How Do Circulator Pumps for Hot Water and Heating Work?
August 31, 2017
If there's one resource we've all come to rely upon, it has to be the hot water we see piped into our baths and showers. Electrical systems also represent a fundamental home resource, of course, but they don't quite offer the same life-supporting benefits that we've come to associate with hot water. Considering the above truisms, just how do circulator pumps keep that warm liquid flowing?
The Where's and Why's of Circulator Pumps
Water systems need an electrical connection. Granted, pressure reduction valves, perhaps the ones located outside an apartment complex, alongside the metering gear, work on different principles. Still, a circulator pump is a dynamic machine, so it requires electrical current as a mutual inductance source. Then, usually right next to the water heater, the circulator keeps the system primed. What does that mean, this priming term? Well, simply put, if you turn your hot tap (faucet, for our American audience), there's no waiting period while the water rushes out of the electrically or gas-heated tank. Instead, the heated water instantly pours out of the tap, and there's some real power behind that pouring action. That's the circulator pump in action, right there at the tap or shower head.
Deconstructing Hot Water Systems
Located close to the water heater or plumbed into the cold water line that connects to the farthest sink in the system, circulator pumps are traditionally fitted with bronze parts. That's to say, the impeller and volute chambers are typically fabricated from a non-reactant alloy. By following this plumbing-mandated manufacturing guideline, the oxygenated hot water won't create a corrosive effect within the pump's water channeling compartment. Interestingly, the high-flow device is undergoing some evolutionary design work at the moment. The goal is to eliminate the last major energy consumer in the traditional hot water system so that new energy-efficient replacements can take over their duties. Freed from hot water heaters, these eco-friendly circulator pumps channel hot water through and away from roof-mounted solar panels.
A bare-naked water network is a passive series of branching water channels. Fitted with circulator pumps, that water-filled conduit is eternally primed and ready for consumption. It issues instantly from a tap or a shower, or it enters a water radiator without producing a single air bubble. Designed as a closed circuit, the piped water exhibits some friction, but circulator pumps are built to overcomes this resistance, to then return cooled water to the water heater and ensure an unfluctuating flow of steaming hot water is waiting, on demand, at the chosen outlet, be it a washing machine, a radiator, or a humble sink faucet.
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