Itching to get your hands on a good do it yourself (DIY) type project? Something you can do with your own two hands and no special tools? I can recommend a great project…simple to do, environmentally friendly (reduces your carbon footprint), and provide years of satisfaction and convenience. A win/win project for everyone!
Fast hot water delivery systems, commonly known as hot water circulating or recirculating systems, provide a number of benefits. Obviously faster hot water means you don’t have to wait as long for it, saving you time. Since these systems do not run water down the drain when delivering the hot water, they save water and save energy.
Running water down the drain is not only a waste of water, but since the water is treated and pumped before it gets to your home, and then the sewer water is treated and pumped, a lot of energy is used in the process. Generation of this energy releases green house gasses into the atmosphere, contributes to pollution, and uses up more of our resources.
The first thing you must do is deciding what type of hot water system to install. A full time hot water recirculation system could be a big project since you must run a water pipe from the last fixture back to the water heater inlet. If the plumbing in your home has major branch circuits then you might need to re-plumb some of the hot water piping to get the system to deliver hot water to every sink.
Fortunately there are other types of fast hot water delivery systems on the market that make things much easier for the do-it-yourselfer. There are a number of systems that utilize the cold water line as the return line (eliminating the need to add a separate return line to you plumbing). Since the cold water line connects to the inlet of water heaters and to every sink fixture and shower fixture, you can send water back to the water heater by simply directing it out of the hot water line and into the cold water line.
Some hot water delivery systems put a pump at the fixture and just run the water in a big loop back to the heater. These systems typically have a pump and timer (or cycle button) located at the fixture where fast hot water is desired. The pump is connected to the cold and hot water lines and is timer (or cycle button) controlled. A 110-volt power source is needed. The downfalls to these systems are the difficulty of installation (since they need an electrical power source), they only provide fast hot water during the “on” cycle of the timer (or after you first cycle the pump) and the pumps have a short lifespan.
Other fast hot water delivery systems use thermal convection linked to an adjustable thermostatically controlled valve. These fast hot water delivery systems provide a much easier installation (often less than 20-minutes not requiring electrical power to operate), fast hot water whenever you need it (do to the adjustable thermostatic control) and a long lifespan.
Compare some of the hot water recirculation systems: Grundfos, Hot Water Lobster, Laing, Metlund, RedyTemp, and Watts.
There hot water recirculating systems save so much water and energy that many local communities and utilities offer rebates for installing hot water circulating systems, so check with your local water company…your fast hot water system might end up costing you nothing!
If you are looking for a great do it yourself project that will provide great benefits for you and your family and reduce your carbon footprint, then a fast hot water system should be at the top of your list.