Get Hot Water Circulating

A circulation pump will keep heated water at the ready.


Hot faucet knob

Photo by: Comstock


Each year thousands of gallons of wasted water go down the drain in American homes and with them thousands of dollars for homeowners, utility companies and taxpayers. A significant amount of this waste occurs when homeowners wait for their water to reach a comfortable temperature before they shower or wash their hands.

Why do homeowners have to wait for hot water? In a traditional hot water system (as well as many solar water heating systems), water runs from the water heater to each faucet in the home but ends at the farthest faucet, leaving some water in the pipes to cool. When a homeowner turns on a faucet, the cooled water sitting in the pipes circulates to the faucet first, so the homeowner has to wait for hot water.

A hot water circulation pump sends cool water in the pipes back to the water heater through a return line. A pump circulates this water through the water heater as needed to keep it hot. This continuous loop of water through the water heater ensures that hot water is always available.

A hot water circulation system includes these features:

  • A pump circulates water through the water heater.

  • A thermostat controls the temperature in the return line by automatically switching the pump on or off to keep the temperature between 95 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • A timer activates the thermostat to check the temperature at built-in intervals.

  • An optional programmable timer allows homeowners to regulate how often the timer and thermostat turn on. Homeowners can activate the pump during periods of high water usage, such as early in the morning when they're getting ready for their workday.

  • An isolation valve isolates the pump from the system if the homeowner needs to remove it for cleaning.

  • A check valve prevents backflow, a dangerous reversal of water flow that could contaminate the home's plumbing system.

It would be a hassle to install a hot water circulation system if you had to purchase and fit every piece of the system separately; this is what builders used to do, but not anymore. Unlike older recirculation systems, modern systems are all-in-one. Grundfos, a pump manufacturer, supplies a system that includes everything you need in one package, making installation fast and simple.

When you install a hot water circulation pump, you help ensure happier homeowners who will enjoy the convenience of instant hot water and experience annual savings on their water and energy bills. You'll also help conserve water, one of our most important natural resources.

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