San Diego plumbers promote recirc pumps as a way of saving water, but the more significant advantage they provide is convenience. Here are some things you should consider before getting a hot water recirculation pump:
San Diego Plumbing: Comfort vs. Savings
The main reasons for using a recirc pump are for convenience and to limit water waste. When you turn on a hot water faucet at the end-of-the-line you have to wait a number of minutes before the hot water arrives at the demand site (the faucet or appliance), in the meantime, you are wasting water. Hot water recirculation pumps provide immediate hot water from the tap. They slowly pump hot water through your pipes and back to the water heater through either a dedicated line or through the cold water line. As San Diego plumbing contractors, water conservation is extremely important to us and something that we promote to our customers. We also pride ourselves in helping our customers save on energy costs, so we have to be unbiased here. Generally, if you do the math (and it's a lot of math, so we won't bore you) recirc pumps will save water, but increase energy use, so savings really depends on local water and energy rates and especially on how your household uses hot water. One thing is for certain though, it is convenient and contributes to home comfort, so it's really a matter of how important comfort is to you and your family.
A San Diego Plumber's Perspective
Recirculation pump manufactures often base their energy savings claims on the assumption that you draw water ten times per day. This would mean that the water in the pipes cools completely between each draw. In reality, it is more common that hot water is being drawn two periods of the day—morning and evening. During these periods the water in the pipes would probably not cool down very much so you would realistically only need to wait for hot water two or three times per day. This would mean that manufacturer claims are a tad inflated, but of course not every home operates the same way. The real cost of operating a recirculation pump depends on home size, number of occupants and daily use. The good news is that a recirculation pump can be set up for "push button" control so that you can push a button and the hot water is drawn to the faucet before it is turned on. They can also be put on a programmable timer depending on a household's custom needs, so you can maximize your water conservation and energy savings. You should consult with a local plumbing professional to determine if a recirculation pump is a good option for your home and how best to use it. Plumbers in San Diego will understand your specific circumstances because they are familiar with water and energy rates, local weather trends and typical usage stats for San Diego neighborhoods. To more information on the best recirculation pump options for your home, give us a call at (866) 374-0402 or request an appointment online.