What Is A Recirculating Pump

Recirculating Pump

Have you ever wondered why even with a hot water system, you still have to give cold water a few minutes for hot water to start flowing? That is because the hot water line that goes to the shower and faucets and ends there. But what is the trick that luxurious hotel bathrooms use that you always get instant hot water when you turn on the shower? Well, they use recirculation pumps, also known as hot water circulating pump.

What Is A Recirculating Pump?

A recirculating pump or heater circulation pump is a special pump that is installed in the hot water system to deliver nearly hot water when the tap is opened. Unlike the typical hot water system where the pipe supplies water from the heater to the tap or shower and end there, the recirculation pumps keep hot water circulating in a loop from the heater. Therefore, homes or hotels with this type of pump enjoy hot water throughout as long as the water heater is working.

How Does Recirculation Water Pump?

The working mechanism of the circulation pump system is pretty simple. The idea is to have an endless loop of hot water in the house. The circulation water pump is installed immediately after the water heater where it creates enough pressure for the water to go round the loop. That is how constant hot water supply is very high.

Types of Recirculation Pumps

The older system, which is the simplest, includes a small pump that runs continuously. However, these types of pumps are energy inefficient and cause a lot of wear and tear on the water heater. That’s why they are not recommended. There are two main types of circulation pumps that you can pick for your water heater. Both pumps provide high energy efficiency hence their popularity.

1) On-Demand Pumps

These types of circulation pumps operate when there is a demand for hot water. They are equipped with a motion sensor that triggers the hot water circulating pump ON when you open a tap. They are also equipped with temperature sensors so that when a certain temperature is reached, the pump will automatically go off. On-demand recirculation pump comes in various sizes depending on the side of the house.

2) Time and Temperature Circulation Pumps

As the name suggests, these pumps circulate hot water in a supply loop at a designated time. The pump system is equipped with an adjustable timer plus an aquastat that controls pumping cycles and water temperature respectively. Therefore, you will be saving a lot of money since the amount of energy needed to maintain a hot water supply is significantly reduced. That’s what makes these models one of the most energy-efficient pumps.

Benefits Of Hot Water Circulating Pump

One of the biggest advantages of using circulation pumps is instant hot water supply. You don’t have to wait for gallons of cold water to go down the drain to get hot water. In addition, you save on your water bills since there is no water wastage as it is with the typical water heater system.

Who Should Buy Recirculation Pump?

If you have a large home or a big hotel where hot water needs to travel long distances, then you need these pumps to add pressure to the water. That will improve hot water supply in your house. Secondly, if you have a tankless water heater, water temperature will never be constant because you don’t have hot water storage. With recirculation pumps, you can easily achieve constant water temperatures tankless water heater.


If you are planning to install a recirculation pump, consult an expert to help you pick a perfect pump that meets your needs. You should also go through various hot water recirculating pump reviews to learn about these pumps.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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