- May 22, 2010
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By coincidence, the latest project on This Old House included installation of a hot water circulating pump. They said as the hot water circulates 24/7, it cools down on the return trip to the hot water heater, so the water heater has to come and off a lot more often, as hot water continuously leaves and new colder water comes in. This does lead to higher fuel costs and more wear and tear on the water heater.Arks, in our case the pump is tiny, you don't need to move a lot of water to keep it warm and son-in-law and I wrapped the pipes to retain heat. A side benefit is that it keeps a bit of water moving so pipes don't freeze in winter. Our hot water tank is only 60 gallons for everything so not a lot of water being stored/heated but a large burner like the tankless type to kick in when needed.
To get around this, they simply put a lamp timer on the pump, so it only comes on to circulate the hot water around the time they need hot water quickly, for daytime hand washing and for bath time. No need to circulate it all night when people are sleeping.