Everybody likes a warm shower, especially when winter is just around the corner. To have hot water instantly at your convenience, you need to have a good hot water recirculating pump system.
When you have a large house, hot water circulation is vital. It doesn’t reach all parts of the house quickly, and you wait for it to be pumped for a couple of minutes. This may be a small inconvenience. However, it’s much more than that. That waiting time directly affects your bill and your overall water waste.
A good model will not only save your utility bill by cutting out the waiting time for it to run. It’s not just about reducing your consumption. The best part is that they’ll send it back to the tank before it cools down in the pipes. That’s another way to cut out consumption.
Then the question is, what are they exactly? Which products are the best ones out in the market? You can learn about picking the best one which suits your unique needs. You’ll find the best hot water recirculating pump systems you can find online.
The Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps On The Market
As a leading manufacturer, Grundfos offers the best product available in the market. There are many reasons to pick this as the best product available. This is the continuation and upgrade of another product, Grundfos 596916.
To begin with, it has very good technical specifications. It will be a good fit for the average household. The head range is 0-6 feet. The flow range is 0-6.5 GPM. The motor works on 115V and consumes 25W. The temperature range is 36-150oF. The maximum working pressure is 145 PSI. The material used is stainless steel. It has backup lithium-ion batteries in case of an electricity cut.
The best technical aspect of this product is a recirculation comfort system. You don’t need additional plumbing to attach it. It uses the cold-water line to regulate the flow of hot water.
Aside from good technical specifications, this product shines in three main areas. The product is very silent and easy to install. Customer feedback is great.
According to the many reviews on Amazon, this is the most silent product you can find on the market. All the users of this product happily mention that it works so silently that the only way to notice the pumping is to check its vibrations.
The other greatest aspect of this product is the ease of installation. All you have to do is to follow the instructions manual. Most users report that they could do the installation without any external help and prior plumbing experience. This is especially true if you have a flex line. Another reason for high satisfaction is that it easily fits most the plumbing systems.
The last area where this product shines is customer feedback. According to other options, this one may seem more expensive than the others. However, very few customers gave negative feedback. This is also a product that plumbers recommend. The only downside is the timer here, but you can use an extension to turn the pump on and off manually.
Best Budget Option
KOLERFLO RS15-6 is the best budget option available in the market for many reasons. The first is that this is truly a great budget product. If you are tight on a budget, this may be your choice.
It has good technical performance data. This product has three-speed controls that can suit your needs in different circumstances. The maximum head is 20 ft. The maximum pressure is 10 bar (145 PSI). The maximum flow is 9.5 GPM. Its housing is aluminum, and the impellers are corrosion-resistant composite PES. The shaft is steel, and the bearings are carbon axial.
The greatest aspect is that it uses your current cold-water plumbing to send hot water to your faucets. This prevents the pipes from freezing on cold winter days and helps your overall house heating. The plumbing will be heated with the hot water flow.
This is the ultimate budget and performance product you can buy for this price. The only problem you may encounter is that the impellers may not withstand the water if the water is too hot.
This is the most popular product you can find among the recirculation pumps when looking at Amazon. There’s a good reason for this. This is the ultimate value product since it’s average priced and has many benefits that it can offer.
According to the user reviews and manufacturer notes, it uses a thermostatically controlled sensor valve. It enables the supply line to bypass the cold-water supply. This means that when it works, you get instant access throughout the whole house.
The best thing about it is the ease of installation and the timer. If you have a heater with ¾” connections, you can directly install it with a wrench. The material used for this product is cast aluminum. Therefore, you won’t need maintenance constantly. The timer has a dual setting programmable timer, which helps you reduce energy consumption and waste.
The only negative issue is that it will not work with tankless heaters. Most of the complaints about this product are actually about this issue. Before you consider this product make sure that you have tanked.
Whether you’re buying a recirculating pump system or a macrame cotton cord, you want both a good value option and the right one for your needs.
This is the second budget option if you are not sure you can afford the best budget product.
Just like the previous one, the BACOENG also offers three-speed control for your convenience. The temperature range is 32-230 oF. The materials used are of quality. The housing is stainless steel. Impellers are corrosion-resistant composite PES. The shaft is ceramic, and the bearings are carbon axial.
This product has the advantage of high-temperature resistance if you like a really hot shower. It’s silent, and the three-speed control helps you with low consumption. You can use it for water heating and floor heating according to how you install it on your plumbing system.
The only negative side of this product is that you need a recirculation loop and additional plumbing.
Taco 006-B4 Bronze, 3/4-Inch Sweat
The list item on this list is from another well-known manufacturer, Taco. This manufacturer is known for the durability of its pumps. They will surely last for a long time before you need a replacement.
Aside from the durability, the Taco Bronze Circulator Pump has good technical features. The head range is 0-9”. The temperature range is 40-220 oF. The maximum working pressure is 125 psi. Rather interestingly, this is a bronze pump.
Another great aspect of it is that you can use it for potable water and other heating purposes. When you’re buying a product, it often doesn’t have the right materials for potable water. That is if the pump is supporting heating purposes. Being bronze gives it an edge on the matter.
The only con about this product is that you may need extra help for installation if you don’t have prior experience. According to user reviews, the manufacturer is quite helpful in this matter.
The Working Principle
It’s not a secret that there are many ways to directly get hot water to roll down from your faucets at your convenience. You should already have a tankless water heating system or one with a tank to have instant hot water. When you turn on the faucet, the water eventually runs down to your palms.
The pressure is regulated directly out of the tank. If the pressure from the tank is low, the hot water reaches your faucet in a remote part of your house rather slowly. This causes the cold to flow for a couple of minutes before the hot water arrives at your faucet’s plumbing.
Another problem is that the hot water stays in the plumbing without a recirculation pump. The next time you turn on the faucet, you will be greeted by cold water. It’s because the hot stuff from the previous use was stuck in the plumbing and never returned to the tank. There goes another gallon just because the temperature wasn’t properly adjusted.
At this point, the system comes in to save you from minutes of running cold water and a hefty bill. They have three major parts:
- An impeller
- Support bearings
- and a motor rotor.
The motor spins the impeller. The impeller pulls it and sends it into the pipes. The hot stuff is sent through the plumbing to the faucets and other parts at an adjusted pressure. The cold goes back to the heater again when the pressure drops. That’s the way to reduce the amount of water stuck in pipes after hot water use and make the hot water reach the furthest point.
The Two Types
As the working principle is covered, let’s look at the two types you can find on the market. These types are full recirculating pump systems that need additional piping and recirculating pump comfort systems.
The first type is using an additional pipe only for running hot water. This additional pipe connects your recirculation pump to your plumbing system. You can only do this with some types available on the market, so make sure that your plumbing fits this type.
The additional piping is to ensure the loop. This means that the water flows from the heater and reaches the faucet. The unused portion returns to the heater through the pump. It comes back to the heater without getting cooled additionally in the process, so reheating becomes redundant.
Although the system can run continuously, this doesn’t affect the overall energy consumption. They have timer systems, so you’re in charge of the times it should work. It is another way to reduce energy consumption. Another way to reduce consumption is to use smart ones and shut the pump off when the water finishes a full loop.
The only con of these types is that the additional piping is not cheap. That’s why many consumers go for the second option.
Recirculating pump comfort systems will use your existing cold-water pipes to send unused water back to the heater. This eliminates the need for additional plumbing and brings a simpler design. It reduces the initial cost. Such pumps are especially useful when the hot water doesn’t reach the desired places in a house. Adjust the pressure flows to the farthest points with this solution.
They are more affordable solutions without additional pipes than the first type. You can use the cold-water plumbing to send back the water is a good solution. Sometimes you can have warm water flowing down from the cold pipe. This may cause a problem only on the hot summer days when you need cold water more than hot.
Why Do They Save You Money and Give Back to The Environment?
Did you ever try to estimate how much you consume when you wait for the hot water to flow down your faucet? Now, imagine every time you take a shower. You waste that much and how many times you shower in a year. Statistics say that by the time you wait for hot water to come, you waste around 11,000 gallons per year.
Water bills may cost you less than an electricity bill, but overall. Why not cut back on the waste to reduce your bills? The amount you cut off from your water bills compensates for the electricity bill of installing this unit. Some cost 0.5 cents each time you use them. This is an affordable amount when you consider the extra benefits.
Let’s make a brief calculation. The cheapest one costs you around $200. A timer allows you to reduce the electricity you use by adjusting the working hours in a peak timeframe. This means that its operation will cost you around $20 to $30 per year.
Please take out the heat loss and add the savings. Consider that it lasts about ten to fifteen years. The low cost will make up for the initial spending and even help your budget in the long run.
By installing them, you cut back on your energy bill. Each time you use it, it directly affects your electricity bills and energy consumption. Knowing that it goes back to the tank and is not stuck in the plumbing will reimburse the amount of energy you use without a pump.
The world is facing a crisis even though we may not be fully aware of it all the time. Freshwater is a commodity, but it’s slowly depleting. By cutting the amount we use, you directly help reduce the severity of the crisis and reduce the amount of energy you use.
Probably the most noticeable convenience is knowing that you’ll have instant access to wash your dishes and shower. You can wash your dog without it catching a cold. This is a convenience you can’t put an actual price on. While you’re at it, why not redesign your bath?
Pros and Cons of Installing One
As with every decision in the world, you can make a pros and cons list of installing it in your house. When making a decision, the list can be adjusted to your current situation and overall budget. You should always be more optimistic about the benefits rather than the costs.
We list the overall pros and cons here, which apply to every household. These only apply to the best hot water recirculating pump system manufacturers:
- They will not take a lot of space in your house. You can conveniently fit them under a sink or place them next to the heating tanks.
- Timers are the key factors for lifting the excess burden on your bills. A pump with a timer will only work for specific hours and conserve energy.
- They are readily available on huge websites like Amazon. There is a guide to show you these products. Just like this guide, you can check a similar one about engine-driven welders or plasma cutters.
- We have already discussed how they will reduce waste.
- The installation is quite easy and cost-free depending on the system you choose.
- You can do the maintenance by yourself.
- These systems can be installed in any type of system/plumbing or house.
- As we discussed with the different types, it should be noted that recirculating pump comfort systems use cold-water plumbing. This may result in lukewarm water flowing from the faucets, and it may take a couple of seconds to be fully cold again.
- You shouldn’t have a power source close to the pumping system. It can be a hazard if the power system isn’t insulated or placed properly. You should be careful not to leave the electricity source susceptible to leaks. You can place the plugin in a high-level place in case of a leak.
- If you live in a cold climate, the output may not be what you expect. Choose one that will have the highest efficiency in this climate.
- For instant water, you should adjust the timer correctly according to your peak times of use in a day. Otherwise, you may not be able to enjoy instant access fully.
What to Consider When Buying
In today’s world, you will have lots of choices to picking a product from many different vendors. This is a good thing since you can find the product which suits your needs exactly. This also leads to some confusion and insecurity about the product if you’re not familiar with it.
When you’re buying a waste oil heater or wide belt sanders, you go online to check for the things to consider before buying them. You get informed beforehand when you use hazardous tools like oxy-acetylene cutting torches.
For this reason, you know the key aspects of the product you want to buy before you search the market for the best. In the case of recirculation pumps, be aware of some terms and key aspects. This part will be especially helpful if you’re having a hard time with the technical aspects.
When you search for these products, here are some of the factors you should consider.
- Head and efficiency: Head is a technical term that means the highest point water can reach when it’s pumped. When you have a problem with hot water not reaching the upper levels of your house, the head is a value you should be careful of. Most manufacturers will include this information in the product description or manuals.
Efficiency is another technical term here. In general terms, efficiency is the ratio used to determine the quality of power conversion. In “work-producing” machines like pumps and compressors, this becomes the ratio of power input to power output. Calculating the power output also includes the power loss during the transfer.
Head and efficiency are two technical terms that may sound complicated. However, they are good values for you to determine if the product in your mind suits your needs.
- Materials: The materials used determine the overall quality. When you decide to buy a particular product for your house, it’s a good idea to make sure you know which materials to buy.
As we mentioned before, they have three parts: An impeller, a motor, and the bearings. Each of these parts can be made of different materials. Sometimes the manufacturers specify what type of materials were used in which part. Try to find this information for a viable product you have in mind.
The impellers are always in contact with the water. The best material for impellers is stainless steel, so that rust isn’t a problem. This is quite important for the maintenance issues you may face.
A pump with cast iron impellers may be the cheapest solution. However, one made with stainless steel impellers may be a little more expensive. In the long run, stainless steel will be a cheaper solution. You won’t need to buy spare parts to maintain it or replace it altogether.
The careful consideration you should put into the impeller’s material should apply to bearings and shafts. Make sure to consider the motor as well. For example, a shaft made of ceramics is a good one.
The last component material is an important aspect of the housing. Here again, cast iron is something you can see when you’re reading the product specifications. However, cast iron will rust in time.
If you plan to use its output for drinking or food consumption, you should look for a food-grade pump. Aluminum or bronze may be a better solution for the housing. Aluminum can be a more expensive material, just like in fuel transfer tanks. It’s always worth the price.
- Timer: Timers are a crucial component of the hot water recirculation pumps because they are the primary reason you conserve.
Without a timer, your pump should be manually turned on and off or constantly working. In the latter case, the energy consumption will be higher, and your pump won’t be saving energy.
The type of timer depends on the pump you have in mind. Some models have built-in timers with many control settings. Some don’t have that option, and you should buy a timer additionally. It’s preferable to buy a pump with a built-in timer and many settings, but if that’s not a viable option for you. You can always fit a timer.
- Priming: Priming means that your pump may need to be vacuumed once to perform. You should check if the pumping you’d like to buy has self-priming. Otherwise, you need to prime it manually. Self-priming is a better choice you should consider.
- Ease of maintenance: When you buy a new electrical device in your house, ease of maintenance is something to consider. This certainly applies to hot water recirculation pumps.
Ease of maintenance has a few key aspects. The first is the durability of the unit you buy. The more durable the one that you buy, the less you have to buy spare parts to maintain or replace it. Most of the durable options will last about ten to fifteen years. You should know if you can easily maintain it, you will have by checking if there are spare parts available.
When you buy them, you don’t have to do the maintenance most of the time. The manufacturer should have a service to help you with changing parts. Make sure the manufacturer will provide such a service.
- Ease of installation: This both applies to the difficulty of the pump you want to install and if it suits the current plumbing equipment you have at home.
The first thing is that a good option should be able to be installed just by you without the need for external help. That’s why they are superior to full recirculation systems. You won’t need extra plumbing equipment or pipes to install it.
The second thing here is that the model you buy should match the current equipment you have. If you have tankless water heaters, the pump’s efficiency may be lower than what you expect. This also applies to shallow-well pumps if you have one.
In a large family, you’re looking at at least a wastage of 31 gallons of water without a recirculation pump. All that water that flows into the drain before the hot water appears sure adds up! That’s why a pump of merely $200 could save you up to $70 per year. This purchase will appear worth the money in just 3-4 years.
If you’ve got a good company product on your hands, you can expect your pumps to last as long as 10-15 years. The company, servicing, and water usage are the key factors that determine its longevity.
A recirculating pump can cost you as low as $200. Maybe you’re looking for a better brand with a longer warranty period. You could still get a good pump in the range of $350- $400.
Surely! If you’re thinking about missing out on a hot water recirculation jump because of the cost, think again! With a pump like this one, you would be saving $50 at the very least each year. This is because the water bill will go down significantly.