Are you tired of turning on the shower or sink faucet and waiting for hot water to emerge? Well, there is an easy solution. You can solve the problem by simply installing a hot water recirculating pump.
Some recirculating pumps have a thermostat that measures the temperature of the standing water in the pipeline. This measurement is made at the fixture that is furthest from the heater. When the temperature drops below a preset limit, the pump is activated and it pumps water from the heating unit into the line. At the same time the cooled standing water in the line is pumped through the cold line back to the heater. Through this recirculating loop, the pump will provide you with instant hot water whenever you need it.
This pump is electrically operated. It does not use much electricity, but energy will be wasted if it repeatedly turns on and off throughout the day and night. The energy wastage can be minimized in several ways. One way is to insulate your pipes. If your pipes are easily accessible, this can be done very cheaply. This will keep heat losses to a minimum, and reduce the frequency at which your recirculating pump will be activated.
Another solution is to add a timer to the pump. You can then set the timer to turn on the pump just prior to the time you wake up in the morning, and the time you return from work in the evening. In this way energy will be conserved, and hot water will be waiting at your faucet at the times that you need it most.
Grundfos makes pumps that operate in this way. These pumps are available with timers, and they can be simply spliced into the line immediately after it leaves the heater. These pumps range in price from $100 to $300.
Pumps made by Metlund and Chilipepper also use a recirculating loop, but solve the problem of energy wastage in a different way. These models are installed below your bathroom sink, and by simply pushing a button on the pump, hot water will be instantly supplied to all of your fixtures. With this system, the hot water recirculating pump is only activated on demand. This keeps energy usage to a minimum so that you do not need a timer.
The Metlund models sell for between $350 and $750. You can purchase the Chilipepper CP 6000 for $180. With a remote it sells for $216.