One of the best home improvements that I can think of is instant hot water when I turn on the tap.
Most homes have long enough hot water pipes that it can take quite a while to get hot water, which I find quite annoying. But there is an easy, low cost home improvement solution to the slow hot water to your bathrooms and kitchen problem. It’s a solution that speeds up the delivery of your hot water, and saves you thousands of gallons of water in the process. In my opinion it’s one of the best home improvements you could make even if it was much more expensive and difficult.
Hot Water Demand System
The solution is a hot water demand system. Hot water demand systems are typically small pumps mounted under the kitchen or bathroom sink furthest from the water heater. When you want (“demand”) hot water you simply push a button and the pump comes on speeding the hot water from your water heater to your fixture and doing so without running any water down the drain.
The water left over in the piping that has cooled off since the last time someone used hot water, is returned to the water heater through the cold water piping. When hot water reaches the fixture the pump shuts off and no hot water gets pumped into the cold water piping. When you turn on your hot water tap you have nearly instant hot water.
Often there are other fixtures that share the same main hot water trunk line, and those sinks will also benefit from the demand system. If your plumbing happens to be looped from fixture to fixture in a daisy chain fashion then all of your sinks will benefit from the system. By placing the system under the sink in a bathroom the shower and tub are also only seconds away from hot water once your demand system has finished its pumping cycle.
Tankless Water Heaters
Most hot water demand systems work fine with tankless water heaters unlike traditional hot water recirculation systems and pumps. Tankless heaters need a minimum hot water flow rate to turn on, typically 1/2″ gallon to 3/4 gallon per minute. Most recirculation pumps can’t produce that high of a flow rate. Most hot water demand systems easily pump that much.
Tankless water heaters require longer waiting times for hot water since they have to heat the water from scratch unlike storage water heaters. This makes demand systems even more important when you have a tankless water heater.
Solar Hot Water Heaters
Solar water heaters work with hot water demand systems as well. Any kind of solar water heater will work with hot water demand pumps. If you are green enough to have a solar water heater on your home then you certainly should have a hot water demand system. In my opinion water savings is just as important as energy savings.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
By installing a hot water demand system you save water and often energy, and in doing so you reduce your carbon footprint. By reducing the amount of water you run down your drain you reduce the amount of sewage that must be processed and treated. That saves you more money and further reduces your carbon footprint. If you have a septic system it reduces the load on your system saving you potential septic system problems.
This is one home improvement project that is very low cost, easy to do yourself, and saves you time water energy and money while providing you with a convenience. Not many home improvement products can claim that.
Hot water demand systems for providing your home with instant hot water can be purchased online for less than $200, and some systems can be hooked up to your plumbing system with just supply hoses like the ones already on your fixtures. You don’t even have to turn off the water to your house.
A demand system is a very easy and inexpensive project for the do it yourselfer and the novice alike. Possibly one of the best home improvements a homeowner can make.