Hot Water Recirculating Pumps: What are They?

Hot Water Recirculating Pumps: What are They?

Have you ever wondered why cold water comes out of the shower when you initially wanted hot water? While we no longer need to wait a long time for water to get warm, the hot water from the water heater still has to circulate to the faucet. It typically takes ten seconds for the hot water to make it to the sink, shower, etc. since the cold water still has to be “pushed out” by the hot water.

Fortunately, with a hot water recirculating pump, you don’t have to worry about experiencing a few seconds of an unexpectedly cold shower.

What is a Hot Water Recirculating Pump?

When you take a hot shower, the hot water stays in the pipes where it slowly cools down. When you need to turn the faucet on again, a gush of the now-cold water will flow out first. It will continue to flow until all of the cold water in the piping between the water heater and the faucet is gone.

A hot water recirculating pump takes the unused hot water back to the water heater. That way, the pipes won’t hold water the entire time, allowing hot water to freely flow from the water heater to the faucet when the tap is open.

What are the types of hot water recirculating pumps?

There are two types of hot water recirculating pumps: first, a full recirculating pump system, and second, a recirculating pump comfort system.

  • #1 Full recirculating pump system
  • This type of pump uses an additional pipe that loops water from the faucet to the water heater. In other words, its pipe is specifically for hot water. That way, water doesn’t stay in the existing pipe where it can cool down. The downside is that full recirculating pump systems are pricey.

  • #2 Recirculating pump comfort system
  • A recirculating pump comfort system is more affordable because it doesn’t need an additional pipe. It uses the existing pipe to take hot water back to the water heater. Because hot and cold water share a pipe, the cold water will likely be lukewarm when it first flows out. But if you’re on a budget, a plumbing professional can install this type of hot water recirculating pump for you.

What are the benefits of a hot water recirculating pump?

There are two main advantages to investing in a hot water recirculating pump:

  • #1 You can save water
  • Without a hot water recirculating pump, you’d need to wait for the water to get warm. While you wait, you end up wasting gallons of water since the cold water needs to first flow out of the faucet. Installing a hot water recirculating pump can help you save around three gallons of water every day.

  • #2 You can use hot water instantly
  • Since the pipes aren’t filled with cold water, hot water can flow freely from the heater and out of the faucet. You’ll be able to shower or wash your face in warm water without a second to waste.

The Bottom Line

A hot water recirculating pump generates hot water when you need it. If you’re interested in installing one, get in touch with a local plumbing professional today. They can determine if a hot water recirculating pump is the ideal solution for you and your family. Call Beeson Mechanical Service at 317-535-9338 for all your plumbing needs!