I have a new tankless water heater. Can I install it to work with my existing hot water recirculating system?
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I have a pump and the loop is currently run off a standard water heater outlet. The tankless is a Takai unit.
Generally it is not a good idea to have a recirculating system that runs 24/7 with a tankless water heater, the problem being the tankless water heater will keep cycling on and off, thereby defeating the purpose of the tankless water heater, which is to save energy. Also, I have heard that some tankless water heater manufacturers will void the warranty when the tankless water heater is connected to a recirculating pump.
The other problem you might run into is the flow rate of the recirculating pump may not even turn on the tankless water heater. Grundfos does make a recirculating pump for tankless water heaters, but you need to make sure the two devices will work together. Navian makes a tankless water heater with recirculating pump built in.
It is best to use a recirculating pump that is on an automatic timer or on a manual on/off switch at the point of use. If it is on a timer, ideally the timer would only run the recirculating pump for say 1-2 hours in the morning each day and be off the rest of the time. If on a manual point-of-use switch, when you get up in the morning you turn the switch on and then turn it off after your showers are done.
The biggest knock against many tankless water heaters is that the water takes a while to heat up and a lot of good clean domestic drinking water goes down the drain. The benefit of a hot water recirculating system will be less water usage.