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Wasting Water

My bathroom is quite far from my hot water heater, so when I want hot water I have to waste a lot of water before it runs hot.What can I do to stop wasting water?

Re: wasting water

I read a suggestion recently from a family that puts a bucket in the tub to catch the shower water as it is warming...they then use it to water plants inside and out. Another thing you could do is to cover the hot water pipes with pipe insulation. You can buy lengths of foam pipe insulation that slips right onto the pipes. I don't know how noticable the difference will be but it cannot hurt. And...another suggestion would be to learn to enjoy cold showers?! Yuck!! Good luck and I am looking forward to reading other suggestions!

Re: Wasting Water

I had a similar condition. The run wasn't so long - only about 20-25 ft thru the attic (plus the 6-7 ft drop) but I was still running the shower for 2 minutes to get hot water. A remodel & addition allowed me to strip the roof down to the rafters for a number of reasons & while it was open, I took out the galvanized pipe trunk & branch line & went to a 1/2" PEX home run plumbing system. Turns out that the trunk line was a full 1" diameter (4 times the volume of 1/2"!!!!) & totally unneccessary to serve just the bathroom at the end of the run. Now I get hot water in 15-20 seconds at about 1 1/2 gpm, meaning I run about 1/2 gal thru the tap before it warms up.

Things you can do: Look at how big your line is - a 1/2" line to one room should be fine unless multiple people use the room simultaneously - and consider replacing lines. To replace all the galvanized & CPVC in the attic & run just over 100' of PEX (2 half-inch lines to each room separately) cost me about $200 including tool rental. I did it myself, connecting the PEX to existing galvanized downpipes before they went into the walls. If you do this, I might recommend getting rid of all galvanized pipes up to the meter, as the rust will still run downstream. I used PVC underground, but I don't have to worry about ground freeze.
Second, consider intalling a tankless (instant) hot water heater in the bathroom to serve the sink & shower. Little units can even be less than $500 & if you buy before 12/31/07 you get $300 of it back as a tax credit (as long as its efficiency is above 0.82) Usually the problem with tankless is that it uses lots of gas when its running (but NONE when its not) meaning that even though it uses less gas overall, it needs bigger gas pipes to feed it. There is a Canadian tankless manufacturer that makes electric units & all they need is a 220V line. So if the bathroom is close to your electrical panel, this could be cheaper.
A recirculation pump is another alternative that I haven't tried. But I know from experience that even 2 layers of pipe insulation will not stop your hot water from returning to the ambient temps of the space it runs through btw tank & tap if it sits for some time, and that 1st thing in the morning & when you get home from work, its always going to be cold. Best thing is to have less water between the heat source & the tap.

Re: Wasting Water

As another poster said, get a hot water recirculation pump. They're about $200-250 and very easy to install. Many come with timers so you can set it to the time you're likely to take a shower, etc. You'll have hot water in 2-3 seconds! The big boxes carry one made by Watts..fwiw.

Re: Wasting Water

The best solution is to get a Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve! Just install the Hot Water Lobster recirculation unit under the sink farthest form your water heater and you will have instant hot water throughout your entire home. It saves a lot of water that's normally wasted down the drain while waiting for hot water. Savings in water and energy quickly recoups the low $179.95 purchase price!

Hot Water Lobster is designed according to strict standards to ensure easy installation and long maintenance free operation. The Hot Water Lobster uses no electricity and is pump free, so it creates no noise. It uses your existing plumbing and is easily self-installed in less than 10 minutes! Hot Water Lobster is made in the U.S.A. and has a 10-year warranty.

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