It must be somewhat annoying that you have to wait a few seconds, or even minutes, to get hot water after turning on your faucet. Not to mention how much water goes to waste if you are not able to bear the cold. Fortunately, a hot water recirculating pump can solve this issue.
What is A Recirculating Pump?
When turning off your faucet after a flow of hot water, there will be some of it that remains on the line between the faucet and the water heater unit. A hot water recirculating pump is a device that can send that unused hot water into the heater, preventing it from turning back cold over time. The pump will deliver the hot water back to the faucet when you turn it on.
With hot water coming out sooner, it will cut back your waiting time. There will also be less water to waste. Depending on several contributing factors, installing a recirculating pump may also save you much money in the long run. Although the system is not essential, a recirculating pump is worth considering for your water heater.
A recirculating pump uses electricity and gravity to circulate the hot water. The device is small and mostly compatible with any plumbing system, which means it is easy to install. For maximum efficiency, this device works best when attached near the furthest faucet from the water heater unit.
There are two systems of hot water recirculating pumps, but the difference between them is minor. Unless you are sensitive about your water temperature, both systems will work for you.
● Recirculating Pump With Return Line
This pump has two lines that go around the faucet and the heating unit, creating a loop for the water to keep the cycle. The hot water will flow through one line to the faucet from the heating unit. After the faucet is turned off, the water will return through the other line. This system is most convenient because the hot water circulation does not interfere with the cold water flow. However, installing a return line means extra money, unless your house already has one.
● Recirculating Pump With No Return Line
With no dedicated line for the hot water to go back from the faucet to the heater unit, this pump uses the cold water line for this purpose. The system incorporates a bypass valve to prevent the hot water from getting mixed with the cold water. Also known as the comfort-system recirculation pump, this system costs less than the one with a dedicated line. However, the circulation process may cause the cold water to be lukewarm due to the traces of hot water in the line.
If you have a problem with your hot water flow, installing a recirculating pump can be beneficial. Try talking to a professional plumber to understand your options, along with the advantages and drawbacks of each one. If you can get a cost estimation for both the installation and operation first, even better.