Warning Signs Your Recirculating Pump Is About to Fail

To properly function, many plumbing systems require a recirculating pump. Its primary purpose is to keep hot water circulating through the pipes so that it is always ready to use. But eventually, recirculating pumps will break down just like any other mechanical system will. This article will go over the signs of a malfunctioning recirculating pump, what could be causing those signs, and how to diagnose and repair such a pump.

6 Common Signs Your Recirculating Pump Needs Attention

The following are some common symptoms of a bad recirculating pump:

1. Decreased Water Pressure:

Lowered water pressure is an easily recognizable symptom of a failing recirculating pump. One possible cause of low water pressure is a malfunctioning pump.

2. Strange Noises Coming from the Pump:

If you hear whining, grinding, or rattling coming from your pump, it may be a sign that your recirculation pump is damaged or deteriorating. Pumps that make these sounds may need maintenance or replacement.

3. Leaking Water:

Water leaking from the system is another common symptom of a malfunctioning recirculating pump. The pump is not working correctly if water is leaking from the unit itself or the connections.

4. Unusual Vibration or Shaking:

When a recirculation pump isn’t functioning properly, it can generate strange vibrations or shakes. Intense shaking or vibration from your pump should serve as a warning that anything is wrong.

5. Inconsistent Water Temperature:

Water Temperature Variability A faulty recirculating pump can also contribute to temperature variations in the system’s water supply. A faulty recirculating pump could be to blame for inconsistently frigid water temperatures or frequent temperature swings.

6. Increased Energy Bills:

Rising Utility Costs A malfunctioning recirculation pump could be the cause of a sudden increase in your monthly utility costs. If your water pump is malfunctioning, your water heater may have to work harder than necessary, which can raise energy usage and your monthly expenses.

Causes of a Bad Recirculating Pump

recirculating pumpA recirculating pump may malfunction or sustain damage over time for a number of reasons. A malfunctioning recirculating pump can have a number of typical causes, including:

Age and Wear and Tear: Recirculating pumps can wear out with time, just like any other mechanical component does with age and use. A pump may break down before it should if regular maintenance is not done. Your pump needs to be inspected frequently, and if it exhibits indications of wear and tear, it should be replaced.

Improper Installation or Maintenance: A recirculating pump might potentially malfunction if it is not installed or maintained correctly. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance suggestions and having your pump professionally installed is crucial.

Electrical Problems and Power Surges: A recirculating pump may malfunction due to electrical problems and power surges. A power surge or unstable power source could harm your pump and make it stop working.

Corrosion and rust: A recirculating pump may malfunction due to corrosion and rust. The pump may suffer damage and finally stop working if it is exposed to moisture or other corrosive substances.

How to Check for a Bad Recirculating Pump

There are a few things you can examine if you think there’s an issue with your recirculating pump:

  • Stop the pump and inspect the connections. Stop the pump and inspect the connections for leakage. A malfunctioning pump could be indicated by the presence of leaks.
  • Test the pump’s electrical connections: Make sure that the electrical connections to the pump are secure and undamaged. The pump may stop working if a connection is loose or broken.
  • Check the impeller for damage or wear. The impeller is a key component of any pump. Look for wear and damage on the impeller. The pump will stop working if the impeller is broken.
  • Look for Rust or Corrosion in the Pump: Inspect the pump for rust or corrosion. Pump failure can be brought on by corrosion or rust.

Solutions for a Bad Recirculating Pump

There are a number of options to take into consideration if you’ve discovered that your recirculating pump is not operating properly:

Repair or replace the pump:

Depending on whether the pump needs to be fixed or replaced since it is not working properly, The cost-effectiveness of replacing the pump as opposed to repairing it will depend on the severity of the damage.

Install a New Pump with Updated Features:

If you’re replacing your recirculating pump, think about installing a new pump with updated features. You can reduce your energy costs by switching to newer pumps because they are frequently more energy-efficient.

Regular upkeep and cleaning to prevent future problems:

It’s critical to carry out routine maintenance and cleaning on your recirculating pump to guard against problems in the future. The pump and its connections may need to be cleaned, and you may also want to examine the electrical connections and the impeller for signs of wear and tear.


Many plumbing systems require recirculating pumps, which are crucial components. Reduced water pressure, unusual noises, leaks, and higher energy costs are just a few problems that might arise if your pump isn’t working properly. You can make certain that your plumbing system is operating effectively and properly by recognizing the signs of a faulty recirculating pump and taking the required action to remedy the issue. To avoid problems in the future, don’t forget to check your pump frequently and conduct routine maintenance and cleaning.


Can a bad recirculating pump cause other plumbing problems?

Yes, a bad recirculating pump can cause other plumbing problems such as leaks, decreased water pressure, and water damage.

How do I know if my recirculating pump needs to be replaced?

You should look for common symptoms of a bad recirculating pump, such as decreased water pressure, strange noises, leaks, and hot water taking longer than usual to reach the plumbing fixtures. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to replace your recirculating pump.

Can I fix a bad recirculating pump on my own?

If you have plumbing experience and feel comfortable working with your plumbing system, you may be able to fix a bad recirculating pump on your own. However, it is recommended that you hire a licensed plumber to ensure that the repair is done correctly and safely.

How much does it cost to replace a recirculating pump?

The cost to replace a recirculating pump can vary depending on the type of pump and the complexity of the installation. On average, the cost can range from $500 to $1,500.

How long does a recirculating pump last?

The lifespan of a recirculating pump can vary depending on the quality of the pump and the frequency of use. On average, a recirculating pump can last between 5 and 10 years.

Can I prevent my recirculating pump from going bad?

Yes, you can prevent your recirculating pump from going bad by performing regular maintenance, such as flushing the system and cleaning the pump. Additionally, you should ensure that your pump is properly sized for your plumbing system and that it is installed correctly.

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