Ever pondered the cause of your hot water faucet’s chilly water output? Hot water may take a few seconds or even minutes to arrive, depending on the size of your home. Cold water is released first due to the more considerable distance that hot water must travel.

Your plumbing draws hot water to the sink when turning the faucet on. The water is stopped when it is turned off, but it is not returned to the water heater. It condenses and cools inside the pipes. When you require hot water, the pipes’ cold water must be forced out by newly heated water from the supply.

What is a hot water recirculating pump?

Your water heater is equipped with a hot water recirculating pump. It keeps hot water readily available at the tap by circulating it throughout your plumbing system. It is inexpensive and conserves water. Several devices automatically switch on and off to maintain the water within a predetermined temperature range. While some use a timer, both approaches are more energy-efficient than a continuous system.

Types of recirculating pumps

1.      Full Recirculating Pump System

In your home’s plumbing system, a new pipe specialized for hot water is installed if you choose this option. This system connects the water heater, the faucet, and the heater. When you switch on your hot water taps, you get hot water rapidly because the pump pulls the unused hot water back via this loop. Because you don’t have to wait, less water is wasted, and water isn’t allowed to become cold in the pipes.

Sensors and timers are included in many pumps. Once the hot water has completed an entire circuit, the sensor turns off the pump. You may manage the pump’s activation schedule using a timer. You may program it to turn off automatically at night, at work, or while you’re away. A plumbing expert can assist you in adding these features if your pump does not already have them.

2.      Recirculating Pump Comfort System

The wastewater is recycled into the water heater via the already-existing cold water line. Hot water may be quickly distributed to sections of your home that often take a long time using the Comfort System. Standing water in your kitchen or bathroom is an issue that the recirculating pump can tackle.

Additionally, you won’t need to install more pipes. Though there are rare outliers, the general price range for these pumps is between $500 and $800. This approach does, however, have several shortcomings.

Because hot and cold water comes from the same pipe, this approach has the drawback that the cold water from the faucet may be lukewarm or take a while to get out. Many homeowners turn off their pumps throughout the summer to solve this problem.

You might not be aware of the recirculating system you already have. A previous owner could have disconnected the pump. It is worthwhile to verify whether you already have one, mainly if you are impatient with how long it takes for hot water to reach certain parts of your house. Your pump may be found and put into operation with the assistance of a plumbing expert. 

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Why a hot water tap sometimes produces cold water?

When you crank the hot handle, you anticipate receiving hot water; when you turn the stiff handle, you expect to receive cold water. So why do hot faucets shoot cold water before the water has even started to heat up? The reason is that the pipes’ residual water has cooled over time.

You turn off the hot tap you used, and the water stops flowing. The hot water must travel from your water heater to the faucet before being used. When you shut off the faucet, there was a tonne of hot water available. The hot water remains in the tap when switched off because it has nowhere else to go. Your hot water pipes will eventually start to fill with cold water as it loses heat over time.

The cold water in the pipes must then find its way out before new, hot water can enter the system the next time you switch on the hot water. You will feel frigid moisture the first few seconds after turning on the faucet.

How much water can a water recirculation pump save you?

The volume of cold water draining down your drain quickly increases if you have to wait 90 seconds for hot water to emerge every time you shower. You can be squandering three gallons before entering the shower since the typical showerhead consumes 2.1 GPM (7.9 LPM) water per minute. Low-flow showerheads help cut down on water wastage, but there is still a waiting period that inevitably results in water loss. Water drains into the sewer every time you wash your hands, do the dishes, brush your teeth, or turn on a faucet in your house.

Costs and factors to think about for hot water recirculating pumps

A hot water recirculating pump costs around $200, and the homeowner may install many comfort systems. If you want new plumbing, it is preferable to have a professional installation. Before starting work, turn the water heater off and empty it. Contact a professional if you’re doubtful about your DIY plumbing skills.

Systems for recirculating hot water require less maintenance. Watch and listen for any leaks or strange noises. If nothing goes wrong, you should have roughly ten years of usage.


The recirculating system you already have may not be known to you. A previous owner could have unplugged the pump. It is essential to make sure you have one, especially if you are frustrated with how long it takes for hot water to get to various areas of your home. With the aid of a plumbing professional, your pump may be located and installed. You might also check the top or bottom of your water heater for it.


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