We get a lot of questions about hot water here at Water Heaters Only, which makes sense as we are the water heater experts, and one of the questions we hear a lot concerns hot water wait times. Specifically, people are tired of waiting for their shower to get hot. Not only that, but with the drought here in California, these long wait times mean water is literally going down the drain, unused and wasted. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, the average household wastes roughly 12,000 gallons of water per year waiting for the shower to get hot. These long wait times are usually found in bathrooms and fixtures that are the furthest from the water heater. But there is a cure these “waiting for hot water” ills and the cure often is a circulation pump.
WHAT ARE CIRCULATION PUMPS?
Basically, circulation pumps do exactly what you think they do: they circulate water. In the case of a circulation pump for a water heater, the pump circulates the hot water so that it is readily available throughout the home. The pump is usually placed at the water heater or, in some situations, at the bathroom that is furthest from the water heater. In most cases, the pump needs to have its own dedicated plumbing line. That’s because it is circulating hot water and if it didn’t have its own line, hot or warm water would be in the cold water line as well. But, again, that’s why a circulation pump should have its own dedicated return line. That way the hot water is ready and the cold water in your plumbing remains cold. If your home does not have a dedicated return line, there are solutions for that and for just about any scenario your home may have (see LET’S TALK TACO below).
The most common circulation pump is constantly going as it needs to keep the hot water running through the pipes. However, there are different solutions to that problem including putting the circulation pump on a timer so that it works when there is a heavy demand for hot water such as in the mornings when most people will take a shower.
There are also so-called “on demand” type circulation pumps. These are often turned on by the homeowner pushing a button, which then starts the hot water coming through the pipes. Some are even controlled by a remote, so you can lie in bed and simply push the button on the remote and have hot water when you get out of bed and are ready to take a shower.
LET’S TALK TACO
Of course, that all sounds great, but which is the best brand? Well, we don’t take sides here at Water Heaters Only, Inc. but we will say that we really like the Taco (pronounced Tay-koh, for the record) brand of circulation pumps. Taco offers a wide-ranging line of pumps and offers wide range of pumps that work for many more households than before. If you would like more information about Taco, just go to their website here: https://www.taco-hvac.com/
One of the newer products that Taco is offering is called the Hot-Link. It’s an easy retrofit item that is basically installed at the fixture where the hot water is really needed, such as a back bathroom. The Hot-Link is mounted under the sink between the hot and cold pipes. It then connects the two pipes and allowing your existing plumbing to be used instead of installing a dedicated return line. When hot water is needed, the Hot-Link system valve opens and the hot water is drawn through the plumbing, but instead of the cold lines being filled with hot water, the Hot Link system actually cools down the hot water. This also allows the hot water lines to remain hot. Find out more about the Hot-Link system here: https://www.taco-hvac.com
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE READY TO TALK CIRCULATION PUMPS
So, now you’re interested in getting a circulation pump. First thing you should do is give us a call at (510) 791-2455 and let one of our water heater experts help you in your decision. At that point, you may decide to have one of our technicians come out and give you a free estimate. They will take a look at all your bathrooms and, of course, the water heater and the plumbing and then they will give you a detailed estimate based upon what is best for you and your hot water needs. Again, just give us a call at (510) 791-2455 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and let’s begin the conversation.