Imagine being at home on a bitter cold winter morning. You need to have a warm bath and you get in the shower. You turn the heater on and turn on the faucet, expecting warm, refreshing water to soak your skin and get rid of the cold. But instead of the hot water you expect, you are splashed with a splattering of cold water, rushing on and making you freeze even more. You are not alone in this predicament. Most home owners have to wait for a while, sometimes a few seconds and sometimes even, a few minutes, depending on how big and large the plumbing system in their home is; before getting hot water even when the heater is turned on. Sometimes, they have to turn on the water and let it run for a while to eject the cold water before they finally get hot water. This poses a couple of problems. One, precious water is wasted while waiting for hot water. Secondly, even more precious time is wasted and not to even talk of the electricity and power consumed while waiting for hot water. This is where a hot water recirculation system jumps in to save the day.
Reviews of the Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps
- GRUNDFOS 595916 1/25 HORSEPOWER COMFORT SERIES RECIRCULATING PUMP
- WATTS 500800 HOT WATER RECIRCULATING SYSTEM
- LAING LHB08100092 AUTOCIRC RECIRCULATION PUMP WITH TIMER?
- GRUNDFOS 59896155 SUPERBRUTE RECIRCULATOR PUMP, SMALL, RED
- WATTS HOT WATER RECIRCULATING PUMP 500899
With more awareness for conservation of water and how wasting of water affects the balance of the ecosystem and the earth at large, many more people are becoming more conscious of the fact that water needs to be conserves and so are opting for ways of conserving water, one of which is by obtaining or purchasing a hot water recirculating pump. More companies are aware of this fact too, and it is not surprising in the least to see the staggering quantity of hot water recirculating pumps being churned out by the dozen by manufacturers and manufacturing companies. This then has prompted the review of some of the best hot water recirculating pumps currently available in the market with their specifications, pros and cons, to help you as a homeowner and a member of the community make informed choices about the kind of hot water recirculating pump that you need in your home.
GRUNDFOS 595916 1/25 HORSEPOWER COMFORT SERIES RECIRCULATING PUMP
This is one of the best hot water recirculation pumps in terms of performance. The flow range is flexible, amenable and can be totally controlled to suit your purposes as a homeowner. This goes a long way in adjusting the water pressure of water from the pipes to measure up to the number of appliances and faucets. It has the capacity to deliver a whopping and impressive nine gallons per minute. It is also very highly efficient in that it can learn, self-manage itself by adjusting pressure automatically whenever the need arises. In terms of maintenance, it does not require a lot in manpower, time, money or resources. It is also quite cheap, affordable and works with most pre-installed plumbing systems. It does not consume too much electricity, power or gas and the electric consumption of homes where it is installed, does not, in most cases, outweigh those where it is installed.
- In terms of affordability, it is really affordable and is cheap. The pump and its extra features are such that most every home owner can comfortably afford it without it tearing too much into their budget or into their purse.
- The extra features of this hot water recirculation system include a timer. This is especially useful in conserving and maintaining power and gas along with electricity use.
- It is maintenance free, and the cost of maintenance does not differ from any other existing piping systems. In essence, it does not incur any extra maintenance costs.
- It runs a nearly soundless system of operation. And annoying sounds like clanking, clanging and rustling of water as it passes through pipes is completely and totally eradicated.
- It is perfect for domestic use in hot water recirculation. It also serves the dual purpose of being capable of being used in circulating liquids in systems of air conditioning. It cannot however be used in an ‘and’ situation. This means that the same pump cannot transfer water from the heater to the faucets and liquid from the air conditioner at the same time. Separate pumps must be purchased if both is to be done at the same time.
- The housing of this hot water recirculating pump is solid and sturdy and is made of aluminium. This ensures that the internal components and circuitry of the pump are protected and preserved at all times to make it more long lasting.
- The aluminium housing has an extra protective layer of coating on it to prevent rust and corrosion that may be caused by rust as a result of oxidation which happens when the aluminium is exposed to air, water and oxygen.
- This pump does not require any extra wiring, and so saves cost in that area.
- It is also easily installed and does not require any expertise or technical experience in being installed.
- Its production of hot water is not as hot as one would expect it to be,
- After it has been used for a while, it starts making some noises that most homeowners would find annoying and creepy, especially when the pump is used at night.
WATTS 500800 HOT WATER RECIRCULATING SYSTEM
This is a properly constructed and extremely efficient pump that takes the concept of conserving water to a whole new level. In terms of affordability, the price is very reasonable and can be afforded by most. It has the capacity to save more than fifteen thousand gallons of water in a year. It is really easy to install, is ergonomic and user friendly. Installation takes all of one hour or even less, when the user manual and instructions guide it comes with are very properly followed. Some extra features like a timer, a couple of adapters with their accompanying rubber washers, sensor valves, a supply line with dimensions of 12 inches and wall mounting screws are some of the extra features that this hot water recirculation pump comes fitted with. It is extremely durable and made to last for a long time.
- It is cheap and really affordable, and no extra costs will be incurred in the installation or the utility process.’
- In terms of water conservation, it is quite possibly one of the best hot water recirculation pumps there are.
- It can be easily installed, and does not need any previous or prior experience in fixing or installing, as long as the instruction manual is followed.
- The extra features it comes with obviates the need for the purchase of those things, thereby saving costs in the process.
- It is maintenance free, and since it is designed to last for quite a long time, saves cost on purchasing a new pump every other day.
- It comes designed with everything that is needed to quickly, smoothly and effortlessly install it.
- It does not heat water as much as it should, or more accurately, it makes water get colder faster than it should.
LAING LHB08100092 AUTOCIRC RECIRCULATION PUMP WITH TIMER
One of the most admirable features of this Laing Recirculation Pump is the fact that it has the capacity for automatic recirculation. Included in the design of this hot water recirculation pump is a pre-fitted thermostat. When there is a drop in water temperature below 85 degrees, the pump automatically starts reheating water before the water cools down further. As the water is being heated, when the temperature rises to about 95 degrees, the automatic feature shuts the pump down, thereby preventing the water from boiling and subsequent over cycling that may result from the presence of boiling water in the piping system. In addition to this, the automatic feature also shuts down the pump when hot water is flowing, thereby saving electricity and energy when compared to other pumps that work continuously or on pumps that work with timers. In addition to the automatic on and off feature, it also comes with the conventional timer that enables you to shut off the automatic feature when it is inconvenient and to use the timer instead. This pump is essentially a pump that offers a dual 2-in-1 feature and a double hot water recirculation pump for the price of a single one. In terms of installation, this pump is meant to be installed at the point of entry of water rather than at the usual water heater, which most other pumps do. This is so that the amount of energy consumed for the heating of the water and the subsequent looping of the water back will be very drastically limited and controlled. This makes the Liang pump super-efficient and power saving. In consumption, it only consumes about 14 Watts of electricity and even when it is used continuously, there will be no noticeable hike in electricity bills.
- It features a very easy installation in spite of its sophistication and improved technology.
- It has settings that can easily be customized or adjusted to fit water and home requirements.
- It is power saving, power efficient, environmentally friendly and does not cost too much.
- It is low maintenance and does not need constant monitoring, fixing or repairs.
- The automatic operation feature is an added feature and is super convenient for home owners.
- It is not designed to be compatible with tankless heaters. And homeowners with tankless heaters may have compatibility issues with this pump, and so may be required to change their heaters or choose another pump altogether.
GRUNDFOS 59896155 SUPERBRUTE RECIRCULATOR PUMP, SMALL, RED
This is a very powerful, solid and sturdy hot water recirculation pump. It is multi-useful and versatile. Its efficiency is demonstrated in the 3-speed motor that it features. And this simply translates to the fact that it can be used in either of three different speeds – high, medium and low. Its design is such that it is compatible with pretty much every kind of conventional heater available in homes today. It is pre-fitted with a check valve that can be detached and reattached. In terms of operation, the motor runs a nearly noiseless pump as a result of the wet motor design. It is best for domestic purposes and designed especially for homes. The cast iron housing of this pump is sturdy and protective and guarantees the internal components, workings and circuitry of the pump protection from outside trauma and subsequent compromising of the individual components. The protection that the covering offers ensures that the pump runs a smooth operation devoid of glitches and a sleek performance. In terms of versatility, no other pump can do nearly as much as this pump does. Its multi-application design includes use in radiant heating, fan coil heating, hydronic heating and solar panel systems. In addition to all these features, it is easy to install, low maintenance, energy-saving, power-saving and consumes really low energy.
- Its installation does not require any prior knowledge or technical expertise and can be done in as little time as under one hour.
- The 3-speed motor is an added advantage and edge that it has over other types of pumps.
- In spite of all the great features that this pump boasts, it is not made to be long lasting.
- There is a tendency for water to accumulate on the pump, thereby causing rust and affecting the quality of water.
WATTS HOT WATER RECIRCULATING PUMP 500899
This hot water recirculating pump is an improvement over the Watts 500800. And it saves a whopping 18000 gallons of water every year on a yearly basis. Its installation is easy, effortless, takes no time and can be done in under 60 minutes without the need for going to a special school for hot water recirculation pumps installation. It is considerably and relatively cheaper than most other pumps and is pre-fitted with a timer. So whether you are home, asleep, at work or on vacation, your pump can be very easily controlled to save energy, power or gas and by implication, money, costs and resources. Adapters may be used on the water heater to aid easy installation.
- It features full thermal protection of the pump, its internal circuitry, all accessories and every other connected appliances.
- The 7.5A motor that this pump runs on is extremely powerful and makes for smooth and efficient running.
- It is only really suitable for domestic and lightweight jobs; and not for heavy duty jobs.
- It is not so durable and overall is not guaranteed to have a long life span.
Hot Water Recirculation Pump Buying Guide
Choosing a hot water recirculation pump is easy, as long as you know what to look for.
- Kind of Material: When you want to buy a pump, it is essential that you know how sturdy, strong and durable the material is. It is best of the material is made of stainless steel or bronze and lead-free. Lead-free materials will last longer and save you money on buying a pump every other week. Cast iron and Aluminium pumps are also good. But it is best that the cast iron and/or aluminium be coated with some sort of material that prevents the cast iron from oxidation, rust and corrosion.
- Connection System: It is best to bear in mind that hot water recirculation pumps in homes are fixed, usually and in most cases to piping that supply water. Flanges that have sizes ¾ to 1.05 inches make this possible. Therefore, it is important that materials of the flanges must be similar or the same with those used in the pump. The pump can then be connected using threaded connectors.
- Flow Rate and Pump Size: The flow rate that is needed to overcome pressure loss also needs to be put in consideration. The balancing valves, check valves, mixing valves, heat exchangers and other additional features should also be noted while the size of the hot water recirculation pump is being measured or determined.
- Horsepower: The strength of the pump motor should also be considered. The horsepower may directly affect the flow rate and the performance of the pump and so should not be handled like mere trifle or treated with levity.
- Temperature Settings: The pump to be purchased should be such that the temperature of the water can be accurately set to a degree of accuracy in units. Pumps should have settings that are flexible and that accommodate the desires and preferences of individual users. This will go a long way in ensuring that homeowners are assured of the exact temperature of water that comes out of their faucets.
- Ergonomics and User-Friendly: Regardless of how technologically advanced a pump is, if it is not one that the user can use easily and effortlessly without needing to consult the encyclopaedia, it is useless for its purpose. You must know and understand every feature, every setting, how it all works and connects together and what to do in case of this happening to that. The easier it is to operate, the better it is. It should also be one that can be easily switched on and off without having to refer to the manual in each case.
- Maintenance: There are a lot of really inferior hot water recirculation pumps lining market stores. These pumps require a lot of maintenance and they are better off never having left the assembly lines in the manufacturing industries. These are pumps that you should do your utmost best to steer clear off, or you may just be buying yourself a giant heap of nuts, bolts and scrap metal that ends up being nothing but a liability.
A hot water recirculating pump is not something like a pen or book that you can just pick carelessly off a market shelf. So whenever you are in doubt, it is best to ask for help from a professional. But please, make sure that the said professional has appropriate levels of expertise to help you with your hot water recirculation pump, shopping, installation, and proper maintenance, if or when the need arises.
Why the Need for a Hot Water Recirculation Pump?
To effectively answer this question, one needs to understand how the hot water system in homes work; and more importantly, why you get cold water when you specifically put in an order for hot water. The answer is simple and not far-fetched. Simply put, distance. Distance is the reason you get cold water first when you need it to be hot. When you turn the faucet on, your plumbing draws in hot water through your pipes, from the heater into the sink. When you turn off the faucet, the water simply stops. Note here that stopping does not return the hot water back into the heater. Rather, the water stays in the plumbing until you turn it again, when it resumes its progress back into the sink. By this time, the previously steaming hot water, is at most tepid, or really cold, depending on how much time it takes before you turn on the faucet again. When the faucet is turned on, the now cold water gets pushed out first by the hot water coming from the water heater. This is where the distance comes in. The more the piping and plumbing there is between your water heater and your faucet, the more cold water you get whenever you turn the faucet on, and the longer it takes for you to get the desired hot water.
What is a Hot Water Recirculation Pump?
Basically, a hot water recirculation pump is a pump that you install on your water heater. It essentially causes a backflow of unused hot water and allows the hot water to return it back to the water heater. The purpose of a hot water recirculation pump is to ensure that you have hot water instantly on demand whenever you need it, by providing hot water to each and every one of your taps, without having to wait or waste water while waiting. Apart from the part that it provides convenience and brings you increased comfort in your own home, it also saves gallons and gallons of water that would otherwise have gone down the drain while you waited for the movement of hot water to the faucet from the heater.
Types of Recirculating Pumps
Basically, there are two different types of hot water recirculating pumps:
- The Full Recirculating Pump: With the full recirculating pump, an extra pipe that is exclusively for the movement and passage of hot water is mounted alongside the plumbing in your home. The system of this pump makes a sort of close-ended coil, loop or circle to the faucet from the water heater and back again to the water heater. So any and every hot water that is left unused in the piping is withdrawn back by the pump through the loop. In this system, there is no water, hot or cold left in the piping. And when the faucet is turned on, there is no cold water left in the piping to be blasted out by the hot water. This ensures that when the faucet is turned on, hot water comes quickly, and water is not wasted while hot water is being waited for, by getting rid of cold water. The normal question at this point is to wonder whether running the hot water continuously through an endless loop through the heater would not come with really heavy and high energy and gas costs. The simple answer is, not necessarily. Many full recirculating pumps are fitted with timers and sensors. The moment hot water has completed a circle of loop, the sensor automatically shuts off the pump. The fitted timer allows the homeowner to determine and supervise the active moments of the pump. The pump can be shut off automatically at night when the homeowner is asleep and when there is little chance of hot water being required; when the homeowner is at work and there is no one left in the house; or when the homeowner is on vacation and will probably not be home for a long time. If the purchased pump does not come fitted with these features, they can always be fitted by a plumbing and piping professional. This pump really is not designed for everyone. This is because the additional cost of the pump, the extra piping and the additional features can be a little bit on the expensive side. Another issue with this pump system is that, most times, it is not compatible with old systems of plumbing, and in the case that it is not, an entire overhauling of the whole plumbing system of the house must be done.This is a ridiculously expensive thing to do, and many people may find it well above their budget range.If you consider this option too exorbitant to afford, there is another option that may be explored:
- Recirculation Pump Comfort System: In this pumping system, the unused hot water is sent back to the heater via means of the pre-existing pipes in the home. This pump is cost effective and saves a lot of money that otherwise would have been expended on new pipes. Maintenance cost is also minimized since maintenance costs often tend to rise with higher and more distant pipes. As economical as this system is, it does its disadvantages. Because cold water and hot water share the same pipes, the water coming from the cold faucet may be tepid or lukewarm, or it may take a really long time before it gets cold. Turning off the pump in the hot seasons of the year may help in solving this problem. But it is at the very most a palliative measure.