Tankless Water Heater with Recirculating Pump: A Good Way to Conserve Water?

Water conservation is one of the most common goals amongst many homeowners. This is a good way to demonstrate your concern to the environment, preventing wastage of a valuable resource. More so, it can also help you to enjoy financial savings in the long run. One of the ways to do this is through the use of a recirculating pump.

In the rest of this post, I will discuss the possibility of having a tankless water heater with recirculating pump, which can be both beneficial for conservation and comfort. While it sounds simple in theory, in reality, it is complicated. Keep on reading to know more about how a recirculating pump works and if it will work with a tankless water heater.

What is a Recirculating Pump?

In a nutshell, the main purpose of a recirculating pump is to make sure that you will have a supply of hot water that is always available to the consumption point. This enhances not only the comfort of the user, but also prevents the wastage of water. There are different types of recirculation pumps that are available and choosing the right size is one thing that is crucial to its effectiveness.

With a recirculating pump, there is a constant circulation of hot water, which means that it can use a lot of energy. The best way to prevent this from happening is through the use of a timer. This will provide you with better control of when the hot water will circulate. The more advanced models, on the other hand, are equipped with a motion sensor.


Instant Hot Water Recirculating System

Will it Work with Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heater with Recirculating Pump

If you have a tankless water heater, you are most probably curious about the answer to this question. With a tankless heater, you enjoy an on-demand supply of hot water. Yes, it is quick, but the problem is that you will end up wasting water. This is because you are letting water flow out of the shower or faucet and it takes quite some time before it actually gets hot.

Yes – this is the answer to the question. It is possible to add a recirculating pump if you have a tankless water heater installed at home. However, the problem is that it is not that simple. Plus, you need to find a pump that does not circulate hot water continuously, which is the best way for you to save on electricity bills.

There are only a few recirculating pumps that will work with a tankless water heater. The main problem with the tankless water heater is that the flow rate may not be sufficient. If the flow rate is below the minimum, the heater will shut down. With this, the challenge is to find a recirculating pump that will be able to sustain the flow rate.

Aside from having limited options, recirculating pump that is designed for tankless water heater can also be expensive. For this reason, a lot of people simply ditch the idea of using a recirculating pump to go with their tankless heater.

Setting Up Tankless Water Heater with Recirculating Pump

It is a complicated process. There are some pumps that can be installed on your own but in most instances, you will need an intervention from a pro. The latter is necessary to provide you with an assurance that things will go well and that no energy will be wasted. Ask help from a licensed technician to minimize the likelihood of ending up in frustration.

As most manufacturers would recommend, if you are installing a recirculating pump, you will need a 20-gallon tank heater at a minimum. Plus, there is a need to install a small water heater. The reason for the latter is because a small pump alone will not have enough power to draw water into the recirculation loop.

As you try to choose a recirculation pump and all other components that will be included in the circulation, one of the most important is to make sure that they are powerful enough so that you will have sufficient flow rate. More so, do not forget the component that will limit the circulation of hot water, such as the timer or the motion sensor.


Based on the things that have been discussed above, it is indeed possible to have a tankless water heater with recirculating pump. This is a great way to conserve water, while at the same time, be assured that water is already hot when it flows out. No more need to wait before the desired temperature is finally reached. Nonetheless, such a system can be expensive and complicated.

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