We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Circulating Pump?

By Dorothy Distefano
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many fluid systems require a frequent or continuous flow of liquid. A circulating pump is used to move a liquid through a fluid piping system. This type of pump is commonly used in heating and cooling systems, and in applications that require a mix of liquids and powders. Selection of a circulating pump for a specific application is usually based on the type of solution, flow rate, and operating conditions, such as temperature and pressure.

A home water heating system operates using a circulation pump to move hot water from a boiler through a series of metal pipes. Heat is given off as the water flows through the piping and back into the boiler. The heat generated by the hot water in the pipes can warm a room in a house. A circulating water pump is turned on and off to move hot water through the pipes, and maintain a set temperature in the room. Water cooling systems operate very similarly but use cold water for cooling.

The main parts of a circulating pump are the housing, impeller, motor, and support bearings. The pump housing typically consists of a cavity that contains the moving parts of the pump, while maintaining a liquid-tight seal. A motor is used to rotate the impeller inside the pump housing. The impeller is supported by the bearings and has a series of blades that force the fluid in the desired direction.

A circulating pump can also be used when a liquid and powder are combined in a solution. In some applications, the addition of a powdered material must be carefully controlled to ensure that the final properties of the mixed solution meet specifications. Many mixing processes use a vessel with an impeller near the bottom that rotates constantly to keep the materials mixed together. A piping system is used to circulate the solution outside of the vessel so that powder can be added into the flowing liquid to ensure uniform addition.

Most circulating pumps are electrically powered, but may also be powered using air pressure or hydraulic fluid. The materials used for manufacturing a circulating pump will vary based on the type of solution and operating conditions. For piping systems that use water, aluminum or cast iron housings with bronze or stainless steel internal components are often used. For applications using fluids that are highly corrosive, or that operate at high temperatures or pressures, titanium, metal alloys, and chemically-resistant plastics may be used to maintain acceptable pump performance and life.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By nony — On Jan 15, 2012

@NathanG - A boiler circulating pump has quite a few moving parts from what I understand. I’ve been told that as part of your maintenance regimen you should oil the pump to make sure the parts continue to move freely and don’t wear down too easily. I think that’s good advice, especially during the winter months when you might really put that pump to use.

By NathanG — On Jan 14, 2012

If you’ve ever had to wait until your shower warmed up before you stepped in, there is something you can do about it.

You can get a hot water circulating pump that you can attach to your tank. It’s an additional unit and fairly inexpensive. From what I understand it’s supposed to increase the pressure on the hot water line more than the cold water line.

In the end it’s supposed to save you so many gallons of water because you get hot water more quickly. I haven’t done any benchmarks to see if this is so, and I don’t own the unit myself, but that’s what I’ve heard.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.