How does the circulation pump work?

  • why install a circulation pump?
  • how does the circulation pump work?
  • what are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • recommended solutions for the disadvantages

A circulation pump circulates the hot water through a circulation pipe. It increases the living comfort and under the right conditions you even save money. How this pump works and what there is to consider we explain you in this article.


Why install a circulating pump?

Most people have experienced the following problem: You get up in the morning, get into the shower and turn on the tap comes first cold water. Since you would rather enjoy the comfort of a warm shower, especially in the morning, you drain the cold water and wait. This takes time and wastes water. This is where a circulation pump helps. Because it prevents the unused water from cooling in the pipe overnight and being wasted the next morning.

Functionality of a circulation pump

The circulation pump allows the water that is not needed to flow into the circulation pipe just before the tap, where it is returned to the storage tank. The storage tank heats the water again. This means that you have hot water available at all times. Most often, these pumps are installed in houses with several floors, where the distances between the storage tank and the tapping point are relatively long. Under certain circumstances, the circulation pipe and pump are required by the Drinking Water Ordinance.

Advantages and disadvantages of a circulation pump


The constant supply of hot water significantly increases their living comfort. You save water, because the cold water does not end up unused in the drain. In addition, you prevent the formation of legionella, due to the constant heating of the water.


A circulation pump requires a circulation line, which is difficult to upgrade. You would have to do extensive construction work on the building, which can be expensive. Furthermore, the pipes must be well insulated so that the water does not cool down while circulating. The conventional models are permanently in operation, which involves a not inconsiderable energy consumption, for operation and heating.


Meanwhile, there are models that already get by with little power due to new technologies and thus keep consumption low. If you are willing to spend a little more money, you can buy pumps that allow you to adjust the operating time. High-end devices even have programs that automatically adjust to consumption. They evaluate the demand times and thus also adjust to changes in the daily routine. This is especially recommended if they regularly go on vacation or work in shifts. Only such circulation pumps unfold their maximum potential to save money and energy.


If all the conditions for the correct operation of a circulation pump are met, it is a good addition to your heating system. Comfort, savings potential and purer water are among the advantages of this device. Do not save on the initial cost, as a more expensive device only amplifies the benefits. Simple pumps can be purchased for as little as 80€.

Autor: Jan Bittner