Hot Water Circulation Pumps: 3 Troubleshooting Tips

Hot water recirculation pumps are appliances used for hot water when your water supply is low. While they are generally well made and cause few problems, you might occasionally need to troubleshoot them. Here are some things to look for when the pump isn't working properly.

Listen for Unusual Sounds

The sounds your pump makes can tell you a lot about its condition and whether or not repairs are needed. If you hear a screeching or squealing sound when the pump is turned on, it might be due to extra air getting into the system. This can happen when there is a power outage and air gets trapped in the pump. If you hear these sounds, you need to help release the extra air. Open the air escape valve to the pump, which is near the top of the appliance. This lets the water bleed out, which can also help air to escape.

Look for Corrosion

Another indication that something is wrong with the hot water circulation pump is if there are signs of corrosion. The pipes in the pump are prone to corrosion, which often occurs due to age and not necessarily because of something you did or didn't do. When your pump isn't working properly, check different parts of the pump, including the pipes, bends, tees, and elbows, all of which can have rust and corrosion. If they look damaged or thin, you have probably found the source of your problem. Unfortunately, this is something that requires replacing the pump, as opposed to making simple repairs. Contact a plumber to replace the hot water pump if this is the problem.

Inspect the Pipe Insulation

The final way to troubleshoot your hot water pump is by inspecting the pipe insulation. If it doesn't have good insulation in the supply and return pipes, the pump will not provide enough hot water for your home. It might also be using too much energy in order to give you the hot water you need, which can cause your energy bill to spike. One way to test the insulation is by turning on a faucet to the hot setting and wait to see how long it takes for it to get hot. If it takes longer than a few seconds, then you might have an insulation problem. You should also call out a contractor to check the pipe insulation if you have noticed your energy bill being a lot higher than it used to be.

Contact a service like Garabedian Plumbing & Heating Inc for more details.