Hot water boiler systems need a little help pushing the hot water through the piping to heat your home. This help comes from small pumps called circulator pumps that are soldered into the pipes, and thus are part of the piping. Without the help of these pumps, the hot water would never reach your heating outlet.
How Does the Circulator Work?
Circulators use a small amount of electricity and gravity to push the water through your system. Inside the pump is a small motor; this motor turns a small wheel called an impeller. The impeller looks and functions like a miniature water wheel, and it is the component responsible for grabbing the water in the pipe and pushing it through to the other side at a high rate of speed. Rubber seals inside the pump keep water from leaking out of the pump at the points where it has been soldered into the pipe.
Common Circulator Problems
Circulator pumps are hardy little components, but they can break. Common repairs may be:
- Broken or worn seals – the rubber seals inside the pump can age, crack or split, which can result in leaking from the pump. Water on the outside metal can lead to the development of rust, so if you see that a circulator pump on your boiler system is leaking, have it repaired as soon as possible.
- Problems with the circulator relay switch – the motor is attached to a relay switch that sends power to it so it can operate; if the switch becomes faulty, the motor may not receive any power or receive power intermittently.
- Circulator won’t turn on – reasons a circulator won’t turn on include issues with your thermostat, unequal settings between the circulator’s aquastat and the boiler’s thermostat and a dead or frozen pump motor.
- Circulator runs but heat is low – this can be due to a broken or damaged impeller inside the pump.
Sometimes circulator pumps can be repaired, but other times they may need to be replaced.
The best way to handle any kind of heating repair to your boiler is to call the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., and schedule an appointment for heating services in Alexandria, VA.