A hot water recirculation pump is a system that pumps hot water to faucets quickly. Without one, it often takes quite some time for running water to become hot.  Considering it may take a full minute for hot water to arrive for a shower, it could mean that you waste 2.5 gallons of water per shower.  However, as with everything, there are always positives and negatives with this system too. Before we look at both the pros and cons of hot water recirculating pump, let’s learn a few more things about them!

How does a hot water recirculating pump work?

When you use a hot water recirculating pump, you get a continuous flow of hot water through the pipes. The water is already warm at the point of arrival, so there is no more wait or waste. While the systems may work differently, the main idea is that they keep the hot water circulating through the pipes.

The water may end up back in the boiler or run through the cold water pipes, but overall, the best hot water recirculating pump will give you instant hot water whenever you need it.

Do Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Save Money?

If you wait for a minute to get hot water and you use low-flow fixtures, you waste about 1.5 gallons of water for a shower and about 2 gallons utilizing the kitchen sink. If you use regular fixtures, you dump down the drain about 2.5 gallons of water for every shower.

A very conformist estimate per year leads to a person wasting about 5,000 gallons. It does not mean a lot of money, but it can mean a significant budget if you have a large home, a large family, and fixtures sitting more than 100 feet distance from the water source.

On the other hand, wasting 5,000 gallons of water each year does not meet people’s water conservation efforts. Just like water filters, aiming to deliver fresh and safe drinking water from the tap (with no wastes and no buying of plastic bottled water), recirculating pumps do a great job for your budget and the environment.

Do Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Save Water?

In short, yes, they can save a lot of water. If you think about a rough estimate of 4,000 – 5,000 gallons per person per year and you multiply it with the number of family members, you can easily understand why a hot water recirculating pump helps you reduce your water footprint tremendously.

Do Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Save Money on Electricity?

It all depends on the type of pump you get. The traditional ones usually consume more electricity than an under sink hot water recirculating pump. The answer here is that they won’t save you money if the utility bill is of concern, but they are still worth it as they are low-end electricity consumers overall.

How Much Does Hot Water Recirculation Pump Installation Cost?

It mostly depends on what type of system you choose for your home.

  • Under-sink hot water recirculating pump: it can cost zero dollars if you pick such a device and install it yourself. Your only concern here is to make sure you have a power source in the vicinity of the pump.
  • Traditional full recirculating hot water pumps need a professional plumber to take over the project.
  • Tankless water heaters with recirculating pumps also need a professional hand for installation and maintenance.

Before you get any such system for your home or business, make sure you check our hot water recirculating pump reviews and pick the best brand and model for your needs.

Pros and Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Let’s start with the cons, so you know what to expect before you decide on buying a hot water recirculating pump.

1. Noise

Some pumps can be noisy, particularly as they get older. Some of the quietest hot water recirculating pumps on the market today are the Watts hot water recirculating pump and the Grundfos hot water recirculating pump (the 59896775 model).

2. Using too much power

Even the most energy-efficient pumps will consume electricity and gas and maybe give your utility bills and unwanted boost. It is smart to install a timer, so the pump is not working at night or when you are not at home. Many such pumps come with their built-in programmable timers (like the Watts hot water recirculating pump or the Grundfos GRU-595916 Pump), so you can check an issue off your list. However, for many pump models on the market, you have to budget their accessories as well.

3. Potential heat losses

If the return pipes do not feature proper insulation, they allow heat to escape. In turn, it leads to energy and money waste. In other words, always make sure you correctly isolate the pipes and plumbing.

4. Corrosion

The elbows and bends of standard pipes are more prone to deterioration, and with a hot water recirculating pump, they may even rupture. Such damages can be costly to fix.

5. Coldwater delays

Most of us waste our water by waiting for it to warm up. However, with a hot water recirculating pump installed, it is cold water you have to wait for, so that is a tradeoff.

6. Sensor valve costs

Hot water recirculating pumps do not last forever, even if they have long lives and warranties. Eventually, you will have to replace them. Some consumers report that you need to change the sensor valve every two years, so that also adds some costs worthy of factoring in your decision.

Pros of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Now that we saw the cons – and some of them can put you off, granted, – let’s understand better why people are still using these systems and even look for the best hot water recirculating pump in the market to upgrade and replace the existing one every few years.

1. Instant access to hot water

Nothing is more frustrating than standing at the sink, waiting for warm water to wash hands or dishes. Frustration intensifies when you are an eco-conscious person that watches water wasting away while you wait for the shower to get warm. A hot water recirculating pump means instant hot water for any of your needs.

2. Water conservation

In a typical household, we waste too much water every day just because the water is not warm enough. A hot water recirculating pump can conserve thousands of gallons of water per year, per fixture. When we live in a world where water is becoming scarce and we need to conserve it, hot water recirculating pumps become one of the sensible and reasonable answers to water conservation in the home and achieving zero-waste lives in the bathroom.

3. Affordability

A hot water recirculating pump is probably one of the smartest ways to reduce water use in a household. While you do need to calculate installation and maintenance costs, you also should know that some brands are incredibly affordable. If you install the pump yourself, you can have instant hot water in a matter of minutes for a couple of hundred dollars and no worries for years to come.

4. Advanced technologies

Most modern hot water recirculating pumps feature sensors and timers that add to their value for money in the long run. Moreover, some of the best such devices last for years with little to no maintenance, so even if the initial costs seemed high, you would have a reasonable rate of investment.

5. Timesavers

It might seem silly to think it’s a waste of time waiting for a minute or two for hot water, but if you consider how often you stand around waiting in a day, week or year, it is not that silly anymore. Especially if you have a large family to manage.

6. Easily available

You can find hot water recirculating pumps in almost any hardware store. Depending on the brand and model, they are accessible to all types of budgets. Most people buy them online, but if you want to see one for yourself, you will find it with no problems.

7. Straightforward installation

As we said before, an under sink hot water recirculating pump or similar is a breeze when it comes to installation. Most of them come with detailed instructions, and you do not need a particular skillset to mount them to your existing water supply system.

8. Easy operation

It adds to the advanced technology we mentioned above on this list of pros. Just like installation, service is straightforward. Most hot water recirculating pumps come with automation. You can program the timers, or you can use the systems by merely pushing a button or two.

9. Come with renewable power sources integration

If your home runs with solar or wind energy, a solar-heating hot water recirculating pump will fit in perfectly. Most of them work well with alternative energy and will save you even more resources and money if you install and operate them properly.

10. Residential and commercial applications

Whether you want a hot water recirculating pump for your home or your business, you can include them in your residential, commercial, and industrial plans. You need to pick the right make and model for your needs, but other than that, you are good to go!

Are Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Worth the Investment?

Now that we saw the pros and cons of the hot water recirculating pump, our answer is 100% worth it.

What Is the Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump?

You can choose from many brands and models, depending on your needs. In our opinion, some of the best hot water recirculating pumps are Grundfos GRU-595916 Hot Water Recirculating Pump, Laing LHB08100081 Low Flow Hot Water Recirculating Pump, Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculation Pump, Taco 006-B4 Bronze Circulator Pump, and BACOENG Hot Water Circulation Pump.

How Long Does a Hot Water Recirculating Pump Last?

Most pumps can last 10 to 15 years if you run them according to the manufacturers’ specifications and you provide them with the maintenance they need. The factors impacting their lifespan include the amount of water you use daily, the quality of water running through the loops, the manufacturing quality, etc.

Do You Need a Hot Water Recirculating Pump Together with a Water Heater?

If your home’s plumbing features a dedicated return line, then you can use a recirculating pump with a tankless water heater. The pump recirculates the water through the line from the heater and back. If your home doesn’t feature a dedicated return line – and many do not – installing one is hard and costly.

In Short: Hot Water Recirculating Pump FAQs

Let’s see some of the most frequently asked questions regarding hot water recirculating pumps and the answers we have for you today!

How does a hot water recirculating pump work?

A hot water recirculating pump creates a loop between your water heater to the faucet and back to the heater. The pump draws back the unused hot water back through the loop. In other words, when you turn your hot water faucets on, you get hot water instantly. When the water has made a complete loop, the sensor shuts the pump off.

What Are the Pros of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

1. Hot water instant access 2. Large amounts of saved water 3. Great prices 4. Hi-tech features 5. Time-saving 6. Widely available on the market 7. Easy installation 8. Easy operation 9. Adaptable to alternative power sources 10. Full range of applications

What Are the Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

1. Some of them are noisy 2. Some of them are significant energy consumers 3. May lead to heat losses 4. Corrosion 5. Delays in the circulation of cold water 6. Maintenance costs

Do Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Save Money?

They save money in the long run.

Do Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Save Water?

Yes. On average, hot water recirculating pumps can save up to 4,000 - 5,000 gallons of water per person per year.

Are Hot Water Recirculating Pumps Worth It

Yes, 100%. They are excellent choices for your water conservation efforts. Some of them work great with alternative sources of energy, like solar power or wind power.

What Other Pros and Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pump Do You Know?

When we consider that only 2% of the water on Earth is freshwater, we must start thinking about how we can conserve it by making changes to our home. Hot water recirculating pumps represent an investment that is worth the cost when you think about all those times you wait for hot water to start running before you step into the shower, or how much precious water you have already wasted waiting to wash hands, dishes, or foods.

In case you are looking for the best system on the market, check out our top hot water recirculating pump reviews!

If you have your list of pros and cons of hot water recirculating pump, feel free to share them with our community! We are always happy to learn new things from you!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This