Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

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bagelhead
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Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by bagelhead » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am

I would like to know how Bogleheads have solved the common problem of hot water taking a long time to arrive at a faucet/shower located from the water heater. I have done some research and am considering the following.

Problem: At a far bathroom, it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.) Even at close bathrooms/sinks, it takes 1 minute of running hot water to get hot water.

Solution: Install a hot water recirculation pump to the existing water heater/pipe system.

Cost: $500 for parts, remote, and installation. With the pump on a timer, the cost of electricity and gas will be about $25/month. With the pump on a manual on/off remote, the cost will be $10/mo.

Problems: The pump will probably need replacing every 5 years. Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets for 5-10 seconds (will this make the refrigerator's filtered drinking water "dirty"?).

Thank you.

Regattamom
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Regattamom » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:38 am

We remodeled our master bath about five years ago and added a second hot water tank for that bathroom. The bathroom so far from the original water tank, that it took forever to get hot water to take a shower. This may be overkill, but it solved the problem. We use more electricity I suppose, but not nearly as much water now.

onourway
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by onourway » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:42 am

This sounds like one of those problems where the value in fixing it is in convenience rather than ROI. 30 seconds to get hot water and I can live with it. 4-10 minutes and it needs to be fixed right.

I'd pay whatever it takes to get instant hot water if this is a bathroom that sees regular use. I'd even consider installing an on-demand unit in that bathroom.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:45 am

> Solution: Install a hot water recirculation pump to the existing water heater/pipe system.

I have such a system. It works. It costs $ because the heat loss from the loop is substantially greater than from the hot water tank. On the other hand without the recirculation you run the hot water for a long time, which also costs $. My guess is that the recirculation system costs more but is worth it for the convenience.

> the cost of electricity and gas will be about $25/month.

The gas cost is a guess, unless you have calculated the heat transfer rate.

> The pump will probably need replacing every 5 years.

No. The pump may need replacing sometime, just like everything else in a house. Things don't fail on a schedule.

> Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets

??? Not necessarily, unless hot and cold lines are VERY close together.

Tankless is a possibility (but heating with electricity costs more than gas) and a second water heater is a possibility (if there is space, and if the risk of damage due to leakage can be managed).

barnaclebob
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:47 am

You could run them both at the same time to get the hot water there faster. If that isn't fast enough then I'd rather find higher flow rate fixtures.

But then again the longest wait time I have for hot water is about 45 seconds in my new house which seems like an eternity compared to the 20-30 seconds from my old house.

open_circuit
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by open_circuit » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:51 am

bagelhead wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am
Problem: At a far bathroom, it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.) Even at close bathrooms/sinks, it takes 1 minute of running hot water to get hot water.

Solution: Install a hot water recirculation pump to the existing water heater/pipe system.

Cost: $500 for parts, remote, and installation. With the pump on a timer, the cost of electricity and gas will be about $25/month. With the pump on a manual on/off remote, the cost will be $10/mo.

Problems: The pump will probably need replacing every 5 years. Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets for 5-10 seconds (will this make the refrigerator's filtered drinking water "dirty"?).
I've been thinking about this solution myself, this winter. I haven't begun my research yet, but I suspect the best solution is a check valve at the far point of use between the hot and cold lines and a pump near the water heater to push the hot water down the lines. This would use the cold water line as the water heater return path, as you are aware. I don't think this would cause a problem with a refrigerator, though. If you only have a check valve at one point of use, the other cold water lines should not get hot, since there would be no path for hot water to flow into those lines. Perhaps I'm wrong about this?

Like you, I'm tired of waiting 2-3 minutes for the hot water line in my bathroom shower to flush out cold water in the winter.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:53 am

Our master bedroom has a 30 gal gas water heater directly over the shower. The architect did that, not us. In the summer when the attic is hot, the hot water clears the room temperature water remaining in the pipe from the ceiling to the shower head in about 5 seconds. In the winter, it takes a little longer to clear the cold water in the pipe from water heater outlet to the shower head, say 15 seconds.
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JPH
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by JPH » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

In the winter I just wash up and shave using the cold water. It's not that bad, and I prefer it to waiting for the hot water to arrive. For a shower I wait.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:13 am

bagelhead wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am
I would like to know how Bogleheads have solved the common problem of hot water taking a long time to arrive at a faucet/shower located from the water heater. I have done some research and am considering the following.

Problem: At a far bathroom, it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.) Even at close bathrooms/sinks, it takes 1 minute of running hot water to get hot water.

Solution: Install a hot water recirculation pump to the existing water heater/pipe system.

Cost: $500 for parts, remote, and installation. With the pump on a timer, the cost of electricity and gas will be about $25/month. With the pump on a manual on/off remote, the cost will be $10/mo.

Problems: The pump will probably need replacing every 5 years. Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets for 5-10 seconds (will this make the refrigerator's filtered drinking water "dirty"?).

Thank you.
I have this system. I don't know how effective it would be on a smaller home. My house is 3 stories and about 5000 s.f. The water is "hard water" and I've had to replace the pump every 2-3 years. And, even then, it is spotty, and expensive. So I no longer use it. Unplugged it.

It takes, what feels like years, for the hot water to make it to the master bath because it is the farthest point from the water heater. DW just runs the tub spout on full to get the hot water going. I solved it by using the shower closest to the hot water heater in another bathroom.
Simple solution. Less things to fix.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:14 am

> This would use the cold water line as the water heater return path

I did not realize OP was considering something like this! Sounds really weird.

Recirculating systems installed during a build have a separate loop for the hot water. And if the builder has any sense the entire loop is insulated.

> Our master bedroom has a 30 gal gas water heater directly over the shower.

Interesting idea- does that mean that there is a pan underneath the water heater that drains into the shower??

Da5id
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Da5id » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:15 am

I insulated the copper hot water pipes between the heater and the remote bathroom, it helped a bit but not much. Didn't feel the problem was worth spending the money on a recirculator myself, but YMMV.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by open_circuit » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:16 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:14 am
> This would use the cold water line as the water heater return path

I did not realize OP was considering something like this! Sounds really weird.

Recirculating systems installed during a build have a separate loop for the hot water. And if the builder has any sense the entire loop is insulated.

> Our master bedroom has a 30 gal gas water heater directly over the shower.

Interesting idea- does that mean that there is a pan underneath the water heater that drains into the shower??
In my house, no return loop was plumbed during building. Without a dedicated return loop, the only option is to use the cold water return line. It is impractical for me to plumb a dedicated return into my existing home. Perhaps OP has a dedicated line, but it was not clear to me from the original post whether a dedicated return already exists. Anecdotally, my in-laws have installed a system that uses the cold water line as the loop return and were satisfied with the results.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by hoops777 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:18 am

We had a similar problem,not quite so long for the water to get hot.A plumber friend told me turn the hot water on for a couple seconds and turn it off and then wait a bit.The water will get hot much faster because the hot water was activated or something like that.It did actually help cut the time way down.
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Ruger » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:20 am

We had this issue. I don't mind waiting for the shower to warm up because I turn it on while I get ready for it, and it only takes 90 seconds to warm up.
The sinks were a different issue. Waiting 90 seconds to wash your hands or brush your teeth is a pain. We solved it by installing a small auxillary water heater. First it was installed in the bathroom, but when we remodeled we moved it into the basement, directly below the bathroom.
The tank plumbing parts didn't cost much and my husband did all the work.

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Bengineer
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Bengineer » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:44 am

OP, is your issue the time it takes hot water to arrive, or the wasted water?

If it's the time, a circulator or small water heater as others have suggested sound like a solution, albeit at extra energy use.

If it's the wasted water, an on-demand pump is one answer. They are typically plumbed to the hot and cold water supply under a sink and pull from the hot water line until the temperature rises. I used these at two houses with good success. Push a button, do something else till the pump stops and then use. The most difficult part of adding one of these pumps is adding a GFCI outlet under the sink.

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flossy21
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by flossy21 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:53 am

I had a similar issue in our current home years ago. My local municipal water was offering a rebate if you purchase and install a recirc pump system. Basically as others have said. Rather than wasting gallons of water waiting for hot water to arrive they circulate the hot side water down the cold line until hot water is sensed. No more wasting water so you get some savings there.

There are two types you can go with. One type installs at the hot water heater and keep recirculating hot water so that there is always hot in the hot lines. The problem here is that your hot water heater must work harder and costs you more money because it is constantly heating water that gets stored in the lines.

The second type of pump installs at the point of use and is operated on a remote or with a push button. I have this type. Here's the latest generation of the one I have installed...

http://www.chilipepperapp.com/

If you are a decent DIY'er you can do this yourself. The plumbing is simple. Similar to installing a faucet and connecting the water lines to it. The tricky part is getting electric to the pump. I have it under a sink in our master bath. I had to run a separate electrical outlet for the recirc pump under hte sink. I have a little red button installed under the sink top deck that can be pushed to energize the pump.

It works like a charm and my municipal water utility paid $50 towards the unit. Hard to beat.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by czeckers » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am

Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets for 5-10 seconds (will this make the refrigerator's filtered drinking water "dirty"?).
This is only the case for the farthest faucet where the on-demand recirculation pump is mounted. Any faucets in the middle of the plumbing run will be fine. Fridge water shouldn't be affected at all.
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gasdoc
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by gasdoc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:00 pm

Ruger wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:20 am
We had this issue. I don't mind waiting for the shower to warm up because I turn it on while I get ready for it, and it only takes 90 seconds to warm up.
The sinks were a different issue. Waiting 90 seconds to wash your hands or brush your teeth is a pain. We solved it by installing a small auxillary water heater. First it was installed in the bathroom, but when we remodeled we moved it into the basement, directly below the bathroom.
The tank plumbing parts didn't cost much and my husband did all the work.
We now have small tank water heaters under the sink in two locations. The tanks are in series with the main hot water heater. The small tank under the sink supplies instant warm water, and when the tank is empty, the warm water from the main heater takes over. We ordered ours from Amazon, and had a plumber install them. A do-it-yourselfer could probably handle it, as long as there is electricity in the area. We have one below the kitchen sink, and one in a utility room where we clean the feet of our little dog every time we let her back in from doing her business.

gasdoc

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lthenderson
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:08 pm

bagelhead wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am
it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.)
You have other issues if it takes this long. Most likely a poorly designed system, i.e. oversized pipes for your low flow fixtures. If it were me, my first solution if accessible, would be to size the pipe appropriately for the low flow fixtures. I see this all the time among the DIY crowd which thinks that if 1/4" piping is good enough then 1/2" piping should be even better.

ArmchairArchitect
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 pm

Maybe try a tankless/instant water heater on the same line as your water heater, but installed closer to your faucet/shower.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:24 pm

czeckers wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:58 am
Warm water from the water heater will come out of the cold faucets for 5-10 seconds (will this make the refrigerator's filtered drinking water "dirty"?).
This is only the case for the farthest faucet where the on-demand recirculation pump is mounted. Any faucets in the middle of the plumbing run will be fine. Fridge water shouldn't be affected at all.
You could have cross contamination. It depends on the details of the cold water system. You need to trace the pipes from the cross fed tap to back to the cold water inlet of the water heater. Everything in this loop or branching from this loop can be contaminated. In the worst case the cross fed tap is fed directly from where the water supply enters the house, in which case everything is affected.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:31 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:14 am
> Our master bedroom has a 30 gal gas water heater directly over the shower.

Interesting idea- does that mean that there is a pan underneath the water heater that drains into the shower??
No and yes. It means there is walk-in attic space directly over the master bath and a water heater is located there. Building codes requires a pan under the heater in case of leaks and that pan has a drain to the outside eave.
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rgs92
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by rgs92 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:34 pm

We had the same problem and the plumber installed one of those recirculation pumps but it didn't seem to work noticeably. So based on my experience, I would not recommend it. Just my 2 cents.
I did however notice a moderate improvement with a 100 gallon water heater I put in to replace the old 50 gallon one. It's great and allows multiple showers at once, allows a flush with no overheating/scalding drama when someone is taking a shower, and never runs out of hot water.

So I would get a nice big water heater in any case. I would always get a nice big one.
Last edited by rgs92 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:36 pm

I agree if you're waiting 4 minutes there something more wrong with the system but that might be expensive to correct.

One partial solution may be a different shower valve. All shower valves have a limit to prevent scalding with very hot water.

On most shower valves this is a upper limit on the ratio of hot to cold water, so while you are running 16 gallons down the drain some of that is cold water which does not speed the flow of hot water.

Some shower valves use a different mechanism. They monitor the temperature of the output and open the cold and restrict the hot only if the outlet temperature is too high. These will allow close to 100% of the shower water to come from the hot side so it should warm up faster.

A slightly more advanced valve that actively controls the shower temperature in addition to avoiding scalding may also add to comfort, since showers with water supply problems are sometimes showers that unexpectedly douse you with cold water.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by eye.surgeon » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:44 pm

I have a hot water recirculator for my rather large house since it was built and it works great. Without that it would take 5 minutes for hot water to get to the master bedroom shower. That's your solution, will cost you a few hundred. The pump itself is about $300.
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dm200
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:45 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:36 pm
I agree if you're waiting 4 minutes there something more wrong with the system but that might be expensive to correct.
One partial solution may be a different shower valve. All shower valves have a limit to prevent scalding with very hot water.
On most shower valves this is a upper limit on the ratio of hot to cold water, so while you are running 16 gallons down the drain some of that is cold water which does not speed the flow of hot water.
Some shower valves use a different mechanism. They monitor the temperature of the output and open the cold and restrict the hot only if the outlet temperature is too high. These will allow close to 100% of the shower water to come from the hot side so it should warm up faster.
A slightly more advanced valve that actively controls the shower temperature in addition to avoiding scalding may also add to comfort, since showers with water supply problems are sometimes showers that unexpectedly douse you with cold water.
No plumbing knowledge or experience, but I have never seen/experienced such a long delay. If not already done, I would have an experienced plumber examine and evaluate the entire system. From the OP, it seems that the shower and sink faucets have the same long delay.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by go140point6 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:48 pm

I second the Chilipepper model flossy21 linked to. I have this latest model, it was a snap to install, it's relatively quiet and works on-demand. It solved the problem I had in our master bathroom at the far end of the line. It's about half the cost that you noted and I highly doubt it uses much electricity (we probably operate it twice a day on average). It runs a little longer when it's colder, but is mostly in the 30 to 90 second range. It will need to be replaced some day for sure, but so will my water heater, refrigerator, etc. Now that my wife has experienced basically hot water on demand in "her" bathroom, no way she is going to go without that pump should it fail.

Originally I was going to have a electrician put in an outlet under the sink... when I asked him he said "Why not drill a hold in your cabinet here and run the cord up to this outlet?"... :oops: ... I honestly hadn't thought of that. I was able to run the cable up to that outlet and make it look nice enough that aesthetics wasn't a problem for me.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:53 pm

Da5id wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:15 am
I insulated the copper hot water pipes between the heater and the remote bathroom, it helped a bit but not much. Didn't feel the problem was worth spending the money on a recirculator myself, but YMMV.
Insulating pipes doesn't keep them from getting cold, it just slows down the loss of heat. So the insulation will only help the second person to take a shower and will give a very slight increase to the temp of the water at the fixture.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dickyboy » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:54 pm

We had a similar situation with a bathroom on the far end of the house. I installed a small (6 gallon) auxiliary water heater in the basement, just below that bathroom, and it works great. I plumbed it myself and the total cost I believe was around $200 give or take. Did that about 3 years ago and no problem with it so far. It is electric and plugs into a 20 amp circuit.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:59 pm

At our home, as well as in one county rec center gym, there are still the "old style" separate hot and cold shower knobs. So, when you run only the "hot", no cold water pipe is used until you turn that knob. Not as "safe" from potential scalding, but more "precise" in use of water.

The two newer rec center shower rooms I also use, from time to time, have the newer/safer single control that mixes hot/cold and reduces the possibility of getting scalded - but sometime takes longer to get the water hot enough - and tends to waste some water.

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dm200
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:01 pm

dickyboy wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:54 pm
We had a similar situation with a bathroom on the far end of the house. I installed a small (6 gallon) auxiliary water heater in the basement, just below that bathroom, and it works great. I plumbed it myself and the total cost I believe was around $200 give or take. Did that about 3 years ago and no problem with it so far. It is electric and plugs into a 20 amp circuit.
How does this work? You take a shower with six gallons of hot water?

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Da5id » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:06 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:53 pm
Da5id wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:15 am
I insulated the copper hot water pipes between the heater and the remote bathroom, it helped a bit but not much. Didn't feel the problem was worth spending the money on a recirculator myself, but YMMV.
Insulating pipes doesn't keep them from getting cold, it just slows down the loss of heat. So the insulation will only help the second person to take a shower and will give a very slight increase to the temp of the water at the fixture.
I agree, I said it helped my case a bit. In that if hot water was used after a few hours of being idle it might still be warm once insulated (not hot). Overnight still would get down to the temperature of the basement.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:11 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:01 pm
dickyboy wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:54 pm
We had a similar situation with a bathroom on the far end of the house. I installed a small (6 gallon) auxiliary water heater in the basement, just below that bathroom, and it works great. I plumbed it myself and the total cost I believe was around $200 give or take. Did that about 3 years ago and no problem with it so far. It is electric and plugs into a 20 amp circuit.
How does this work? You take a shower with six gallons of hot water?
Depending on the temperatures, 6 gallons of hot water could be 10-15 gallons of shower temperature water. The aux heater could also be fed by the main hot water heater and wouldn't really ever receive much cold water besides whats in the pipes.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by JohnF » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:45 pm

Similar to the Chilipepper system recommended above, I installed an “On Demand Hot Water Pump” several years ago. Push the button, do something else for in our case about 45 seconds while the pump recirculates and shuts off, and we have hot water at the tap. Works great and doesn't waste water or energy.

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/on-deman ... pumps.html

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by bob60014 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:51 pm

How about a tank less for the farthest room?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002635ODW/re ... =UTF8&th=1

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:40 pm

10 minutes to get hot water? How far is the faucet from the water heater? Unless this is an enormous house or pipe isn't the proper size, it seems like something is wrong.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:50 pm

bagelhead wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am

Problem: At a far bathroom, it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.) Even at close bathrooms/sinks, it takes 1 minute of running hot water to get hot water.
Seems like quite a difference between the shower and faucet. If anything, I would think the shower would be slower to emit hot water than the faucet because of the water restrictor in the shower head.

How long does it take when the shower head or at least the water restrictor in the shower head is removed, converting the shower into a faucet-equivalent?

Years ago the apartments in my line had a problem with the water running cold in the bathtubs and showers. Turned out someone less than competent had installed some new shower plumbing and "crossed" some lines but I don't know the details. You could have some real problem other than the distance and the difference in time between the two fixtures could be a clue to that, but I don't know enough about plumbing to say what it could be.

RCL
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by RCL » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:03 pm

OP
Probably not much help, but when I had my two story house re-plumbed, they ran an extra pipe all the way to the furthest bathroom (our master bath) and connected it too the regular hot water pipes up there.
The other end of the pipe connects to the bottom of the water heater where the drain valve is. Just upstream from that connection is where they installed a re-circulation pump along with a set of shut-off valves on each side of the pump.

Prior to having this installation done, just like you, we had the same 3-5 minute wait time before you could jump into the shower.
Now it's about 5-10 seconds!!

As a bonus, I find I get plenty of circulation without the pump even being powered up!! I still get instant hot water!
When I do pluming repairs where I have to open up a water line, I just plug the pump back in for a while to prime the system again before unplugging it again.
Remember, this is a two story house, so that may be the reason the pump is not needed most of the time.

I can't tell you how much having this system installed has improved our quality of life. and, the extra gas the water heater uses due to heat loss in the extra pipes is minimal (The pipes all have that black foam type insulation on them).
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:58 pm

> As a bonus, I find I get plenty of circulation without the pump even being powered up!! I still get instant hot water!

This will work in a two-story house, because hot water rises. Indeed, my first house had a hot-water furnace with no circulation pump. Nice thing about the system is that it was dead quiet (until I had to replace the furnace, that is.).

Reading this thread I have learned

1. There are some pretty strange plumbing arrangements out there that may or not make sense and that may or may not be code.

2. The transport of hot water to a distant point is a fairly rich physics problem, and a good solution in one house may be a bad solution in another.

By the way- the guys with auxiliary hot water heaters at the point of use- have you considered turning OFF the main hot water heater? Because if you get all the water you want from the auxiliary heater, then...the hot water from the main heater just gets wasted. Right?

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:10 pm

Thought about it.
Decided we can wait for the 2gallons of water to run.
We have a flash/instant gas water heater.
Mostly we take our baths at the gym and only use hot-warm water in the morning, dishwater, and laundry.
I have been accused of using the gym only for the hot water :annoyed . Not true, I also use the free sauna and towel service besides using the shower with endless hotwater :oops: .
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by rwm » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:37 pm

One nice advantage of a recirc pump that uses the cold pipe for a return is that it can prevent pipes from freezing in the winter. One of my distant bathrooms has pipes that tend to freeze easily but now with the pump they never freeze. I set up the timer to run briefly at various times through the night during the winter months. Two birds with one stone.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by TonyDAntonio » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:52 pm

I fill up a bucket using the tub in our master. I use that water to flush the master toilet. The water gets warm right about when the bucket is full and the full bucket is good for one flush. Been doing this for 2.5 years, right after the bathroom remodel.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Christine_NM » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:57 pm

I had a Grundfos recirc pump installed with my new water heater last month. Haven't got the bills yet, should be less water. I like actually having instant hot water instead of just pretending.

Have not noticed any problem with fridge water -- I use the water dispenser more than before to cool down the warmish tap water from the cold faucet.
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by suewolf » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:02 pm

For what it's worth, we had the same issue - very long wait for hot water in our upstairs bathroom from the hot water heater in the basement.

I installed a recirculating pump about 7 years ago. It's worked flawlessly. The pump has never been replaced and it's never had an issue. I estimate it uses about $100 / year worth of energy (by calculation at 10 ct/kwh). It cost about $250 to install back then. For the wife and I, this has been well worth it. We hated waiting for the water to warm up and watching all that water literally go down the drain. This is a quality of life thing, not a cost issue.

I would do this again in a heartbeat.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by Luckywon » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:49 pm

I had two tankless water heaters installed 7 years ag, one on each side of the house (they are attached to the outer wall of the house). Placed one just outside the master bathroom so time to hot water is very short. The other is just outside the kitchen. Have been very happy with them.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:46 am

itstoomuch wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:10 pm
Thought about it.
Decided we can wait for the 2gallons of water to run.
We have a flash/instant gas water heater.
Mostly we take our baths at the gym and only use hot-warm water in the morning, dishwater, and laundry.
I have been accused of using the gym only for the hot water :annoyed . Not true, I also use the free sauna and towel service besides using the shower with endless hotwater :oops: .
We do something similar. The County gym/rec center we use ($90 per year for DW and I, as over 55) has towel service, showers (with lots of hot water) and Saunas (one in mens and one in womens locker room). I don't use the Sauna, but DW does occasionally. A real bargain as a longtime taxpayer.. Of course, others of similar age who have paid a lot less in taxes over the years pay the same $90 per couple (or $60 for one).. :oops:

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by rkhusky » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:48 am

TonyDAntonio wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:52 pm
I fill up a bucket using the tub in our master. I use that water to flush the master toilet. The water gets warm right about when the bucket is full and the full bucket is good for one flush. Been doing this for 2.5 years, right after the bathroom remodel.
Awesome! I love frugality.

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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:50 am

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:48 am
TonyDAntonio wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:52 pm
I fill up a bucket using the tub in our master. I use that water to flush the master toilet. The water gets warm right about when the bucket is full and the full bucket is good for one flush. Been doing this for 2.5 years, right after the bathroom remodel.
Awesome! I love frugality.
Yes - over several years - that is a LOT of water being saved. :)

TonyDAntonio
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by TonyDAntonio » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:55 am

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:50 am
rkhusky wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:48 am
TonyDAntonio wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:52 pm
I fill up a bucket using the tub in our master. I use that water to flush the master toilet. The water gets warm right about when the bucket is full and the full bucket is good for one flush. Been doing this for 2.5 years, right after the bathroom remodel.
Awesome! I love frugality.
Yes - over several years - that is a LOT of water being saved. :)
Sort of like the millions of dollars I've saved by using a flowbee over the years. What's the use of being frugal if you can't exaggerate the results a bit.

mouses
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Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Post by mouses » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:59 am

I just turn the shower on while I'm brushing my teeth. Problem solved. Also the hot water helps warm up the bathroom, not a bad deal when it's 0 outside.

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