On Demand Hot Water
A New Way To Save
How much water in your home or business goes down the drain while you wait for the water to get hot? If you have to wait for hot water in bathrooms and kitchens, you are wasting a tremendous amount of water. Guess what, so is everyone else. Now it is a national problem. The amount of this waste depends on the pipe diameter and the distance between the fixture and the water heater; the flow rate of the end-use fixture may also affect the waste slightly and it significantly affects the wait time for hot water. You may ask at this point what can you do better?
Action Plumbing and Heating has some suggestions you may be interested in. Installing a continuous-circulation system, which maintains a loop of circulating hot water, will save water while eliminating the wait for hot water. In fact many such systems are very common in hotels and are becoming increasingly more popular in homes. The biggest problem you face with continuous-circulation systems is that they waste tremendous amounts of energy because they turn hot-water pipes into low-temperature radiators. This in turn increases energy use for water heating year-round and for air conditioning in warmer months. Timer-controlled circulators will reduce this energy waste by turning off the pump during certain periods of day or night. It is reported to be around 80% savings depending on what system you decide to use. You can’t beat those kinds of numbers.
To combat this huge national problem, state of the art continuous-circulation systems are coming being installed all across the nation. These new innovative products maintain a loop of circulating hot water, and can save water while eliminating the wait for hot water.
Hot Water Circulator Comfort You Control Is It Really A Worthwhile Investment?
Action Plumbing & Heating believes that you will need to evaluate for yourself what is taking place in your own home or business before you can answer that question. In the past, such systems are and have been very common in hotels, but in the last few years, are becoming more and more common in homes. The problems mentioned with continuous-circulation systems on the energy side are reasonable, because they turn hot-water pipes into low-temperature radiators. Latest technology in Demand-controlled hot water circulators usually solves these problems and more. These systems act like a user which activates a small pump, by either pushing a button or tripping an occupancy sensor that quickly delivers hot water. Cold water that had been sitting in the hot-water pipes, meanwhile, returns to the water heater instead of running out of the tap. When hot water reaches the fixture, a temperature sensor turns off the pump.
In general, here are some valuable considerations why you may want to think about these options for your home or business:
- No long waits for hot water and cold water comfort
- Only when needed does crossover occur
- Crossover flow is controlled and no hot water line siphoning happens during cold water usage
- You the owner can select and activate the control type best matches your personal lifestyle (timer, motion sensor, push-button)
- Minimal pump operations through temperature based cyclic pumping reduces electrical consumption ongoing
- Provides off-scheduled convenience via single-cycle / on-demand operations.
- Adjustable comfort temperature to optimize comfort and minimize water waste
- Receives temperature values from “water contacting” temperature sensor rather then a less accurate pipe clamp-on sensor
- You can also insulate hot water pipes to minimize heat loss
- Optimize system settings to maximize performance and comfort
- No maintenance requirements (Calcium proof components to prevent calcium buildup, clog failures)
- Zone-Control by using addition RedyTemps (guest rooms, as occupied zones, etc.)
Can You Begin With A Less Expensive Strategy?
A less expensive and simpler (though less effective) strategy for reducing water waste while waiting for hot water is to insulate all hot water pipes. With insulation, hot water in the pipes will cool down more slowly, so that the next user may not need to let the water run while waiting for hot water. Pre-slit, closed-cell polyurethane foam pipe insulation, sized to the pipes being insulated, is generally the most convenient option. While this is a temporary solution to a bigger problem, it is a place to start. Action Plumbing & Heating here in Madison can come out and analyze your home or business and discuss options you have available.
What Is A Home Run System?
There is also new technology called “Home-run” systems that deliver water separately to individual fixtures and appliances through cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing sized to the flow-rate requirements. Reports are it can reduce waste and reduce the wait time for hot water. The rising popularity of PEX has brought greater use of such home-run systems, and it’s likely that demand-controlled hot water circulators will become much more common and possibly be adapted in the Green effort for the future.
Not sure about all this new technology and what is a real savings option in your home or business, call Action Plumbing & Heating in Madison at 608-249-DRIP (3747), right now and ask about our new Action Go Green Program. A qualified staff can help to answer your questions. We can even come out and take a look and then let you know your options.
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