As anyone who has their hot water heater located far from their shower or lavatory knows, a lot of water is often wasted when running the faucet while waiting for the water temperature to rise. However, a recirculation pump such as the Taco Plumb n’ Plug system can keep hot water on hand for when you need it. These circulators use an aquastat to determine when the temperature in the hot water supply line has dropped below a certain setpoint, which triggers the circulator to return the water to the supply line via a dedicated return. The water in the hot water supply line is replaced with hot water from the hot water tank. Typically, only one recirculation system would be installed per home – at the furthest fixture from the hot water tank.
To minimize the energy used during recirculation, these pumps should be placed on a timer or motion activated sensor to ensure they are running only when hot water is expected to be used. Otherwise the pump can be running during the middle of the night when there is no need for hot water.