Keep Your Heating Running Efficiently

During the coldest months of winter, there's nothing worse than facing central heating pump problems. When the central heating pump starts making odd noises or deciding to randomly heat up some radiators in the house while others stay lukewarm, you know there's a problem.

If you're not the home-handyman type, knowing where to start with heating pump problems can be tricky. The first option for most people is to call out a plumber, which can be expensive if your problems begin over the holidays or on a weekend. However, there may be some simple problems you can learn to fix yourself, saving you a bit of time and money. Here are some of the more common central heating pump problems you may encounter.

Hot Water Is Hot but the Central Heating is not

It's very common for your boiler to heat the hot water through the entire year. However, when your central heating hasn't been used for a while internal valves within your pump can sometimes stick. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be possible to loosen a stuck valve with a gentle tap. Use a wrench or screwdriver to gently tap the central heating pump to see if the valve becomes unstuck.

Central Heating Pump is Humming

If you hear a humming sound coming from your heating pump, it may be a sign that the pump itself might be loose within its brackets. Check the mounting screws that secure the pump in place and tighten them.

Cold Radiators Not Warming Up

If you've switched on the central heating and your radiators are still cold, or only remain lukewarm, you may have to look at a few different things to determine the problem. First, check that your boiler's pilot light is actually switched on. If the heating is actually turned on, check whether the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. You may find the temperature could have been lowered without your knowledge, so increase it to the temperature you desire.

If you've already done these things, don't automatically assume the central heating pump is broken. It may be a good idea to check the radiators themselves first. You may find that radiators will need to be bled if they haven't been used for a while to release any excess air until you see water appear. In some cases, you may even need to call a plumber to flush the radiator of any built-up sediment, especially if they've become clogged over time.

Only Some Radiators Warming Up

There are times when all the downstairs radiators may be working fine, but the upstairs radiators remain cold. When there are only some radiators receiving heat, it may be a sign that your central heating pump may not have enough power to pump water where it needs to go. If you've added more radiators, you may need to increase the pump's pressure settings to enable it to pump more water around to the additional radiators.

If the heat you're getting to your radiators is very low, inspect the heating pump. You should find your pump has an inspection cover on the side. Remove the cover and see if the spindle is turning. If it's not, use a screwdriver to give the shaft a quick turn and see if that loosens the spindle.

Radiators Making Banging or Clicking Sounds

If you hear any banging or clicking sounds coming from your radiators, you should check them immediately. In some cases, you'll find the banging sounds can be caused by trapped air. You will need to bleed the radiator to release any excess air until you see water appear to help reduce this problem.

If the banging or clicking sounds persist, check your boiler and your central heating pump at once. The pipes leading from your boiler can sometimes be responsible for banging sounds if they've come loose from their securing brackets. If the noises still persist, it may be time to get your boiler and pump inspected properly.

Central Heating Pump Making Grating Noises

If you hear grating or knocking sounds coming from the central heating pump itself, there's a good chance there's something wrong with the pump. Rather than attempt a DIY repair, consider calling a qualified plumber to inspect your heating system for you.

While some very common central heating pump problems can be fixed at home, you will eventually have to think about replacing your pump or boiler at some point. If it's time to upgrade your heating system, take a bit of time to check whether you're eligible to apply for a central heating grant to help you offset your costs.

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