8 Pros And Cons Of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Are you annoyed for having to wait for hot water to come to the faucet during cold, winter months? If you are, then you need to learn about pros and cons of hot water recirculating pump! They can be of great help if instant hot water is something you desire.

A smart hot water recirculating pump can be a great investment – but it also might end up causing you more troubles than benefits. To help you understand whether this type of addition is good for you, we have made a list of pros and cons of hot water recirculating pump. Once you’re done reading the article, you will be able to make the decision according to your preferences and possibilities.

Let’s get started.

How Does a Hot Water Recirculating Pump Work?


A hot water recirculating pump gives you an endless supply of hot water. With it, you no longer have to wait for the water to become warm every time you turn the faucet on.

Most of the time, the hot water recirculating pump works thanks to the motion sensor located close to the faucet. Every time you turn the water on, the sensor will activate the pump. The system also has a temperature sensor as well as a check valve. This will ensure the hot water stays in the pipes instead of going back to the plumbing line. In other works, this pump returns the water to the water heater, reducing the time amount needed for warm water to reach the tap.

There are four types of a recirculating pump:

  • Basic recirculating systems
  • Over the water heater systems
  • Under the sink systems
  • Timer systems

What type will be the best for you usually depends on your water heater, the existing plumbing system, as well as your budget.

Sometimes, hot water recirculating pumps work with the line made for cold water. Other times, they require their own plumbing line. This is why it might seem challenging to understand how to install a hot water recirculating pump. However, after understanding how they work, you might be a bit more eager to give them a shot.

Pros and Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pumps

Just like any other item, recirculating pumps have their pros and cons. It’s important to know what’s good in a product (and what’s not so good!) before making a final decision.

Hot water recirculating pumps can be very helpful. In fact, they can truly make a huge difference for your entire household. In short, the four main pros of these pumps are:

  • There is no more waiting for hot water.
  • They help you save water.
  • They help you save money.
  • They are mostly maintenance free.

At the same time, there are some hot water recirculation system problems you need to be aware of. The biggest cons of recirculating pumps are:

  • They are expensive to buy.
  • You will have to wait for cold water.
  • Most have a faulty sensor valve.
  • They might require additional wiring.

Did this spark your interest? We’ll go a bit more in-depth.

Pros of Hot Water Recirculating Pumps

Without further ado, here are some pros of hot water recirculating pumps.

1. Quick Access to Hot Water

The biggest reason why people choose to buy a hot water recirculating pump is because they want to have a quick access to hot water. With this pump, you no longer have to wait for hot water while waiting for a shower or to wash hands.

Sure, most people can live having to wait couple of seconds to get the hot water they desire. However, given the chance, most would agree that they’d like their hot water to arrive a bit faster. This is where recirculating pumps come into play.

2. They Save Water

The best hot water recirculating pump is great for environment because it saves a great amount of water yearly. In fact, a study showed that the average person wastes between 1 and 3 gallons of water just by waiting for hot water to come through the faucet!

When you install a hot water recirculating pump, you can help the environment by saving that amount of water. This will also help your community.

3. They Save Money

We’ve already mentioned how recirculating pumps help save water. By doing so, they also help you lower your utility bills. Sure, they will spend a bit more electricity (except if you get a pump that comes with a timer), but over the years, they will help you save a small amount of money by not spending as much water. This is especially helpful for big families who usually use a lot of water.

At the same time, by having hot water running through your pipes, you won’t have to turn the heater on as much as you normally would.

4. They Are Easy to Maintain

If you or your plumber have followed the hot water recirculating pump installation diagram properly, you can expect to have very little maintenance over the year.

In fact, pumps that don’t require additional pipes are so easy to install that you could do it on your own, without a professional help. It’s always a good thing when you can install something with very few expenses.

Cons of Hot Water Recirculating Pumps

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to installing a recirculating pump. Here are some flaws in the hot water recirculation system design:

1. They Are Expensive

The biggest reason why many people hesitate on purchasing a hot water recirculating pump is their high initial cost. Some of the more affordable pumps cost $100-$300, but if you have to hire a plumber to install them, this can cost up to $1000! In fact, studies have shown that this is the second biggest home expense, right after HVAC costs.

2. You’ll Wait for Cold Water

When getting a recirculating pump, many people aren’t aware that there is a trade-off. While you’ll end up getting hot water faster, many pumps will require you to wait a bit until you get cold water. This is avoided in pumps that use separate pipes from cold water ones – but you might end up having hot and cold water not mixing in shower if the pump goes bad.

Of course, some people don’t mind this turn of events. It all comes down to which one is more urgent to you – cold or hot water.

3. Faulty Sensor Valve

The sensor valve that many of these pumps work on is still one of the main issues people have with these units. Many reports state that the sensor valve has to be replaced every few years.

The sensor valve is usually located under the sink that is the furthest from the water heater. Sometimes, it can be on the pump itself. As long as it’s outside of the water pump, you can replace it rather easily. However, when it’s inside the pump, this can require the replacement of the entire unit.

4. Additional Wiring

Most recirculating pumps require you plugging them into an outlet. If you have one nearby, that’s good news, as you have one less concern to worry about. However, the problem arises when there isn’t an outlet close enough. This will require that you either install a new outlet or rewire the water pump so it connects into something else. Either way, this can be time consuming and it can end up costing you.

So, Should You Get a Hot Water Recirculating Pump?

The decision whether you should buy this type of unit or not is entirely up to you and your desires. Some people would do anything they can to get hot water. To others, this isn’t worth spending money on.

Either way, you need to know both pros and cons of hot water recirculating pumps in order to be able to make the best decision possible. While the installation process is easy, these pumps are expensive, and you have to be certain you are choosing the best for you.