What is a Hot Water Recirculating Pump?
Hot water on demand may be one of the most sought-after comfort systems Americans love to have in their home. Sometimes, affordable and quality hot water is not always accessible.
A hot water recirculating pump is a cost-efficient way to ensure your family doesn’t have to wait for hot water. A hot water recirculating pump takes all the unused hot water in your plumbing system to redistribute throughout your home.
A hot water recirculation system is a great way to recycle unused water, delivering instant hot water to all your systems.
Here’s everything you need to know about a hot water recirculating pump.
What is a Recirculating Pump?
A recirculating pump is any installation that recycles unused resources. It helps lessen electrical consumption, helping some homes save a few extra dollars on monthly energy bills. There are electric recirculating pumps that take unused voltages for distribution.
You can use a recirculating pump for various resources, including hot and cold water.
What is a Hot Water Recirculation Pump?
A hot water recirculating pump is a fixture typically attached to the water heater. A hot water recirculating system may have an additional pipe connected to the storage tank and other systems to facilitate water flow to increase efficiency.
Hot water recirculating pumps have a dedicated return line to reabsorb unused hot water from one fixture for later distribution. A hot water recirculating pump may shorten your showering time.
Millions of Americans waste 1 to 3 gallons of water pausing showers until there’s hot water coming out of their showerhead, maybe, even more, when your bathroom has a fixture furthest from the central water heater.
Comfort systems, like a hot water recirculating pump, bring water back to the water heater for fixtures to tap into when it isn’t ready to provide hot water. Instead of overworking your heaters, a hot water recirculating pump steps in when showers and sinks require hot water.
A heater has a corresponding thermal sensor valve that trips the heating systems whenever temperatures drop, initiating the heating cycle. However, heaters do not begin heating when temperature sensors are not triggered and may take a while to deliver.
While cold water pipes are enough to trigger the sensor valve, they cannot hasten the heating process. You may still be left with slow-to-roll hot water without a hot water recirculating pump.
Do Homes Need Hot Water Recirculation Pumps?
Having a direct hot water line linked to your sink, shower, or hose is great. You may have instant hot water whenever you need it. However, there is always a limit to your access.
Continuous consumption may use up all the hot water in your storage, and a tankless water heater may be unable to keep up with your demands. A hot water recirculating pump can fill that gap by:
- Distributing a deposit within the hot water line connected to the fixture.
- Granting the main water heater additional time to initiate heating.
- The sink or shower will first run hot water from the recirculating pump, followed by more from the water heater.
In other words, a hot water recirculating pump ensures a continuous flow of hot water; for longer and more affordable.
The Hot Water Recirculation System
A hot water recirculating pump typically comes with these components:
- Electric Pump
- Check Valves
- Temperature Sensor Valve
- Various Pipes
The electric pump is linked to a power source and provides electricity for different functions, including distribution and storage.
A hot water recirculating pump needs valves for its automated systems to work. The check valve is linked to the temperature sensor and redirects water back to the water heater instead of going down a separate return plumbing line. Further automating the entire hot water recirculating pump system.
Nearly all hot water recirculation systems come with sensor valves. However, a timer is another fail-safe that keeps your hot water recirculating pump efficient. A timer can automatically shut off your recirculating pump once hot water has made a complete loop.
A sensory valve responds to temperatures and, in terms of efficiency, serves the same functions as the timer. However, it can also work for cycling your hot water recirculating pump on instead of only off like a timer.
While there isn’t typically a cold water line directly linked to your hot water recirculating pump, it uses various pipes to facilitate water around your home.
A hot water recirculating pump has a central pipe and different thread connections to your home’s internal pipes. They are not directly linked to your water supply line; threads tap into your home’s main distribution pipe to manage circulation.
A hot water recirculating pump will also have a pipe that water is directed through instead of going down a dedicated return line.
A hot water recirculating pump reduces utility and energy costs by reducing electrical consumption and recycling unused resources.
Your heater is connected to a power source and consumes energy as it heats the water supply.
The time your water heaters spend “on” is reduced only by a negligible amount. Still, every penny saved is a penny earned. It may also lengthen the lifespan of your water heater by allowing it more rest periods.
The real cost you cut back on is your water supply. The financial prices are similar to those you save on electricity. However, the amount of water you save helps the environment plenty.
Pausing showers for hot water before you start showering can be draining. That’s not just figuratively. It can literally drain your water supply, surging consumption which affects utility costs and the environment.
You may not like cold water, but it’s freshwater you shouldn’t be wasting down the drain. With only 2% of the water on Earth considered “fresh,” it is best for none of it to go to waste.
Showering with cold water has its benefits, but you should have access to hot water any time you need it. A hot water recirculating pump will save you from wasting too much cold water waiting for a comfortable bath at a temperature you like.
What Are the Pros & Cons of Using a Hot Water Recirculating Pump?
There is a dialogue involving the necessity of hot water recirculating pumps. Some may think it’s nothing but a new plumbing fixture plumbers want to sell to homeowners. However, some Americans see the value a hot water recirculating pump adds to their home.
Here are some benefits you can expect from your personal hot water recirculating pump.
A hot water recirculating pump can provide warm water while heaters heat your water supply.
It does not only save you from wasting too much water, but it helps reduce the use of any resources. A sensor valve may take too long to initiate heating, and you may be stuck with tepid water until it starts up.
Besides saving you money and water, having a hot water recirculation pump can also save you another resource you can’t get back.
Time is something we can never earn back. No matter how much money we earn or R&R we get anywhere in the world, we will never get back the time we spend hoping for cold water to turn into a more tolerable temperature.
Having a hot water recirculating pump can also shave precious minutes off our morning routine to ensure we make it to work on time. Who wants to spend more time in the shower waiting for hot water anyway?
There may be better ways to kick-start your morning than staring at the bathroom wall while temperatures shift.
While there are plenty of reasons why you may decide against integrating a “comfort system” into your home, a hot water recirculating pump only has one real downside.
Your hot water recirculating pump absorbing all the unused water around your fixtures is great. However, the recirculation system may circulate water through various pipes before it is used.
While a hot water recirculating pump solves the “waiting for hot water” problem, the “hot water” may feel more lukewarm than hot. The new plumbing fixture is cost-effective and reliable. Still, hot water recirculating pumps with a high initial cost cannot guarantee quality hot water.
It may be a small price to pay for consistency. However, that’s up to you. How much will you pay to shorten your hot water waiting time?
Don’t worry if you still need to get one built-in with every sink installation. A hot water recirculating pump does not have to be installed during the layout of your home’s foundation, nor do you need extensive new construction for its integration.
You can always incorporate one later. However, it would be best if you left it to the pros.
Need Reliable Plumbers in Washington?
You can DIY the installation of a new hot water recirculating pump. Still, you should enlist the help of a plumber if you aren’t savvy on pipes, faucets, heaters, and drains.
Remember, laying down or repairing cold water pipes is one thing. Circumnavigating your plumbing’s pipe connections and water outlets is another, especially with an electrical component in the mix. You may short-circuit your hot water recirculating pump before benefiting from its perks.
A hot water recirculating pump is a sophisticated mechanism with fragile components that require sturdy and reliable installation and maintenance. We can help you with that!
Let us take it from here.
Fox Plumbing & Heating
Water heater installation is tricky business. You need expert yet reliable services to ensure your hot water recirculating pump isn’t compromised without sacrificing the integrity of the rest of your pipes and fixtures. Our specialists will ensure seamless integration with more efficient execution.
If you already have a hot water recirculating pump or other fixtures that need tending, our water heater repair services can do it all.
We replace corroded faucet pipe connections, rewire pumps, and tune up your all-new hot water recirculating pump.
We’re one call away.