What Are Feed Pump Recirculation Lines?

What Are Feed Pump Recirculation Lines?


Virtually every boiler out there is a recirculating system to some extent. Fresh water and condensate are regulated into the feed tank or DA, and water is pumped into the boiler as needed. Within the boiler, heat is added and water is converted into steam. It’ll go do its job, and then it will lose that heat and condense back into a liquid again. Once it condenses, it’ll be right back where it started in the feedwater tank.


A smaller loop exists in many systems, especially with continuously running boiler feed pumps. Modulation pumps run all the time. However, they’re not always pumping feedwater into the boiler at full capacity. If they did, they would overfill the boiler with water and there’d be no room for steam. But a pump has to move water if it is running, and that unneeded water has got to go somewhere. It can’t just stay in the pump, because without a constant flow of water to remove heat, the pump can overheat and take some serious damage. To keep the water moving, recirculation line orifices allow the minimum required volume of water back into the feedwater tank through recirculation lines. 

Recirculating lines generally run back into the feedwater tank instead of the boiler. Incidentally, for maintenance purposes, there is usually a valve located somewhere along the recirculation line between the pump and the feedwater tank. It’s important to keep that valve open when your boiler is operating, or else you’re going to burn out your pump. 

If you have a recirculating pump that needs maintenance or a regular inspection, let the experts at WARE help you keep it in top shape. If you’re in the market for a new pump, we have a wide selection of efficient, reliable pumps that’ll get the job done. No matter what you need, we’re here to help.

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