We’ve all experienced that “lag time” between turning on the water at the sink or shower and waiting for hot water to arrive. Not only is time ticking away, but a lot of water is going to waste. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Dept. of Energy report that close to 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools of water are wasted by households every year while waiting for water to heat up.
If you’ve been looking for a smart way to decrease your water bills and wait-time for hot water, installing a hot water recirculation system can be a great place to start. Below we’ll explain what a hot water recirculation system is, how it works, and how it benefits you as a homeowner and the environment.
What is a hot water recirculation system and how does it work?
In short, a hot water recirculation system reduces or completely eliminates your wait time for hot water by changing how your plumbing system behaves.
To explain how a recirculation system works, we’ll first provide a brief explanation of a typical plumbing system, so that you can get a better understanding of how the two differ.
In a typical plumbing system, here’s what happens when you turn on the hot water at a faucet:
- Water pressure moves hot water from your water heater toward the faucet.
- That hot water travels through water supply pipes to get to the faucet. These pipes can be chilly and “steal” the warmth from your water. That’s why hot water can become cold by the time it gets to the point of use.
- Once the pipes have warmed up enough, the water can pass through them without transferring all of its heat away, and hot water will finally arrive at your faucet.
When your plumbing system includes a recirculating pump, hot water circulates in a slow, constant loop through your hot water pipes and water heater. This mode of operation allows the water to always remain hot while requiring relatively little energy. It also means that you have a ready supply of hot water at your fingertips.
What are the benefits of a hot water recirculation system?
When your home is equipped with a hot water recirculation system, your wait time for hot water will be minimal or nonexistent. Not only will you save time, but you can greatly reduce the gallons of wasted water that end up down the drain. This is a significant benefit to both you on your water bill and the environment. Also, consider the energy your local treatment plant uses to treat your water: wasted gallons of treated water amount to wasted energy as well.
For an expert recirculation system installation and other eco-friendly plumbing improvements in your Seattle home, you can always rely on Green Planet Plumbing: (206) 207-7625.