Hot water recirc loop issues

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Kendal, May 3, 2013.

  1. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Hi all,
    I have a recirculation loop in my new home. It is approx 250' start to finish--one long loop with t's off for the fixtures. Instant hot water when you turn it on. However, I'm having an issue when I turn on a faucet/shower nearby. The original faucet that was turned on is hot, and the next one is luke warm or even chilly. When I shut them both off and then turn the second one on, it's hot...here is a picture. Please let me know what you think
    water heater loop diagram.jpg

    Thank you,
    Kendal
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,283
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The check valve has to be on the recirulation line. When you open ANY faucet, the cold water is flowing backwards through the circulation line. Whether the water turns warm or cold depends on how fast it is flowing and how long it is run. I would also put the pump in the circulation line so any hot water used does not have to work its way through the pump, which can just exacerbate the problem.
  3. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Hello,
    Thank you for the reply. So if I move the check valve as in picture below, i won't need to leave the one in the current location to prevent hot water from backing into the cold? Also, would the recirc pump go here in picture below? any other thoughts would be appreciated. water heater loop diagram updated.jpg
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,142
    Location:
    South*East
    You will be far better off with the recirc loop connecting to the bottom of the heater with the circulator pulling the water back to the bottom of the heater with the check valve below the circulator.

    John
  5. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    For what you paid for sharkbites you could have hired a plumber to do this right the first time.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,283
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Yes to both questions, and you might also install a ball valve between the check valve and connection to the cold water line.
  7. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    i did fyi...;)
  8. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    HJ, thank you for the responses. I've seen you mention the ball valve at that location to others. I'm not clear on the why however--just trying to learn something. And again, not 2 check valves, just the oneThe .
    .
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2013
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,283
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    The one is all you NEED. The ball valve is to service the pump and adjust the flow through the circulation system so it just maintains temperature, but limits the velocity of flow so you do not "erode" the copper at the elbows.

    quote; i did fyi.

    Does that mean some "professional plumber" installed that system using Sharkbite fittings? If so, he was NOT a "plumber", but rather a hack or handyman.
  10. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    Well its not done right and I would bet it wasn't a licensed plumber!!
  11. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    not true...even licensed plumbers can blow it..sorry:)
  12. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    If the person who did this is a plumber, he's in the wrong profession! Each sharkbite is worth 10- 15 times as much as a sweat fitting. You say this is a new home, is the whole house done in sharkbites?

    I'm not saying a licenced plumber can't make mistakes but really this is an abomination...sorry :)
  13. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Actually the house is pex throughout. I must say that I'm glad they are sharkbites so it'll be easy to handle the fix. the guy was highly recommended and suggested the use of sharkbites since I decided to go with a water heater tank as even I know, water heater tanks fail. seemed reasonable... anyhow, thank you HJ for adding useful information for an amateur like me. Great forum!
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I'm with the rest of the "real" plumbers here. We consider a Shark Bite as a repair or special instance fitting.
    We run our PEX with real "PEX" fittings.

    I'm glad you are so easy to accommodate though.

    I think an educated plumber would have installed the check valves correctly. A check valve "always" goes on the recirc line.
  15. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I must say, i 'm feeling extra special now! Thanks for the response and i appreciate the forum. I will say that the rest of the house has real "Pex" fittings, not shark bites throughout:) trust me, i'm going to now put on the recirc side. It is frustrating to go through the process and find that a highly recommended-and-licensed plumber is not what he's cracked up to be. However, in an even more surprising twist, the local winnelson backed up the plumber's plumbing---go figure.

    anyway, with all that said, thanks again to HJ and yourself for making constructive comments, and not the typical "shoulda hired a pro" line
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,283
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; the local winnelson backed up the plumber's plumbing-

    That is like saying you went to Home Depot and the guy in the aisle said it was done correctly. Do you REALLY believe that someone working the Winnelson counter actually worked as a plumber and then "downgraded"?
  17. Kendal

    Kendal New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    HAHA! No, my point exactly--and also that my plumber buys stuff there! What else are they going to say:) And hence why I came to this forum! But truly, saying that any licensed plumber is great is like saying every licensed general contractor is great. I mean, no one's EVER had any problems with one of those, right? Here's the rub in all this...this was inspected and passed! I'm glad I paid for that...
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't believe it's in the code book that the check valve is "required" on the recirc, but if you leave it out, the cold water goes backwards up the line.
    You know that now too. And I'm guessing your plumber is putting that new knowledge on his check list.
    We install the check valve, not because it's code, but because it's a better way. I use a spring check, as they make less noise while the pump is running than using a swing check.
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