Resolving the Circulation Dilemma in Multifamily Buildings

September/October 2012
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2012 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Hot Water
August 29, 2012
Much like a beating heart, a circulation pump circulates heated water throughout a building for residents’ use and back to its source. Some single-family homes have circulation pumps, but for multifamily housing, a circulation pump is an essential part of the water-heating system, and in some states it is required by the building code. Homeowners don’t like the idea of letting a pump run 24/7 consuming electricity and wasting natural gas, when they need hot water only a few times a day, so they often unplug the circulation pump installed in their hot-water distribution system. As for multifamily buildings, without some kind of circulation pump, the tenants will waste a substantial amount of water and time. These are two sides of the circulation dilemma.

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