Everybody loves taking a nice long hot shower. Whether you start your day with one, or clean off after a long day of hard work, nothing beats a hot shower. Know what nobody loves? Stepping into an icy, freezing cold shower, then waiting for what seems like eons for your water to warm up or wasting water while you stand and wait for that sweet hot water to finally wash over you!
Would you believe me if I told you that not everybody suffers through this? It’s true! Some people don’t have to wait for their hot water at all. They bypass the cold water by installing the best hot water recirculating pump they can find. These people don’t deal with the cold, and instead enjoy hot water the moment they turn on the faucet!
We all want to cut down on the amount of water we waste every year, and a hot water recirculation pump can help us do that. Some people estimate that over the course of a year, an average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water or more while people wait for the cold water to finally turn warm. Of course, this varies depending on the size of the household, how much water you use and a number of other factors but a hot water recirculation pump can definitely cut down on wasted water!
Selecting the Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump in January, 2020
1. Watts 500800
1-Year Limited Warranty
2. Grundfos 59896155
2 Years from the date of installation
3. Laing LHB08100092
Manufacture 2 Year
4. SHURFLO 4008
1 Year Limited Warranty
5. Grundfos 59896155
2 years from the date of installation
Recommended Top 5 Top Hot Water Recirculating Pump Reviews
1. Watts 500800 Instant Hot Water Recirculating System - (Editor’s Choice)
If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution with a lot of great features, the Watts 500800 provides a nice selection for you. This recirculating system installs easily, and it comes with every component that you need — you just supply the tools! You install one unit atop your water heater, then you add a sensor valve under a sink. That’s all you have to do! The pump runs quietly and without excessive vibration; you probably won’t even notice it running!
The timer on the Watts system works incredibly well. You can program the times when you and your family use the most hot water, so that the pump works when you need it, but doesn’t use power while everyone is asleep.
This pump is a popular choice for many homeowners, and comes with a 1 year warranty.
2. Grundfos 59896155 SuperBrute Recirculator Pump small RED
The Grundfos GRU provides a premier model that won’t break the bank. You can install the GRU without much trouble; that’s one of the design features that Grundfos included! They wanted to make it easy to install this system, and they succeeded! The included bypass valve keeps you from having to install a new return line, which saves a lot of time and effort.
You can set this on a timer or thermostat, and when paired with the energy efficiency of this unit, you won’t spend a lot on electricity — this pump actually uses less than most light bulbs! To sweeten the deal, this pump comes with a great two year manufacturer warranty, so if anything does go wrong, you know that you’re covered.
3. Laing LHB08100092 AutoCirc
The Laing AutoCirc comes with a pretty steep price tag, so it’s not the best choice for everyone, but that high cost comes with a lot of features. You won’t find a recirculation pump that’s easier to install — simply install it under the faucet furthest from your hot water heater, and you’re done. No need to install any pipes. It really is that easy.
The Laing also essentially runs itself with an internal thermostat. Set the timer to give it your preferred hours of operation, and then it will turn itself on or shut itself off, depending on the water temperature in the pipe.
This is the most energy efficient recirculating pump I’ve used; it uses such little electricity and saves enough water that it saves you money, and helps protect our environment. It also runs near silently — at 30db it’s literally as quiet as a library.
4. SHURFLO 4008-101-E65 3.0 Revolution Water Pump
The Shurflo makes an excellent choice for anyone in a smaller home, or even in an RV. If you’re in a large house, this pump won’t work well pump for you though. It installs pretty easily under a sink, and turns on automatically whenever the water line pressurizes to 25 psi.
If the water shuts off for any reason, this pump won’t experience any damage and has a built-in check valve. It runs a little louder than the Laing pump, but is still incredibly quiet during operation. Should anything go wrong, the Shurflo comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty, which gives the buyer a little peace of mind.
5. Grundfos 59896155 SuperBrute Recirculator Pump
Though not as inexpensive as the Shurflo, the Grundfos provides another cost-effective option. It also works for larger homes than the Shurflo, so you have an inexpensive option no matter what size of home you own.
Unlike other options, the Grundfos has no timer or thermostat for automatic shutoff. That means that you need to remember to turn it on and off, otherwise you will operate the pump while you’re asleep, losing any energy efficiency it offers. You can purchase the timer as an add-on, however.
The Grundfos isn’t as silent as the Laing pump, but still runs quietly. It doesn’t run as efficiently as the Shurflo, but still doesn’t draw a lot of power — as long as you remember to turn it off. All in all, this is a good hot water recirculating pump without any bells and whistles.
How to Choose the Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump
If you’re worried about choosing the wrong pump for your home and family, you can relax. I know that there are a lot of options out there, and it seems hard to choose the best one, but by keeping a few things in mind, you can start to narrow it down pretty easily. Before long, you’ll have your pump installed, and instantaneous hot water!
Household size and water usage
Before you buy a pump, think about how big your house is, how many people live there and how much water you use. You don’t want to buy a pump only to realize that it won’t work for a home your size.
Some hot water recirculating systems work better with smaller homes and others work better with large houses. Some only work with so many gallons per minute, while others have no real limit. Keep all of this in mind while you’re shopping around.
Not all pumps have the same features so you need to think about what you need in your recirculating system. Do you want features like the following?
- Automatic shutoff.
- Internal thermostat.
- Programmable timer.
- Run dry safety options.
You’ll want to consider all of these options as you look for the right pump for your home.
None of the pumps in this review generate a ton of noise, but some are definitely louder than others. How quiet do you require the operation of your pump? If you want near silence, you may have to pay a little more than if you can deal with a quiet hum.
While all of these pumps will keep the water from being cold out of the tap, some will have higher water temperatures instantly out of the faucet or shower. If you don’t mind the water temperature being simply warm instead of hot, this won’t be an issue for you.
Ease of installation
No two pumps install exactly the same, and some take more time, effort and expertise to install properly. Some require running additional pipe and placing multiple sensors. Others install right under the sink. Make sure that you’re comfortable with whatever tools you will need to install your pump system.
How much can you spend right now? While most of these pumps can save you money over time, if you have budgetary concerns, you may not be able to buy the more expensive hot water recirculating pumps. Try to find a balance between the features that you want and the price you can afford to spend.
Hot water recirculating pump buyer’s guide
Why should I get a hot water recirculating pump?
In general, you see people installing these pumps for two reasons. The first reason is that they don’t want to wait for cold water to turn hot at the tap or in the shower. In some houses, this wait can take several minutes, while a recirculating pump ensures hot water near instantly when you turn on the water.
This is directly related to the second reason, which is that when you run the water long enough for it to get warm, you’re essentially paying for water that you don’t use. It can really add up over time — over 10,000 gallons in a year!
Will this pump save me money?
Almost every hot water recirculating pump will save you money, with a few caveats. The first thing to remember is that you do have an upfront cost. If you purchase a more expensive pump, it may be awhile before the savings recoup the expense.
The next thing to keep in mind is that you only want to run the pump when you and your family members use plenty of hot water. You will experience fewer savings if you pay to heat water while you’re asleep! That’s why a pump that comes with a programmable timer is so valuable, or you will need to remember to shut off the pump yourself manually.
Can I install the pump myself?
Many of these pumps can easily be installed with tools that homeowners already have. If you have any plumbing experience or you’re competent DIY-er, you will probably have no problem with the majority of your hot water recirculating pump options.
Some pumps do require the installation of multiple sensors and tapping into water lines. If these steps seem complicated, I would recommend contacting a plumber for a professional installation. A pro will have no problem installing your pump quickly and effectively.
Why won’t some pumps work with tankless water heaters?
Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, so you don’t have any standby water supply. They have their own pros and cons, and one of the negatives is that almost no hot water recirculating systems will work with them.
Because of the way these water heaters work, a hot water recirculating pump will have no source of water to heat and recirculate water to and from. Because of this, most pumps will not work with tankless or on demand water heaters.
Do I need a hot water circulating pump with a timer?
While a timer isn’t a requirement, I highly recommend using a pump that has one in place. Without a programmable timer, you risk running the pump at times when you don’t use water, like while you're at work or asleep. That ruins any energy efficiency that your pump may have!
Without a timer installed, the pump will need to be turned on and off manually. I know that I’d forget to do that on a regular basis, and I’m not alone! My preference is to not need to worry about it after my initial setup.
Will this system affect my cold water?
Some hot water recirculating pumps can lead to warming of cold water pipes as well. This may result in a wait for cold water at the faucet. Luckily, this wait is much briefer than you would wait for hot water without the pump. Many pumps don’t cause this problem at all, and when it does occur, often actions like insulating your pipes can help resolve it.
Do I need to run new pipes for my hot water recirculating pump?
Generally you won’t have to run entirely new pipes to install a hot water recirculating system. There are exceptions to this, but in those cases you will likely install a loop. More often, you will simply tap into existing water lines, install sensors, or take other small steps during installation. If you do find yourself needing to install new water pipes and don’t feel comfortable doing the work yourself, contact a professional to manage the installation for you.
No matter what pump you install, you’re going to notice a difference immediately. Any of the options in this review will work well for you, but if I were to recommend one unit as the best hot water recirculating pump, I would most definitely go with the Watts 500800 Instant Hot Water Recirculating System.
While not the least expensive option, it comes at a reasonable cost and boasts an impressive number of features. The programmable timer works great, and it comes with everything you need to handle the installation yourself. It runs very quietly, and comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty. It’s incredibly energy efficient and will prevent you from wasting water, making it an incredibly popular option. This hot water recirculating pump will make sure that you never have to wait for your water to warm up, so those hot showers are ready for you even faster!