Recirculating Water Heater Systems
Hot Water Recirculation Systems
If your routine begins with taking showers in the early morning, do you ever have to wonder for how long the bathroom floor will feel so cold? For how long do you have to run your shower before soothing hot water actually emerges – 30 seconds, a minute, 2 minutes? How many gallons of lukewarm water were just wasted? These seem to be little nuisances but they irritate many homeowners every day. However, the homeowners that never deal with them do exist. Their floors and rooms are consistently heated, and piping hot water is dispensed in a second – welcome to the world of recirculation!
How they work
To get hot water instantly, your piping system will require a loop that will circulate hot water back to the water heater. In most houses hot water pipe usually dead ends at the farthest plumbing fixture from the heater, meaning there is no such loop. However, there is no need to install a return loop if as a homeowner you opt for a contemporary recirculating pump system. A top-notch temperature actuated by-pass valve in these systems joins the cold and hot water supply lines at the fixture that is farthest away from the water heater. The bypass valve uses the cold water line as the return loop back to the water heater.
The goal of hot water recirculation systems (whether controlled by a demand switch or by plain gravity) is to deliver hot water where you need it and deliver it fast.
A demand-controlled circulation system is the one that applies a pump triggered by a switch or motion sensor and uses the least amount of energy, saving the most water. It is also comparatively cheap to operate. This system provides hot water quickly; however, it doesn’t do it as quickly as some other types.
The simplicity of a gravity-fed hot water circulation system is evident. It depends on the process called thermosiphoning, when hot water elevates to the top of the system and cold water being denser falls to the bottom. Although for such a system to operate properly, the water heater needs to be placed below the hot-water taps it will provide the hot water to. Even though this system uses more energy than others because it is working 24/7, it is still the most manageable, because there are no pumps to install or maintain.
Hot water recirculation systems can be controlled by hand or by switch, in any case they help to significantly reduce the amount of water running down the drain and allow the homeowner to have the water of desired temperature right away. This leads us to certain advantages of such recirculating water heater systems, which are described below:
- They conserve water – up to 1.3 trillion of water is wasted nationally by US homeowners while they wait for water to warm up according to the U.S. Department of Energy statistics
- They save time and money, delivering hot water to the faucets instantly and saving up to 10% on your water bill
- Maintenance free
- Easy installation
- Additional sensor valves available for homes with multiple plumbing loops
So if you are tired of waiting for hot water, at Downey Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning our plumbing technicians can install the hot water recirculating pump that will ensure uninterrupted flow of hot water at every tap or shower whenever it is required, at the same time saving gallons of water that would otherwise run in vain. Quiet, maintenance-free operation is provided due to the unique design of the pump. In case if you do not need to operate the pump constantly, install the system that also includes a built-in, dual setting programmable timer to activate the pump just when you need it. Contact us and we will gladly answer all the questions that this topic might have raised.