex plastic tanks, you will have to incur only the cost of a platform to elevate these tanks by about 2 to 3.5 metres to get more pressure due to the increased static head. Your decision will depend on the prices quoted by Grundfos, but, you must bear in mind that Bangalore as a city has a very volatile power supply and it may not be available when most needed.

If your house is over 20 years old, you can also get your plumbing inspected. If it has developed scales and deposits over the years (this is inevitable), this itself could be a major cause for the low pressure on the first floor.

You need to explore all the possibilities listed above and choose the most cost effective one.


Ion Exchange


Dear Vinayak,

Normally there should not have been a problem of pressure, you probably have installed small diameter down take pipes, and/or you do not have a proper air release system to ensure that the water flows unhindered through the pipeline, and lastly there are lot of bends to this pipe.- in short improper plumbing design.

How ever you could install a pressure boosting system, a 1.0 hp pump with a pressure tank of 100 liters would suffice in your case. The intermediate pressure tank is needed so that the pump does not get switched on and off very frequently.

Problem would arise if the top floor and ground floor supply pipeline is the same, whenever the taps are opened the pressure in the tank would drop and the pump would start.

If the pressure is required only for shower etc, then an online pump could be installed in the shower outlet only.

An alternate arrangement which is possible and in my opinion ideally suited is that the pump is installed on the underground sump and it feeds the overhead tank as well as the houses directly, this way you will ensure that the overhead tank is always filled and is used only when there is a power shutdown (naturally with a lower pressure on the first floor), other wise every one gets water with a specific pressure directly from the underground sump.

There are a couple of companies manufacturing pressure booster systems- viz. Dvvey Pumps, Sharp pumps, Grundfos,lubi, Suguna (?), etc..

Other details can only be given once you share the plumbing design for the bungalow.


Dr. Anil Lalwani


If your overhead tank is at first floor rooftop and your normal roof height is 3 m it should not be any problem. 2 m of residual head (at the tap end) in the user end is sufficient for smooth flow of water. It seems that this is not happening your case. The reason may be:

i) The pipe lines connecting your tank with taps of first floor are of insufficient diameter, causing excessive pressure loss. It will be good to know the diameters of connecting pipes.

ii) The connection from tank is done in a faulty manner causing some air lock in the line and causing the problem.

iii) If possible, check if you can place the tank on the parapet wall of your roof. That may help to have some extra head. But it should not be critical


Dear Vinayak,

Since you live in an independent house, pressure can be a problem owing to a low height. I suggest you to use a hydropneumatic system which consists of an air vessel and a pump. It will maintain a constant pressure in your system and can be connected to your underground sump well of 6000 liters. The overhead tanks can be used as a standby when the electricity is not available.

A hydropneumatic system will ensure that you get pressurized water at all times since the pump shall maintain lone pressure. When the pressure drops, pump will be activated automatically. Pressure in line shall be maintained by an air vessel connected on line. M/s WASP or CHETSAN make those systems (they are in Delhi) and I am sure you shall be able to find the same in Bangalore.

With best regards,

Taral Kumar
Executive Director
Akar Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Noida, Uttar Pradesh


Dear Mr. Vinayak

The check list to your problem is as given below.

a. Check choking of pipe line
b. Remove the air lock if any. This can be done by the plumber.
c. Explore the possibility of putting HDPE tank on the top of existing water tank, exclusively for water supply to first floor if you are a family of 5 persons 500 l tank will serve the purpose
d. Finally install hydro-pneumatic pump on the line serving the First floor. Grundfoss is one of the company.

I trust your problem will be solved
Prof. R. V. Saraf
Viraj Envirozing India Pvt. Ltd.

21 Radhakrishna, Near SBI
Paud Road, Pune 411 038
Tele/Fax: (020) 25433445
E Mail:


Dear Sir,

The same problem I faced in my house at my native place. I just increased the diameter of he pipe from 1/2 inches to 1 1/4 inches the flow was heavy. Then I I reduced the diameter to 1". Now it is smooth. Why do not you try this practically felt one. In my rural native I have no other go except for this alternative. Then I realized it may be due to more easy passage to water flow. But the openings at the end have only 1/2 fittings.

You may also try to replace delivery pipe with 1 1/4 inches pipe, to your first floor apartment. The investment may be 50% more but it is effective. Shall I expect your reply after your fittings and success.

With best wishes,

A. Raja Mohamed Ambalam
Coastal Energy Private Limited
Chennai - 600006 09443619352


8. Water pressure for ceramic disc shower mixers


Our house is under construction and we prefer to use ceramic disc shower mixers in the bath rooms. I wish to know the ideal height for an overhead tank from the roof height of +680Lvl. Or please advise us on an economical solution to get the right pressure in all mixers, especially in first floor.

9. Is there anyway to stabilize pressure equally in all floors?

I live in a fifth floor apartment. The water is supplied from a roof top tank. Unfortunately we get water with low pressure compared to the floors below. Is there any way to stabilize pressure equally to all floors?

Thanks for your suggestions.

10. Check for water pressure boosters

If yours is a small apartment you can raise this concern and lay a separate line (a one inch line finally converging at a 1/2 inch will enhance the pressure)

There are pressure enhancers (shower power boosters) you can add to your pipes and shower if you get similar stuff in India too.

11. Over head tank venting issue

Hi all,

I came across some very good advices on over head tank problems on this forum. I live in a 2 floor independent house. The 1st and 2nd floor were constructed recently. The problem we are facing is with water supply for ground floor. Two sintex tanks (1000 lt each) have been installed on top of the second floor.

Whenever the water in both overhead tanks get empty we switch on the motor as usual. The problem is, it takes more than 45 minutes to get water supply to the ground floor but on the 1st and 2nd floor we receive water within in 10 minutes.

We noticed that even if tank is filled half with water we don't receive water until tank is fully filled. I suspect this could be because of air lock in the supply pipe line of the ground floor or venting. But once the over head tanks are full we receive the water in all the floors until its empty.

However it should be noted that before 1st and 2nd floor were constructed we didn't face this problem and we used to get water within 10 min after the motor was switched on.

Can any one please advise on how to solve this problem.
Thanks in advance for your help.


12. Water pressure in first floor low- need info on booster pump


I have recently constructed the 1st floor of my house. The water tank has  a capacity of 2000 Lt and is on an 8 ft elevated stand as compared to the washing machine. Outlet is a 2'pipe right to the taps/faucets. I have a front loading IFB washing machine. The machine stopped working.. the repair person said the water pressure is low. If I connected another 2000 Lt tank at the same height to a single outlet, will the water pressure double? It is too cumbersome and expensive to install a booster pump. Pressure is excellent on the lower floors. Breather pipe is installed and is working. I would appreciate your comments and out of the box advice/solutions.

Thank you


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