Safe to run boiler without circulating pump?

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Old 12-24-06, 10:16 AM
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Question Safe to run boiler without circulating pump?

We have an old (30-40 year old) hot water boiler, single loop/zone, with a mix of baseboard and full-size radiators. Today my wife noticed a noise coming from the furnace, and I found that a plastic part of the coupling between the circulating pump motor and the impeller shaft had broken off. Currently when the pump runs, the motor turns but the impeller doesn't. It doesn't look like there is any way to fix it without replacing the coupling (which I'm assuming will involve disassembling the pump).

I'll call someone next week to have it fixed, but my question is, is it safe to let the boiler run without the pump? I turned up the pump sensor to 150 or so, so it won't try to turn on the pump (to avoid any other parts of the coupling flying off). It seems like we're still getting heat in the house (the radiators are still warm), presumably through convection in the system. Will anything bad happen if I just leave it this way until after Christmas, so I don't have to pay twice as much for a service person to come out on a holiday?
 
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Old 12-24-06, 11:34 AM
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gravity feed

If you have a gravity flow check valve, they can be manually opened to permit gravity circulation (hot water rises.)

Gravity feed works on some systems, but it may not work well enough on yours. You can try it and see. You heat regulation will likely be very poor even if it does. Just my opinion, not one of the pros on here.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 01:47 PM
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Circulator

It will not hurt to run the boiler without the circulator but as R/C said, to get any heat you will need to open the flow control valve. In doing so, you will have no real control of the heat except to manually open & close the valve or turn the boiler off & on with the switch.

Edit: If this a Bell & Gossett (B & G) circulator, replacing the coupler is a very easy task & you might be able to find one at a home improvement store. All you need is a 7/16" wrench and a 1/8" allen wrench. No water need be drained or wires disconnected.
 

Last edited by Grady; 12-24-06 at 01:52 PM. Reason: More information
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Old 01-02-07, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
It will not hurt to run the boiler without the circulator but as R/C said, to get any heat you will need to open the flow control valve. In doing so, you will have no real control of the heat except to manually open & close the valve or turn the boiler off & on with the switch.

Edit: If this a Bell & Gossett (B & G) circulator, replacing the coupler is a very easy task & you might be able to find one at a home improvement store. All you need is a 7/16" wrench and a 1/8" allen wrench. No water need be drained or wires disconnected.
7/16" socket would probbably be easier. Disconnecting the wires and wirenutting them wouldn't hurt either till it is replaced. Shut power off first though.
 
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