How to Install a Hot Water Recirculation Pump

What You'll Need
Building permit
Hot water recirculation pump

You probably have heard about hot water recirculation pumps in your redesign and remodel of your bathroom. Have you ever got up in the morning and realized that it will take you at least a few minutes to wait for the water to warm up in your shower? Or have you ever gone to wash your hands and washed them in completely cold water because the heat has not quite got to the spigot in time to allow you to clean your hands? You are not alone. Many homeowners face these same problems. In order to remove your wait, you need to install the hot water recirculation pump. You can actually install the pump yourself in a weekend timeframe. Below are the steps involved with installing the recirculating pump.

Step 1 - Obtain a Building Permit

Before you add any type of plumbing component in your home, you need to take a trip down to your local municipal building or township building and find out whether you need to apply for a permit to install a hot water recirculation pump. Many local municipalities enforce installation of plumbing and electrical components in the home. The last thing you want to do is install something that does not have your local municipal code enforcement approval.  

Step 2 - Review the Plumbing

Review the plumbing in your home. Take a piece of paper and a pencil with you while you do your investigation. You need to outline where your plumbing fixtures are located in the house as compared to where the hot water heater is located. Clearly mark the furthest plumbing fixture from the hot water heater.

Step 3 - Turn Water Off

Turn off the water completely to the entire house. To do this you want to find the main shut off valve and turn it to the right. Alternatively, if your house has flexible piping and tubing installed as the piping for the water, then you will want to use the key supplied to turn off the supply of water.

Step 4 - Install the Recirculation Pump and Tubing

Purchase your recirculation pump at a local home improvement center. Pull out the instructions and follow any specific manufacturer requirements. Generally, steel or copper piping is included in the kit for the hot water recirculation pump. Attach the tubing supplied to the pump. Using a wrench, connect a washer to the tubing and piping. This will keep the hot water supply tight. Connect the tubing to the plumbing in the home.

Note: You are installing the pump at a location that is close to the fixture that is furthest away from your hot water heater.

Step 5 - Set the Timer

With your hot water recirculating pump, there is usually a timer. Set the timer so that the pump will circulate water during the day time. This will save on your overall energy and electricity costs. At the same time, the hot water will stay at a constant temperature for you.

Step 6 - Turn Water On

Turn the water back onto the house at the main supply location.