Water Heater Recirculating Pump

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by LoydDobbler, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. LoydDobbler

    LoydDobbler Home inspection

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    New Mexico
    My main trade is a home inspector. Friday's house had a re-circ pump on the hot water tank. Instead of the usual setup with a return line, this pump was simply installed on the hot water output line. My main thought is that this is not going to work very well. It seems like it would just be pushing to a dead end instead of actually recirculating anything. Just looking for anyone who may have run across this before. I can't see how it would work. There were no check valves, so the other thought is that it would push hot water out of the cold water side, but I'm not even sure how that would happen. The pump was not in use, and the house was not occupied at the time of the inspection, so I was not able to check it out under normal use circumstances.

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  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    This type of system typically uses a thermostatically controlled cross-over valve (at least one, maybe multiple) in the house, often under the sink of the furthest away item. So, if you didn't look underneath each fixture, you probably missed it. That cross-over may have a checkvalve installed in it. While a dedicated return line is probably the best, the retrofit type that uses the cold line for the return is fairly common.
  3. LoydDobbler

    LoydDobbler Home inspection

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Good thought. I rarely see a cross over valve, but I do know what you're talking about. I've seen one in 1,500 houses here. I'm pretty sure there isn't one under any of the sinks, because I do look under each sink, but it is a good point to ask the sellers about. This is an estate sale, so we don't have a lot of knowledge about the house available. For all I know, they meant to put one in some day, and never got around to it. It's a good thought for my client though, and may make the pump a usable system at not much of a cost. They are planning on some significant remodeling anyhow.
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