Utility costs in Texas are relatively low compared to those paid by homeowners and renters in other states. Most annual water bills in Texas are about 15 percent lower than the national average of $288 but the cost of water in Texas varies greatly. Because the cost of bringing water in is split among fewer people, water often costs more in smaller cities than in larger ones. In locations like Lubbock, residents might pay almost double that national average.
With a few smart steps, you can cut back on your household’s water usage and slash that high utility bill. A hot water circulation pump is one of today’s most popular choices, especially when combined with other appliances like dual-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads. For many DFW-area households, the installation of this simple, affordable option is a change worth considering.
What Is a Hot Water Circulation Pump?
A hot water circulation pump is a small device that attaches to your hot water tank or is installed under a sink. It requires power to operate. In most homes, when you want hot water, you open a tap and the cold water that’s already in the pipes has to run out while the hot water tank sends hot water to the faucet. This takes time and costs money. A circulation pump keeps hot water flowing throughout your pipes, making it available on demand and reducing waste. There are three types of hot water circulation pumps: a full system, a comfort system, and a system that is pre-integrated with a hot water tank.
A full hot water circulating system requires a plumber to install additional pipes in your home. Along with the usual hot and cold lines, the plumber will install a third pipe to return unused hot water to the tank. This pipe is usually installed between the water heater and the furthest fixture. Hotels all over the world use this type of system to ensure comfort for their guests. Most homes don’t need hot water on demand 24/7, so you can program the valve with your preferred temperature and hours. A full system is more complex and expensive than a comfort system. For this reason, it is the better choice for new construction.
A hot water comfort system can be installed in your home at any time. After the pump is in place, it uses the existing cold water pipes to return unused hot water to its source. A remote control gives the system a bit of warning that you’re ready to put it into use. Some users do find that, after upgrading to a hot water comfort system, it can take longer to get cold water from their taps than it used to, but installing a temperature sensor with the system usually prevents or corrects this problem.
Many newer hot water tanks come with a circulation pump attached or they are manufactured ready to have one added on. If it’s time to replace your hot water tank, this is an easy choice.
What Are the Benefits of a Hot Water Circulation Pump?
A hot water circulation pump can help you save time, money, and natural resources. It will also increase your family’s comfort, make you feel good knowing that you’re helping the environment, and protect your home in the winter.
The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 10 percent of the water drawn for showers is spent waiting for the hot water to arrive. Most consumer organizations calculate the total of this waste at somewhere between 12,000 and 18,000 gallons of water per household per year. How does this happen? In most homes, showering accounts for approximately 17% of the water bill. Only washing machines and toilets use more water each billing cycle. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American shower lasts 8 minutes and uses an average of 2.1 gallons of water each minute. This figure does not include the typical five minutes that it takes to get the water to a comfortable temperature. That can add up to more than 10 gallons of wasted water per shower! Multiply those gallons by the number of showers your family takes every day and it becomes easy to see your money going down the drain.
With a hot water circulation pump, there’s no delay and no waste. The hot water waits for you, instead of forcing you to squander precious minutes waiting for the shower to heat up. Turn on the shower and step right in.
The shower isn’t the only place you’ll notice a change. In the kitchen, turn on the faucet and wash your dishes or fill your pots right away. Do your kids sometimes skip washing after using the bathroom? It might be because they don’t like the feeling of cold water on their hands and are too impatient to spend a minute or two waiting for it to heat up. Washing those germs away feels better with instantly warm water.
Finally, although our North Texas weather doesn’t get as cold as it does in other areas, freezing pipes are still an occasional problem. A hot water circulation pump will reduce the risk at your home.
Should I Get a Hot Water Circulation Pump for My Home?
There are many reasons why it takes so long for hot water to get from your tank to where you want it to be, including:
- the distance from the tank to the faucet or shower head
- the diameter of your pipes
- sediment buildup narrowing the pipes
- volume restrictors
- cold water already in the pipes
Most of these issues are costly and challenging to resolve, but not the last one. A hot water circulation tank can put an end to pipes full of cold water. No matter the size of your home, a hot water circulation pump can save you time and money. It’s a simple, affordable fix that offers many benefits. The cost is relatively low and you can expect to see a return on your investment in just a few years.
How Can I Get a Hot Water Circulation Pump?
The best way to add a hot water circulation pump to your home is by hiring a licensed professional plumber to do the job. To learn more about how you can save money and boost comfort with a hot water circulation pump or to resolve any other plumbing issue in your home, schedule a free consultation today. Our team members will come to your home and offer expert recommendations for installation, repair, or replacement.