DIY plumbing Tips and Tricks

Recirculating Systems for Instant Hot Water: How It Works

How a recirculating systems for Instant Hot Water Works


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.

Renting vs. Buying a Water Heater: Debunking a New Fad

Renting vs. Buying a Water Heater

Many people currently rent or lease their water heaters instead of buying them. Homeowners find the idea of worry-free maintenance and repairs, free installation and low monthly fees appealing. However, if you plan to live in your home for many years, purchasing a water heater is clearly a wiser financial decision.


Water Heater Rental Cost Over Time
Most hot water heaters can be expected to last about 10 to 12 years. Over the life of the appliance, renters will pay far more than what the heater would have cost if purchased and installed. For example, if a homeowner paid $25 per month in rental fees, the total rental cost for 10 years would be $3000. The same water heater may have only cost around $800-$1000 fully installed.

Water heater rental fees often increase as time goes by. This can leave renters locked into an agreement to pay more and more every year for their aging unit. Some long-term rental agreements even require an expensive buy-out if you decide to switch suppliers or no longer need the water heater.

Understand Your Options
Renting may offer a convenient or even necessary option to those who will only be living in their current residence for a short time. It may also be beneficial for people living in areas of hard water where the heater’s lifespan will be compromised and repairs are more likely, but for most homeowners, the savings over time would more than cover any repair or replacement cost.

New hot water heaters are generally covered under a warranty for a limited period of time. After warranties run out, owners are responsible for all repairs, but this does not necessarily mean that the cost of repair will be unaffordable, especially when compared to paying more than four times the worth of their appliance in rental fees. Buying your hot water heater also gives you a wider variety of choices. Eco-friendly options, favored brands and high-end models may not be available as rentals.

Spend Wisely, Save More
The decision to purchase a hot water heater rather than renting it is a clear example of spending money to save money. For financially stable homeowners who plan to use their water heater for several years, buying the appliance offers more benefits in the long run.

Water Heater and Water Heater Plumbing Services

Plumbing Services Raleigh NC

Water Heater Trouble? Call 919-661-6334

Water heaters are dependable appliances that can last up to 10 years. We can help you extend the life of your equipment and receive optimal performance by establishing a regular schedule of care, maintenance and other Raleigh water heater services. Like other major systems, water heaters send distress signals when there is a problem. One sign that your unit may be failing is that it quickly runs out of hot water. This issue could be due to excess sediment, inadequate insulation or malfunctioning parts, such as thermostats or heating elements. Improperly sized equipment can cause you to run out of hot water as well.

Hard water deposits make it difficult for your equipment to heat the water. They reduce the capacity of the tank and make your water heater work harder. Insufficient insulation causes the tank to lose heat, wastes energy and increases utility bills. Worn out or defective parts can prevent your equipment from heating the water. Changes in schedules or routines make it difficult for smaller water heaters to meet the increased demand. Your household may need a larger model.

A small leak can quickly become a major leak at the worst possible time. The solution will depend upon whether the water is coming from the pipe or the tank. This problem requires immediate attention because excess moisture increases the risk of mold and property damage, which are expensive and difficult to repair.

A gas leak and improperly vented carbon monoxide can endanger your home and family. We can repair your pipes after the utility company identifies and stops the leak. Our trained technicians can inspect and service your unit. Inspecting the connection fittings every six months is essential if you have a gas-fired system. We can replace worn out or defective equipment and repair water and gas pipes.

Our team can help you incorporate energy conservation measures, such as installing a timer on your water heater. If your equipment is reaching the end of its serviceable life, we can help you select an energy-efficient model. Give us a call to learn more about Raleigh water heater services.