add 2nd water heater?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by eric28805, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. eric28805

    eric28805 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have a two-story house with a good, new water heater in the basement. On the first floor, we get hot water very quickly. Everything is great. On the second floor, it sometimes seems like it takes forever to get hot water. Once we get it, it's nice and hot (and stays hot).

    I'm assuming that the problem is displacing the formerly hot water in the hot water pipes with new, hot water. The water does have to travel a lot farther to get to the upstairs bathrooms than it does to get to the kitchen. Would adding a second (tankless?) water heater upstairs fix this? Is there a better way to go about this?
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The simple, easy, inexpensive solution is to add a Point-of-use heater such as the Ariston GL4 in the hot water line just before the upstairs bathroom. That little tank will deliver hot water almost immediately with cooler water in the pipes mixing with the hot that is in the POU heater. The hot water from the main heater will arrive before you run out of hot water from the GL4.

    The GL4 is usually operated off a 115 Volt circuit.

    The alternative of a circulating system is more expensive, wastes energy, and adds to your air conditioning load.

    Check the length and diameter of your hot water pipe to verify the required size of the Point-of-use heater. The POU heater should be at least 3 to 4 times the volume of the pipe between the two heaters.
  3. recir-pump

    I would just get used to it.......

    I have installed a recutulatioin pump
    that installs under the lavatory sink on the second floor
    and it pulls hot water up to that faucet and puhses it back through the cold line

    it takes only a 110 volt plug

    they work pretty well and come with a timer too
    for about 275.00
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A tankless on the 2nd floor would solve that problem, and of course would probably be 2 grand installed.

    MP Mark has the much better solution, which is to get a Grundfos Comfort series pump, put it near the WH and put the crossover valve under the upstairs lav sink. The Grundfos system is temp. controlled, and can also be put on a timer or simply an off/on switch to control energy costs.
  5. eric28805

    eric28805 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thank you for all of the replies.

    After talking about it more with my wife, it seems like quicker hot water for the shower would make the biggest difference. The Grundfos pump would work just as well for the shower as the sink, wouldn't it? I bet it would be harder to do the work at the shower end, but we will need a new shower/tub before too long anyway (we've got a really old fiberglass tub/shower unit)
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If you put the recirc on the accessible sink lines, that gets hot water up into the area, and the shower would be hot almost immediately as well.
  7. eric28805

    eric28805 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Georgia
    So just having one of them somewhere upstairs would help everything upstairs? (the upstairs bathrooms are right next to each other).

    Thank you, this is starting to sound better and better (and more realistic).
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,143
    Location:
    New England
    Anything that purges out the water in the hot lines that has cooled off would work. If the house was designed for it, gravity would work as well, but that requires a dedicated return line. I installed a Redi-temp unit a few years ago and have been happy. It requires an outlet, but I installed one in the vanity under the sink when I remodeled. It might not be too hard to fish a new lead from the counter outlet down there to perform that function. Most of the systems put the pump down by the WH, which keeps the sound and power requirements more manageable. I've not been bothered by the sound and having it all in one place seemed easier to me. Water recirculation is now required in some residential locations and nearly always in larger commercial ones.
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