Small Domestic Water Recirculation Pumps: Is it Time to Break a Habit?

Norm Hall
March 29, 2021
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Small Hot Water Recirculation Pump

Most domestic hot water recirculation pumps are very small. R.L. Deppmann is thankful that most engineers schedule a Bell & Gossett PL-30B or 36B maintenance-free bronze circulator for this application. I don’t normally talk about specific products in this blog, but this is worth reading. Did you know that for the same price, you can have an ECM smart pump with the opportunity to balance the flow rate and save energy at the same time?

The Bell & Gossett 20-18 SS ECM Smart Pump Capacities

How many times do we end up with recirculation pumps sized for 10 to 15 GPM at 10 to 15 feet of head? We truly appreciate the specification for the PLB series of circulators but there is a more advanced mousetrap out there. Well, this stainless-steel lead-free smart pump can provide that capacity and more using only a maximum of 70 watts.

Fixed Speed Curve Graph Proportional Pressure Curve Graph

Why Use an ECM Smart Pump?

There are several advantages to using this pump.

  • This pump can be manually adjusted by the balance contractor to three different speeds. Rather than throttling energy across that balance valve, this pump speed will drop and save the energy.
  • It comes standard with CircGuard™ which will protect the pump during operation at rare but dangerous no flow operation.
  • Includes removeable insulation for the pump
  • Available with union ends.

Soon it will be available with additional smart features including a temperature control which adjusts the speed to maintain the temperature set point of the recirculation system. These features are identified as a “plus” model in the B&G Eco-Circ 20-18 literature.

You May Wonder, How Do I Specify This Along with Traditional Pumps?

This pump may be specified along with the more traditional B&G bronze pumps. This will allow the plumbing system engineer to choose the pump that meets the capacities required without looking over her shoulder at the specification changes required. Note that in Michigan and Ohio, this pump is available from many wholesalers so there can be competitive bidding. You may access a list of the wholesalers at our “Locate a Wholesaler” web tool.

Contact R.L. Deppmann or your local B&G representative if you would like a review of your current Plumbing Recirculation specification 22 11 23.


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