How to Install a Hot Water Recirculating Pump
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Hot water recirculating pumps make hot water available more quickly in your home by keeping a constant supply of hot water in your lines at a certain time of day. A timer activates the unit when hot water is most often needed to help you save money and water.
There are two main components to an effective hot water recirculating system: the recirculating pump installed on the hot water discharge line of your home’s water heater, and the sensor valve installed on the supply lines of a faucet at the farthest distance from the water heater.
Tip: Remember that the recirculating pump contains a timer that needs to plugged into a properly grounded 115V outlet.
- Shut off the power that connects to the hot water heater. For gas units, turn off the gas and make sure the pilot light is off
- Locate the valve that controls the water supply to the water heater and shut it off.
- Pick a faucet in your home, such as a bathtub faucet, and leave it open, allowing all the remaining hot water to drain from your home’s pipes. Leave the faucet open throughout the installation process
- Drain any remaining water from the spigot on your hot water heater and reconnect the hose to the spigot once it’s empty.
- With an adjustable wrench, disconnect the hot water discharge line coming out of your water heater. Insert a gasket into the female fitting on the recirculating pump and screw it onto the threads of the water heater discharge outlet. Use Teflon tape and tighten with a wrench.
- Take the discharge line that had originally been connected to your water heater and screw onto the discharge outlet of the pump.
- Confirm that the flow arrow on the pump housing is pointing away from the hot water heater. Double check that all connections are a tight fit.
Tip: If a fitting has gasket, you do not need to use Teflon tape on the threads.
- Slowly reopen the water supply valve going to the water heater and make sure there are no leaks. Once it’s fully opened, you can turn off the faucet that you left open elsewhere in your house.
- Plug the recirculating pump cord into an outlet. Do not use an extension cord with the pump.
- Select the sink faucet in your home that is the farthest distance from the water heater. Clear out everything under the sink so you have an open workspace, and prepare a shallow pan with a towel to catch any water that may drain out of the pipes while you work.
- Turn off the water using the hot and cold stop valves under the sink. Use a wrench to disconnect the lines running from the faucet.
Tip: As you use the wrench with one hand, hold the valves in the other to prevent them from turning and loosening.
Tip: Make any connections you can before getting under the sink.
- Screw a ½ -3-inch adapter to the two outlets on your valve, and screw a ½ - 3/8-inch adaptive flex hose to the two inlet connections on the valve. Use a wrench to tighten and Teflon tape to secure.
- Connect the hot and cold lines from the faucet to their corresponding outlets on the valve, and connect the flexible supply lines to the hot and cold stop valves.
- Turn the water back on at the stop valves and check for leaks. Once you’re sure all the connections are secure, use mounting screws to attach the sensor valve to the wall.
Consult the owner’s manual on how to set the timer on your recirculating pump. Program the timer around peak use times, setting it to start 30 minutes before the first shower is taken in your home and stop 15 minutes after the last shower. Remember to also program around your laundry and dishwashing needs.