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How Central Heating Pumps Work [And Getting The Best Deal]

Central heating pumps are a vital part of an efficient heating system. But, how do they work?

Pumps on newer boilers are located behind the boiler casing. And, they look like this:

The boiler works hard to heat up water. Once it has, the diverter valve will open and close your heating and hot water flow, depending on which you are demanding at the time.

Once the diverter valve is set in the correct position, the pump will push the hot water around your heating system.

Quality boiler pumps will have a flow settings

For instance, many Grundfos pumps have 3 flow settings (1 being the slowest and 3 being the fastest). These are really important.

If you have a large property with standard pipework, you might notice that the flow on the boiler (water going out) is hot. But, the return (the pipe that has a flow of water returning after being circulated around the system) is cold, or nowhere near as warm as the flow.

Although there are many causes of cold return pipes (such as radiator sludge), if your pump is on the slowest setting, this might not be helping.

On the flip side, if you have microbore pipework (8mm and 10mm copper or plastic, such as Polypipe), there’s a good chance the pump doesn’t need to be on it’s highest setting (3).

In many cases, the slowest flow setting will be more than sufficient. Any higher than this won’t just be wasting electricity, but it will also put unnecessary strain on the pump.

We are regularly called out to properties where the owners think they need a new boiler pump. Whilst this is sometimes the case, it’s certainly worth checking out guide on common heating pump problems first.

On many occasions, there are simple fixes. A typical example is a leaky pump. Usually, these can be fixed by taking the pump apart and replacing the seals. If this is the issue, it’s worth noting that the flow might be too high. This back pressure is the likely cause of the pump blowing in the first place, so this needs to be adjusted as well.

Top Central Heating Pump Brands

A lot of older boilers will be fitted with Wilo heating pumps. These were incredibly popular 10+ years ago, but there’s a good reason they are not anymore; they are unreliable. Nowadays, top boiler manufacturers prefer to use other brands.

There are two manufacturers leading this space; Grundfos and DAB.

Although DAB offer a range of high quality pumps, Grundfos is usually our first choice. In fact, most boiler manufacturers usually use Grundfos pumps as standard in all of their new boilers.

Best Central Heating Pumps

Different heating systems and boilers will demand different specs from central heating pumps. However, our experience has shown that the best heating pumps tend to be:

  1. Grundfos UPS2 15-60 (and the larger Grundfos UPS2 25-80)
  2. Grundfos Alpha 2 L 15-50 (and the larger Grundfos Alpha 2 L 15-60)
  3. DAB Evosta 40-70/130
  4. DAB Bronze VS 65/150
  5. DAV Evotron 60/130 (and the larger DAV Evotron 80/130)

We always advise customers to use Grundfos or DAB pumps where budget allows. They have the best warranties and are the most reliable.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a New Boiler Pump?

The first cost you’ll need to consider is the central heating pump itself. Typically, boiler pumps will range anywhere from £90-£200. That said, there are a range of much higher quality pumps available (especially from Grundfos) that are more than £300.

On a typical pump replacement, you should expect to pay in excess of £200. The cost of supplying both the pump and labour for installation rarely goes above £300.

Where To Get The Best Deals on Boiler Pumps

Once you’ve decided on the type and brand of boiler pump you’re going to purchase, the next step is to find a good deal.

As we spend thousands every month at our local plumbing merchants we tend to find that they always offer the best prices. Even beating major online stores such as Direct Heating Supplies and Screwfix.

Even if you don’t spend thousands every month, it’s certainly worth giving your local plumbing merchant a call and seeing if they can beat or match any prices you find. Small independent merchants tend to be much more competitive on price than national firms such as Plumb Center.

The reason we prefer to buy from merchants rather than online is this; when somethings faulty, we walk in and get a replacement.

We don’t have to fill out returns forms, or send anything back. That’s worth any amount of savings to not just us as heating engineers, but also our customers that have issues with their heating and want them fixed quickly.

If you’re set on searching for central heating pumps online, then there are two obvious places to start.

So, if you are looking for something like the Grundfos UPS2 15-60, a quick comparison can be done on Google shopping.

Although Amazon is not exactly well known for plumbing and heating supplies, it’s definitely worth a look. We’ve found pumps in the past 10% lower than other online stores. Again, we’ve setup a search for the UPS2 15-60 here.

What’s Next?

If you need any help sourcing or installing a heating pump, leave a comment below.

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