Can Water Flow Through A Booster Pump That Is Off Comparing the Watts Premier Recirculating Pump to the Metlund D’Mand System

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Comparing the Watts Premier Recirculating Pump to the Metlund D’Mand System

Watts Premier Hot Water Recirculation System

According to Watts, the Premier Recirculation System gives you instant hot water at every faucet. Here’s a quote from their website: “The Watts Premiers Recirculating Hot Water Pump brings convenience and savings to your home by instantly providing you with hot water at every tap when you need it.”

Technically, that’s not true at all…

System for circulation of lukewarm hot water

I like to call the Watts Premier system a lukewarm water circulation system. The system consists of a valve for placement under the sink and a pump located on the water heater. The pump creates a pressure difference between the hot and cold faucet.

The valve connects the hot and cold faucet and when the temperature drops below 98°, water flows through the valve and directs the heated water toward the sink/faucet/valve installation.

When the valve detects a temperature above 98°, the valve closes and the flow stops. In other words, it works the same as a traditional temperature-controlled recirculation system, except that it circulates warm water instead of hot, and of course uses the cold water line as the return line.

Waste of energy

The water may not be hot, but it’s much warmer than without a premium system, so your water heater will have to use more energy to keep the water warm in that big heat exchanger you call your plumbing system.

One nice thing about the Watts pump is that you can put a valve under any sink if you want and get instant hot water for any or every fixture. However, you will increase your system’s power consumption at the same time.

Does not work with tankless water heaters

The pump is very small and does not use a lot of energy, but as a result it cannot pump a lot of water either. It is unlikely that the Watts Premier will be able to turn on even a small tankless water heater. According to the pump curves on the Watts website, the cut-off pressure of the pump is about 1.5 psi.

Watts uses a Grundfos UP15-10SU7/TLC pump with a 1/25 horsepower motor that uses 25 watts. The pump runs continuously, so its operation for say 16 hours a day would use 25 watts/hour x 16 hours/day x 365 days/year = 146,000 watt/hours per year in electricity consumption. That’s 146 kWh and say 13 cents per kWh would be $19.00 per year. This would be significantly less than the energy lost by circulating hot water.

Of course, the hot water will arrive faster than if the pipes were allowed to cool completely, because being cooler they would absorb more heat from the incoming cold water as it flows into the faucet. But it certainly cannot be called “Instant”.

The listed price for the Watts Premier system on the website is $225.00

Pump Metlund D’mand

The Metlund D’mand system is a hot water supply system on demand. It pumps water into the installation only when you “request” it by pressing a button. The D’mand pump is installed under the sink and connected to hot and cold water supply valves, such as the Watts valve. An electrical outlet is required to connect the pump.

When you press the button, the pump starts pumping water to the fixture and returns the cooled water in the hot water pipes back to the water heater through the cold water pipes. When the pump detects a sudden increase in temperature, it shuts off to prevent hot water from entering the cold water line.

No wasted energy

Since all the pump does is fill the pipes between the fixture and the water heater with hot water, just as you would if you turned on the faucet, you don’t use any extra energy from the water heater with the system. Because the pump runs for a very short time, it uses much less electricity than a Watts pump, about $1.00 per year.

Works with any tankless water heater

Some models will work with tankless water heaters. Since tankless water heaters typically take 10 to 20 seconds longer for the water to reach the fixture, the Metlund pump is a very nice addition to any tankless water heater, gas or electric. You get hot water very quickly without additional energy costs and save a lot of water.

Prices for Metlund pump models range from about $350 to about $750 retail.

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