Hot Water -- Faster

I've been thinking about adding a small recirculation line to reduce the waiting time for hot (warm?) water at the kitchen sink. The other option I've thought of would be to wrap the pipe with heat wire. Since I have an electric water heater I don't suppose there is a difference efficiency-wise. Has anyone played with this problem? Thanks.
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insulate the lines no matter what you do.
the heat tape isnt efficent, its just designed to keep the pipes from freezing not heat the water.
the pump system is best, a close second would be a small point of use water heater for just the kitchen. fed from the regular hot water tank
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insulate the lines no matter what you do.
the heat tape isnt efficent, its just designed to keep the pipes from freezing not heat the water.
the pump system is best, a close second would be a small point of use water heater for just the kitchen. fed from the regular hot water tank
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How much energy does a recirculation pump system waste. I am more interested in the heat loss in the pipes rather then the electricity to run the pump.
Granted that it depends on how long and how well insulated is the pipe. Some of the heat is not lost, it goes back in the house.
I am just trying to assess cost of operation versus cost of wasting water.
Can the pump be installed relatively easily in a built house?
Thanks Mauro
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MG wrote:

There are pumps that are relatively easy to install. There are several types available. Some are simply thermostat controlled, they keep the water circulated so it's always hot. Of course, these use the most energy, mostly in heat loss. Some may have timers so you can set the periods when you want the water to be hot.
The other main type is on-demand. A push button is located at the sink. You push it and that starts the pump running, which runs until the water gets hot. Some have wireless remotes available, so you can start it from your bedroom, or use the remote in a second bathroom, that is served by the same pipe run.
Both types pump the water from the hot side back into the cold, so that no water is lost.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Maybe heat tape or heat wire would be too expensive to consider. I wonder how many watts of heat are lost per foot of insulated water pipe at a lukewarm temperature?
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Dave wrote:

I will make one additional suggestion. Using a smaller pipe means you waste less water each time you wait for it to get hot. It also means you usually want less time. You can't feed multiple outlets if more than one might be on at the same time, but it is a thought.
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I added a pumpless recirculation line from the bathroom back to a nipple on the water heater leading to the drain valve. I insulated the supply side, and left the return line uninsulated, and let gravity do the work. It works very well and to me the only energy cost is some heat in the house during the few months we run the air conditioner (during the winter, its like a radiator), and there is no water loss. I didn't use a pump because of the energy cost, and I don't particularly want tepid water when I turn on the cold.
I think a lot depends on the nature of your house. I have an old frame house with an attic, two floors, and a basement, so access was easy; if I had a house built on a slab, the recirculation loop would not work.
Dave wrote:

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This greatly depends on how often you use hot water. I live alone, use hot water a couple times at dinner time, and in the bathroom once in the evening and once in the morning.
I lived in a ranch house growing up and there was a long distance from the water heater to the bathroom sink. hated waiting. This is a townhouse and I think the distances are much less. First thing I did was put insulation around the basement pipes (but not the ones going up the walls). Because I go hours between using the hot water, it made no difference. Pipes cooled off anyhow.
If a lot of people lived here, the water would be hot for all but the first one with no extra insulation.
If you could use heating tape, it would be running 24hours a day just to save 30 seconds for the first person in the morning say, to have warm water quickly.
(I share my water bill with 100 families so I have no idea how much I use, let alone how much I waste, but my guess is that it is not much.
For one thing, I wet my hands with cold water, wash them with soap, and by the time I'm ready to rinse, the water is hot.
In the bath, I turn on the hot water and I still use the cold that comes out first, then mix it with the hot that comes out next. I agree that won't work for a shower.
A hot return makes sense imo for a hotel or an apartment building, but is an extravagance for a house. Bring out a line of water, don't use it, cool it off, return it and heat it again, constantlly, 24 hours a day. Gotta waste more fuel than it saves water.
And I think a good case can be made that at this stage water** is still replaceable but we're running out of fuel.
**I haven't heard of shortages of chlorine or fluoride or the other things they use, but since they let us water our lawn with purified water, these thigns must be in adequate supply.
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My father draws the hot water to brush his teeth when he gets up in the morning. By the time he is done brushing his teeth, the water is warm. Then he takes his shower. Just one way to do it.
Stretch
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Dave wrote:

Either will increase your energy use.
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George wrote:

Certainly true, but I wonder by how much? Maybe a few watts per foot of pipe?
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in winter heat loss helps warn your home, so its not really lost
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in winter heat loss helps warn your home, so its not really lost
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in winter heat loss helps warn your home, so its not really lost
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Instead of wondering, why not go look at some heat tape and see how much it uses? My guess, 100 watts to wrap 3 to 5 feet. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I've seen it used outdoors under a porch where it was obviously there to prevent the pipe from bursting. But indoors?
Yes, in the winter it would not be lost because it would be expensive because it is electric, but it *would* supplement the heating, but in the summer it would work *against* the cooling.
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I don't think that pipe tape will help.. It's designed to keep the pipe WARM, not hot, so if the person at the tap wants hot water, they're still going to run the entire pipe down the drain.
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Goedjn wrote:

I remember using a freeze-proofed basement faucet that would produce warm water so I know this is possible, however it probably isn't true if the tape or wire is installed properly with a thermostat controller. I do like the idea of not needing a circulating system.
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Move the heater closer to the point-of use, and/or hook up the circulator so that it runs off a switch, and just drive it for 30 seconds before using any hot water.
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