Modern homes come equipped with a hot and cold water system. Most hot water heaters have a tank of water that they keep hot so that there will be hot water available for use. The problem is that when the hot water is left in the pipes, it cools. This is why your hot water faucet or shower has to run the cooled water out of the pipes before hot water arrives. This not only wastes water down the drain, it also wastes energy required to heat the cold (ground temperature) water which replaces the water hot water in your tank type water heater.
Hot water recirculation is designed to get around the problem of having to wait for hot water, which causes the average household to waste over 17,000 gallons of water every year as it runs down the drain. Water recirculation systems keep a constant supply of hot water in the pipes, circulating the water back to the water heater so that when the hot water faucet is turned on, it’s actual hot water that comes out. There are currently two methods for installing a recirculation system, and though one is more expensive than the other, both work equally well.
One type of hot water recirculation uses a dedicated line. This means that there is a pipe in the plumbing systems whose express purpose is to take water from the regular pipes back to the water heater so that the water can be reheated. This type of system is usually expensive, especially if the house is already built and has to be retrofit.
The other type of hot water recirculation uses your existing cold water line as a return line to take water back to the water heater so that the water can be reheated. This type of system is much less expensive and is a great “Do It Yourself” project.
Installing a new innovative and patented technology known as a “temperature controlled hot water recirculating valve” is a breeze (no pipe cutting, soldering or electrical connections). It uses your existing water pipes and the thermal convection generated by your water heater to circulate the water back to your water heater for reheating (not requiring a pump or any electricity). These systems have a temperature-controlled valve that allows the consumer to easily adjust the temperature to meet their particular needs. There is no water waste as it reduces the energy required to heat your water while it provides instant hot water to your faucets and showers.