by Peter Lombardi
Quality Specialist, Consultant
> 2 min read
It's nice to have instant hot water when you turn on the faucet, isn't it? Did you know that the same product that makes this possible also helps you save thousands of gallons of water wasted waiting for cold water to turn warm?
Rather than spending unproductive hours staring at the tap while your cold water heats up, why not invest in a hot water recirculating pump to help both your wallet and the environment.
The Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump System uses sensor and thermal technology to reduce waste and keep hot water at-the-ready when you need it.
With an unparalleled ability to silently help you to reduce water wastage, while also using advanced patented thermal technology to keep water warm, the Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump System is the best on the market.
Top Choices on the Market
All You Need To Know
A hot water recirculating pump is an appliance that reduces the wait time for hot water after you turn on your tap. For homes and businesses where the hot water heater is a considerable distance away from sinks, this comes in handy and cuts down on water waste.
Instead of allowing hot water already present in the pipes to cool, which means the cold water comes out of the tap first as it is already in your plumbing system, this pump uses intelligent mechanisms to recirculate the heated water. It is then available when you next use your hot water tap.
A qualified plumber can attach a hot water recirculating pump directly on to your water heater. Should you turn on your hot tap and then turn it off, the device takes the hot water that is now left in the pipes and returns it to your water heater. The next time someone needs hot water, the already-heated supply is sent to the relevant tap.
While a hot water recirculating pump is useful for even someone living alone, there are exponentially larger benefits for those living in a busy household or working in commercial premises. The pumps can fit onto water heaters of any size, making them ideal for use in a wide range of domestic and commercial settings.
How to Pick the One for Your Needs
There are a number of factors to consider when you are choosing the water recirculation pump that will be perfect for your needs. You'll need to think about the reasons that matter most to you in terms of what the system should do. Whatever your considerations, there are devices that can meet many different requirements.
Begin first by examining the system size and water usage. Consider the size of your home or building, the number of people occupying the home or building, and how much water you use. Some hot water recirculating pumps work better in smaller homes, while others are clearly designed for larger systems.
Before making the investment, make a well-informed choice by doing some research. You can start with reading hot water recirculating pump reviews on sites such as Amazon.
You'll also want to read reviews from industry experts, though, to ensure you're getting all the relevant facts and figures. With the right knowledge, you'll find the best water circulation pump for your needs.
1. Look at Features
Not all pumps are the same. Consider what features you need. Automatic shutoff, an internal thermostat, and a programmable timer are typical recirculating pump features. You'll need to learn about these features and weigh their importance to you.
2. Watch out for Noise
None of these pumps are supposed to be noisy, but some are noisier than others. Many manufacturers even market their pump as quiet, when, in fact, quite the opposite is true. Read user reviews for a good assessment.
3. Determine Water Temperature
All recirculation pumps keep water from being ice cold out of the tap, but some deliver higher-temperature water almost instantly. This helps reduce water waste as you wait for water to get hot.
4. Ease of Installation
Like the noise issue, read user reviews for an understanding of installation experiences. Some of these pumps require additional piping — and the placement of sensors — and others install right under the sink. Find out if any special tools are involved in the installation before ordering.
Benefits and Advantages
Your hot water recirculating pump can bring many benefits to your home or workplace. After installation, it can quickly become an indispensable appliance for your daily needs.
1. Saves time
This is probably both the most obvious benefit and one of the main reasons many people install a hot water recirculating pump. If you even spent only 2 minutes each day waiting for your water to heat, that adds up to 730 minutes, or 12.2 hours per year. That's an incredible amount of wasted time.
2. Saves Money
When your water bill arrives, you probably don't spend much time thinking about what you're paying for. Take a moment to think about how much water goes down the drain before you get the hot water you need.
Using the figures from the last point, that's 12 hours’ worth of water you're paying for, but not using. The idea of leaving a tap running for half a day would be ludicrous to most people, but you may already be wasting the equivalent amount of money.
3. Saves water
It's a worthy cause when you're helping to save the environment. By using a hot water recirculating pump, and not wasting so much water each year, this is an easy, but effective, way of helping to do your part.
How Does It Work?
- A plumber installs a hot water recirculating pump onto your water heater.
- When a hot water tap is turned off, the hot water not required remains in the pipes and gradually cools. This cool water is the next batch delivered when the tap is next used.
- A recirculating pump takes the hot water and delivers it back to the water heater. This happens before the water can cool.
- The next time any hot water tap is used, this already-heated water comes out of the hot water tap almost instantly.
- The recirculating pump repeats this process indefinitely, providing a regular and prompt supply of hot water.
How to Install One
Depending on your home project skills, installing a hot water recirculating pump is relatively easy. There are several informative videos online to check out, and after watching them, you have confidence to proceed. What follows are the basic steps involved for almost all installations.
- Shut off the hot water. The valve controlling the flow of hot water may be near the water heater. If it is not, make sure that the water supply is entirely stopped by opening the tap. Should you run the tap for hot water and the supply is still running after a minute or two, shut off the main water line.
- If you are confident at DIY, you may be able to just take apart the hot water pipe at the heater. Keep a rag handy to mop up any water/residue that may expel.
- Use the instructions included with the pump and attach the hot water supply to the pump. When you place the pump in position, once you have attached the pump, face the timer toward you. This way, you can adjust it as needed later.In most installations, you don't need plumber's tape because the nut on the pipe is equipped with a gasket. However, plumber's tape is always a good thing to keep handy for unexpected problems.
- Attach the recirculation pump to the flexible pipeline, which you detached earlier.
- Shut off both sides of the tap before you detach anything. Install the valve close to the tap that is farthest to the pump.
- Under the sink, disconnect the faucet supply flexible piping. Have a rag or towel nearby to mop up the small amount of water that will flow from the disconnected pipe.
- Install the check valve once you've fully disconnected the faucet supply.
- Note that the cold water supply is piped in from the right, while the hot water supply comes from the left. Attach the tube to the top of the check valve.
- Ensure that the pipe is correctly and accurately attached by running your newly-installed recirculation pump briefly.
- Check the line for leakage by turning on the water at the tap installed furthest from the pump. This ensures that any remaining air in the pipeline is flushed out. Set the timer to save the most water and energy.Most pumps can easily be installed with regular tools and some DIY skills. However, if your pump requires the installation of multiple sensors and tapping directly into water lines, you may need a plumber.
Does It Save You Money?
If you wait for a minute to get hot water and you use low-flow fixtures, you waste about 1.5 gallons of water when you take a shower and about 2 gallons when you use the kitchen sink. If you use regular fixtures, you dump down the drain about 2.5 gallons of water for every shower.
The average person wastes about 5,000 gallons of water each year. This may not represent a significant amount of money, but it can add up. This is particularly true if you have a large home, a large family, and fixtures that are more than 100 feet away from the water source.
7 Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump Reviews
1. Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump System with Built-In Timer
- Conserve up to 12,000 gallons of water per year
- Includes a 24-hour programmable timer
- No electricity needed under the sink
- NOT Designed for tankless water heaters
Housing: Cast Aluminum
Highlights: Thermal By-Pass Technology
Eliminates Water Waste
If you're looking for hot water to reach your tap or shower almost instantly, the Watts Premier Hot Water Recirculating pump provides hot water to meet your needs. It also helps you to eliminate water waste as you wait for cold water to get hot.
Quiet and Maintenance-Free
A maintenance-free timer ensures you can have almost instant hot water on tap without hassle. This pump also comes with a timer that is programmable. You can let the pump run 24 hours a day, or set it to activate the pump when you need it.
Patented Under-Sink Sensor
While all water recirculation pumps have the same aim, some companies use advanced technology to meet the needs of their customers.
This unit uses the water heater's pump and a sensor that sits under the sink, varying pressure. The pressure difference allows the cooler water in the supply line of hot water to move directly into the cold water supply line. This is done at a reduced rate through the sensor valve, which is thermostatically controlled. This keeps the water in the hot water supply line at a readily hot throughout areas of the home.
- Efficient space saving
- Excellent planning ability with an included 24 hr, 3-position timer
- Industry-leading energy efficiency
- Technologically advanced
- Environmentally friendly with the ability to save up to 12,000 gallons per year
- System is not designed for tankless water heaters
- Does not work on water heaters with heat traps, and most modern water heaters have built-in heat traps
2. Grundfos GRU-595916
- corrosion resistance stainless steel
- two-pole motor with low-flow performance ensures efficiency on energy consumption
- quick and easy installation
- 2-Year Manufacturer's Warranty
Housing: Cast Aluminum
Highlights: Built-in timer, line cord, and aquastat
Saves Water Every Day
The Grundfos Comfort series uses the cold water supply line as the "return-line" to the water heater — saving many gallons of water every day. Hot water is readily available as it continuously circulates between the hot water line and cold water line and back.
Innovative and Practical Design
Including a Grundfos UP15-10SU7/TLC stainless steel and 10-foot power cord, this system easily connects to the hot water discharge on your domestic or commercial power system.
Easy, Under-Sink Installation
As the water comes from the taps on the sink, you can install it at the fixture, which is located furthest from the water system, ensuring all closer faucets still benefit from the recirculating hot water system.
The valve is installed beneath the sink near the furthest fixture away from the heater. The system uses the available cold water line to cycle hot water to the water heater. It's an easy, one-hour DIY job for anyone, even without prior plumbing experience.
- 3/4" Female NPT connection
- Includes timer, line cord, thermal by-pass valve, two-valve mounting screws
- No return line required and installs in less than one hour
- No electricity needed under the sink
- Built-in timer and line cord
- Can save up to 16,000 gallons of water per year
- More expensive than most comparable models
3. Grundfos UPS15-58FC Circulator Pump
- NSF 61 Stainless Steel Material
- Flow Range: 0-17 GPM
- Designed for residential and commercial applications
- easy to install
- integrated check valve
- 3 Years Manufacturers Warranty
Housing: Cast Iron Body
Highlights: 3-Speed model
Simple, Rugged Design
This is a cast-iron housed circulator pump with three speeds. The check valve is removable for simplified use. As the housing is robust, the pump is well-protected from outside potential contaminants, and from accidental contact if work is being carried out nearby.
Quiet and Efficient
Power consumption and noise are reduced with the multi-motor technology. In order to ensure the pump is able to work as quietly as possible you must check it is installed correctly as well as the associated piping going to and from the newly fitted pump. Remove all the air from the piping before power is delivered to the pump for the first time.
This pump can be used for closed-loop radiant heating and snow melting systems, as well as baseboards, fan coils, zoning, and other hydronic heating applications. This pump is excellent for use in a commercial environment using closed-loop radiant systems.
- Built-in motor protection for a longer life and better performance.
- Suitable for a wide range of applications, including hydronic heating, hydronic radiant, solar heating, and fan coil heating
- Sturdy and durable so that it can last for many years
- Not as quiet as some other makes and models
4. Taco 007-F5-7IFC Cast Iron Circulator Pump
- wide range of applications such as hydronic, radiant heating, Zoning with pumps, hydro-air fan coils, and etc.
- Flow Range: 0-17 GPM
- no need for separate in-line flow check
- Hassle-Free Installation
Housing: Cast Iron Body
Highlights: Comes with integral flow check (IFC)
Quiet and Efficient
The Taco 007-F5-7IFC is an in-line, cartridge style single stage circulator pump with a wet rotor, which uses their standard high capacity output compact design. This pump operates a very efficient system for producing hot water quickly, but also achieves its aim in a quiet and unobtrusive manner.
Rugged and Reliable
Water recirculation pumps need to be robust as they can come into contact with workmen that may be maintaining the integrity of the pump or working with devices that are near it. It's essential they are well-protected, and the steel or cast-iron construction of this pump means it is a reliable and dependable unit in your facility or home.
Unique Replaceable Cartridge Design
This unit features an innovative cartridge design, so you don't have to remove or replace the whole unit in case of damage. If any of the electronics are damaged over time, instead of replacing the whole unit, you can buy a replaceable cartridge and switch them on site.
- Designed for circulation of chilled fresh water, home water systems, and hydronic heating
- Easy and straightforward installation, featuring replaceable cartridge in case of damage
- Runs quietly while providing consistent hot water
- Some reports of excessive cavitation
5. BOKYWOX Hot Water Recirculating Pump
- No leakage
- whisper-quiet and maintenance-free operation
- ease of installation
- highly efficient and energy efficient
- Wide range of application for residential and commercial
Housing: Cast Iron Body
Highlights: 3-Speed Model
Easy to Install
The BODY FOX's compact design installs in under 30 minutes with a 4.1 ft. power cord. Although straight after installation, there may be a slight taste of lubricating oil in the water, after several uses, this taste will be completely gone. The oil will continue to help maintain the system in the background.
Robust and Dependable
Cast iron housing, stainless steel propeller, ceramic shaft, carbon axial bearing. It has a large temperature range from 0℉ – 212℉. The maximum flow rate is up to 32 liters per minute, with a rated head of up to 20 meters.
Flexible and Quiet
Common uses include hydronic/boiler heating, radiant floor heating, ground source heat pumps, heat recovery/heat pumps, and hydronic and fan-coil heating. It's suitable for many different types of heating, air conditioning, and solar water circulation systems, both residential, commercial, and even up to industrial.
- Low-cost yet high performance
- High-efficiency design saves up to 10,000 gallons of water per year
- High-temperature resistance and anti-fraying
- Hot water and ethanol, a maximum ratio of 1:2
- Maximum pressure 11 bar
- No taper threads
- This pump is not suitable for potable water, just for showers and cleaning
6. KOLERFLO 3/4" NPT Hot Water Circulation Pump Stainless Steel Recirculating Water Pump for Portable Water System(RS15-6 SS Green)
- Built-in sensitive electronic sensors
- wide variety of uses and application
- instant hot water as short as 15 secs
- low noise and leakage-tight operation
- hassle-free installation
Housing: Aluminum Pump Body
Highlights: 3-Speed Control Model
Saves Water and Money
If you're looking for ways to save money, the KOLER FLO pump saves up to 10,000 gallons of water per year — and up to 10% off your water bill. For those in colder climates, it also prevents pipes from freezing in winter, which can prevent catastrophic damage and expensive home repairs.
The KOLERFLO is an easy installation in most locations. You only need a wrench to connect the pump to the pipeline, saving you the cost of a plumber. Even better, this pump installs in less than 30 minutes. It also improves quality of life by delivering hot water in 15 seconds — rather than two or three minutes. It's ideal for solar water heating, hot-water recirculation, and domestic hot-water heating.
Low Leakage, Low Noise
This pump is suitable for commercial and residential systems and specially designed for potable water. The low volume level makes it appropriate for installation anywhere in your home. It can also be used in chilled-water pumping systems.
- Excellent flow rate and up to 145 PSI
- High temperature resistance and anti-fraying
- Quieter than most competitors
- Reasonably priced
- Built-in electronic sensors with three-speed control
- Requires careful priming during installation
7. Grundfos 59896155, UP15-42F, SuperBrute Recirculating Pump 1/25 HP,115 -Volt, SMALL RED
- 3-Years Manufacturers Warranty
- Flow Range: 0-17 GPM
- Built-in motor protection for longer life and better performanc
- designed for use in closed loop heating applications
- Stainless steel rotor
Housing: Cast Iron Body
Highlights: Corrosion-resistant impeller
This pump is great for radiant, hydronic, fan coil, and solar heating closed-loop systems. While designed specifically for heating systems, they are also excellent and reliable performers for the circulation of domestic water. As a further string to their bow, these multi-use pumps can even help to circulate liquids in environments such as an air-conditioning system.
Canned rotor type — pump and motor form are integrated in a single unit, with no shaft seal and only two gaskets for sealing. The pumped liquid keeps the bearings lubricated to help ensure they require minimal maintenance. As they are capable of working in many settings, the sturdy construction will protect them from any unexpected rough contact, a common issue in industrial or commercial settings.
Although these recirculation pumps are not suitable for domestic water systems, they can adapt to a wide range of commercial applications. These pumps are designed for use with potable and nonpotable water, including water/glycol mixtures with a higher viscosity.
- Variable-speed output modulation
- Sturdy construction great for a wide range of commercial applications
- System works with higher viscosity mixtures
- Heating curve can be adjusted by 5° in parallel
- Should not be used for domestic hot water systems
Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump
There is a wide range of adequate hot water recirculating pumps on the market. Depending on your budget, and if you intend to use it in domestic or commercial properties, you can find one that performs to your home or business' requirements.
Without doubt, the best hot water recirculating pump is the Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump System. No other water recirculation pump presently available can match the energy-saving abilities of the system, which can also help you save over 12,000 gallons of water per year.
As no return line is required, and there is no need for electricity under the sink, this device is effective at saving space, as well as money.
While the ability to produce hot water on such a reduced energy requirement is impressive, its maintenance-free operation combined with patented under-sink sensor technology takes it onto another level than their rivals.
The built-in 24-hour timer with 3-position settings round off a more than capable piece of machinery. This is one of the best water circulation pumps available today.
If you need a hot water pump that silently produces near-instant hot water, and helps you to care for the environment, consider the affordable Watts Premier Instant Hot Water Recirculating Pump System with Built-In Timer is the solution you need.
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About the Author
Peter is a Los Angeles based water quality specialist, and works as a surveyor for businesses and communities looking to be informed and active about the quality of their water. He shares his expertise with 64 oz. to ensure everything is accurate, and to prevent the spread of misinformation about water contaminants.