Have you ever wished there were a way to stop wasting water while you wait for hot water to make it to the tub or sink spout? Actually, there’s a device you can use to stop pouring clean, cold water down the drain. Have your plumber install a hot water recirculating system to save you time and money. Here are some facts about hot water recirculating systems.
Hot Water Runs in a Loop
Every time you turn on a hot water tap in a standard plumbing system, hot water flows to the fixture from your hot water heater. After you use the hot water and shut it off, hot water remains in the supply pipe. If no one turns on the hot water tap for a while, the hot water in the supply pipe slowly cools.
When you have a recirculating system installed on your hot water pipes, heated water doesn’t sit useless in the pipes after you use the hot water tap. Instead, the warm water in the pipes is sent back to the water heater. Eventually, the heated water loop provides instant hot water to all of the fixtures on the line since the water never cools down.
Systems Offer Recirculation
There are three basic types of recirculating systems. The best choice for your home depends on the length and diameter of your plumbing lines, your hot water use, and the type of water heater you own.
The following three recirculating systems are available for homes:
Traditional hot water recirculating system
Instant hot water recirculating system
On-demand hot water recirculating system
Installing one of the three main types of hot water recirculating systems can save you 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of clean water per year and will lower your sewer bill too.
All 3 Systems Use Pumps
The three main hot water recirculating systems use electrically powered pumps. Various controls are available for the systems to enable remote-control activation and other convenient operating modes.
In the traditional circulating system, your plumber installs a return line from the plumbing fixture located the farthest away from the water heater. The new plumbing line is hooked to a pump that pulls water back to the water heater. Hot water continually loops to all hot taps. Timers can be set to loop water only during busy shower and dish washing times.
An instant hot water system does not require the return pipe necessary for the traditional recirculating system. Instead, a pump is installed under a sink or over the water heater. The pump pressurizes water so it enters the cold water lines, while a check valve keeps the hot water at the taps. Timers are used for energy-efficient pump operation.
The on-demand hot water recirculating system can be a traditional or instant hot water system. Rather than relying on timers to loop hot water, you activate the pump as needed. Once the water recirculating through the pump is hot, the pump shuts off to save energy.
Gravity-Fed Hot Water Systems Need No Pump
A fourth type of hot water recirculating system relies on gravity to supply hot water to fixtures. Hot water pipes must be located above the hot water heater for this type of setup.
A process called thermosiphoning is used to keep hot water in the supply lines. Hot water rises, while cold water falls. The cold water enters a return line back to the water heater. A check valve keeps hot water in the hot pipes and out of the return water line.
Gravity-fed hot water recirculating systems are useful in spaces where you can’t install a pump. The simple recirculating systems are easy to operate and maintain because there’s no pump to manage.
Schedule installation of your new hot water circulation system in Seattle, Washington, by contacting Quality Plumbing today. Enjoy hot showers and baths all winter long with no waiting.