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You’ve probably grown tired of looking at your ridiculously expensive water bills, and you realized that it’s time to buy a hot water recirculating pump. But how do you know which one is the best one out there? That’s exactly what we’ve researched for you! A hot water recirculating pump is one of the best purchases you will ever make. You can save water and you won’t have to wait for several minutes for the water to get hot anymore, because you’ll have it at your disposal at any time. But for the best fit for your household, we’ve reviewed the 6 best hot water recirculating pumps on the market, so you don’t have to!
Types Of Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps
Hot Water Recirculating Pumps are closed systems but you can slightly open the shutters.
Some are simply on all the time while others will automatically activate when the water in the system reaches a certain temperature and still, others can be programmed to turn the device off when you anticipate that no one will be home.
- The temperature-activated pump
Our hot water recirculation pumps monitor the temperature of the water in the system and when it falls below a certain point – say for instance 80° Fahrenheit – the pump is activated.
Conversely, if the water temperature rises above a certain point – let’s say 95° Fahrenheit – the system will shut down so as not to waste energy.
These types of hot water recirculation pumps are very popular among homeowners looking to save energy and money on their utility bills.
- The time activated pump
This is a programmable pump that turns the water system on and off automatically, a great idea if the house pretty much is empty during the day when everyone is at work or at school.
Just program the pump to shut down at 10 am for instance and to restart automatically an hour or so before you or others typically get home.
- The ‘always on’ pump
The one important feature that most people want is that it should run continuously. That will soon be standard on all models.
How to Install a Circulating Pump
A typical installation of a Grundfos-type hot water recirculation like ours is pretty much the same as most other installations.
Here are the steps involved in a typical installation of a Grundfos-type hot water recirculating pump:
- Shut off the cold water pipe running into the water heater. It is usually located at the top of the water heater and opens a hot water faucet somewhere to make sure that the flow has stopped.
- Disconnect the flexible hot water supply line where it attaches to the water heater. Be careful though. Residual water is bound to spill out, so have a rag handy to catch it and when you disconnect it, there will probably be a hissing sound as water aerates and escapes.
- If you have hot water recirculating pumps, set up the time and day you want them to turn on and off now. Otherwise, it will be more difficult to do so after the pump is installed.
- The recirculation pump is attached to the hot side of the water heater where the flexible hose was attached. The timer face must be visible when the recirculation pump is tightened down.
- You will need to use some hot water at first until the air bubbles are out. Connect the loose end of the flexible line to the ‘out’ valve on the recirculation pump and tighten it down securely. Then reopen the cold water valve you closed earlier and let some hot water flow through for a few minutes until all the air bubbles are out.
- Go now to the sink in the house that is furthest away from the hot water heater and turn off the water to both faucets using the valves under the sink.
- Place the check valves, ¼ inch tubing, and adhesive clips under the sink. Screw the water supply tubes hanging from the sink onto the 2 outlets on top of the check valve. The hotline should be to the left and the cold to the right.
- Install the hose bib to the hot and cold valves on your sink. Connect the 2 tubes on the bottom of the check valve to the hot and cold water supply lines above the shut-off valves. Make sure to attach hot to hot and cold to cold.
- You will need to mount the check valve on the wall under your sink so that it does not create crimps in any of the lines. Should you add more hot water recirculating pumps later, the check valves must remain in their original locations as dictated by the manufacturer.
- Turn the water back on to both the hot and cold lines and check for leaks. Tighten any connections as necessary.
- Then run the water until all the air is out of the lines.
- Once you are sure the check valve is properly installed plug in the hot water recirculating pump.
Pro and Cons of Recirculating Pump
In the interest of providing both sides of the issue here is a review of hot water recirculating pumps.
- Hot water on demand
Even those not particularly concerned about water conservation can appreciate the difference having hot water on demand will make. No more waiting around for hot water to heat up or worrying about running out of hot water.
- Smaller water bills
A hot water recirculation pump saves up to 10-15% of the water we pay for. It is estimated that 10-15% of the water we pay for is the water that comes out of the faucet or showerhead and goes straight into the drain while we’re waiting for the water to heat up.
End the madness and install a hot water recirculation pump.
- They’re affordable and easy to install
Three minutes is all it takes to install a recirculation pump.
These pumps will cost about the same as a pair of high-end athletic shoes and last a lot longer while improving your life a lot more.
- They’re adaptable
Your hot water recirculating pump systems are compatible with most plumbing systems found in today’s houses. Even older homes.
- No work permit required
You can easily install a hot water recirculating pump yourself on your own time with our clear instructions.
Preparing for hot water recirculating pumps is not that difficult. You just need to be careful and methodical and not try and rush through the process.
- It will cost money to run
Some hot water recirculating pumps will ignore this fact. But it’s true and it’s why you should look into a programmable pump that will run during certain times of the day.
- Coldwater delay
These hot water recirculating pumps may cause a delay in the delivery of cold water. If it does occur, it should not be serious.
- Initial cost
The pumps reviewed above average about $200 each. You’ll need one for your sink and one for your bathtub. That’s not enough to break most people’s bank, but it is $400.
Buying The Right Hot Water Recirculation Pumps
Before you decide to buy a hot water recirculating pump for your pool, it’s important that you consider a few things.
You will want to find a high-quality hot water recirculating pump. Components and materials built to last are important considerations. When you save up for the pump, your priority should be finding one that will last longer and have fewer problems.
The three major points are the discharge valve from the water heater, the hot and cold supply lines to the sink furthest from the water tank, and any of the hot and cold line connections if they exist. Hot water recirculating pumps are operating under constant pressure and high temperatures. You need to ensure that the fittings, gaskets, and mounting hardware can withstand the duties they are designed for.
Pump Size & Flow Rate
When it comes to hot water pumps, it’s important to get the appropriate size for your needs. If you choose a too large pump, it will struggle to get through your plumbing. Conversely, if you get a too-small pump, it could burn out prematurely. Too small of a pump will lead to temperature problems or worse, circulation problems. A pump with the right horsepower will keep your water at the appropriate temperature no matter how far away you put the faucet from it.
These hot water recirculating pumps use gravity to make them efficient. You can use a smaller horsepower pump if the gravity feeds. The flow rate will also be determined by the size and type of plumbing you have. The pump should be able to push water through the pipes as expected.
Instant hot water recirculating pumps have temperature sensors. This will help the on-demand and instant systems know when to shut off and when to open the release valves. You can adjust the temperature sensor range. During installation, you should find a relatively warm setting. Once the installation is complete and you are using the water, you can make the change.
Ease of Maintenance
Hot Water Recirculating Pumps have motors, moving parts, and components exposed to extreme temperatures. As such, you will need a pump that has easy maintenance such as easy removal of gaskets, o-rings and cleaning out the motor area as simple as possible. If you are someone who is not accustomed to maintaining a hot water system, or you feel intimidated by the mechanics of a water pump, consider purchasing a pump that is extremely easy to install.
Price & Warranty
Finally, you will want to research the warranty and the final cost of the recirculation pump. The warranty should be at least a year long, and one that covers the system and the pump separately is ideal. All of our hot water recirculating pumps have these things in mind.
One thing to note is what the warranty claims require of you. Some will want you to hang on to the proof of purchase and serial numbers. Some may require that you have the hot water recirculating pump professionally installed before the warranty goes into effect.
6 Best Hot Water Recirculation Pumps Reviewed
Here we review the 8 best hot water recirculation pumps for you. Below you will find the ideal options for your new hot water pump and circulation system.
Features: Durable, easy install, easy repair.
If you are looking for high-quality hot water recirculating pumps, look no further. Taco circulator pumps are one of the most durable builds around. They can be purchased with sweat, threaded, or union ¾ inch connections. You won’t have to worry about gravity or your water flow when you use the Taco 006-B4 hot water recirculating pump. This pump has a 9-foot head and a 1/40 horsepower motor that adjusts between 0 and 10 gallons per minute.
Installation is easy with hot water recirculating pumps. Once installed, you never have to remove the pump again. The easy access cartridge removes with a single screw and holds all the moving parts and seals. If the pump goes bad, you can easily swap the cartridge out for a new one, leaving your lines intact. This pump does run hot, though. If you check it during operation, it will be notably hotter than the other pumps. This is normal and should only cause you concern if it becomes noisy or starts leaking.
Features: Compact, powerfull, easy install.
Grundfos pumps are small and mighty. They don’t require a lot of space to install, and the threaded connectors make installation a snap. The kit comes with the comfort valves used to put on the supply lines at the furthest faucets. No special tools are required, and you can have this system up and running in minutes. After installation, you must make sure you purge all of the air out of the pipes before powering on the pump.
Open as many hot water lines as possible until they stop sputtering to ensure the pump is full of water. This pump comes with a 24-hour timer. You can choose to leave the timer off and run the pump continuously, but your water bill will increase if you do. It may be worth it though-instant hot water could make your life a lot easier.
Features: Compact, easy setup, good flow rate.
The Watts system is a small pump that will mount to the water tank with ¾” threading and is compact. You will also receive the comfort valve to connect under the furthest sink. Set-up is quick and easy. Simply connect multiple FHK inlets to the heat source and connect the pump to all of your sinks (one or two pumps per 1/2″ line).
Power the pump, open all the taps, and remove air with a vacuum for 5 minutes or until water runs clear to purge any trapped air. The 1-year warranty is fairly low in the industry but will cover the whole recirculating pump and assembly as long as you have professional installation. The small pump has a considerable flow rate, maxing out at 15.5 GPM with a head range of 6 feet. The only problem with this unit is that it is not compatible with all water heater tanks.
Unfortunately, Watts claims to be compatible with all brands but not all models. There isn’t a list of compatible water tanks that the Watts 500800 water heater can use, but the best way to check compatibility is to see if your water heater tank has a heat trap. If you aren’t sure, you can call the manufacturer to find out. It will be easier than calling Watts for a compatibility check.
Features: Ideal for recirculating systems, 1 year warranty, brass made.
Laing offers a low flow pump that is ideal for recirculation systems. It is compatible with a timer, though a timer is not included with the purchase. Installation is in-line brass with a sweat fitting for ½ piping (threaded female output). This hot water recirculating pump is not designed for on-demand services. Instant hot and always-on systems will make the most use of this low-flow pump. If you require an under-sink installation, Laing does make models HLVT that work with a wide range of valves.
These pumps will deliver up to 8 GPM flow rate when in operation and you can install a check valve and timer on the in-line side if you would like to have a more on-demand style pump system. This hot water recirculating pump, the Laing LHB08100081, is warrantied for 2-years from the date the pump was manufactured or 1-year from when you purchase it, whichever is sooner. In essence, you have a 1-year warranty.
Features: Powerfull motor, compact, reliable.
This Grundfos hot water recirculating pump model is more powerful than the previous model. With a 1/6 horsepower motor, you can move up to 34 gallons per minute of hot water. It also improves the head range by allowing vertical flow up to 36 feet. If you don’t want to mount this directly on the water tank, you can put it closer to the floor or off to the side.
This is the only downside, it’s only designed for flange mounts. It doesn’t come with sweat or threaded options, but the ½ inch mount (two bolts) is simple and reliable to install and comes with rubber gaskets. The central water recirculating pump is also preprogrammed with usage times. You can change the operational timer, but it will take some electrical knowledge as you will need to change the wiring.
Even though the pump is covered for 2 years, the warranty begins with the date of installation, not the date of purchase. You should read the entire warranty agreement before installing it to make sure you follow all the guidelines for making a claim.
The Grundfos 52722355 is a powerful pump. It can pressurize water to over 200 PSI and has a two-year warranty. It may be difficult to make a claim because of the complex warranty process.
Features: Energy efficient, durable design, budget friendly.
For a comfortable way to maintain steady hot water in your home, the hot water recirculating pump from Laing helps save energy and money. The pump comes with an integrated timer which you can set to keep the hot water flowing when you need it, and the auto-shutoff valve prevents standby costs. Professional installation by a licensed plumber is not needed for this pump. However, Laing recommends that you hire a professional for the installation.
The warranty for this model, though, is tricky. Laing’s warranty covers the pump for two years from the date of manufacture, or one year from the date of purchase, whichever is sooner. That’s actually a good thing because the pump has a lot of warranties to cover here.
Make sure you double-check your manufactured date when you open the box to know when your warranty expires. The under sink recirculation pump doesn’t require a return line and installs on the furthest sink from the water tank. The Laing LHB08100092 recirculating pump boasts a thermal barrier that helps prevent hot and cold water mixing, taking the worry out of using the spa or shower with one hand.
If you are tired of waiting several minutes for your water to get hot before you can wash the dishes or take a shower, you need to install a hot water recirculating pump. After doing your research, Laing, Taco, and Grundfos will continually come to the top. Depending on your needed application, water heater type, and if you have a water tank or not, the model you select will vary. However, for most applications with a water tank and less than 300 feet of piping, this Taco 006-B4 Recirculating pump is one of the most rugged, durable, and easy-to-install pumps on the market.
With a moderate flow rate and a decent head rating, you won’t have to wait for hot water. The trade-off is that your water bill will increase slightly, and you may have to wait a few seconds for cold water from the tap. However, it makes getting ready in the morning much easier. With Taco, you will never be left waiting with lukewarm water again.
Ph.D. graduate working as a water quality consultant for many government agencies helping them find solutions to the ever-growing problem of polluted water. Loves a good coffee!