What is a water heater circulating pump? Reliable Water Service tips on why your business can benefit from a circ pump. Save money, faster service, & more.

Circ Pumps: Keeping Your Business in (Reliable) Hot Water

Do you have to run your faucet for a while, just waiting for the hot water you need to run your restaurant? Do your hotel guests complain it takes too long for the hot water tap to warm up?

There could be a number of reasons for this hot water problem. Assuming your equipment is sized correctly, an examination by a trained water heater technician might reveal a relatively simple solution: adding a circulating pump to your commercial hot water system.

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Hot Water…While You Wait…?

Oftentimes, the reason it’s taking so long to get that hot water is because when that hot water tap is turned off, there’s still hot water sitting in that pipe that runs from the water heater to the faucet. So let’s say that hot water isn’t used all night. As you might have guessed, the hot water in that pipe will cool down, eventually sitting somewhere around room temperature or cooler.

By morning you’re going to experience all that cold water that’s been sitting all night coming out of your tap first, while you wait for the hot water you need. All that cooled down water needs to drain out before more heated water arrives at your faucet, and only after it’s traveled all the way from the water heater.

But it doesn’t always take overnight for that water to cool down. It all depends how often a specific tap is opened and closed.

In most commercial and industrial applications, waiting for hot water during hours of operation will slow down business – wasting your water, your time, and your money.

Full-Circle Hot Water

You’ll see them referred to as circulating pumps, circulator pumps, even recirculating pumps. In the plumbing and water heating business, we call them circ pumps. They exist to keep your hot water in motion throughout your piping system, ensuring you get that hot water right away – with no wait time.

This impeller motor is part of a water heating circ pump. Learn more about the benefits of water heater circulating pumps here!

Impeller motor – internal shape.

There are essentially two main components to a circ pump: an electric motor and its impeller encased in a housing. This impeller turns within the housing and works almost like a fan, but instead of pushing or circulating air, it pushes or circulates hot water throughout the system. By piping a separate line from the farthest point of hot water distribution back to the water heater, a piping loop is created. This loop is the only additional piping required to install a circulating pump.

When the circ pump is attached to that loop of piping, it works as its name suggests: by continuously circulating hot water through your piping system. The result is hot water on demand – ensuring your business is in hot water when you need it. From a maintenance standpoint, it’s a matter of lubricating the bearings and keeping your circ pump clean.

Oh, and if you don’t have an existing copper piping loop, or if you’re worried about the cost of that extra piping, a line can be snaked in using flexible PEX tubing. PEX tubing is a very efficient and cost-effective way to avoid paying for those extra copper piping charges.

Circ Pump Benefits

Not only does your restaurant, hotel, apartment complex, or other commercial establishment get the hot water you need, when you need it – but you’re going to save a boatload in water and sewer charges, and certainly in time and energy.

Installing a circ pump is simply an easy, cost-effective way to reduce your hot water expenses. Questions? Feel free to call us at Reliable Water Services (800-356-1444) – we’re happy to help you with all your commercial circ pump needs.

Image courtesy of Somani Engineering.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user j. botter.