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Heating zone circulator pump repair procedures for noises: This article describes how to diagnose & fix noisy circulator pumps on hot water or hydronic heating systems.
We distinguish among buzzing relays that control the circulator, vibrating electric motors, shrieking circulator bearings, and circulator pump noises. Understanding the noise made by a heating zone circulator pump and whether or not the noise is normal can help us diagnose and fix equipment without wasting a lot of time chasing the wrong problem.
Reader Questions: Heating Zone Circulator Pump Noises, heating system noises, or noises when heat is turned off
Humming at the boiler
(Oct 13, 2012) zena123 said:
Help, please ! Central heating system is turned off. However, an unpleasant hum comes from central htg. boiler. When elec. is turned off at consumer unit, humming ceases. Any ideas gratefully received. Tx.
Bang noises at the boiler or expansion tank
(Oct 29, 2012) Jim said:
When circulator pump turns off, there are 4 pairs of bang-bang, which seem loudest at expansion tank. Draining expansion did not change. Heating and other operation is OK. I suspect, and will replace, the coupler between electric motor and impeller.
Trickling water sounds in the heating system
(Jan 10, 2013) Anonymous said:
I hear trickling water on one of my baseboard on my top floor everytime the heat starts to work. It goes away after awhile. I bleed that baseboard and it still trickles.
Squeeking Noise at the heating boiler
(Mar 13, 2014) Steveo said:
I have a squeeking noise that only happens early in the day and then again at night...it is coming from the water-out pipes (hot) and the sound "goes away"...I'm really confused. The pump's coupling was changed this season and it was oiled...any ideas??
Your heating service technician will probably check for a humming relay, control, electric motor, or burner motor. I'd turn off the system while waiting, in case it's an electric motor that is jammed or stuck.
I'm not sure what's going on but I'd start with the most dangerous: checking that the BANG! is not coming from the oil burner itself.
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"Instruction Manual, Bell & Gossett Series LR Circulators" P86101D, Mayu 2012, Xylem Inc. 8200 N. Austin Avenue Morton Grove, Illinois 60053 Phone: (847) 966-3700 Fax: (847) 965-8379 www.xyleminc.com/brands/bellgossett
"Installation and Operation Instructions, Raytherm Residential Boilers," courtesy of Raypak®, and technical advisor Wayne Hoffman, personal communication 5/11/2009. Mr. Hoffman is a technical advisor with more than 30 years experience in the heating field. Raypak is a Rheem company that provides hydronic heating boilers for residential, pool, and commercial use. Raypak can be contacted at 866-583-0664 for technical support or for assistance in selecting the proper heating equipment for a specific application.
Rheem Corporation is a manufacturer of water heaters and heating equipment including Ruud heating and cooling products.
Bell & Gossett Air Separators and other heating system components, 8200 N. Austin Ave., Morton Grove IL 60053, USA - Tel 847 966-3700 Fax 847 965-8379 . Air separators are discussed by B&G at http://www.bellgossett.com/homeowners/BG-airseparator.asp
Taco air scoops and other heating system components & controls: Taco Inc., 1160 Cranston Street, Cranston, RI 02920 / (401) 942-8000 / Fax (401) 942-2360 Taco (Canada) Ltd., 6180 Ordan Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 2B3 / (905) 564-9422 / Fax (905) 564-9436 www.taco-hvac.com
Taco also has some helpful FAQs that are useful in diagnosing circulator problems - see http://www.taco-hvac.com/en/faq.html#
Sparco air purgers, air scoops, and other heating system components & controls:
"Residential Hydronic (circulating hot water) Heating Systems", Instructional Technologies Institute, Inc., 145 "D" Grassy Plain St., Bethel, CT 06801 800/227-1663 [home inspection training material] 1987
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Volume I, Heating Fundamentals,
Boilers, Boiler Conversions, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23389-4 (v. 1) Volume II, Oil, Gas, and Coal Burners, Controls, Ducts, Piping, Valves, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23390-7 (v. 2) Volume III, Radiant Heating, Water Heaters, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps, Air Cleaners, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23383-5 (v. 3) or ISBN 0-672-23380-0 (set) Special Sales Director, Macmillan Publishing Co., 866 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022. Macmillan Publishing Co., NY
Installation Guide for Residential Hydronic Heating Systems
Installation Guide #200, The Hydronics Institute, 35 Russo Place, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
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TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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