Hot Water Recirculating Pumps

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The latest episode of "Ask This Old House" showed Rich Trethewey installing a Taco D'Mand hot water recirculating pump.
http://goo.gl/lq4aw
As usual, the show doesn't give enough information, so it's hard to say whether they used the 006 or the 008. In any case, the pumps are about $400.
What do you think about these units? Are there cheaper ones? I was never in favor of them until I saw that you press a button when you're ready to use hot water.
My kitchen is a long way from my hot water heater. This device would be very handy unless it causes diseases or something.
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Is this Deja News all over again? Try using Google Groups and search for the thread "Hot Water Recirculating Pump" in alt.home.repair.
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On 2/14/2012 7:25 PM, mcp6453 wrote:

The savings estimate seems high and unrealistic to me. I wonder if they use the same formula as the EPA did in calculating the Chevy Volt MPG @ 230??
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Could be. I don't see how pushing a button when you enter a bathroom is much different than turning on the hot water tap. Factor in the cost of the pump, the cost of installation, the cost of operation (electricity) and the cost of maintenance and it doesn't seem terribly efficient to me, at least at the rate I pay for water v. electricity.
-- Bobby G.
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don't confuse efficient with efficacious
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Actually, now that I think about it, having to push a button to call for hot water is an extra step. If you just turn on the tap when you enter the room, you're done. No button pushing, no mechanical pump to wear out or consume electricity. The tap's turned on already. As someone else noted, the "idling" heat of a pump loop helps heat the house in winter, and that make it harder to calculate its true benefit. I still don't know what the real numbers are concerning lifetime operating costs. I suppose it comes down to how many seconds you're willing to wait to have hot water, how long the run is to the water heater, how much clanging the pipe make at 3AM when you're washing your hands, etc. I can't really see it saving any money. They must do something because so many people install them. But then again people buy billions of dollars of worthless diet supplements . . .
I'm seeing more and more preposterous claims on ads lately, as in the Honda MPG ratings that they've been sued for inflating. It's always a good idea to examine them fully and try to confirm where the real numbers are. Wireless doorbells, for instance, seem to have a multiplier of at least 2X when it comes to stating their range. (-: Battery life is another statistic inflated to almost meaninglessness.
-- Bobby G.
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What they do and why people install them is they can eliminate waiting for hot water to arrive at a point-of-use that's a long distance from a water heater. It's a solution to a large house where the water heater is in the basement at one end and you have a bathroom on the second floor at the other end.
I agree that any cost savings in energy and water are likely to be small and could easily be exceeded by the cost of the pump, installation, etc.
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On 2/16/2012 8:30 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:
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a passive gravity system will do the same silently and transparently. And the only cost is the extra tubing from that point back to the heater. It's such a duh solution, I can't believe EVERY house doesn't have it.
--
Steve Barker
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The difference though is that a passive system is losing heat through those pipes 24/7 whether water is being used or not. How much that amounts to I don't know. If they were well insulated it might not amount to much and could be a good system.
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On 2/16/2012 9:12 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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It's such a miniscule amount. I doubt a person would see a difference in the gas bill. I mean we all could do without air conditioning also, but most people don't.
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wrote:

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Maybe where you live but here it's almost as important as heat. Used more, anyway.
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On 2/16/2012 6:14 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

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Still not critical for life. Remember? AC is about 70 years old. People were around a long longer.
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wrote:

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Office jobs weren't. Factory jobs weren't. Productivity wasn't. My total utility bill last month was $42, including electric heat.
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On 2/16/2012 8:05 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

how many houses are single level?
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On 2/16/2012 9:46 AM, chaniarts wrote:

i suppose more than i might imagine. We're so used to houses having basements, it seems like a foolish thing to build one without.
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wrote:

Again, you assume every area is the same as yours. Foolish.
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On 2/16/2012 6:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Again, foolish to build a house without a basement. Regardless of where it is.
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On 2/16/2012 7:26 PM, Steve Barker wrote:

In *most* areas of Florida, only a fool would attempt to dig a basement.
You might start out digging a basement but by noon you'll soon have a swimming pool. And the following morning you'll have gators in it.
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Basements should be waterproof, like "reverse" swimmingpools. I'm told they are in Holland, where the groundwater level is often as high as in Jersey. But basements here can flood very easily ...
--
Best regards
Han
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wrote:

Bullshit. It's expensive to impossible in many areas. Unnecessary, too.
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