Therefore, depending on where you live and how your heating system is designed and controlled, it may be normal for the circulator pump (s) to operate continuously. If a problem in the heating boiler prevents its operation (for example, there is no oil or it turns off when safety is restored), the circulator may continue to rotate, but no heat reaches the heated area. The effects of an always-on circulator assembly installation are a more uniform heat and, in some cases, perhaps better resistance to freezing of the pipes of the heating system. We explain that in some designs of heating systems, as long as the boiler has power, the zone circulator is connected to work constantly, which can offer some advantages in terms of comfort and resistance to freezing.
But in areas where the heating system is not normally installed with a circulator always on, if the circulator does not turn off, something is wrong and we want it fixed. Chris, when you turn off the heating system through the ignition switch, the circulator pump should shut down on its own. When you switch from HEAT to COOL mode on your system, it would make sense for the circulator to shut down just like the boiler. Part of the answer to this question depends on what practices of installing heating systems are common in your area.
Jared, usually the problem you describe is due to a malfunction of the check valve in the heating boiler or circulator pump (depending on the equipment that is installed). In these buildings, the heating thermostat simply turns on and off the burner or heat source of the heating boiler. If the temperature in the house is above the set temperature of the thermostat, the thermostat will not require heat, and the heating system and its circulator should not work. Chris, you don't say where you are; in some areas, including much of Canada, the practice of the hydronic heating system is to run circulators continuously and allow the thermostat to simply turn the boiler on and off, an approach that tends to provide more even heat and reduces the risk of freezing of the heating line.
in a colder climate. My central air and heating are on a thermostat, so I need to turn off the heat to turn on the central air unit. In some areas, a hydronic heating system is wired so that the thermostat simply turns on the circulator pump, apparently to move hot water from the boiler to the heated area.