I Need Advice On A Recirculating Water Line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by CAIN489, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. CAIN489

    CAIN489 New Member

    I Need To Know How To Run A Recirculating Line For A 3 Story 6 Bath House . Please Tell Me Step By Step . Thanks For Your Help.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Without seeing the house, it is hard to tell. Basically the return line needs to run from the furthest bathroom back to the WH. The effectiveness of the recirc at each bathroom and kitchen depends on where they sit with erspect to the line going up to that far bathroom.

    If the house is already built, just running any line may be difficult.

    Give us more info.
  3. CAIN489

    CAIN489 New Member

    This is a new home . there are 2 baths downstairs and a kitchen and laundry room the second floor has 3 baths including 5 lavs and a jacuzi tup the upstairs has 1 bath room. when i run the main hot line from the heater up to catch all the fixtures . can i loop it back at the last fixture and run it back to the bottom of the water heater ? will that do the trick? thanks
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    I installed a Laing recirculating system in my home, and I am very happy with it. There are other brands that are rated very high also. You can get them new-in-the-box on **** for substancially less than retail. Installation is not too difficult if you have access to run the return line. You can see a pictorial diagram of how to do the basic installation on the website below. My return goes into the tank at the bottom through where the drain cock was. You do have to have a check valve and an automatic air bleeder, but these are cheap are easily to find. (I did have to go to a plumbing wholesale house to get the bleeder) www.lainginc.com//howhot.htm
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2005
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The effectiveness of a circulaltion system depends on whether the hot water is a "loop" from the heater to the furthers fixture and back to the heater, or if is it like a tree with a main trunk and branches to the various areas. If it is a loop, most of the system will get "instant" hot water. If it is a tree then the branch which is connected to the circulation line will get "instant" hot water and the rest will still have to evacuate some cool water first, and you do not want to get into multiple connections to the circulation line with the attendant balancing problems. The return can be connected to the bottom of the tank or the cold water inlet to the heater. If it is connected to the bottom, eventual accumulation of sediment can block the opening and stop the circulation. The air vent is unnecessary, but if used, should be after the pump to prevent the pump from pulling air in through it in the event of a low pressure situation, such as if the valve before it is partially closed, or any other situation causes loss of flow to the pump. You want the smallest pump you can find so that the flow is not so great as to cause erosion in the piping, or you should close the valve between the heater and the pump to the point it allows just enough flow to maintain the temperature.
  6. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Marin Co. Ca.
    check out the grohe web site

    i installed the home comfort pump, designed for ez retrofit.

    no added return pipe. 1 1/2 hr installation. i love it!
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The "Comfort System" is a way to recirculate water, but not the best way, if a dedicated pipe can be installed for a conventional systesm.
  8. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Marin Co. Ca.
    grundfos pump ,i should have said

    we have a slab on grade home. we love the comfort system . instant hot water let,s us step in the shower after saveral seconds each morn. this also saves thousands of gallons that went down the drain before in cold water.
    in open access home remodels. I run 3/4" copper loops for supply and return.
    but that wasn't an option in my home. for under $300 and 1/2 hrs. labor
    it was a deal!
  9. asinning

    asinning New Member

    Is the purpose of this system to add comfort or save energy or both? (The fact that it would save water is obvious.)

    In a conventional system, if you are a long way from the heater, then you've got to dump an awful lot of hot water into a long length of pipe just to ge t a little warm water to wash your face. That hot water heat stays behind in the pipe and just gets wasted.

    On other hand, in this loop back system, the entire system is _constantly_ loosing a little bit of heat. That doesn't sound very good.

    I've read about these new systems where there is a very small, but fast and efficient water heater under each lav. Of course there's a huge up front cost in the hardware.

    The logical solution would be to build smaller houses, but we're not supposed to be logical, we're human beings after all ;-)
  10. recirualtion pump

    they need to be run out of HEAVY duty L copper
    however you install them
    or years from now you will regret it
    when pin holes develope in the pipes...

    they need to be on a TIMER system only comming on
    for a while in the morning a while at noon

    then at night for a while.. or over time you will literally
    eat out the inside of the pipe.....

    and you will wear out your water heater quicker,,,
    it makes them work too hard constantly recirualting water
    through them 24hrs a day.

    Either way you install this system
    it cost lots more (unknown) in energy costs to
    heatt the water....

    its just better to put in on a timer

    In my house I have along run and it
    takes about aminute for hot water to
    make it to that bathroom...

    I canwait , its not worth all the future greif
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2005
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