Friday, October 28, 2011


Falling leaves and temperatures mark the start of heating season along the East Coast. Boilers and heating systems that lay dormant all summer get fired up and only the most conscientious and lucky facility engineers and property managers meet with blazing success. Often the initial jolt to the system results in seal leaks, failures, or total equipment breakdown.

“Just remember: no pump, no heat,” says Pump Express General Manager, Ed Drejman. “All hydronic heating systems need circulation to keep the heat on and the hot water moving. If your pump is not maintained and checked before each heating season, your chances of having a failure are greatest.”

Handling a seasonal start-up correctly can make all the difference between a smooth transition and stormy start to winter. Time and inactivity are the two main factors to consider. Pump expert Fred Hettinger offers the following tips for staying safe, keeping warm and maximizing the life of your heating system:

Eyeball the heating elements of your system and make a list of items necessary for maintenance. If you can't do it yourself, hire a heating pro to inspect and tune-up your system for you.

Check, lubricate and test your hot water circulating pumps. Make sure your pumps aren't leaking, because leakage not only damages the pump, but also introduces air into the system and forces it to add make-up water. Air and fresh water can lead to increased equipment deterioration. And don’t forget to listen to your equipment and I mean really listen. The number one cause of failure is neglect. If the pump is noisy get it looked at immediately to keep a minor repair from turning into a major one. Don’t assume that it will get better, because it won’t.

Check basement sump pumps by filling the sump area with water and inspecting check valves for leaks.

Never walk up to a boiler or any piece of combustion equipment that has been inoperative for a while, especially a pump that has been down all summer, and just hit the start button. If you can't verify that you have a hazard-free situation, call a professional.

Yearly maintenance of a heating system is the only surefire way to stay warm every winter. Beyond that, repair and replacement of faulty equipment is necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature and keep heating costs down.

For more information visit our website: or call 1-800-298-4100.

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