A Long Wait For Hot Water

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Hal Pollner, May 26, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    Of our three bathrooms, the Master bath is almost 100 feet away from the water heater, so I have to let it run for 30 seconds before it's comfortably warm.

    This is wasteful.

    The other bathrooms get their hot water very quickly.

    That's all...
    Harry
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    I got quite an education on this sort of thing when I began working Maintenance at a big Sears store. Hot water is constantly pumped in a loop from the water heater to every faucet in the building, through uninsulated pipes! Thus, instant hot water at the tap! Crazy!
    Frank
     
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My bathroom in my master bedroom suite is farthest from the water heater and it takes the longest to get hot water there.

    I get it quickly in the kitchen.
     
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  4. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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    @Hal Pollner Hal, you could try a Hot Water recirculation system for your problem.

    Our home in Nebraska had a problem with the distance from master bath and the water heater.

    I installed one made by Watts, fixed the problem and saved us from all that wasted water
    waiting for it to get hot.
    The newer ones come with a timer if you want to set it for certain times.
    Easy to install.

    Hope this helps.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Well-Known Member
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    This is great if the pipes are insulated, but otherwise it is like running a hot water heating system all the time and can be very energy hungry.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I wouldn't mind having mine set up so that it wouldn't heat the water until I needed heated water. I am sick of paying for the oil that it burns keeping water hot when I'm not using it. I wouldn't mind waiting.
     
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  7. Tom Galty

    Tom Galty Member
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    #7
  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    There is a "hot water on demand" unit which mounts under a vanity or sink, I believe, and supplies hot water in small quantity very quickly. Electric, I think, but know nothing more about them.
    Frank
     
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  9. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Well-Known Member
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    When I lived in Japan, each sink had a little on-demand hot water heater. It was very nice, but it was obvious and not "decorative". Very efficient, though. The toilet tanks had sinks built into the tops, so you washed your hands in the cold water that filled the toilet tank.
     
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  10. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    In our cozy Acadiana Cottage our hot water heater is located at a distance almost equal from the kitchen and bathroom...so I am happy to say we don't have this problem. The problem we do have is that the hot water heater is not a large one so when I had my hair real long I often found I was pretty much out of hot water by the time I finished shampooing and conditioning my hair. I fixed that problem though by just cutting my hair to shoulder length. :)
     
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  11. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    #11
  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    We went tankless about 6 or 7 months ago but there is still a wait. I am going to install another unit in the bathroom which will be much quicker and easier on the water bill. They do not cost that much if you shop around but the downside is that the one we have and the one I am going to buy is 220vts electric.
    If you have some extra room on your box, to me it’s the only way to go.
    You’re not constantly heating up water nor constantly eating up a bunch of electric or gas that comes with a standard water heater.
     
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  13. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    To all:

    It is my understanding that the hot water supplied to our 4 bathroom sinks, kitchen sink, dishwasher, 2 bathtubs, 2 showers, and our washing machine is all supplied from a single copper pipe from our 50-gallon water heater in the garage.

    I never heard of a return line that keeps the water circulating from the water heater to all those points of use.

    I'm a retired engineer, so feel free to explain this miracle to me in your most technical terms!

    As ever,
    Harold
    243.JPG
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  14. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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    The Watts system I have installed, works with a Bridge sensing valve placed under the farthest
    sink and returns a small amount of hot water to the cold water pipe when it senses the
    hot water temp goes below 98°. ( tankless shown, but will work on tank water heaters )

    [​IMG]

    The timer is set for the periods the room is most used, or just leave the pump on all the time.
    The operational cost, to me, was minimal.

    The ease of installation and the instant hot water to the bathroom sold me.

    Had one in my house for about 5 years. Never a problem.
    How the sensing valve is installed under the farthest sink:
    [​IMG]

    Hope this makes sense. Lots of videos and better explanations out there.
     
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  15. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Thirty seconds is not long.
     
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  16. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Active Member
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    In addition to Tim's explanation you may want to watch those below:

    I also had such a return line in my house to fix the problem. The price to be paid for having instant hot water everywhere is, of course, a higher electricity consumption. So you'd need to make a choice.
    The principle of a return line is explained lucidly here in this video. The interesting bit begins at 00:56. Just skip the beginning. All lines should be insulated for the whole thing to make sense.

    A pump can be installed easily as is shown here.
     
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  17. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    No, Shirley...30 seconds is not long.

    It took just 30 seconds for the 16 B-25 Mitchell Bombers from the carrier USS Hornet to fly over and bomb Tokyo, once the city was reached.

    This was on April 18, 1942, and was our first retaliatory punch at the Japs since Pearl Harbor!

    This was called the "Doolittle Raid" or the "Tokyo Raid".

    See the movie "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo"!
    Hal
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  18. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    BUT WAIT A MINUTE...

    I was looking at our Water Heater, and noticed there are 2 heavily insulated pipes entering the top of the tank, and one copper pipe running from the bottom of the tank, through a Recirculating Pump, and into the house.

    The Pump has had its power cord cut off from the plug, so all I would have to do is splice on a new piece of power cord with a plug!

    So it looks like the house came with a recirculating hot water system, and I never knew it in the 20 years we've lived in it!

    (pretty dramatic, huh?)
    Hal
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  19. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    Let's investigate why the two pipes entering the tank on top are insulated. First, one of them brings in the "street water". The other takes the heated water into distribution within the building.

    So, to reinstall recirculation, the pump output must be connected to the household hot water piping. Is it? Likely not, unles a valve is present, and it's closed.

    Hot water migrates to the top of the tank, naturally. Therefore, you don't want cold fresh water entering near the top. One of those top connections has an internal pipe stretching downward inside the tank, nearly to the bottom.

    Electric water heaters having two, 240-volt elements almost always use 4,000 watt elements, too much current for the average household 240 line. Plus, the problem of migration of hot water within the tank is partly mitigated by having a set of two thermostats, one for each element, each having a set of contacts arranged such that when power is called for initially, only the bottom element is energized. When the bottom thermostat reaches shut-off temperature, power is automatically directed to the top element, which continues to provide heated water until either demand stops, or demand exceeds ability to maintain temperature at which time the bottom element takes over, as the heater struggles to meet the excessive demand.

    It took me quite awhile to figure out how the above works. Mostly led by the fact that the labels all state "4000 watts", despite the fact that 8000 watts of heating ability are present, though not engaged simultaneously. What a fish-fry! Gas water heaters MIGHT do a better, quicker job, but gas has disadvantages, not the least of which is safety consideration requiring the burner to be vented to the outside. No vents on electric.

    But, but, ........your gas stove in the kitchen, having just as large a burner as a gas water heater, is NOT vented anywhere but to your kitchen........Say what??
    Frank
     
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  20. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I'll look into that...thanks!

    Hal
     
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  21. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Exactly what I have except I only have 3 bathroom sinks. The bathroom in the hall has only one sink where the bathroom in my master bedroom suite has 2....I only use one though.
     
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  22. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I need to see if I get this right.
    People complaining about not being able to get hot water fast enough who probably had to wait until mom put the water on the stove to get some when they were kids.

    And which is also probable that if it was bath night, had to wait until dad and the rest of the siblings had a bath before getting one and then the water was dirty and cold.

    And more probable, had to cut the wood and load the stove when mom felt like heating the water for bath night that you wouldn’t get any of anyway.

    And the absolute truth is that when we were kids, taking a dip in a dirty and cold pond was far more pleasurable than taking a bath even if we had a chance at the hot stuff.

    Life for our generation is truly one of a “from the rags of forced patience to the riches of impatience” kind of a story is it not?
    Could it be that those wrinkles didn’t come with age; they came from impatience coupled with too many instant hot water showers?
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  23. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Not in my case @Bobby Cole ...always had almost the same things we do now but of course less modern maybe.

    Not bragging or anything but in the time I grew up that was the normal...in Pittsburgh anyway.
     
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  24. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well we didnt have a dryer though and had a wringer washer now that I'm thinking about my childhood but I never even saw coal...regular heat, hot water, toilet..actually 2 in our first house ..one downstairs and one upstairs.

    Our first house that I remember in 1955 was a two story red brick in a nice neighborhood with a huge yard.

    Think it cost $17,000.
     
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  25. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Oh, I can’t say we didn’t have conveniences when I was a wee lad. Just 20 feet from the outhouse, grandpa put a water trough just for washing our hands and face before going back into the house. It got pretty hot too but that was only during the summer. :)
     
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