February 15, 2023

Circulation Pumps – How Much Can You Save?

All about hot water circulation pumps and how much money home-owners can save.

What if we told you that you don’t have to wait what seems like an eternity for the hot water to reach your tap? A hot water circulating pump is the solution! Let’s discuss. 

Aside from having to wait for someone else to finish using the bathroom, the other most frustrating element is having to wait for the hot water to come out of the tap.

You must realise that water has to travel some distance from the hot water system to the tap. Depending on the location of the hot water system, it might take just a few seconds, or even up to a minute and a half! So, while you may enjoy rapid access to hot water in the laundry (if that’s where your hot water system is located), you may find yourself waiting for what seems like ages in the kitchen and bathrooms. 

A circulation pump keeps hot water moving throughout the plumbing system so that it’s always available in an instant. It re-routes the cold water back to the storage tank to be heated. Basically, it creates a loop from the tap to the hot water system and back again, on a continual basis. When you turn on the hot tap, you’ll have hot water ready to flow. 

Without a circulator pump, hot water stays in the pipes and eventually cools down after turning off the tap. It doesn’t return to the hot water system so it won’t be hot again until the cold water is replaced by more water from the hot water system. 

Examples of a domestic hot water system connected to a circulation pump. A circulation pump can be installed in a water system so that a variety of water appliances can get access to hot water fast or almost immediately.

Examples of a domestic hot water system connected to a circulation pump.

The benefits of a circulation pump in the home

Water savings – While you’re wasting money, you’re also wasting that fundamentally precious resource: water! If you’ve ever had to live with water restrictions, you’d know how much you’d appreciate having that water running over your skin in the shower rather than straight down the drain. Shorter showers and skimping on dishwashing water are no fun for us, but necessary to conserve water in times of drought.

Time savings – Do you find yourself strategising to save time while you’re waiting for the hot water to be available? You turn the tap on then assemble your outfit, get undressed and maybe even tidy the bathroom. No one likes to waste time, especially during busy mornings when you’re trying to get out the door to work.

How much water can you save with a hot water circulation pump?

Let’s take a look at how much water you may be wasting without a hot water circulation pump. Say you have to wait 90 seconds for the water in your shower to be hot enough for you to step in. On average, a showerhead serves up nearly eight litres per minute, meaning you could be pouring 12 litres down the drain before you even get wet! Multiple that by two showers per day and, in a couple household, multiply that by two again and the amount of wasted water adds up to 48 litres per day, or 17,520 litres per year.

At around $0.003 per litre of tap water (NSW), you could be saving $52.56 per year, just in the shower. But let’s not forget that you’re also waiting for hot water at your bathroom basin, bathtub, laundry sink and kitchen sink. And what if yours is a family household with three, four or more people?

You can easily see how the savings add up when you use a circulation pump.

How to save electricity with circulation pumps

Instead of running a circulation pump on 24/7, the pump can be run by a timer so the pump is only running during certain times of the day. Alternatively, circulation pumps can be run on a thermostat so that the pump only runs when the water temperature in the pipe cools below a certain point.

Quick Tip

Install a circulation pump with a timer or a thermostat to save on electricity.

Do you need a circulation pump if you have an instantaneous hot water system?

People often think that instantaneous (tankless) hot water systems are the Holy Grail. Now while these systems do provide an endless supply of hot water, the same problem exists with delivering hot water quickly to the tap through lengthy pipe systems in a property. As such, a circulation pump helps an instantaneous hot water system keep the water hot at the tap.

How do you know if you need to replace a circulation pump?

If you already have a circulation pump at your property and you feel it’s not operating as it should, it may be time to replace it. Here are some things to consider:

  • A typical lifespan for a circulation pump is at least a decade.
  • It is normal for a circulator pump to feel hot to the touch since the temperature of the water it’s pumping is transferred to the pump.
  • Signs of a worn-out circulation pump include poor heating capabilities, water leaking from the pump, noises in the pipes, pump is cold to the touch or excessively hot to the touch.
  • Circulator pumps can fail due to corrosion, cavitation, fouling (dust or other particulate matter adhering to the pump’s surface), and inevitable wear (old age).
  • A circulating pump must be installed by a qualified technician.


Why choose a Bromic Circulation Pump for your home?

With more than four decades in the plumbing trade, Bromic is the leading name in plumbing and gas supplies. The Bromic Waterboy™ Circulation Water Pump is dependable and sturdy, competitively priced and is backed by a two-year warranty.

The Bromic Waterboy™ circulating 3-speed stainless steel water pump can be used in domestic and commercial systems and can be retrofitted to an existing system using the provided stainless steel adaptor.

It has three adjustable speeds so you can select to run it on lower power consumption, and it’s suitable for up to 110°C water temperature.

One of our main suppliers of the Bromic Waterboy is Forge Plumbing – who offers free delivery Australia-wide, so make sure to check their website.

7575250 Waterboy Circulation Water Pump

7575250 Waterboy Circulation Water Pump

Bromic Plumbing & Gas