Tools & Equipment

7 Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps of 2020

Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Watts

A hot water recirculating pump helps to keep hot water available at your faucets and showers when you need it. This offers both convenience and ​savings.

Standard water heaters only heat water at the tank and then send it through pipes to the rest of the house. So, it often takes a few minutes of leaving a shower or faucet running before you can get the hot water.

Water recirculating pumps reduce that time and they come in different power ratings, which determines how quickly they can recirculate the water. Some also come with extra features like timers and temperature controls.

This hot water recirculating pump review provides you with information to make the right choice for your project and includes a list of the top recirculating pumps in the market to make that choice easier.

7 Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Watts 500800

1. Watts 500800 (Best Overall)

  • Top-quality and popular pump system
  • Features a 24-hour multi-position timer
  • Can save you up to 15,000 gal a year
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
Grundfos GRU-595916

2. Grundfos GRU-595916 (Premium Pump)

  • Compact and super-quiet premium pump
  • Includes a timer and an aquastat
  • Up to 9 GPM capacity
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty
Grundfos 59896155

3. Grundfos 59896155 (Most Powerful)

  • Made from solid cast iron construction
  • Most powerful pump on this list with 15 ft head
  • Whisper-quiet operation at 29 Watts of power
  • Comes at a low and attractive price
Laing LHB08100092

4. Laing LHB08100092 (Compact)

  • Small and easy to install
  • Uses just 14 watts to work
  • Comes with a temperature control
Watts 500899

5. Watts 500899 (Quality Timer)

  • Full package with installation accessories
  • Includes a top-notch control system
  • Offers 15-minute tabs and timer control
  • Made from quality materials
Taco 006-B4

6. Taco 006-B4 (Classic Bronze Design)

  • Traditional and quiet design
  • High-efficiency pump with direct drive
  • Rugged and durable construction
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty backing
Bacoeng

7. Bacoeng (Budget 3-Speed Design)

  • Features a durable cast iron housing
  • 3-speed control for flexibility
  • Lowest-priced item here
  • Silent operation

PRODUCT

1. Watts 500800

(Best Overall)

Watts 500800
  • Top-quality and popular pump system
  • Features a 24-hour multi-position timer
  • Can save you up to 15,000 gal a year
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

2. Grundfos GRU-595916

(Premium Pump)

Grundfos GRU-595916
  • Compact and super-quiet premium pump
  • Includes a timer and an aquastat
  • Up to 9 GPM capacity
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty

3. Grundfos 59896155

(Most Powerful)

Grundfos 59896155
  • Made from solid cast iron construction
  • Most powerful pump on this list with 15 ft head
  • Whisper-quiet operation at 29 Watts of power
  • Comes at a low and attractive price

4. Laing LHB08100092

(Compact)

Laing LHB08100092
  • Small and easy to install
  • Uses just 14 watts to work
  • Comes with a temperature control

5. Watts 500899

(Quality Timer)

Watts 500899
  • Full package with installation accessories
  • Includes a top-notch control system
  • Offers 15-minute tabs and timer control
  • Made from quality materials

6. Taco 006-B4

(Classic Bronze Design)

Taco 006-B4
  • Traditional and quiet design
  • High-efficiency pump with direct drive
  • Rugged and durable construction
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty backing

7. Bacoeng

(Budget 3-Speed Design)

Bacoeng
  • Features a durable cast iron housing
  • 3-speed control for flexibility
  • Lowest-priced item here
  • Silent operation

1. Watts 500800 – Best Overall Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Watts 500800 Timer Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Watts

  • Power: 25 Watts
  • Water Savings: 15,000 gallons per year
  • Temperature Range: 36-150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: Programmable

If you simply want to pick the best hot water recirculating pump on this list, then here's a pump you should pay attention to. It's well-built, highly rated, and comes with all the good things you need.

There's a 24-hour, multi-position timer, which offers you more convenience in setting up the timer to fit into your schedule. In addition to that, this timer also features a temperature control with a minimum operating temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

With a weight of just 8.5 lbs and its compact dimensions, this pump is easy to install and extremely quiet when compared to many other pumps. These factors come together to help make it a best seller recirculating pump.

For downsides, it won't work in a multi-story home. However, the package includes everything you need for a quick installation. It comes with a 10-ft long power cord, two 12-inch flex-lines, two adapters with washers, screws, and a sensor valve.

Watts additionally backs it up with a 1-year warranty, which although it's not very long, is still a warranty.

Pros:

  • Features a 24-hour and multi-position timer
  • Top-quality system comes with installation accessories
  • Saves you up to 15,000 gallons per year
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • It won't work in a multi-story home

2. Grundfos GRU-595916 – Premium Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Grundfos GRU-595916 Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Grundfos

  • Power: 25 watts
  • Water Savings: 12,000 gallons per year
  • Temperature Range: 36-150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: Programmable

Here's another impressive instant hot water recirculating pump and it comes from Grundfos. Featuring premoium features such as extremely whisper-quiet operation and ease of use, it's no surprise that it's so popular.

With this pump, you get a low-power and maintenance-free recirculating pump, which you can easily program to suit your needs. There's a 24-hour timer, plus an aquastat, guaranteeing you a high level of convenience.

For technical details, the pump produces up to 9 GPM to a maximum height of about 6 feet. It has a maximum working pressure of 145 psi and features a wet rotor design, which is responsible for its quiet operation.

On the downside, this pump includes a power cord that's only 6 feet long and it's also not at all cheap.

On the other hand, though, the package also comes with all the necessary items for installation like flexible pipes and a valve, plus it's backed by a 2-year warranty from Grundfos.

Pros:

  • Premium system with nice features like super quiet operation
  • The pump includes an aquastat and a timer
  • It pumps up to 9 gallons per minute
  • Grundfos backs it with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Its power cord is only 6 feet long
  • It costs more than most other pumps

3. Grundfos 59896155 – Most Powerful Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Grundfos 59896155 Super Brute Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Grundfos

  • Power: 29 Watts
  • Temperature Range: 36-230 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: On-demand / traditional

Grundfos brings you another offer here with plenty of pumping power up to 15 gallons per minute. It also produces enough pressure to go up to a 15-feet height, making it the most powerful pump in this review.

It uses a 2-pole motor, which is quiet-running and maintenance-free. If you want a great on-demand hot water recirculating pump at a great price, then here's the deal for you.

For technical details, you get a ceramic shaft, carbon axial bearing, a stainless steel rotor, and a cast-iron housing. This pump is also suitable for radiant, fan-coil, and other heating applications.

The package lacks an aquastat and a timer but they are both offered as options if you need them. Else, you get the pump at a really nice price.

It also doesn't come with installation hardware, so you'll have to make your own arrangements. However, you'll hardly find another cast-iron construction with so much pumping power at such a good price.

Pros:

  • Made from a solid cast iron construction
  • ​Most powerful pump with 15-ft highest head range
  • Also provides the highest flow rate of 15 GPM
  • Whisper quiet design for sound sensitive applications
  • Offered at a low and attractive price

Cons:

  • The package does not include any installation hardware
  • Timer and aquastat are options in this package

4. Laing LHB08100092 – Compact Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Laing LHB08100092 AutoCirc Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Laing

  • Power: 14 Watts
  • Water Savings: 17,000 gallons per annum
  • Temperature Range: 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: Programmable

For one of the best under-sink hot water recirculating pumps, check out this cute offer from Laing. It features a space-saving design, looks really cute, and works with just 14 Watts of electric power. Also the lowest consumption in this hot water recirculating pump review.

Being designed for under the sink installation makes it one of your best choices if your home has standard plumbing and lacks a dedicated hot water return pipe.

It features a 24-hour timer and aquastat to better control the water flow and you can also get it with a fixed temperature thermostat or an adjustable one.

Downsides include its high price and the short, 6-ft long power cable.

Although this pump is great for under-the-sink installation, it can still work well if you've got a hot water return pipe. You just have to keep its low power consumption in mind and know that it's not as powerful as the Grundfos SuperBrute above.

Pros:

  • ​Small and easy to install under the sink
  • Uses only 14 Watts of power
  • Includes a 24-hour multi-position timer
  • Also includes a temperature control
  • Compatible with tankless heating systems

Cons:

  • The power cord is only 6 feet long
  • It's costly but probably worth it

5. Watts 500899 – Hot Water Recirculating Pump With Quality Timer

Watts 500899 Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Watts

  • Power: 25 Watts
  • Water Savings: 15,000 gallons per year
  • Type: Programmable

Watts builds very good pumps and so too is this high-quality pump. It's built using durable materials and includes a quality timer and temperature control system.

This timers' sophistication is one of the features that set its products apart from the rest. You can switch the timer on, off, or on-timer, very easily.

In addition to its 24-hour timer system, which uses 15-minute ON/OFF tabs, the timer also allows you to set a particular time with hour and minutes.

Then there is the included hardware in the package for installing the pump. It comes with a 10-ft long power cord, two 12-inch flex-lines, two adapters with washers, screws, and a sensor valve.

The major issue with this pump is its high price, because it's the costliest here. You may also need some time to understand the timer.

But if you truly want the best hot water recirculating pump system based on quality above all else, then you'll find that this price is probably right.

Pros:

  • This package includes everything you need for installation
  • Features an impressive timer and a temperature control
  • Fast and easy installation
  • Built using quality and durable materials

Cons:

  • This is the costliest pump on this list
  • Its timer is a little complicated but powerful

6. Taco 006-B4 – Classic Bronze Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Taco 006-B4 Bronze Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Taco

  • Power: 18 Watts
  • Temperature Range: 40-220 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: Traditional

Those advanced and programmable pumps are not for everyone. Your project could either need something that you can control directly or automation may just not be your thing.

Whichever way it is, this is the answer to such a situation. You get a purely traditional hot water recirculating pump here, made from bronze and designed to offer high-efficiency energy usage.

It produces up to 10 GPM to a height of 9 feet using only 18 Watts of power, which is quite impressive. It also features a replaceable cartridge design, making it easier to service.

What's not so impressive though, is the lack of a power cord, timer, and temperature control in the package. This means you'll need to manually switch the pump On and Off without any help from the system.

Pros:

  • Traditional design and quiet operation
  • Direct drive design for improved efficiency
  • Features a replaceable cartridge design for better management
  • Manufacturer backs it with a 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • A timer isn't included in the package
  • A power cord is not included

7. Bacoeng – Budget 3-Speed Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Bacoeng Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Photo: Bacoeng

  • Power: Variable
  • Water Savings: Variable
  • Temperature Range: 32-230 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type: Traditional

This top-rated hot water recirculating pump is the lowest-priced item on this list and it also features a 3-speed control, which sets it apart from other pumps. This allows you to set the exact speed that you want from it.

Asides from speed, it's also built rugged and to last. The housing is from cast-iron, while the impeller is a corrosion-resistant composite.

You can install this pump easily and within a few minutes, but you need to understand that it's designed for a traditional hot water pump installation. This means no timer and no temperature controls.

On the other hand, though, you could add an extra timer to better control the pump or just use it as it is if that's what you want.

Pros:

  • The three-speed system gives you total control
  • The lowest-priced pump here
  • Very silent and environmentally friendly operation
  • The housing is from durable cast-iron

Cons:

  • Its power cord is only 4.5 inches long
  • The package includes no installation accessories

How to Buy The Best Water Circulating Pump

How to Buy The Best Water Circulating Pump

Photo: Watts

​Following is a list of the most important features to watch out for when deciding on which hot water recirculating pump to choose.

1. Types of Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Hot water recirculating pumps have been around for a while and so, the technology behind them has constantly evolved.

This means for instance, that while older recirculating pumps are mostly traditional, newer ones are mostly on-demand and programmable. Here's a closer look at these different types.

Traditional. This is the earliest and simplest water recirculating pump. It simply runs non-stop, pumping unused hot water back to the heater for reheating.

As you can imagine, this system is the costliest type of pump to run. It's also what you may find if you look for used recirculating pumps. Fortunately, there are improvements.

On-demand. With an on-demand hot water recirculating pump, the pump sits idle until a faucet or shower is open. An installed trigger or motion sensor then switches on the pump and it continues to run until the water reaches a preset temperature.

This type of pump reduces your energy bill when compared to traditional recirculating pumps, but they often cost much more and it usually takes a little while to get really hot water.

Programmable. This newest type of recirculating pumps allows you to program their timer and temperatures. This allows you to get hot water exactly when you need it like every 7 am when you've got to shower.

An example is the Watts 500899. They are easy to use and you can override their aquastat and timer settings when you want.

2. Connection

You also need to make sure that you've got everything you need to connect and properly install your pump. This includes the right pipe connector size and enough power cord length until the next power outlet.

This consideration is only necessary if you plan on carrying out the installation by yourself. On the other hand, anyway, it's a pretty straightforward installation and you can make it if you try.

3. Pump Size & Flow Rate

Pump size is in inches while the flow rate is in GPM or gallons per minute. Size here refers to the diameter of the supply and discharge ports, while the flow rate is the amount of water that flows through.

The most popular size you'll find for most homes is the 0.75-inch size. Most pumps also deliver up to 10 GPM, which is enough for most homes, but if you've got a really large building, then you might want to consider pumps with higher specifications than standard.

4. Power

The power of a hot water recirculating pump is also related to its flow rate because more powerful engines can pump higher volumes of water.

Engine power is either given in horsepower or in Watts, although 1 Horsepower equals 745 Watts. Most residential pumps will only use between 14 and 25 Watts, but you can go for more power if you've got a larger home.

5. Material

The materials used in making the pump are also important and this includes the pump's housing, the impeller, the shaft, and any other important part.

Cast-iron housings are great because they are solid and last long. The impellers can come from composite-material without issues.

6. Aquastat & Temperature Settings

The availability, or not, of an aquastat in a recirculating pump means a lot because it helps to make the pump more user-friendly. Also nice, is the ability to adjust minimum and maximum temperatures that the pump should work with.

7. Timer

As important as an aquastat in a hot water pump is a timer because they make a pump easier to program and more user-friendly. An override feature is also great.

8. Pressure Head

Different pumps offer different pressures, which result in different pressure heads. This is the maximum height that pumped water will reach.

If you live in a bungalow, then you don't have any problem with this, else, you should check to make sure that a pump's pressure head is enough for your home's first or second-floor height.

9. Ease of use

This choice is yours alone to make because the type of pump you choose will help to decide how it works, whether it's a traditional pump running non-stop or an on-demand pump or a programmable one.

Additionally, some programmable pumps may feature more and better options than others but may also come at a higher cost. So, it's left for you to decide.

How to Install a Hot Water Recirculating Pump

How to install a Hot Water Recirculating Pump

Installing a hot water recirculating pump is an easy and straightforward affair, the only thing you'll have to consider is the existing plumbing in your home because this will help to decide the last style of the system.

Following is a step by step guide to quickly and properly install a recirculating pump in your home.

Step 1: Assessment

Before beginning, assess your home first. You need to find out if you'll need to use a saw to cut a pipe or not. You also need to see if the plumbing offers a dedicated hot water return line to your heater, or not. Thirdly, will the power cord reach the mains outlet?

This initial assessment is very important because it will let you know what to do.

Step 2: Turn off Water-flow

Your first step is to turn off the flow of water into the heater and then open a faucet until your hot water delivery pipe is empty.

Step 3: Disconnect the Pipe

Next, you'll need to disconnect the hot water return pipe near its entry point into the heater. It could be a flex-pipe and easy to disconnect or a rigid pipe that you'll need to saw open.

If your home has standard plumbing, then you'll want to install the pump after the last hot water faucet that's the farthest from the heater. What you do here is to install the pump to transfer water from the hot water line into the cold water line.

You'll need a pump with a temperature sensor, so it starts pumping when the water cools and once the hot water heats up, the pump stops transferring it into the cold water line.

Step 4: Set up Your Pump

If you need to set the timer or temperature on the pump, then now is the best time to do that. Install it after the setup, making sure its settings are easy to reach and plug it in.

Step 5: Clean Up & Test

Clean up the area, open all closed valves, and test your work. That's all.

Conclusion

We've reached the end of this search for the best hot water recirculating pump and you should hopefully know what you need by now.

​If you are in a hurry and just need the best pump, then the Watts 500800 is the best recommendation because of its top-quality, multi-position timer, reasonable price, and 1-year warranty.

For those who need a powerful beast, the Grundfos 59896155 SuperBrute is a great offer with its 29-Watt consumption, 15 GPM capacity, and 15 ft. head range.

Budget shoppers, on the other hand, will appreciate the Bacoeng Pump's low price, 3-speed control, and cast-iron housing.

Read More: 10 Best Sump Pumps

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