Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Very short lifespan
on January 16, 2012
I have used a Laing Ultratech UCT303 BW recirculator pump for just over 2 years now, and am very disappointed. In my previous house, I used a Grundfos recirculator... I had no issues with the Grundfos unit over 4 years of use. When we moved to a new place, I had my plumber install a recirculator. Except, I forgot the brandname Grundfos and Laing came up prominently during a Google search...so I went with Laing. Big mistake !
These Laing recirculators are very pricey ~ almost $400, depending on where you buy them. Unfortunately, they are not built well. The outside looks nice and sturdy...brass housing and all that, and they make fancy claims about a self lubricating motor. Unfortunately, they also have a check valve made out of fairly cheap rubber. I am an engineer...and it defies common sense to have a rubber check value meant for controlling hot water flow, specially when the rubber they use is so flaky. My recirculator stopped working after 19 months of use. Their warranty states 2 years, but that is 2 years from the date it was manufactured, not the date it was sold or first put to use (the manufacturing date is stamped on the unit). And guess what... I bought it 6 months after it was manufactured, so the warranty is no good. I took the unit apart, and the rubber valve was flaking into pieces ~ it was so bad that the manufacturer must know that the lifespan cannot be much more than 19 months. I suspect (but don't know for a fact, obviously) that their warranty policy is cleverly designed around this information.
I called them to see if they could send me a replacement check valve that I could insert into the unit. Unfortunately, that violates company policy. So now, my only real option is to toss this $400 unit into the landfill, create a whole bunch of unnecessary CO2 emissions, and start afresh with a Grundfos. My other option is to insert a separate check valve in the return line, but this is riskier (the pressure requirements on the check valve must closely match the motor; and of course the company does not divulge any of this information)... I am going to try this, but do not expect it to work long term.
I don't know the insides of a Grundfos unit, but I do know it lasted 4 years (instead of 19 months) and I also know that it is a lot cheaper. This time, I will not forget the name.