Hot Water Demand Systems & Tankless Water Heaters – Great Home Improvement Products!
If you are looking for home improvement products, here is a great combination. Tankless hot water is energy efficient but it wastes water. Adding a hot water demand system will make your tankless unit water efficient as well. It will make turn your plumbing system into a green hot water system.
Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than standard tank type water heaters because they don’t have the standby losses of a big tank of hot water. By eliminating the standby losses associated with storage water heaters they can save about 20 percent of the energy consumed for heating water when compared with storage heaters.
However, the tankless units also take longer to deliver hot water to your fixtures. For the water to be heated to full temperature it must pass completely through the heat exchanger all the way from the inlet to the outlet. The water in the center of the heat exchanger doesn’t ever reach full temperature before it exits the heater.
Thus tankless waters take longer to get hot water to the fixture. A lot more water is being run down the drain while you are waiting. Tankless water heaters really need a hot water demand system to address this problem.
Hot water demand systems typically consist of a pump located at the furthest sink from the water heater and connected to the hot and cold water lines. When hot water is “demanded” at the fixture you activate the system. The demand system speeds the water from the water heater to the fixture at high velocity and shuts off when the hot water reaches the pump.
The cold hot water in the hot water pipes left over from the last use gets sent to the water heater inlet through the cold water pipes. Instant hot water when you turn on the hot water faucet, and no water was wastefully run down the drain.
Traditional hot water recirculation systems with their low powered pumps won’t produce enough water flow in the pipes to turn on a tankless heater. Most tankless water heaters won’t work with traditional circulating systems and can void the warranty of the tankless heaters.
Hot water demand systems are different. Since demand systems are activated only when hot water is used they do not cause the tankless heater to cycle on and off over and over as is the case with traditional recirculation pumps. Demand systems do not affect the warranties for the tankless units.
Not all demand systems are created equal and there are models that don’t have enough power to turn on a tankless water heater. Be sure to find a pump that has the power to you need to send at least the ½ to ¾ gallons per minute normally required to turn on the heater. Longer pipe runs require more horsepower from the pump to produce the required flow, so take that into account as well.
Add a hot water demand system to your water heater and you will conserve energy, water, and money. At the same time you are turning your plumbing system green, and you will be reducing your carbon footprint. You will feel good every time you use hot water.