How to Fix Low Water Pressure: The Grundfos SCALA2 Water Pump

Do you have a low water pressure?

If you have a low water pressure, Grundfos SCALA2 Water Pump is a great solution.

In the video below, we show you how it works.

Meet The Customer & The Product

Meet one of our customers, Kevin. He lives on a rural property and has no access to scheme water. He relies heavily on rainwater. So we have installed all new gutters with slight falls to the new 100 mm downpipes. The one thing that has caused him problems is the pump. Kevin has decided to go with the gold standard and he’s chosen the SCALA2, which of course is from Grundfos.

Now it has a few more features than his last pump. It’s built stronger and it’s the perfect pump for drinking water. It is self-priming and it can draw a massive 8 meters below the pump. For you DIYers out there, that’s about 8 Bunnings shopping trolleys end to end.

It has inverted technology. That means that the motor is able to adjust the speed depending on how many fixtures you are using. So it pumps water out at the perfect pressure to all your taps. This also eliminates pressure fluctuations, and you know what that means? You betcha, lower running costs. It has a one touch pressure adjustment. So this intelligent control panel allows simple adjustment to the pressure on all taps.

And also the SCALA2 is really quiet, so it won’t disturb your family or your neighbours. It’s 47 decibels. It’s not even as loud as a dishwasher.

The Installation

We just got to disconnect the old pump and install the new one. Now we’ve got a bit of an adjustment to do. In the video, we show you the feed that goes from the rainwater tank. What we want to do is put a 25 mil isolation valve in there. So in the future, if the pump ever needs to be disconnected, it’s easy to shut off.

Once we’ve installed it, we’ll probably put the pump in the location you can see in the video. So it’s closer to the house and nice and compact,. We can get a cover on there or something like that later on. And we’ve just got to adjust the piping. We’re probably going to get rid of the valve because we don’t really need it anymore, and just to clean up the hole section.

When you have a plastic fitting with a thread on it, if you put your hand on it, you can feel it’s very smooth. Now, if you go and put some thread seal on that, do it a couple times round or something, that thread seal can turn. So if you are screwing it into a fitting, the thread seal doesn’t stay where it is, the thread seal stays on the fitting and it turns and it will always have a continuous leak.

The only way to get rid of that is grab your hacksaw and just scratch it a couple times, about four or five times around, and soon as you put your finger on, you can feel there’s grip lines through it and that’s what bites the thread seal on. So always scratch the fitting. Then when you put the thread seal on and you go around like this, it bites in, stays where it is, and it won’t leak. So that’s a little tip from a plumber.

The Tools

In the video, we show you the tools you’ll need:

  • thread seal
  • hacksaw
  • pipe cutters
  • adjustable spanner
  • smaller multigrips
  • large multigrips
  • crimper

The Finishing

We’re going to use a crimper, you can use PVC fittings if you like, then you don’t need that, but you can hire these things as well.

So you can see the isolation valve is now installed. You see the feed from the rainwater tank. Turn it on and it feeds. So all I need to do now is to run the pipe around here and into the inlet, into this loose nut connection. With these loose nut connections, it’s very important that you understand, so the o-ring is what seals the two parts together.

The nut here, that is what screws onto the thread, and that’s what jams that o-ring nice and tight. Now I’ve seen a lot of times where guys put thread seal on this thread. All that’s doing is making this nut harder to screw on and you want that as easy as possible, because you want to compress that o-ring. So never ever, if you’re using loose nut connections, never ever use thread seal. Put it on like that, this nut has to go as easy as possible on there, tighten it up to jam that o-ring, and then it’s going to be all good and sealed, and it won’t drip.

Now this is where the articulation comes in really handy on the inlet and outlets. See how we can adjust the angles, get it all right, and it’s very easy to adjust and to lock it in place, makes it super easy for us.

The Outcome

So we’ve got the rain water connected to the inlet. The outlet goes off to the house and there’s a filter underneath there, so that’s all connected. See the adjustable connections are just unreal. Remember there’s a tag on there that says “no tools, just tighten them up by hand,” so that’s referring to the adjustable nuts. So you just snug those up, then you’ll probably just need to snug up the big loose nut connections to get that o-ring nice and tight, right? And then she’s all good to go, you can turn the water on, so it gets to the pump.

And the only thing we need to do now is just to prime it. So if the water level is above the pump, all you need to do is make sure the rain water can run through to the inlet of the pump. If you take this priming cap off and water starts coming out of it, just from the pressure of the tank, then you don’t need to self-prime it. Just open it up a bit, see how the water’s coming out of it. So that’s primed now. You don’t have to stuff around with it.

If you are drawing from a water source that is below the pump, obviously when you take the priming cap off, no water’s going to come out. So that’s when you need to grab some water, some priming water, you need about 1.7 liters to 2 liters, you pour that in right to the top, so it’s coming out like that, pop that back in and then that means it’s primed. So once it’s primed, you’ve just got to plug it in.

Now it’s best practice to open the furthest tap first and then turn the pump on, and that’ll now fire up the pump, purge all the air and get a good flow of water coming out the other end. So once you’re happy with the location, then you can go ahead and bolt the pump down with either using DynaBolts or plastic wall plugs, they’re great too.

The Features

There’s a few features that we know us plumbers will really appreciate. First of all, it’s got dry run protection. That means if no water is detected at the inlet of the pump, the pump will stop. So this prevents internal damage and also stops your motor from burning out. It has anti-cycling protection. So if you have a slow leak from a tap or a water main, and the pump keeps turning off and on over a short period of time, it’ll turn the pump off, so you can go out and investigate where this leak is.

So if you have a house with multiple bathrooms and would like constant pressure at all the taps, and like some of the features that we’ve explained in this video, and that Kevin is experiencing now, then check out the SCALA2 from Grundfos. It might be the one for you. And give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.