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

The Watts Premier Hot Water Recirculation System

According to Watts, the Premier recirculation system gives you instant hot water at every faucet. Here’s the quote from their website: “The Watts Premiers Hot Water Recirculating Pump brings convenience and economy to your home, giving you instant hot water at every faucet, when you need it.”

Technically that’s not really true…

A warm water circulation system

The Watts Premier system is what I like to call a warm water circulation system. The system consists of a valve to be placed under the sink and a pump located at the level of the water heater. The pump creates a pressure difference between the hot tap and the cold tap.

The valve connects between the hot and cold water taps, and when the temperature drops below 98°C, water flows through the valve, bringing the heated water to the installation of sink/faucet/valve.

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

Wasting Energy

The water may not be hot, but it is much hotter than without a top notch system, therefore your water heater will have to use more energy to keep the water hot in that big heat exchanger what you call your plumbing system.

A nice thing about the Watts pump is that you can put a valve under each sink if you want and get hot water for any fixture instantly. However, you will increase the power consumption of your system at the same time.

Does not work with tankless water heaters

The pump is very small and does not consume much power, but therefore it cannot pump much water either. The Watts Premier is unlikely to fire even a small tankless water heater. According to the pump curves on the Watts website, the pump cut-off pressure is around 1.5 psi.

Watts uses a Grundfos UP15-10SU7/TLC pump with a 1/25 horsepower motor that draws 25 watts. The pump runs continuously, so running it for, say, 16 hours a day would consume 25 watts/hour x 16 hours/day x 365 days/year = 146,000 watts/hour per year in electrical energy consumption. That’s 146 kWh and at say 13 cents per kWh would be $19.00 per year. This would be significantly less than the energy lost due to hot water circulation.

The hot water will of course arrive faster than if the pipes were completely cooled, because being colder they would draw more heat from the oncoming cold water as it flowed to the tap. But it certainly can’t be called “Instant”.

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

The Metlund D’mand pump

The Metlund D’mand system is an on-demand hot water distribution system. It only pumps water to the device when you “demand” it at the press of a button. The D’mand pump mounts under the sink and connects to hot and cold water supply valves like the Watts valve. A power outlet is required to plug in the pump.

When the button is pressed, the pump begins to pump water to the appliance by returning the cooled water in the hot water pipes to the water heater through the cold water pipes. When the pump detects a sudden increase in temperature, it stops so that hot water does not enter the cold water line.

No wasted energy

Since the pump only fills the pipes between the appliance and the water heater with hot water as you would by running the tap, you are not using any additional energy from the water heater with the system. Since the pump runs for a very short time, it uses much less electricity than the 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 10-20 seconds longer to deliver water to fixtures, the Metlund Pump is a great accessory for any tankless water heater, gas or electric. You get your hot water very quickly without additional energy penalty and you save a lot of water.

Metlund pump models range in price from around $350 to around $750 at retail.

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