circulating water pump

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  #1  
Old 08-14-04, 09:11 PM
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circulating water pump

we recently purchased a home with a circulating water pump--it's great, provides instant hot water to each faucet. My question is if we were to go on vacation for a couple weeks, is it ok to turn it off? I don't know how much electricity it uses but it is on 24/7. Also can I safely turn down the water heater during vacations too? BTW is there any maintenance involved with this pump? Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-14-04, 11:42 PM
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Yes, go ahead and turn off the pump and turn the water heater off or down. If the water heater is electric, and you aren't going to need a shower in the first few hours after returning home, turn it off at the breaker panel.
 
  #3  
Old 08-15-04, 02:04 PM
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circulating water pump

Thanks for the reassuring advice. I'm all for lowering our electrical bills.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 06:33 AM
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A hot water circulator pump uses roughly 30 to 60 watts, depending on type and brand. Worst case around 1.5 KWH per day. The heat loss from the constantly circulating hot water is probably a lot more. Definately turn it off when you go on vacation. Also, you might consider plugging the circulater into a simple timer so it only runs in the mornings and evenings.

Doug M.
 
  #5  
Old 08-16-04, 11:11 AM
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Question circulating water pump

Maybe it isn't a circulating pump after all--the name of the unit is Amtrol Therm-X-trol and it states on the label, "For the absorption of expandable portable hot water". WHAT is that? Any idea? I did check for electrical connection and it seems to be connected directly to our gas water heater. I can however find the temperature regulator to the hot water heater! Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 11:29 AM
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Check the label again. I think you'll find is says "for absorption of expandable potable (not portable) hot water" It's an expansion devise used to keep pressure from building up in the tank due to heating of the water. They are needed when a backflow preventor, check valve or pressure reducer is installed. A Therm-X-trol would be a logical find on a system with a circulation pump. Are you sure you're looking at the right thing. Some circulation pumps are located under sinks and not near the water heater. One other thing, a Therm-X-trol isn't electrical... Might look again...

Doug M.
 
  #7  
Old 08-16-04, 11:29 AM
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What you described is an expansion tank. The pump must be somewhere else.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 03:18 PM
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Question circulating water pump

Yes it is "potable" and not "portable". I had to climb on a ladder to read the label which is affixed upside down. So if this is an expansion tank where is the pump? I checked again and there is a small cylindrical brown gizmo labeled "Grundfos" and it is plugged into a wall socket. Could this be the circulating pump? But, the plot thickens. It reminded me of something in the crawl space that we've wondered about. There is a blue cylindrical tank, about 3ft tall labeled "Well-x-trol" by Amitrol Model WX-3OZ (I think, it's dark down there) and connected to it is a cylindrical tank on its side, about 15 in long labeled "Grundfos" Model JB100. Could all these parts be connected? I do know the pressure guage reads 25 and has never budged from that mark. The circuit breaker to the pump we discovered was turned off and when we switched it on, it roared and rattled, so we quickly turned it off. We seem to have adequate water pressure and can use several appliances simultaneously but can it be improved? sorry for this long convoluted message and off topic at that but wonder if anyone can shed some light on our Amitrols & Grundfos parts. The seller, a widow, was clueless and our home inspector wasn't much better. Thanks again for the input from all, it is much appreciated. Oh yes, BTW we do have a back flow device and I know this only because the water company sent us a form for a technician to verify the device was working properly. They said we needed the back flow device because we are on a hill and have drip irrigation.
 
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Old 08-17-04, 07:10 AM
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Yes, the small cylindrical brown gizmo labeled "Grundfos" is the circulating pump. The other two devices are a storage tank and pump. I'm not sure what the situation is, but one guess would be that the house once used it's own well rather than city water. In that case the system should not be connected to the house plumbing, but may (in some areas) be connected to an outside faucet to provide irrigation water. Another guess might be that the system IS hooked up to the house plumbing and provided or provides additional water pressure, especially if you have a sprinkler system.

Was it the small cylindrical brown gizmo that roared and rattled? If so, the impeller is probably shot and needs to be replaced. If it was the JB100 pump that roared and rattled, and your water pressure is acceptable (25lbs is somewhat low...) I would leave it off and forget about it.

Doug M.
 
  #10  
Old 08-17-04, 07:20 AM
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Sorry, one other thought: If the circulator has been off for a long time, it may have accumulated some air in the circulation line, which is what's causing all the noise. If so, it might need to be bled or simply left running for a while until the air is purged.

Doug M.
 
  #11  
Old 08-17-04, 09:01 AM
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circulating water pump

I've learned so much from you via this forum! It is indeed the JB100 that roared and rattled when we turned it on. Since we now know the Grundfos is a pump, I checked on the internet for Grundfos servicemen and found at least 5 in our area I can call for service. Yes a pressure of 25 is low--maybe the pressure guage is broken? I know the pressure at the water meter is 59 as it was read by the backflow regulator technician. I do know the house and irrigation water come from that same city source. Why do you in the electrical forum know so much about plumbing???? Thanks much. When I get the Grundfos evaluation I'll get back to you.
 
  #12  
Old 08-17-04, 09:26 AM
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Water pressure of 59 is fine. If everything is acceptable (pressure at taps, sprinkler system...) I probably wouldn't bother to have anything serviced. It may be, since the pump has been turned off and everything is working correctly, that the system is no longer needed. Often as cities grow and water systems are upgraded, they are able to provide more pressure to areas where pressure was once an issue.

You flatter me. I've been keeping my houses running for many many years and I know a little about a lot and a lot about little. I'm pretty good at searching the internet... I'm a network analyst by trade and an ex-fireman, so I've had exposure to both electrical and water systems. I happen to like the electrical forum the best - some of the people here really know what they're doing and their professionalism is very impressive. I've learned a lot too.

Doug M.
 
  #13  
Old 08-17-04, 09:57 AM
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Grundfos is a pump company. They make a residential instant hot water system consisting of a small pump located at the hot water heater and a "comfort valve" located under a sink:

http://www.us.grundfos.com/web/Downl...-UP-SL-024.pdf

They also seem to make pumps for many other applications.

Actually this instant hot water system looks pretty cool (no pun intended), I may look into it myself...
 
  #14  
Old 08-17-04, 11:05 AM
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I have a similar system made by a different company. My pump is actually under the kitchen sink (farthest from the water heater) and cycles as needed to keep the water close to hot at all faucets. This might be a better design if your water heater isn't in an area where electrical is easily available. Mine gives nearly instant hot water everywhere but the kitchen sink. At the kitchen sink it cuts the wait time for hot water in half. It was unbearable before. Search the internet for hot water recirculation and you should find several different system choices.

Doug M.

PS. We're getting really off forum topic here and should probably move to plumbing if anyone would like to continue.
 
  #15  
Old 08-20-04, 02:55 PM
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Wink circulating water pump

Sorry about getting off topic but if truth be told I've gotten more answers here in Electrical than in plumbing.
Thanks to all, this house is becoming less of a mystery.
 
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