Instant, I mean instant, hot water

Hi,
I have a three story house with a water heater in the basement. I go to the bathroom on the top floor to brush my teeth. It takes about 30 seconds or more for the water out of the faucet to become warm. Is there a robust solution that would shorten that time to about 5 seconds?
Many thanks in advance,
Aaron Fude
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Brush your teeth in the basement

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You get the prize of the day for that one. I think my cat chuckled too.
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Aaron Fude wrote:

You brush your teeth with hot water? OK.
1. There is the device that is constantly circulating the water, don't recall what they are called, someone else will.
2. You could add one of those instant hot warer electrical heaters in that bathroom. Don't put out any volume but should be more than adequate for the brushing of teeth and a cup of coffee.
--

dadiOH
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Run the water while brushing your teeth and the hot water will be there when you're done. If you're brushing for less than 30 seconds, that's not long enough. You need to talk to your dentist.
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You brush your teeth with hot water? Hmmm.
You could install a point of use heater under the sink, or they sell recirculating pumps that use the cold water line as a return. Neither will be cheap and the latter has the drawback of making your cold water lukewarm.
-- "Tell me what I should do, Annie." "Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
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I have a similar house, and here is what worked for me (I did this when the bathroom walls were removed for a remodeling, but I think it could have been done with the walls in place, although you would need access to the top of your current supply line.
Install a second line between the top of your current supply line and plumbed to the bottom of your water heater, forming a loop. Put a check valve in where convenient to limit water flow to one direction. Put insulation on the original line. The loop will be filled with hot water so you will have instant hot water in the bathroom. When idle, there will be slow circulation of water, rising in the insulated line, and returning, slightly cooler, in the new line.
The advantage is there are no pumps, etc, to break. The disadvantage is possible energy loss, in that you will be creating in effect a radiator, which will allow heat into the house (since I air condition less than three months of the year, I don't see this as a problem; it is actually supplemental heating in the winter. If it was a problem, I would put a shutoff valve in the line and give up my instant hot water during the summer months). Difficulty of installation could be a problem, depending on your house. When I had this done, the plumber had never heard of it and actually invited some cohorts over to see it. They even had a wager on whether it would work. It did.
I know you can find sites on the web selling pumps that perform a similar function, but I like to try to keep things simple and avoid extra equipment that has a potential to break.
Aaron Fude wrote:

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Exactly. I had this setup when living in a 5th floor walkup in Manhattan. The high ceilings below made it the equivalent of living on the 6th floor. So without such an arrangement it would have been a real long time.
I now have a four story house. I use the bathroom on the top floor. Now that I'm paying for the hot water I only use it when taking a shower, and then I do have to plan ahead to get it to warm up.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Run the hot water full blast into the tub until it comes out hot. Then use the sink.
Bob
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I have a larger ranch-style home with a similar problem -- very long runs that can take a minute or more to get warm water, and then it gradually gets warmer over another minute while it heats up a 100 foot of copper . For appliances like the dish washer, it never would get hot water to it as it would not run long enough to heat the lines..
The builder installed a 1/40 hp (1/2 amp) motor/pump and a timer and an insulated return line to recalculate the hot water. I have it set so it comes on before I get up in the morning and turns off after I leave for work. It comes on again in the evening for a few hours and then turns off for the night.
It works terrific. With the timer I am not circulating hot water 24 hours a day. When it is running, the water is almost instantly hot. There are four bathrooms and a kitchen in different parts of the house, so it would not have made sense to try to install demand-style heaters in all of these locations. There is a manual switch I can flip anytime to turn it on (doing laundry during the middle of the day on the weekend, etc.).
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Does it recalculate it from quarts to liters?
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These may be worth a look.
http://ateliving.ecrater.com/category.php?cid 7258
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Aaron Fude wrote:

Move the water heater to the third floor?
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Here's a small heater for under the sink that you could use:
http://www.clage.com/produkte/Produktkategorien/handwaschbecken.php
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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When I was running new lines from my basement water heater, I used a half inch line to the tub, and 1/4" lines to the separate fixtures such as toilet, cold faucet, hot faucet. With each line coming from the water heater, rather than branching off at the bathroom. It resulted in being able to have the toilet be flushed without causing the shower to get hotter, and the hot water shows up a lot quicker to the faucet. After all, it's an issue of clearing out the cooler water, and with less volume, it takes less time. With the smaller orifices of water-conserving fixtures, I've not seen a problem with inadequate volume for tooth brushing, etc.

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