Recirculating Pumps for Water Heaters and Faster Water Heating

How to get hot water faster with the recirculating pumps – Importance of installing hot water circulating pumps.

Does it take too long to get hot water in the kitchen and bathroom sink, or a shower? Are you tired of getting the surge of cold water while expecting a nice hot shower?

Solution?

Use a hot water recirculating pump and you won’t have to wait for a single second anymore…

Grundfos recirculating pumpGrundfos recirculating pump

Check out the buying guide and tips, and see what the popular models of the circulating pumps for water heaters are.

Most homes, especially larger, have long plumbing pipes which make hot water travel a long time from a water heater or a boiler to the delivery point (a faucet, shower, sink, etc.).  This slows down the heating process and obliges users to let some water go down the drain before the warm water is delivered, wasting time, energy and water while losing money.

And this can be extremely frustrating as those first minutes delivers uncomfortable shower and overall experience – so the users naturally blame a water heater. To stop the long wait and reduce the waste, there’s nothing better than buying a circulation pump and installing it in the recirculation loop.

Yes, there are other options like; installing a water heater booster or tankless unit with the integrated pump, or unit upgrade, but the circulating pump seems to be the most efficient and cost-effective solution.

Recirculating pumps are the great solution in domestic water heating systems because they guarantee fast water delivery, warm or hot, from the water heater, through the plumbing pipes and to the fixture. It can be said that hot water is delivered instantaneously, but depends on the type.

This is done by circulating hot water through the pipes even when the tap is not open and there is no demand for hot water.

These systems are known as recirculation systems. With the installed pump comes a dedicated return line, connecting the fixture and water heater. A dedicated return line is recommended due to its independence of the supply line, and mainly in new homes, as its installation in an existing one can be expensive.

If the dedicated line is not a viable option, then the existing cold water line combined with the bypass valve can be utilized, where cold water is recycled back to the heater, instead of down the drain.

But not all the hot water circulating pumps are worth the money. So you’ll need to learn what you should go for before buying one.

Types of the recirculating pumps

Circulating pumps that are mentioned here belong to a group of centrifugal pumps, the most common type seen in home plumbing and heating. The pumps work by utilizing the mechanical force from a motor and transferring to an impeller, increasing the water velocity.

In the open systems such as the water heating systems where fresh water is delivered regularly, the cast iron pumps should not be used because when the iron is exposed to an oxygen, it will rust fast. Choose the pump made of stainless steel or bronze instead.

There are several types of circulating pumps used in water heating systems; continues (ON/OFF) pumps, on-demand, temperature and time controlled.

Continuous or ON/OFF pumps

This is the simples type of pumps. It runs non-stop (continuously) resulting in additional stress, shorter lifespan, and unnecessary energy consumption when hot water is not needed.

On-demand circulating pump

On-demand pumps utilize a motion sensor or a manual switch to activate the pump. Upon activation hot water is delivered to the fixture.

Time-controlled pumps

This type of a pump utilizes the timer to run but only at the set time or when, for example, the demand for hot water is the highest.

Thermostatic pump

The thermostatic pump is the temperature controlled pump which ensures that the water with the desired temperature is always available at the fixture. Once the set temperature is achieved, the pump turns OFF, or ON when the temperature drops.

This type can also be combined with the timer.

How to choose a recirculating pump

There is a list of features you should consider when it comes to selecting the recirculating pumps for plumbing or water heating. Despite looking simple and straightforward, some features may change your entire experience when installing and using, such as:

Connection size

When we talk about the size, we don’t mean the size of the device but the size of the connections. These can vary from 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches and more. This will tell you whether it fits your home’s pipe system or not and what must be done.

Timer

There’s nothing more useful in a hot water circulation pump than a timer. This allows users to fit their needs promptly, following their usual water usage routines. Most pumps come with a 24-hour timer which makes them much more efficient and easy-to-use.

Flow rate

Recirculating pumps aid by delivering hot water faster than average, yet it is the flow rate or GPM (gallons per minute) measure that will tell you how fast the device is. Most pumps provide GPM measures from 0 to 9, but it all comes down to how long your pipe system is; the longer it is, the more GPM you will need.

Capacity

A perfect water pump will aid users to save a lot of water in a year. An efficient model may save from 12,000 up to 30,000 or even more gallons. This means from 30 to 100 gallons per day. The more efficient the product is, the more water and money you save in the long run.

These features will completely vary according to the model and type of a device. To help you find the right model, here you have some interesting options to consider.

Top selling water circulating pumps

Grundfos Comfort Series Circulating Pump

With a single phase 115v motor and a maintenance-free design, the Grundfos provides a fantastic performance when it comes to recirculating water. It comes with the stainless steel construction, which makes it much more durable than others. Works with a low-watt connection and can help you save up to 38,000 gallons of water per year.

It also boasts a 24-hour timer which allows users to use it according to their needs. What’s more, it is effortless to install near the water heater in under 2 hours and will help to increase the effectiveness of home appliances without problems.

Watts Recirculating Hot Water System with Built-In Time

The 50800 circulating pump model from Watts helps to save up to 15,000 gallons of water per year thanks to its 10% efficiency-wise design. Its installation is entirely straightforward, where a professional can do it in an hour or so. The device comes with a 10 ft. power cord and a 24-hour timer for more convenience.

It only works with tank water heaters, yet it provides superior performance than most, thanks to its excellent GPM. It is totally maintenance-free and includes two additional 12-inches supply lines for productive use.

Laing AutoCirc ACT E1

Designed with an ECM/PM technology, it is highly efficient and easy-to-use. It’s perfect for recirculation and doesn’t require an additional recirculating pipe to be used. It comes with an adjustable 24-hour timer and a 6-foot power cord for easy installation. It can be installed under the sink, far from the water heater.

It works by automatically turning on when the water is 89ºF or below, heating it up until it meets 95ºF when it automatically turns off again. It goes better with tankless water heaters. Works with only 14 watts and can save up to 17,000 gallons of water a year.

 Advantages of using recirculating pumps

Convenience

Using a recirculation pump immediately provides a boost to hot water efficiency and comfort. No more complaints that it takes too long for hot water to reach the shower. No cold water splashes. Hot water is there almost instantaneously, as soon as you open the tap. They save you time and money.

Water conservation

Without a circulating pump, water heating systems tend to make users wastewater before delivering hot water at the tap. With a hot water circulating pump, spending water inefficiently is a thing of the past.

Easy and fast installation & use

Most recirculating pumps are a lot easier to install than other similar-purpose systems, demanding only an hour or so for the installation. And of course, most of them work automatically without the human interaction. There are no special permits needed for the installation. Once the pump is installed, there is basically no maintenance required.

Summary

Waiting for hot water to come down the sink is a pain in the neck… The solution is to purchase a quality recirculation pump. Buying the right model and professional installation will guarantee an energy and water conservation followed by an enhanced comfort and convenience. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars, especially for the best ones, such as reviewed above.

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