Instant hot water saves you time water and money and turns your plumbing green!
Things that make our lives more convenient usually are not good for our environment and things good for the planet are detrimental to our comfort. For example, water saving shower heads do not make for great showers. Gas efficient cars don’t go as fast. Water saving toilets don’t flush as well as the old inefficient ones. Even energy efficient light bulbs don’t seem to put out as much light.
Traditional hot water circulating systems provide instant hot water, but waste huge amounts of energy, increasing green house gas emissions.
It’s a rare thing to find a product that provides us with a convenience and at the same time produces benefits to the planet and our environment.
Here’s one; instant hot water with a hot water demand system – Go Green!
When you have instant hot water from the faucet you do not have to run water down the drain waiting for hot water to arrive and you save water. (I don’t know anyone who jumps into the shower before the water gets warm.) Any water saved is water that did not have to be pumped, purified, re-pumped, and eventually run down the sewer to a processing plant, etc.
All of that pumping, purifying, chlorinating, filtering, etc. uses energy and costs money. Most of the electricity used for the pumping and processing is produced by burning gas, oil, coal and other fuels which ads green house gasses to our atmosphere.
So how can we get instant, or nearly instant hot water without harming the environment? Traditional hot water circulating systems don’t qualify, since even though they provide you with nearly instantaneous hot water, they used a huge amount of energy. The electricity to run the pump is fairly small and inconsequential compared to the energy consumed by the water heater when used with a traditional circulating system.
With such a system your plumbing system is like a giant radiator and you are radiating heat out of your hot water piping, which your water heater must replace, burning gas or electricity which in turn is creating more greenhouse gases.
Hot water demand systems
There are however, some types of hot water delivery systems that provide you with the convenience of faster hot water and yet don’t run any water down the drain in doing so. These systems are known as hot water demand systems. They consist of a small pump that goes under a sink. When you “demand” hot water by pressing a button, the pump turns on, pumping water rapidly to your sink, and returning the cooled off hot water from the hot water piping back to the inlet of the water heater, forming a big loop.
When the hot water arrives at the fixture, the pump shuts off so that hot water does not go into the cold water piping. You get fast hot water, and no water gets run down the drain. Studies have shown savings are possible of over 10,000 gallons of water per year for a typical family of 4. The pumps typically use less than $2.00 per year in electricity.
Green Tankless Water Heaters
Demand type hot water systems are especially nice for tankless hot water heaters. Tankless water heaters take longer to get you hot water and so they waste more water. Be careful though, not all brands of demand hot water pumps will work with tankless water heaters. Check with the manufacturer of the system to be sure it pumps at least 3/4 gallons per minute, which is enough to turn on any of the tankless units.