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Marty
Marty, professional remodeler
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 122
Experience:  30 years of home remodeling
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Hot Water

Customer Question

How can I get hot water faster to my bathroom sink when it is located at the far end of the house from my hot water supply. I must run the faucet for over 2 minutes to get hot water.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Marty replied 11 years ago.


The first (and cheapest) way to accomplish this is to insulate the
pipes. Home and hrdware stores sell a foam insulating tube sized to fit
the pipe (ie 1/2", 3/4" etc.) You simply put this tube over your pipe
(one side is slit, so it just 'snaps' over) Also cover any elbos or
other fittings. As the hot water sits in the pipe, it cools down.
Insulating them will lengthen (but not eliminate) the cool down
time.


The next improvement is to run another hot water line to that area. it
would be tied in to the hot water line close to the water heater and
again near or at the sink supply. This line creates a "loop". When hot
water is drawn anywhere else on this line, hot water will flow through
the "loop and replace the 'cooler' water. This assumes you can get to
the supply lines(ie, an unfinished basement or drop ceiling) This will
only work as hot water is used elsewhere in the house, but as you use
your kitchen sink, dishwasher etc, it will circulate.

The final (best and most expensive) way, is to put a small
recirculating pump under the sink. This also requires another supply
line. The pump can be purchased at most plumbing supply houses (I have
not seem them at Home Depot, etc)

The cost is usually prohibative, so I would suggest you start with the insulation.

I hope this answered your questions. If it did, kindly click the
"accept" button to reward my efforts. If it did not, let me know how I
can assist you further.

Sincerely,.....Martye













Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Marty's Post: Marty,

Thanks for your reply. Naturally I have already insulated the pipes. To run a separate line would not be possible. I thought I saw a solution on this old house once and thought I might get the same answer here. I cannot use your solutions as I already insulated and the pipes are not accessable.

Thanks anyway
Bill
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

I can tell you a little trick that works for me. It's the water in the line from the hot water heater to the faucet that you will get first when you turn on the faucet. To ensure that this water is warm, you would have to run it and "store" hot water in this line for a short time.


So - you can brush your teeth before you shower. Run the water until you get hot water and then you will get hot water right away from your shower faucet when you turn it on.


Be sure that you don't flush the toilet or do anything else that uses cold water until you have showered.


If you can afford it, you can also get a "point of use" hot water heater. It's a small (about 10 gallons) hot water heater that goes under the sink or in a closet. If this is stored in your bathroom with not a lot of pipe between it and the faucet, you can have hot water in no time.


I hope this helps.


Expert:  Joseph Barcus replied 11 years ago.
I MYSELF WOULD BUY A SMALL 10 GAL HOT WATER HEATER PLACE IT ON THE HOT WATER LINE IN THE BATHROOM IN A CLOSET IF YOU HAVE ONE. THAN YOU WOULD HAVE HOT WATER RIGHT OFF THE BAT, AND IT WOULD NOT RUN OUT BEFORE THE OTHER WATER REACHED IT. PRETTY SIMPLE AND A SURE 100% FIX. YOU CAN BUY THEM FOR 110 VAC.
Expert:  Joseph Barcus replied 11 years ago.
ALSO IF YOUR BATHROOM IS BIG ENOUGH YOU COULD PLACE THE 10 GAL TANK IM TALKING ABOUT RIGHT BESIDE YOUR SINK. THE KEY TO THIS TYPE OF HOOK UP IS MAKE SURE THE LINE COMING IN TO YOUR BATHROOM GOES INTO THE SMALL TANK BEFORE GOING TO YOUR BATHROOM FIXTURES, BUT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE ALL THE PIPES IN AND CANT GET TO THEM TO MAKE A SMALL CHANGE THAN I REALLY DONT KNOW. TAKE CARE AND GOOD LUCK.
Expert:  Marty replied 11 years ago.

What you may have seen on "this old house" (etc) is a "whole house"
instant water heater. This is a heater with no storage tank. when a hot
water valve is 'opened', water flows through a coil of small diameter
tubing (1/4"-ish). A flame heats the water quickly because of its
relatively small volume but large surface area. This water runs through
the coils directly to the open faucet and is only heated when hot water
is called for. It is VERY efficient but also very "pricey".

I do not believe it would solve your problem as the water remaining in the pipe would still cool down between uses.

You could try turning up your water heater a bit to compensate for the
heat loss, but (obviously) this will add a little to your bill.

PS... I never asked, is this a gas or electric heater??