Recirculating heat motor ... can it be quieted or bypassed (pic included)

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On Thu, 05 Apr 2012 21:43:43 -0400, clare wrote:

I just realized I have no idea the DIRECTION of flow in those pipes.
Did I draw the direction right in these pictures? Zoomed out: http://picturepush.com/public/7966064 Close up: http://picturepush.com/public/7966063
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On 4/6/2012 9:28 AM, Martin C. wrote:

You got your flow direction backwards. The pump on such "instant" hot water systems returns water to a T plumbed in with the drain spigot at the bottom of the water heater. ^_^
TDD
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Oh, forgot. Instead of metal strapped to the wall, maybe you can make rubber mounts of some kind, so the sound isn't carried into the wall.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I need advice on this heat pump motor: http://picturepush.com/public/7964530
I bought a house which apparently has a rather noisy heat-recirculation motor, which kicks in more frequently than we'd like, and which is situated just below living quarters ... hence the noise is rather obnoxious to the occupants. http://picturepush.com/public/7964534
The noise doesn't sound like a high-pitched bad-bearing noise ... just a loud-motor humming noise. But it kicks on a lot (many times a day) so it's irksome.
Having never experienced a recirculating heat motor before, why do I need it anyway? I presume it is what gives me the nearly instant hot water in all faucets and shower heads in the house. Anything else?
I wonder aloud if I'd rather have a few minutes of cold water instead of incessant noise from this motor???
But, not knowing anything about the operation, I'm afraid to bypass it or even turn it off until/unless I talk to someone who understands these things.
Particularly, if I were to bypass it, how would I do that most easily for test purposes? If I cut the power to it, for example, would anything burn out elsewhere? Can I just re-pipe around it?
For those of you with these big black motors in your hot-water line near your hot-water heater, are yours as noisy as mine? Is there a quiet variety for example? Or are they all this noisy?
What's the best way to turn it off temporarily to test out whether the bliss of silence is better than a few minutes of cold water in the morning?
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On Thu, 05 Apr 2012 16:43:35 -0700, Bob F wrote:

If it's as simple as disconnecting the power, and if nothing 'bad' happens when I do so, then that's a simple plan of action.

I'm realizing from this discussion that you're right. It's the 'mounting' that is probably shaking the walls which is probably what's 'amplifying' the noise of the motor hum as it sound's louder in the living quarters above than right in front of it.
Did I draw the direction of current correctly in these pictures?
Where pipes connects to the tank: http://picturepush.com/public/7966064 How pipes connect to the pump: http://picturepush.com/public/7966063
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On Fri, 06 Apr 2012 15:57:31 +0000, Martin C. wrote:

Thanks for validating the direction of the water. It turned out to be the opposite of what I had originally thought.
To summarize, this shows the direction of water at the ceiling pipes: http://picturepush.com/public/7970324
That thermoswitch apparently senses temperature of stagnant water in only one set of bathrooms upstairs (not the other).
This shows the direction of water through the pump itself: http://picturepush.com/public/7970322
Therefore, this must be the flow direction in the pipes: http://picturepush.com/public/7970410
With the result that stagnant water ends up back in the water tank: http://picturepush.com/public/7970326
The whole system can be disabled in a variety of ways as there are at least three water valves and an electrical thermoswitch and 120V power.
At the moment, it's disabled simply by unplugging the 120v power until I figure out how best to mount the pump to the wall shelf with isolation.
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UPDATE:
I'm leaving the hot water recirculation pump off for now, and, interestingly, not only is it quiet but more than one person commented the water in the shower appears to be HOTTER!
I don't see how that can be, so, maybe it's due to something else. But the good news is the fifteen second wait for the water to warm up now isn't at all a problem. Most of the time the water is warm right away anyway, instead of blazingly hot right away as it was before.
The main thing I'm thinking about now, since I'm likely to permanently leave the pump unpowered, is whether I should leave the three valves in the closed or open position (the two twist valves won't turn by hand).
Advice?
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On Mon, 09 Apr 2012 16:59:36 -0700, Bob F wrote:

Easily enough done.
That means: a) I buy a cheap timer & leave the three valves in the open position b) I have the timer go on, once a day (probably at 5am before anyone awakes). c) It goes on for, say, a half hour or an hour (or whatever). d) That will make the recirc pump run for that half hour (or as long as it takes based on its thermostat settings).
The bacteria don't get a nice home to live in.
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Legionnaires disease? Say what? If a circulation system was necessary to prevent legionnaires disease, hundreds of millions of home around the world would be having incidences of the disease. Only a tiny percentage of domestic hot water systems have any circulation system. The only advice I've heard in that regard is that the TANK should be heated to min of 130F.
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:24:42 -0700, Bob F wrote:

I understand.
I will put the timer in, set to run once a day.
I don't know if the lung-loving legionella would/could grow in the pipes when they're not circulating (I thought they like air conditioning systems), but it seems like cheap insurance against them.
Especially as they can't be seen and I wouldn't have any way of identifying the bacterium in the water supply.
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My friend, I think your circulator motor could be put on some kind of padded support. No sense strapping it directly to the wall. You can expect HeBe-ub to give you grief, now. Read the "who is it" thread to understand why.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On Thu, 05 Apr 2012 16:43:35 -0700, Bob F wrote:

If it's as simple as disconnecting the power, and if nothing 'bad' happens when I do so, then that's a simple plan of action.

I'm realizing from this discussion that you're right. It's the 'mounting' that is probably shaking the walls which is probably what's 'amplifying' the noise of the motor hum as it sound's louder in the living quarters above than right in front of it.
Did I draw the direction of current correctly in these pictures?
Where pipes connects to the tank: http://picturepush.com/public/7966064 How pipes connect to the pump: http://picturepush.com/public/7966063
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On Sat, 07 Apr 2012 07:55:23 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I agree. Right now it's hanging by the plumbing, but I need to somehow hang it from the ceiling or pad it to the wall.

I do not understand this statement as I am unfamiliar with "hebe-ub".
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You're not missing much. Move along.....
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

I do not understand this statement as I am unfamiliar with "hebe-ub".
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On Sat, 07 Apr 2012 11:00:31 -0700, Bob F wrote:

Oh. OK. Thanks for the insight.
I myself don't have an opinion either way on the recirculating hot-water systems. In fact, I knew absolutely nothing about them except the one in the house I bought made way too much noise.
Now I realize the noise was purely due to a lousy installation, and, in particular, an undamped steel-on-steel-on-wood-frame mounting.
Interestingly, with the noise of the pump eliminated ... now the complaint is the bubbling water from the two large hot water heaters ... sigh ...
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On Sun, 8 Apr 2012 04:15:08 +0000 (UTC), "Martin C."

Two water heaters? You may want to determine if you really need two of them.
Just moving into a new house, the last thing you want it to make a big renovation. Fact is, you may be able to save a bundle of money in energy costs by replacing old, inefficient equipment. Especially if you heat with oil. Certainly worth considering if you are in a cold climate. My system pays for itself just out of oil savings.
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Bubbling noises from the water heaters? That doesn't sound right.....

I was thinking that too. If the demand isn't that high, I'd shut one off. Could try doing that and seeing if there is still enough hot water. If so, he's save on the standby losses. A friend of mine bought a house that has two water heaters. They were set up in parallel. I suggested he try shutting one off. The only issue is that the house also has a jacuzzi type tub. That takes all the hot water to just get it to an acceptable level and is the reason for the second water heater.

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On Sun, 8 Apr 2012 05:43:44 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I can see the need filling that tub, but I have to wonder how often that tub is really used and how much does it cost to keep that much water on standby.
About 20 years ago, my wife and I stayed at a B&B that had one. Tried it, was not impressed beyond that one time.
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I agree. I've had one for 17 years and used it once. I have a spa/ hot tub outside that is permanently full. I keep it heated to about 60 and raise it a few hours before I'm going to use it. Doesn't appear to cost very much to maintain that way, it's a whole lot better than the small bathroom ones and it's a nice place to smoke a cigar, have a few beers on a snowy night.
On the other hand, the running costs for that extra water heater are probably small. In summer by gas bill is less than $20 and you would think most of that is usage, not standby losses.
Here's an interesting question. If you had a second water heater in parallel that was 6 years old and not being used, would you turn it off but leave it full. Or drain it? Any guess as to which would result in longer life so that it could then be used when the active one fails?
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On Sun, 08 Apr 2012 09:59:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I was wondering something similar.
I've had things turned off that never went back on again (due to crud, I guess). Once I left a perfectly well running car outside for six months, and it was a bear to get it going again.
I realize the dynamics are different ... but do people actually turn off hot water heaters for long periods of time (like years) and then turn them back on again.
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On Sun, 8 Apr 2012 18:17:11 +0000 (UTC), "Martin C."

Not years, perhaps, but the water heater gets shut down at friend's cottage every time they leave - and sometimes it is off for 8 months or more. It is electric.
My brother's trailer has propane, and it is also shut down any time he's not there. That used to sometimes be 6 months, but he's there a lot more now.
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On Mon, 09 Apr 2012 17:05:26 -0700, Bob F wrote:

Yes. Nope.
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