Leaks in hot water circulating system

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Jim Curtis, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Jim Curtis

    Jim Curtis New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Leaks in hot water circulating system
    This system is about ten years old and six leaks have occurred in the last two years. All leaks have been in the 1/2" copper return line at or near joints. The return to the gas water heater is at a check valve at the cold water inlet. One plummer suggested that it might be electrolysis. One leak occurred at the water heater and the others several feet away. No leaks have occurred in any of thr other copper pipes. Any suggestions?
  2. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    leaks

    you don't say if the leaks are at the solder joints or just somewhere on the pipe.
    Till I know, I guess that the solder joints are leaking.
    If thats the case then someone didn't solder well.
    Electrolysis usually destroys the iron pipe that its connected to if there is no insulated union or coupling.
  3. return line leaks

    you got troubles...

    many of these recirulation lines run constantly
    and its only a matter of tie before the pipe wears thin...

    if it is not already on a timer to come on only for a short
    time in the morning and evening
    you probably should get one...

    it will save on more stress to the pipes and
    probably make youir heater last longer too.

    its the only way to delay having to change out that pipe.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    leaks

    Your problem is the water's velocity which in turn causes turbulence at the fittings. If you have a valve between the pump and the water heater connection shut it down until the flow is just adequate to keep the return line warm/hot, (depending on the heater's temperature setting). If you do not have such a valve, install one. Do not shut down the valve ahead of the pump or you will wear out the pump also.
  5. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    circulator

    Could you return it to the bottom of the tank and let it recirculate by gravity?
  6. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    Aside from this problem, are you happy with the recirculating system? I am not sure if they are worth it. You don't waste the water waiting for it to get hot, but you waste energy in running the pump and reheating the water. Any opinions on these systems?
  7. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    love mine

    installed a home comfort with manifold at furthest vanity.

    i have the timer set for only2 hrs am 2 pm

    it,s advertised to save 16,000 gal. a year for a family of 4. the elec use is peanuts.,water savings is huge ! instant hot water in the shower at 5 am is GREAT, especially on a cold winter morn.

    check out grohe website. i,m on a slab so no re-pipe
  8. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    I'll check it out. Thanks.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pump

    Don't you mean "Grundfos"? They are the ones who make the "Comfort" system.
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