Top 7 Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps (2024 Review)

Do you want to find the best hot water recirculating pumps?

In this review guide, we'll go over...

  • My #1 top pick for the best hot water recirculating pump
  • The main advantages of using a hot water pumps
  • A quick guide on installation
best hot water recirculating pump (1)

When I performed home inspections, hot water speed was one of the most common worries from new buyers. Nobody really wants to wait several minutes to take a hot shower in the morning.

Hot water recirculators can give you instant hot water throughout the entire home and will save thousands of gallons of water over the year.

I have put together what I think are the best hot water recirculating pumps on the market. Check them out below or keep reading for our buyer's guide!

ImageProduct
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Watts Premier
  • Quiet
  • Timer
  • 10-ft Cord
  • Quiet
  • Timer
  • 10-ft Cord
View on Amazon
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PROZRTED
  • Under Sink Install
  • Smart And Energy-Saving Mode
  • 10-ft Cord
  • Under Sink Install
  • Smart And Energy-Saving Mode
  • 10-ft Cord
View on Amazon
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A.O Smith APCOM UT1
  • Renowned Manufacturer
  • Built-in Timer
  • Installed Under Sink
  • Renowned Manufacturer
  • Built-in Timer
  • Installed Under Sink
View on Amazon
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Grundfos 595916
  • Bronze Parts
  • 6-ft Cord
  • Timer
  • Bronze Parts
  • 6-ft Cord
  • Timer
View on Amazon
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Grundfos SuperBrute
  • Quality Pump
  • Affordable
  • 15.5 Flow Rate
  • Quality Pump
  • Affordable
  • 15.5 Flow Rate
View on Amazon
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Kolerflo
  • Quiet
  • Easy Install
  • Aluminum Housing
  • Quiet
  • Easy Install
  • Aluminum Housing
View on Amazon
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Laing
  • Under Sink
  • Timer
  • 6-ft Cord
  • Under Sink
  • Timer
  • 6-ft Cord
View on Amazon

My Overall #1 Rated Pick

watts premier
  • Quiet operation
  • Built-in timer
  • 10-ft electrical power cord
  • Includes sensor valve
  • Includes supply lines

The Watts Premier hot water recirculating system comes with everything you need to get instant hot water to every bathroom in your home. The pump comes with two supply water lines, two adapters, and a temperature sensor valve. It also includes a 24-hour (3 position) timer so that the pump will turn on only when wanted. Homeowners can easily install this pump on top of the water heater and it's compatible with all types of plumbing.

What Is A Recirculating Pump?

An instant hot water recirculating system is basically a small water pump that is installed above the water heater at the hot water line. The hot water pump keeps hot water in the hot water pipe so that you will have instant hot water at any faucet in the house.

One of the biggest complaints of new homeowners is that it can take one to several minutes for the water to get hot at a sink or shower — especially in the morning. A hot water recirculating pump can decrease the time waiting from minutes to just a few SECONDS. Usually, you will get warm (rather than cold) water in the first few seconds, and it will become hot within 10 seconds.

According to one case study of homes in Palo Alto, a hot water recirculating pump will save about 900 to 3000 gallons of water a year per faucet. So let’s say a home has seven faucets, that can translate to a savings of 21,000 gallons of water each year!

Read Also >>  What Are The Best Under Sink Hot Water Recirculating Pumps?

What Are The Different Types of Water Recirculating Pumps?

There are just a few types of hot water recirculators for residential homes. Below is a short introduction and some of the pros and cons...

Comfort System

The most common and standard type of recirculation pump and is known as a comfort system. The pump itself is installed above or very near the water heater.

Comfort systems will use something called a sensor valve which is installed under the farthest sink in the home — from the water heater — which will close and open automatically based on water temperature.

How The Sensor Valve Works

If the water at this valve goes above around 90°F, then the valve will automatically close. If the temperature drops below that set point, then the valve will open, and the recirculating pump will activate — sending the lukewarm water back to the water heater through the cold water line.

This system does NOT require a dedicated return line for the recirculating pump and is very cost effective.

Pros:

  • Doesn't need return piping
  • Cheaper to install
  • Pump is quieter and located in utility room or basement

Cons:

  • Additional waiting compared to having dedicated return
  • Uses up under sink storage space for sensor valve

Under Sink System

Under sink hot water recirculators are becoming more popular and these pumps are installed under the sink.

The upside of these systems is that the pumps are typically less expensive and nothing needs to be installed at the water heater. Under sink hot water pumps also work with tankless water heaters and not just standard water heaters.

The downside is that these pumps are usually less powerful and noisier. Since the pump is installed underneath the sink, the noise will be much more obvious than if it was installed above the water heater and in the utility room.

How It Works

An under sink recirculator works as a single system — it includes the pump, sensor valve, check valve, and aquastat all in one. It works similar to a comfort system in that a valve opens and it sends the water sitting in the hot water line back to the water heater through the cold line.

The pump activates under the sink and pulls hot water throughout the entire home from the water heater. Homeowners may also need to install an outlet underneath the sink or nearby so it can have power.

Pros:

  • Pumps are less expensive
  • Easier to install 
  • Pump, sensor valve, check valve, and aquastat all-in-one unit

Cons:

  • Noisier since installed below sink
  • May need to install outlet under the sink

Dedicated Return System

A dedicated return recirculating system has an independent return loop in the home's plumbing system. This means that a sensor valve isn't required underneath a faraway sink.

The recirculating pump is installed above or very near the water heater.

This is the best recirculation system you can have and the pump will turn on if needed or you can have it operate on a timer. Of course, the downside is the high cost of constructing a dedicated plumbing return loop. A building permit will also likely be needed.

Pros:

  • Less waiting for hot water
  • Doesn't interfere with cold water line
  • Less likely to have problems (no sensor valve and minimal equipment)

Cons:

  • Expensive to install dedicated return loop
use a timer with a hot water recirculating pump

How To Install A Recirculating Hot Water Pump?

Here are the basic steps to install a standard hot water recirculating pump or comfort system. If you have any doubts, please hire a plumber. A local building permit may also be required if you modify the main water line.

  1. Shutoff Water To Water Heater: First shutoff water to the water heater at the closest valve, and drain the water heater from the spigot at the bottom. Turn on a far away faucet and leave it running until all hot water is drained.
  2. Install The Hot Water Recirculation Pump: Disconnect the hot water line from the top of the water heater. Insert female end of water pump into thread and tighten, and connect flex hose that you just disconnected to top of pump. The arrow on the pump should point away from the water heater.
  3. Turn Water Back On To Water Heater: Turn the valve back on to the water heater, and make sure that the water pump doesn't leak at any connections. Close the sink faucet and plug in the water pump into an outlet.
  4. Install The Sensor Valve: The sensor valve should be installed underneath the farthest sink in the home from the pump. Homeowners may need to get 1/2" to 3/8" adapters or flex water lines with 1/2" and 3/8" ends depending on the model. Most sink flex lines are 3/8" but the connections on the sensor valve are 1/2".

Read Also >> How To Install A Hot Water Recirculating Pump?

Our Reviews of the Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps

Our overall top pick for the best hot water recirculating pump goes to the Watts Premier 500800 because it can be easily installed on top of the water heater and comes with everything you need.

This comfort system recirculator comes with a pump, two flexible water lines, sensor valve (installed underneath the farthest sink), 10-ft power cord, and valve mounting screws.

With the 24-hour built-in timer (and 3 timer positions), homeowners can set the pump to 24 hour to turn on only when wanted and don't have to install an independent timer.

The motor is made out of stainless steel and aluminum for maximum durability and longevity. It is highly energy efficient, quiet, and uses less energy than a 25-watt light bulb (5 cents per day). The flow rate is 6 liters per minute.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • Built-in 24-hour timer with 3 positions
  • 10-ft electrical power cord
  • Includes sensor valve
Cons
  • Not for use with tankless water heaters

Pick #2: PROZRTED

Best Under Sink

Our top pick for the best under sink hot water recirculating pump goes to PROZRTED. This recirculator is easily installed underneath a sink and it will quickly get hot water throughout your entire home. It is perfect for homes with tank OR tankless water heaters.

The cold water sitting in the hot water line is sent back to the water heater (through the cold water line) to immediately get you hot water.

The PROZRTED comes with supply lines, a 10-ft power cord, connectors, washers, and everything you need. There are three main modes with the PROZRTED pump: smart, manual, and energy-saving. It has a max flow rate of 6.1-GPM and a 39.3-ft max lift rating.

The PROZRTED has a powerful and brushless DC motor for quiet operation.

Pros
  • Easy under sink installation
  • Smart, energy-savings, and manual mode
  • 10-ft power extension cord
Cons
  • Needs under sink outlet or nearby

Our top pick for most longevity goes to the APCOM UT1 by A.O. Smith.

You may have heard of A.O. Smith because they are one of the biggest water heater manufacturers in the USA.

If you are looking for a long lasting and high quality under sink recirculator, the APCOM UT1 won't disappoint with its stainless steel construction.

This pump is designed to be installed under the sink at the farthest point from the water heater. It includes a built-in timer and all the supplies you need for the installation such as the braided hoses, tees, and required fittings. 

Pros
  • Renowned manufacturer
  • Stainless steel pump
  • Includes hoses and fittings
Cons
  • Will need nearby power

Pick #4: Grundfos 595916

Best By Grundfos

The Grundfos instant hot water pump is a high quality pump and a great alternative to the Watts Premier with a higher flow rate (but more expensive).

This comfort system pump comes with everything you need to get fast hot water and includes the pump, a built-in timer, 6-foot power cord, supply lines, and the sensor valve.

It is also installed above the water heater while the sensor valve is installed underneath the farthest sink in the home. This hot water pump is made from bronze and stainless steel parts — higher quality parts than many other water pumps.

Grundfos is one of the top manufacturers of instant hot water pumps. The flow rate is 9 gallons per minute.

Pros
  • Easily installed above water heater
  • Includes a built-in timer
  • 6-foot power cord
Cons
  • More expensive than comparable pumps

Our top pick for a recirculating pump with the highest flow rate (15.5 gallons) goes to the Grundfos SuperBrute. This power-packed circulator should be able to handle large households without a problem.

The SuperBrute doesn’t come with supply lines, the sensor valve, or any other materials for install except gaskets so homeowners will have to source the install supplies themselves. 

It also does not come with a built in timer. The flow rate is 15.5 gallons per minute.

Pros
  • High flow rate
  • Durable with quality materials
  • Good replacement pump
Cons
  • Doesn't come with sensor valve
  • Need to buy supply lines

Our top budget pick goes to the Kolerflo Hot Water Pump.

It is a low priced pump that can be used to save you several minutes at the sink waiting for hot water.

This is a great replacement pump since it does NOT come with supply lines, sensor valve, or any other supplies for the installation.

The housing is made from aluminum for a durable finish. The flow rate is max 5.28 gallons per minute.

Pros
  • Very quiet
  • Aluminum and cast iron housing
  • Inexpensive for pump only
Cons
  • Not self-priming (must get air out)
  • Does not come with sensor valve or supply lines

The Laing under sink recirculator is an excellent pump that is designed to be installed under the farthest sink from the water heater rather than above the water heater.

It basically acts as a sensor valve and recirculating pump but in one single unit.

The Laing is a very quiet pump and it comes with a built-in timer and a 6-ft extension cord. For an average family of four, this pump can save up to 17,000 gallons of water a year.

Pros
  • Easily installs under sink
  • Built-in timer
  • 6-ft power extension cord
  • No separate sensor valve needed
Cons
  • May have to do extra electrical work (needs outlet under or near sink)
  • Reduces under sink storage space

Our #1 Top Pick: The Watts Premier

Our overall top choice for the best hot water recirculating pump goes to the Watts Premier 500800. Here's why...

1. Built In Timer

The Watts has a built in timer so you can have it operate only when you want such as during the day

2. Quiet

The pump is very quiet, and the vibrations are minimal.

3. Ease of Install

This pump can be installed in less than an hour, and comes with supply lines and everything needed (except the wrenches of course).

4. Power Cord

The unit comes with a very long 10′ electrical cord, so you can just plug it into an outlet nearby.

Meet Your Home Inspector Secrets Author

2 thoughts on “Top 7 Best Hot Water Recirculating Pumps (2024 Review)”

  1. Does the hot water recirculating pump cause an issue when you want cold water? When you turn on the cold water will it come out warm? And if so how long?

    Reply
    • Hello Mickey,

      For retrofit installs, the water pump uses the cold water supply line as a return back to the water heater, so it will be normal to get some warm water when you want cold water. New homes usually have dedicated return lines for the hot water if there is a recirculation pump so this isn’t an issue.

      It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 seconds (sometimes less than 5 seconds) for the lukewarm water to become cold. This will be more noticeable at the sink where the sensor valve is installed (the valve that sends hot water into the cold water line). At the other fixtures farther away from the sensor valve, you may not even notice any warm water in the cold water supply.

      It is also related to how often you use cold water. For example, if you are in the home and flushing toilets periodically, you won’t notice warm water in the cold water supply because the warm water is getting pushed out. But if you are away for the whole day, when you get home, the entire cold water supply line may have lukewarm water back to the water heater.

      Also, if it seems to take a long time to get cold water, there may be a problem with the sensor valve (usually installed under the farthest sink from the water heater) such as a reverse installation or it may be broken.

      Sincerely,

      Arie

      Reply

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