Hot Water

Recirculating Systems for Instant Hot Water: How It Works

by raleigh plumbers on April 16, 2013

How a recirculating systems for Instant Hot Water Works

reduce-time-and-water-waste

The plumbing systems in American homes waste fathomless gallons of cold water during the wait for hot water. In most homes, cold water rests in plumbing pipes when water is not in use, and it requires purging before hot water can flow out. Two types of recirculating systems, however, eliminate waiting and wasted water by promptly providing hot water.

Demand-Controlled System

Initiated by a button, motion sensor or switch, a circulation pump returns the water standing in the pipes to the water heater and sends hot water through the pipes to the taps. Once hot water reaches the tap, a temperature-controlled switch signals the pump to stop.

Compared with other systems, a demand-controlled system uses less energy because the pump works only when hot water is wanted, but the process of returning the cold water to the water heater means a slightly longer wait time than gravity-fed systems offer.

Gravity-Fed System

Gravity-fed systems require a loop of plumbing lines: The first half of the loop carries hot water to the faucets, and the second half returns cold water to the water heater. Gravity brings cold water, which is denser and heavier than hot water, down to be reheated, and the lighter, reheated water rises back up the loop. Basically, gravity-fed systems are a continuous circuit of water.

This system only works in a home with the water heater placed lower than the hot water lines. Hot water is immediately available, but gravity-fed systems consume more energy than demand-controlled systems because the water heater is in continuous use.

If a home’s hot water heater is not located below the hot water lines, a pump can take the place of gravity in generating a continuous circuit. Again, hot water is instant, but energy use rises.

Installing a timer will reduce the amount of energy this type of system uses.

The system to choose depends upon the home, the budget and personal preference regarding energy, but both recirculating systems perform well the job for which they were created: reducing the time and water waste associated with waiting for hot water.

To learn more about Recirculating Systems and guidelines in the Raleigh area, call Poole’s Plumbing today and let one of our Plumbing Specialists help you choose the system that works best for your home.

The Benefits of Owning a Tankless Water Heater

by raleigh plumbers on February 27, 2013

Tankless Water Heater Certified Installer Raleigh NC

Tankless Water Heater

Traditional water heaters consume large amounts of electricity or natural gas and can only supply enough hot water for two or three showers. Because of these issues, many energy conscious homeowners are making the switch to tankless water heaters to save money and avoid headaches.

Unlimited Hot Water
With a tankless water heater, you will enjoy an unlimited supply of hot water. Instead of heating dozens of gallons of water in a large tank and maintaining it at a certain temperature, a tankless water heater simply heats water as it passes through the heating elements. You’ll receive water at your desired temperature within seconds, and you could leave the hot water running for a whole week without running out.

Size
A water heater tank can fill up an entire closet by itself, which limits where it can be placed in the house. A tankless water heater is small by comparison, often measuring as tiny as two cubic feet. Because it doesn’t store water, it is lightweight and can easily be mounted to the wall. Even if you place it inside of a closet, you will still be able to use most of the closet for storage however it must be placed on an outside wall so that it can be properly vented to the outside.

Energy Savings
Tankless water heaters are incredibly energy efficient. Although they can use 15 to 30 kW of electricity, they actually end up using less energy than water heat tanks. Remember that tankless water heater only turns on when you need them, but water heater tanks can take hours to warm 50 gallons of water to the target temperature.

Manufacturing processes have improved over the past few years as tankless water heaters have become more popular, and they now cost little more than some traditional models. However, the energy savings will quickly make up for any extra installation costs. Depending on your family’s hot water usage, you will save 25 to 40 percent off of your hot water heating costs every year.