The beauty of a tankless water heater is that there is no heated water cooling off in a tank, only to be reheated again whether it is used or not. Hot water recirculation pumps help the regular water heater by making it more efficient in delivering hot water.

Advantages of Recirculation

Convenience: You don’t have to wait a minute or two, or longer, for hot water to reach the tap, shower head, or clothes washer.

Potential cost savings: How does this save money? The unit is running more often, burning fuel, and that is an expense, not a saving.

If you have a well, the energy used during the time it takes for hot water to reach the tap is a little electricity to run the pump. Recirculation technology costs you money for the convenience provided.

do circulator pumps run all the time

If you have very expensive metered water, then save more money on your water bill than you spend on a gas water heater during recirculation.

For everyone who needs some comfort, having hot water when you open a fixture is the height of comfort and once you have it, you will never want to wash hands in cold water to prevent wasting water.

No, they won’t save you money in the short or long term. And, they need to be put on a timer to prevent them from running all day and night. This can be inconvenient when you want hot water at a not predetermined time.

The cost of a recirculation pump is not that much and installation is easy to do, so it is an easily afforded luxury, at the same time will make your house less wasteful of the precious natural resource.


  • Instant hot water to any fixture.

  • Wastes less water since there is no waste.

  • Easy to DIY install and operate.

  • Work with timers to not run when nobody is at home.

  • Small, compact and under sink water heater.


  • Some models make cold water lukewarm.

  • Require a power source near the installation.

  • Low output in cold climates.

  • If you require hot water for a time when the timer is not set, you won’t have instant hot water.

What Is The Best Hot Water Recirculating Pump?

The distance hot water travels is the reason cold water comes out first. When the faucet is on, hot water is drawn to the sink through the plumbing. Turning it off stops the water, but does not return it to the water heater. It remains in the pipes and gets cold. The next time you require hot water, the cold water in pipes has to be pushed out by fresh hot water from the water heater. The more piping between the water heater and the faucet, the more cold water there is and the longer time it takes.

1.Full Recirculating Pump System

An additional pipe that is designated for hot water is installed in your plumbing. This creates a loop from the water heater to the faucet and back again. The hot water not used is drawn back by the pump, so when you turn on your hot water faucets, you get hot water quickly.

You may wonder how this affects gas and energy costs. If the water heater is running continuously with water looping endlessly, won’t it cost more than battery-powered water pumps? Not necessarily.

do circulator pumps run all the time (1)

Many pumps are designed with sensors and timers. The sensor shuts the pump off when hot water has made a complete loop. A timer lets you control when the pump is active. You can set it to shut off automatically at night, when you’re at work, or when you’re on vacation. If your pump does not have such features, a professional can help you add them.

This option is not for everyone. The cost of the pump and the additional pipe needed may be pricey. If this solution is not suitable for your home or budget, there is still another option.

2.Recirculating Pump Comfort System

This uses the existing cold water pipe to send the unused water back to the water heater. This is cost-effective for homeowners who are frustrated waiting for hot water but are not able to install the first option. The Comfort System brings hot water quickly to regions that take a long time to get hot water.

The problem with this option is, due to hot and cold water sharing the same pipe, the water from the cold faucet may be lukewarm or may take time to get cold. Some homeowners turn their pump off in the summer to solve the problem.

You can have a plumber install a recirculating pump. The best hot water recirculating pump is installed on the water heater, returning unused hot water back to the water heater.