Hot Water Recirculation

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by hrsnblm, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. hrsnblm

    hrsnblm New Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    When I turn on my hot water in my shower (furthest point from HW heater) it can take a couple of minutes of running the hot water full on to get anything approaching hot out. I started reading about these Hot Water Recirculation pumps/set-ups, but have a couple of questions. I am on a slab with all plumbing under ground.

    1) Could I use PEX and run the return line through my attic, via recirculation pump) back to the HW heater?. I have used PEX before to bypass a leaky underground copper, and it has worked well for me so far (knock on wood).

    2) What would my alternative be if using PEX was unacceptable?

    I appreciate any help... thanks
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Consider a Supplemental Point of Use Heater

    You could do all that but an alternative would be to put a point-of-use heater such as the Ariston GL4 in the area where the water serves your shower and presumably the lavatory. It should be supplied by your existing hot water line so it will provide hot water immediately and the temperature will fall only slightly, with your shower controlling constant temperature output, until the hot water arrives from your central heater.

    The POU heater operates off a 115 volt circuit and since it is only maintaining its temperature and heating a little "pipe water" it will add little to the kWh that you use.

    You are probably heating the ground with your existing hot water line and a circulator system will exacerbate that problem.
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I can't see why it wouldn't work just fine. The return line just needs to be made from an approved material for hot water, and PEX is. You'll love the instant hot water, and I don't think you'll even notice any increase in electricity to run the pump. Mine runs full time and any additional cost is so small that I can't see it.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The added cost is not to run the pump, but to keep heating the water as it cools down while traveling around the system and back to the water heater.
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