Q: I am trying to reduce the amount of cold water going down my drains while waiting for hot water to reach the faucets and shower. Also, it would be nice to have quicker hot water to the fixtures like they have at many hotels. Can you please give me some information and opinions on residential water heater recirculating systems?
Dennis, Rhode Island
A: You’ve made a good observation that water is being wasted while you’re waiting for hot water.
Having a hot water recirculating system installed by a licensed master plumber may not only save you water, it can also be an added bathroom luxury. For new construction, water heater feed and return lines are installed that circulate domestic hot water to different areas of the home. Having this hot loop close to plumbing fixtures can provide quicker hot water.
For existing homes, special controls are available that may work with both the hot and cold water lines to create the loop using your present water heater. Just make sure your hot water recirculating system is professionally installed with any needed permits so you really don’t get yourself into hot water.
Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org.