If your business depends on a boiler system to heat the building, you may have noticed lately that it is not quite doing its job. Especially if the unit is older, the problem could be caused by a failing circular pump that is responsible for passing water through the system so that it can be heated. If you suspect that this may be the case, look for the following signs that your boiler's circular pump is failing.
1. Water Leaks out of the Pump's Flange Points
One sign that your circular pump is failing to work properly is that there are water leaks coming from the pump's flange points, or pipe joints, which attach the pump to the pipes. Since the pump's lines are part of a closed system, any loss of water will decrease the pressure within the lines and make the water move through the pump sluggishly.
When this happens, the decreased water flow will result in a decreased ability to heat your building. To check for leaks, look at the connections of the pipes coming in and out of the pump. Even a small trickle of water should be a cause for concern.
If you do find water leaks, turn off the boiler, and allow it to cool. Then, line the flange points with plumber's caulk. While this may help to stop the leak temporarily, it is not a permanent solution. Eventually, the water will push through, and the leaks may come out harder than before because of the increased pressure.
2. Boiler Makes Loud Noises While Running
Another sign that your boiler's circular pump is failing is the presence of loud noises while running. Unlike the typical rumbling or occasional popping noises from the release of air in the water, these sounds will be loud rattling that is often accompanied by the shaking of the boiler.
There are two possible reasons why you may be hearing these rattling noises. First, the pump's screws may be loose, causing it to rattle while it is in operation. If you tighten the screws, the noises should stop.
Second, something inside of the pump itself may have become loose or broken off. After allowing the boiler to fully cool down, remove the pump, and shake it next to your ear. If you hear rattling, something inside the pump is broken.
While you could replace the pump itself, depending on the age and model, it may cost as much as a new boiler. It would be better to replace the entire unit in this case.
If you notice the above signs and are unable to remedy the issues, you will probably need a new boiler in the near future before the unit breaks down completely. Contact an HVAC contractor who offers boiler installation services to have them inspect the unit and discuss your options with you.