Oh, what to do while waiting for hot water to flow from a tap in the kitchen or a bathroom? Many people take care of minor household chores, or catch up on personal grooming, until residual cold water finally runs out and delightful, 120-degree hot water gushes forth. However, you might also spend that time thinking about water waste, particularly during our severe drought here in California. In the average household, running cold water while waiting for hot water wastes over 10,000 gallons each year. Then, there’s the cost of wasted energy, too. Until it cooled off inside your pipes, that cold water used to be hot water produced by your water heater. Now it’s useless waste water flowing down the drain—along with the money you spent on gas or electricity to heat it.
Why It Happens
In a typical home, a hot water faucet may be located up to 150 feet from the water heater. The total volume of water inside that length of 3/4-inch supply pipe is about three gallons. When the hot water tap is closed and flow ceases, heat loss from the pipe occurs rapidly and water cools to about 55 degrees—quite a morning wake-up if you happen to step into the shower without first waiting for hot water to flush out the cold water. In houses with water-conserving low-flow showers and faucets, that waiting time can be significant.
A Better Idea
The Grundfos Hot Water Recirculation System incorporates a recirculating pump and thermostatic valve to intermittently cycle hot water into the supply line and replace cooling water. The pump is mounted at the water heater and the thermostatic valve is located at the hot water tap furthest from the water heater. The valve senses temperature loss in the hot water supply and intermittently opens to bypass cooling water into the cold water line. The pump automatically actuates to draw the cold water back to the water heater for reheating. Meanwhile, hot water direct from the water heater flows into the hot water supply line, ensuring that water in the pipe at every tap is always hot.
Retrofitted into most residential hot water plumbing, the benefits of the Grundfos Hot Water Recirculation System include:
- Zero wait time for hot water.
- Water savings of up to 10,000 gallons per year in a typical home.
- Reduced water heating energy expenses.
We’re all about energy efficiency here at North County Plumbing, and aim to present you with options to maintain an efficient home here in San Diego. We happen to install the Grundfos Hot Water Recirculation System, so if you’re interested, give us a call. There are other options for on-demand heating as well, so give us a call and let’s discuss the best option for your home and budget.
If you think you might have a water leak but can not find it, let North County Plumbing help. Call us today!
North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges! If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out some of our posts on water heaters.