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Time with HW reaching top floor

zepfanzepfan Member Posts: 307
Is there anything that can be done in a house that does not have a hot water recirculation line to decrease the amount of time it takes to get hot water to the top floor faucets? The house is four stories, built in 1996, and has roughly 4000 ft2. The new 75 gallon gas water heater is located in a conditioned basement. Once that water gets hot to the top floor the homeowner says there is plenty of it, and just takes about three minutes of running water to do so. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. thanks to all.

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,346
    How long does it take for the outlet pipe of the hot water heater to get hot? After that, how much longer to hot water at the tap?
    I can't believe that it would take 3 minutes for the water to get up to the top floor.--NBC
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,868
    Three minutes does seem a bit much -- but I can believe that it surely seems like it, when you're waiting to take a shower or trying to wash your hands. I should time it in this place.

    That said, short of installing recirculation lines -- which work splendidly well, but are energy hogs and are a bear to put in if they weren't done in the first place -- the only thing which I know of which will help is to insulate the dickens out of all the hot water feed lines. If there are fairly long runs in the basement, however, you could put pumped recirculation on those -- that would help some.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • L ThiesenL Thiesen Member Posts: 54
    I have used the Grundfoss Comfort System in these situations with good results. It does not require a return line, just use the existing water lines.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 14,389
    If the pipes are not insulated it will cost $$ to run a recirc constantly. there are some retro fit systems that turn on when DHW is needed.

    3 minutes is not un-believable with large pipe sizes and low pressure especially.

    Tankless water heaters also add to the "wait" time.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Dave H_2Dave H_2 Member Posts: 413
    ZepFan,

    Use a "CrossOver" valve and a smart timer based circulator. You don't need dedicated return recirculation lines, it uses the cold water supply as a return line back to the water heater. Simple retrofit application and more than one valve can be used with one circulator.
    The circulator can also run based upon a schedule, but it learns your schedule must like the Nest thermostat learns to create a heating schedule based upon when your home. This way the electrical costs to operate will be very minimal, say in the range of 6-10 dollars a year.
    taco-hvac.com/products/systems/instant_hot_water/hotlinkplus/index.html
    Dave H
    zepfan
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,868
    Thank you, @Dave H ! Hadn't seen that gadget. Learn something every day.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,880
    Often on a tall vertical section of hot water pipe it would stay hot by the gravity effect of water temp. The outer section of pipe cools and that water flows down, the center hot column of water is gravitating upward, hits the top and starts it flow down on the outer surface of pipe.
    This is evident in hot water heater heating, especially a converted gravity system. 2nd floor pipes heat with valves off even after pump is off.

    There must be some horizontal piping here that might dip down and prevent that passive gravity flow. If it were obvious in the basement then something could be done. But otherwise not.
    Canucker
  • zepfanzepfan Member Posts: 307
    Thanks to all, I am going to look into the system that Dave H suggested. take care
  • zepfanzepfan Member Posts: 307
    Dave H thanks for the suggestion and link for the Hot Link Plus system. I am going to install that. Sounds like a great idea.
    Thanks to all
  • Dave H_2Dave H_2 Member Posts: 413
    My pleasure all,
    ZepFan, when you're done with the install, let us know how it works out for you.

    Enjoy
    Dave H

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