If you dream of “instant” hot water every time you take a shower, consider investing in a hot water recirculation system to your hot water heater. Is there much worse than watching gallons of precious water escape down the drain as you wait for it to get hot enough to take a shower? You might not really get “instant hot water” but an efficient system comes very close. Installation can improve your home’s water delivery system anywhere in the Cross Plains WI area.
Think about what you experience now and what might be – your wait 3 minutes for shower water to get hot enough each morning while as much as 5 gallons of water goes down the drain; or you wait 10-15 seconds for all the hot water your need!
The backbone of the system is a hot water recirculating pump. It’s usually installed on top of your existing hot water heater. In addition there’s a sensor valve installed under the sink farthest away from the heater. The process is simple: the water line unit senses when the water temperature drops below about 90°F and tells the valve to open. The open valve triggers the pump which allows more hot water to flow through the pipes. A new pump on top of your hot water heater will save you 2-3 minutes of waiting every time you take a shower or wash dishes. And, it will save countless gallons of water lost while the temperature rises.
Hot Water Recirculation Pumps Pay Off
If there’s one thing we all lack in life it is time. Modern society is always in a hurry. Installation of a hot water delivery system cannot put more minutes in a hour, but it can let you use the ones you have more comfortably. We’d all prefer an extra minute or two waking up in a hot shower each morning instead waiting for hot water, right? A recirculation pump for hot water also provides advantages beyond more efficient use of time, including:
- The system saves water – gallons of water go down the drain every time you prepare a child’s bath, get ready to do dishes or take a shower.
- Save money – you pay for each gallon of water down the drain. Why not get your money’s worth?
A hot water recirculation system isn’t a perfect match for every home. There are disadvantages, including:
- Initial cost – putting in a reliable system isn’t a basic DIY project and doing it right requires skill and experience. You’re paying for more than the pump, sensors and pipes.
- Cool, not cold water – when you decide you want instant hot water you may wind up with luke-warm water from the cold tap. Instead of instant cold you wait a few seconds for that tap to run cold.
- Sensor values – in areas like southern Wisconsin sensor valves have been known to need replacing because of hard water. If you have a water treatment system the problem isn’t likely to appear. Otherwise, replacing them is pretty easy.
- You need electricity – the new hot water recirculating pump is electric. Because it’s usually mounted on top of the water heater you need an outlet nearby. You may need an electrician to install an appropriate source of electricity.
Does The System Prevent Frozen Pipes
In southern Wisconsin there’s always a threat of frozen pipes when the annual “cold spell” hits. Of course there are traditional ways to guard against plumbing freezes – leave a tap trickling 24/7, use heating tapes and extra insulation, etc. But have you considered a hot water circulating system? The same system that gets you instant hot showers keeps the water in lines warmer all the time. It isn’t promoted as a way to protect water lines but it makes sense.
When you turn off the water what’s left in the pipes cools down. When you reopen a faucet that cooled water drains out and warm water replaces it. With a booster pump on the hot water heated you get a fresh supply of hot water in seconds – increasing the efficiency of the hot water delivery system by as much as 80%. The recirculating pump doesn’t run long so it uses about as much power as an old-style 25-watt lightbulb – the sensor shuts it off as soon as water temperature hits the target level.
Installation Vital To Instant Hot Water System Success
“Best guess” estimates suggest as many as 16,000 gallons of water go down the drain unused by people waiting to bathe or do dishes. Whether that accounts for wear on your home water well system or you pay for municipal water and sewer it’s costing you money.
If you’re tired of wasting time and water before every shower, a recirculating system is worth exploring. That’s especially true for popular multi-level homes where the faucet farthest from the water heater is a long way away. A total system evaluation and review by a licensed plumber makes sense. Getting the results you expect takes professional skill, experience and tools.
If you’re dreaming of instant hot water, call Sauk Plains Plumbing at 608-798-2121. Our staff of well-trained, experienced, licensed and bonded professionals is ready to inspect your existing water delivery system. When you’re ready we’ll install the latest hot water recirculation system in your Cross Plains WI, Verona, Waunakee or Middleton WI home.
Hot Water Recirculation Systems – National Association of Certified Home Inspectors