Many people wait for hot water each morning. A similar thing happens when people operate other sinks, dishwashers and washing machines. Fortunately, this problem can be solved one of two ways depending upon how your plumbing system is designed. Keep in mind that the work to achieve your goal is not something the average do-it-yourselfer can tackle.
Clean water is a valuable natural resource and it should not be wasted. The trouble is, in many localities, water is a very cheap commodity. When prices are low, people tend to waste.
To get instant hot water as you often find at hotels and other institutions, you need to have a dedicated loop in the piping system that circulates hot water back to the water heater. Most houses do not have a dedicated loop as the hot water pipe typically dead ends at the plumbing fixture that is farthest away from the heater. It is possible to install an effective return loop in single story houses that have a basement or crawl space where the water supply pipes are visible below the floor joists. Two story houses make this task nearly impossible, as the piping system is typically hidden in the walls of the home.
But, you don’t have to install a dedicated return loop if you choose to use a modern hot water recirculating system. These products employ a nifty temperature adjustable by-pass valve that connects 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.
Not all recirculating systems are the same. One system places the pump under the sink at the farthest fixture. You have to push a button to start the pump. The trouble with this system is that you still have to wait for hot water. What’s more, this pump needs high voltage electric to operate. It can be a huge challenge to install an outlet under a sink.
Another system runs a remote pump at set times. The trouble with this system is that you will only get instant hot water during set times and you still need to install an electrical outlet for power.
Perhaps the best hot water recirculating system is one that is thermal convection powered, has a temperature controlled by-pass valve under the farthest fixture sink and required no electricity to operate (which makes DIY installation easy and fast). There is no water waste with this type of system, and it also minimizes energy waste since it only recirculates when the hot water at your faucet cools below your desired temperature. This circulation of water can also prevent pipe freezing.
Install a temperature controlled hot water recirculation valve, which provides instant hot water (so water is not wasted down the drain waiting for water to run hot at your faucet or shower). This simple DIY installation can save an average household up to 17,000 gallons per year. It also saves energy costs and can prevent pipe freezing.