To conserve water and to get hot water more quickly, more and more homeowners are installing hot water recirculating pumps on their plumbing system. The concept is quite simple. You install a recirculating pump in the plumbing lines to circulate the water in the hot water pipes back into the water heater for re-heating. Thus, instead of wasting water down the drain as you wait for warm water, you get instant hot water as soon as you open a faucet or turn on a shower.
There are many options when it comes to hot water recirculating systems. Read this informative article by the Spruce.
The number one benefit of a hot water circulating pump is convenience as hot water is available on demand or each time you turn on a tap for heated water. Without one, it would take some time before hot water will reach a fixture since heaters would only start to work only when a faucet is turned on. When taps are turned off, heaters automatically shut down. With a hot water circulating pump, cooled water in pipes is pushed back to heaters for heating so hot water is always available.
Another benefit of such pumps is less water wastage. Since hot water is almost instantaneously available, wastage is avoided since one would not need to wait for flowing water from the faucet to reach a certain temperature before using the water; the cost savings for heavy users could be substantial. Such devices are extremely handy in areas where water is in short supply.
Do hot water recirculating systems save money?
Nope. They might save a bit of water but they use a lot of energy.
There’s nothing better than a long hot shower; just ask Janet Leigh. And it’s also nice to get the hot water right away, which is one reason that people like recirculating pumps. Sometimes they are pitched as a way of saving energy and money, so years ago we had our expert look at it in Ask Pablo: Will a “Water-Saving” Hot Water Recirculation Pump Really Save Me Money?
Recirculating pumps were pitched as a great way to save water because people wouldn’t then leave the shower or sink running while they waited for the slug of cold water in the pipes to be pushed out by the hot water from the tank. Pablo did the math and determined that a lot of energy was lost as the hot water radiated from the pipes, costing way more than is saved in water costs. He noted also that people weren’t really putting these things in to save water, but for the convenience of having it hot instantly.recirculating pumps. Sometimes they are pitched as a way of saving energy and money, so years ago we had our expert look at it in Ask Pablo: Will a “Water-Saving” Hot Water Recirculation Pump Really Save Me Money?
The answer to whether a hot water recirculating pump is good for you depends on the primary reason why you want one. If it’s for the convenience of fast hot water, then you probably want to get one. But if it’s to save money, then you may want to reconsider due to the cost of purchasing and installing the pump and the cost of operating it.