central heating pump

6 May 2004
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I would like to instal a pump into a simple gravity fed hot water system running from a wood burning stove with a back boiler ( output 5Kw). The system works very well at present heating water via an indirect cylinder. I would like to incorporate two small towel warming radiators into the circuit. Can I simply insert a small pump into the hot feed from the boiler with a manual on/off switch? With the pump switched off will water still circulate by convection, i.e. through the pump and through the indirect heating coil in the cylinder?
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The stove must have an un restricted heat leak path. The towel heaters can be put in parallel with the connections to the tank, or use a single pipe system, you will not need a pupm to run these if you connect them correctly. When you have towels on them they are well insulated, so don't lose much heat.
Thanks Oilman --but! Did what you said i.e. put the two towel warmers in parallel with the heating circuit. Both rads are fed by rising pipework from the main feed to the cylider heating coil, feeds go into the top of the rads and exits from the bottom of the rads return to the main boiler return pipe. On advice from a plumber I incorporated a gate valve into the return from the heating coil just as it exits the tank. The rationale was to be able to balance the flow through the tank and the rads. I cannot get the rads to heat at all unless the valve is almost completely closed. My plumber friend still likes the idea of incorporating a small pump - any further views /advice?? Pipework from the boiler to the tank and return is 22mm, pipes to the towel warmers is 15mm. The hot water heats perfectly with - so far - no boiling, air problems etc etc. All pipework is steadily rising and the cylinder is directly above the back boiler and the cylinder is about 1 metre higher than the top rad.

Many thanks

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You could add a pump that comes off the flow pipe, but in the branch line so it then heats the radiators, as long as you don't have it in series with the pipe from the boiler. I have a feeling you should have a special T connector on the return, so the pump return assists the HW circulation, and does not cause the flow to stop or reverse. Your plumber friend probably knows about these. If you have a plumber there, take his advice and let him help. I fix peoples heating, I'm not a plumber.

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