Long waits for hot water - what are my options

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I guess I should ask what is the optimal method to transfer hot water. I do have low pressure issues so I am not sure if reducing pipe size will fix my upstairs issue. But I think by running direct lines to my kitchen and laundry room will help
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Pressure and volume are different things. Your pressure is about average, but 3/4" pipe holds a lot more water than 1/2" and it all has to be emptied before the hot water will reach the shower. With a low flow shower head it can take a long time. Is it faster if you open the tub or sink? The tub usually has no restrictions.
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Depends entirely on how the hot water is getting there now. If it takes some long path and you can shorten it significantly, sure it will cut down the time. But if the kitchen and laundry room are already routed reasonably and just happen to be off the same line that continues upstairs, then making it direct obviously won't help. In fact, it could make it worse, because if the line serves multiple locations, then any usage on that line will get hot water into at least part of the pipe run. For example, if the line goes past the kitchen, then continues upstairs, drawing hot water upstairs will mean the kitchen will have it available fast too. Or drawing from the kitchen will cut down the time to get it upstairs, etc.

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The main problem is that most homes were designed when energy was cheap and water prices low. And now they are designed the same way because they have always done it that way!
What should be done is to have a cluster of the hot water users around the hot water heater. So kitchen sink, and bathrooms back to back surrounding the hot water heater.
A two story house with basement would be ideal. Water heater in basement, 1st floor over water heater... kitchen and a bathroom back to back. Then upstairs above this, two bathrooms back to back. Heat rises, so you would always have instant warm water.
Actually for sinks and hand washing, you only need warm water, so a better design would be the two story house with basement and two hot water heaters. One with warm water for the sinks, and the other with hot water for the baths/showers and dishwasher. Then the kitchen sink could have two faucets - one with warm water and the other with hot for dishes.
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On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:11:08 -0700 (PDT), theedudenator

Doesnt get much simpler than this: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?keyword=recirculating%2Bpump&langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053 Bubba
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re: "Doesnt get much simpler than this"
Doesn't a recirc pump require the installation of a return - i.e. another run of pipe from the source to the farthest fixture?
That might be "simple" when the house is first plumbed, but adding that return pipe in an existing house could be pretty complicated.
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wrote:

re: "Doesnt get much simpler than this"
Doesn't a recirc pump require the installation of a return - i.e. another run of pipe from the source to the farthest fixture?
That might be "simple" when the house is first plumbed, but adding that return pipe in an existing house could be pretty complicated. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I have a circ unit that mounts under the sink and uses the cold water line for the return. It connects with the flex lines to the faucet and has a timer and aquastat. From 5am to 10am it keeps 100 deg water at that fixture. works well & I've had it about 4 yrs.
Andrew
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theedudenator wrote:

Another alternative would be to put a small water heater upstairs. You would get hot water immediately, and the regular water heater would feed through it to give you the volume you need.
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theedudenator wrote:

are you 500' from the water heater or what? hell mine only takes 24 seconds and it's 72 (plumbing feet) away.
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Everybody else has given you good advice about pipe sizes, recirculating pumps, and point-of-use heaters.
I suggest you check your faucet. It might be adjusted so that "full hot" doesn't give you only hot water.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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For lavatories and sinks, I did home runs (direct run from tap to water heater) with 3/8" PEX pipe. I have plenty of pressure and much less wait time for hot water and lest waste as the pipe holds about 1/2 as much water as a 1/2" pipe.
Maybe your plumbing, like mine, was done by the three stooges. I could go into business selling the excess pipe and fittings I have removed. The much more direct runs helped a lot.
My house, while not too wide is 100' long with plumbing facilities at both ends. Because of this I installed two water heaters, one at each end.
Unless your house is 50,000 square feet with one water heater, 5 minutes is juse unreal.
On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:11:08 -0700 (PDT), theedudenator

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