How Does a Hot Water Recirculating Pump Work | An Info Guide


Have you ever wondered how a hot water recirculating pump work and why your hot-water faucet is leaking cold water the first time you start it? Based on how big your house it may take just a few seconds or minutes to get hot water. This isn’t just inconvenient and consumes lots of water. The distance that hot water must travel is why cold water is first released. The hot water flows into the sink via the plumbing when the faucet runs. The switch-off of the tap does not stop the flow, but it doesn’t send it back to the heater. The pipes remain and then get cold.

The next time you require hot water. The cold water inside the lines will need to be pulled out by burning fresh water from the heater. The more pipes are in place between the tap and water heater there is more water that’s cold is available and the more time it takes. However, there are options. It is possible to have your plumber install the refining pump. The recirculating hot water pump can be placed on the water heater, bringing hot water that is not used in the tank back into your water heater. The pump is made to supply hot water upon demand. In this article we will discuss about how does a hot water recirculating pump work.

What is a hot water recirculating pump

A hot water Recirculating Pump is a specific water pump installed in homes. It provides instant hot water or nearly instantly for your appliances. One of the most frequent complaints I get from prospective buyers when inspecting their homes is the time required to obtain hot water.

A chief home complaint

Sometimes buyers will follow me around during the home inspection. Among the things, I make sure to check the valve that mixes water that is used for the showers. When the mixer valve breaks and the mixing valve is damaged. It could be costly to open the shower’s tile wall to repair it. I stay at every shower for several minutes and occasionally longer.

Every now and then, I’m in the shower. I was waiting for it to become hot, and my client wants to know more about the issue. I usually tell them that it’s normal for most households to have to wait for hot water and that they could purchase an electric hot water recirculation system to provide them with near-instant hot water.

The main cause of slow hot water

One of the primary reasons for the lengthy waiting to get hot water is that houses constructed in the last couple of years are generally more prominent, which means more space from each water source to the heater. Modern homes are also equipped with larger diameter pipes for water as opposed to older homes. It requires a longer time for water to circulate.

How does a hot water recirculating pump work

A water tank, typically about the size of softballs, is placed either on top of that water heater (for the entire house) or under the sink. My experience is that the most popular installation is to be above the water heater. However, the building under the sink offers certain advantages. There’s a water valve with a single-way connection in the sink that is farthest of the hot water tank, referred to as the sensor valve with the pump. Hot water recirculation incorporates the sensor valve in the pump, which means it is possible to install them in the bathroom.

Types of recirculating pumps

Full recirculating pump system

If you choose this option, an additional pipe to supply hot water is put within your plumbing system at home. This creates loops between the water heater and the faucet, then back. The hot water not being used is then redirected through the loop by the pump. You will get hot water fast when you switch on the hot water faucets. The water doesn’t sit in the pipes waiting to get cold. You use less water since there is no waiting time. You might be thinking about how this affects the cost of your energy and gas. If your water heater is constantly running with the water looping indefinitely, does it not cost more? Not necessarily.

Recirculating pump comfort system

The system utilizes the cold water pipe already in place to deliver the water not being used back to the heater. It is a cost-effective solution for homeowners dissatisfied with the waiting time for hot water but unable to install the original alternative. It is possible to install the Comfort System that can bring hot water to areas of your home that require an extended time to receive hot water. For instance, if your water is away from the shower or kitchen, the recirculating pump can help solve this issue.

Also, you won’t have to build a new pipe. This reduces the initial price. The typical cost of these pumps is between $500-$800, but exceptions do apply. But, this model is not without its flaws.

What is the sensor valve

The hot water circulation pump can know when to switch on because it utilizes sensors. The sensor valve comes with an electronic thermostat that reads the temperatures of water and closes or opens the valve. Sensor valves are located in the sink, farthest to the hot water tank. The valve opens or closes depending on how hot the water is, which typically is approximately 85 degrees F. If the temperature of the pipe drops below the temperature of that. The sensor valve opens then the hot-water pump can begin operating.

The hot water line (which is changed to cold or slightly warm) is pulled into the water heater by the heat pump. This water is then fed into the water supply cold water and returned to the heater. This hard-line that usually provides the most frigid water available can be utilized temporarily to deliver that liquid (in the hotline) through the hot water line back into the heating system. It converts a supply line into a return line. When the temperature is around 90 degrees, the valve will shut, and the hot water heater will shut off.

It is also famous for homeowners to set up timers to ensure it is possible that the water pump doesn’t continuously turn off and on even when no one is at home. It is possible to use a timer to program the hot water pump to ensure that it’s only in use between 6 pm and 10 pm, and 7 am until 9 am, for example. Some hot water recirculating pumps come with timers integrated into the pump. However, others will require you to set up separate timers.

How does a dedicated return line work

There are complete hot water recirculating pump systems that are among the least popular types, according to my experience. These systems are set up in the same manner as the above hot water pump. Except because there is an extra return line to the water heater, that is, by a unique loop. Instead of using that cold supply line for an exit, it is equipped with its own water return line. The designated return water line is connected from the hotline to the furthest point away from the heater (behind the wall, not underneath the sink). The return water line is connected directly to the base of the tank. It is the place where the circulating pump is mounted (rather than its top).

The primary advantage is getting hot water quicker than without the return line being separate since water doesn’t need to be stored within the hotline to keep a cold water supply. Without a separate return line, the water pump relies on its cold water supply line to supply its backwater to the pump for a limited time. When the pump ceases operating, it will stop running this line to provide cold water since it won’t get cold water.


Recirculating hot water pumps are an excellent method to provide instant hot water for your sinks and showers. An ordinary water pump starts to turn on when the water reaches the desired temperature, typically at around 85 degrees. Then, the pump is shut off when the water comes to 95 degrees. Recirculation pumps that use hot water have special valves with temperature sensors placed at the drain’s farthest point, known as the sensor valve. The valve closes and opens that turns on the pump. You can also control your recirculating pump, using a timer or a switch to make it. Only be turned on when you’re present at home. Alongside hot water recirculation, there are on-demand (single fixture) heaters that you could put in place to heat just one shower. Now we hope you learn how does a hot water recirculating pump work.

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