Did you know the typical American family wastes a whopping 40 gallons of water each day? Waiting around for hot water is part of the problem and it really adds up. That’s 14,600 gallons per year, about as much water as an average swimming pool holds! Not only does it impact your monthly expenses, but it’s not great for water conservation, either. If you’re waking up to cold showers every morning, or it takes forever for your water heater to kick in, you may be surprised to hear that you can have almost instant hot water in your home, even with a standard tank water heater. Read on to learn more about your options, and how to tell when a water heater repair is overdue…
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So is It Worth Calling a Plumber to Take Care of your Slow Water Problem? First, Let’s Look at Why This Happens:
When you finish your shower, bath, face exfoliating session, or otherwise hot water-utilizing activity, you turn a handle to shut the valve and stop the hot water from running.
While the water stops pumping from your water heater to the exit point, nothing is pumping the excess water back into the hot water tank. While it sits in the pipes waiting to be used, it cools off. When you go back for hot water a few hours later, the newly heated water has to be pushed through the pipes and cannot exit until the cold water has been pushed out by the hot water.
So, What are Your Options?
Installing a tankless water heater, or on-demand water heater, is often the first thing that comes to mind when a person gets fed up with their slow-to-move water-heating routine, but many plumbing companies, as well as consumers, will tell you that these devices are overpriced and disappointing. Instead of this option, consider some more feasible alternatives:
1. Install a Pump that Operates on a Temperature Sensor
What’s happening right now is that your water heater decides when to kick on based on the temperature and fullness of its hot water tank. The disconnect between your tank and your hot water device is causing your long wait time for the hot water. Instead of using this centralized system, have one of your local plumbing companies install a hot water pump that operates on a remote temperature sensor that is placed at the bathroom sink that is furthest from the heater.
2. Install a Recirculation Pump
For a couple of thousand dollars, you can install a recirculation loop, or booster pump, in your home, decreasing your wait time by 60% to 80%. The way this works is that the pump has two water lines – a hot water line and a cold water line – as opposed to one. When you are done with your hot water routine, the excess hot water is redirected from the pipes back to the water heater via the cold water line. To maximize efficiency when using a recirculation pump, install it between the water heater and the furthest fixture. If you can, insulate all the hot water lines, as well.
Related Content: [FAQ] Everything You Need to Know About Recirculation Systems
3. Water Heater Installation or Relocation
Depending on your particular situation, the answer to this slow water mystery might simply be to relocate your water hear so that it is closer to the point of use. This is your best option, for example, if you only have only 1 device in your house with which you frequently use hot water – such as a master bedroom in a house where only one couple resides. In other cases, installing a second water heater might give you the most bang for your buck.
Related Content: I Never Have Enough Hot Water! What Can I Do?
Reach out to your local professional plumber at Shepherd’s Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning for expert advice! Aside from water heater repair, we provide a wide range of plumbing and HVAC services for residential clients in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Get in touch at (650) 409-1467.