Circulator pump leak at mounting flange (C) Daniel FriedmanCirculating Pump Mount Position
Does the position of a circulator pump affect its operation or life?

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Heating zone circulator pump mounting position: is it ok to mount a circulator pump vertically, on an angle, or in some other position?

What do heating circulator pump manufacturers say about the mounting position of the circulator motor above or below the pumping impeller assembly? What about the location of wiring, oil cups, and related controls?

This article series describes how to diagnose & fix circulator pump problems on hot water or hydronic heating systems.

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Question: circulator mounting position vs system pressure

Heating circulator pumps mounted in varying positions (C) DanieL FriedmanQuestion: direction of hot water flow through the circulator pump and piping loop

(Feb 18, 2013) greg said:

I am installing a circulator pump on an outdoor wood boiler I have been told that some stove have been installed to pull water from toward the bottom and returning on top and also the other way around. what is your advise?


Greg I don't know quite what's the design of your system. In general, some installers like to put the circulator pump on the return side of the hot water piping loop, figuring that by running the cooler water rather than the hotter water through the pump assembly it will last longer.


Reader opinion on circulator pump images: up vs down:

Heating circulators mounted in gangs (C) Daniel Friedman(Mar 2, 2012) Ken said:

I'm seeing pictures of products installed incorrectly with no mention that they are wrong. You should only post pictures of the items that your talking about that are correctly installed.

The circulators at the top with the motor in the up position is incorrect unless your are running over 20lb's of system pressure, there are also pictures of oil filters mounted right at the burner on other pages which doesn't allow enough distance for the oil to stabilize before enturing the pump. There is more, but enough. Please upgrade your pictures.


Thanks Ken, interesting points, though in some cases lacking authoritative citation of expert sources. If you can give me a source citation for oil stabilization problems, for example, we'd be very glad to add that to our information. We also welcome reader contributions of photographs of both correct and problematic equipment installations.

The photos shown throughout these heating articles are indeed from "real world" rather than theoretical installations and are indeed deserving of comments about good and bad practices.

I have indeed observed circulator pump assembly bearing failures that occurred when a pump was not properly mounted, but generally that failure occurred because the motor was not properly supported or a new motor was mounted into an old, askew mounting bracket.

There are constraints on the location of wiring boxes and oil ports on some equipment but there is actually quite a bit of flexibility about the position of the circulator motor with respect to the pumping impeller assembly and with respect to the direction of piping.

Please see CIRCULATOR PUMP MOUNT LOCATIONS for a detailed discussion of the mounting location and position of circulators.

I agree that some heating system oil piping installations place control valves (FIRE SAFETY CONTROLS) or heating oil filters (OIL FILTERS on HEATING EQUIPMENT) at less than ideal positions that make maintenance inconvenient for the service technician. We generally comment on these observations at those photos. So if you see comments missing at specific photographs in specific articles please let me know.

But your comments about oil stabilization and hot water heating system pressure vs. circulator position are not cited in the manufacturer's literature we have on review nor have I found references to your view in the literature. So some citations explaining your comments would be most helpful. Thanks.


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