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Central Heating Pump Packed Up?

Skill Level: Intermediate


In many cases, when we have trouble with the central heating; we  feel a bit out of our depth, and we resort to calling in an expert. But it’s not always necessary! A common problem with central heating is simply the pump packing up. Most central heating pumps are fitted with an isolation valve either side, that is, above and below it; making replacement quick and easy, without the need to drain the system.

Generally, central heating pumps are of a standard size, but in some cases, the older pumps may be a bit longer. In this situation you’ll need to fit adaptors when you install the new pump, to compensate for the gaps in the pipe work. Most good merchants can supply all the fixtures and fittings you will need, so make a note of the type of pump you’re replacing and any other information available on the fitting





First things first! Before you open the pump and start disconnecting wires, turn off the electricity and remove the plug from the socket. Next, and this is important; before disconnecting any wires - make a note of what goes where - labelling helps to this end. For access to the inside of the pump and the wiring, you will need a set of Allen keys. Now you may disconnect the wires.


Shut off the Isolation Valves

Fully close the isolation valves located either side of the pump, using a pipe wrench or adjustable spanner. Make sure you have a few rags handy (and a bowl) to catch any residual water when you disconnect and remove the broken valve.


Remove the Old Pump

Holding the pump firmly in place, to avoid twisting and creasing of the pipe work; unscrew the union nuts that hold the pump in place with an adjustable spanner or pipe wrench ( anti-clockwise) Careful here…….nice and easy does it. When loosened off, remove the old pump.

Fit the New Pump.

When opening the new pump packaging, carefully set the plastic sealing washers to one side, but don’t misplace them! We don’t want any leaks. Next, seat the new pump in position and fit the washers into the union nuts.

Tighten everything up, firm, but don’t over do it. You’ll soon see if there’s a dribble when you switch back on.


Open the Isolation Valves

Open the isolation valves and have a good look around the joints for any sign off leaking. Wait a few minutes, even if things seem to be ok. When we’re happy that everything is secure and leak-free, we can move on to the final stage.


Connecting the Wiring to the New Pump

Before reconnecting the wiring and re-sealing the new pump unit, make sure the inside of the pump (wiring) is dry and free from moisture.


Testing the System.

The next thing we to need to do is check that the new pump is connected up properly and more importantly, that it’s safe! To do this, simply switch the central heating on, using either the timer switch, or at the programming unit. Because the heating’s been switched off for a while, you might need to turn up the thermostat to kick start it. Once the heating system appears to be working, check that the open safety vent pipe (located over and above the expansion and feed cistern) isn’t discharging water when the pump switches from start to stop. If this does happen, and everything else is in order, then seek informed advice. In the event you discover you have to add a lot of fresh water to top the cistern up, then you’ll need to bleed the air out of the system. This will help prevent corrosion, and extend the life of your new pump.


Tools you will need:
Rolson 200mm Adjustable Wrench
Rolson 200mm Adjustable Wrench
- Stanley 5-62-573 FatMax 10 Piece Insulated Screwdriver Set
Stanley 5-62-573 FatMax 10 Piece Insulated Screwdriver Set

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