What happens when you turn on the shower? In the typical North American home, cold water comes pouring out. Because this is a shock to the body, most people make it a habit to run the shower for a few minutes before getting in.
Meanwhile, you might do something else as the water warms. In fact, there are probably times you have gotten distracted and forgotten about your shower. Whether it's for a few minutes or much longer, this is a lot of potable water just running down the drain, and it is costing you money.
Fortunately, there is a growing home improvement trend that eliminates this problem: hot water recirculation using tankless water heater systems.
Why does it take so long to get hot water?
A typical American home wastes thousands of gallons of perfectly usable water down the drain annually due to lengthy wait times at hot-water outlets in the bath and kitchen. This experience is common when showering and bathing, as well as when you turn on faucets.
This happens because when you use warm water, the remaining water in the pipes does not return to the water heater for reheating. Instead, it stays in the pipes and eventually turns cold. This chilly water needs to be pushed out and is what you feel before new hot water from the water heater is delivered when you turn the knob.
Why doesn't this happen at hotels?
This same experience doesn't typically happen in hotels, where you enjoy hot water near instantaneously. That's because commercial properties like hotels know that many people want to use hot water at similar times and expect this convenience, so they have a special pump constantly run with a dedicated circulation line of water connected to each room. That always puts hot water right where it's needed. Also, in a hotel, the distance between the farthest shower and the hot-water source is so great, the wait and the consequent waste and cost would be enormous.
What’s the solution for residential properties? More homeowners desire this convenience and are installing a hot-water recirculation system, which allows you to enjoy the convenience of hot water on demand while also reducing your water footprint, helping save money on utility bills.
The many benefits of hot water recirculation
Today's homeowner often has a high desire for comfort while being mindful of the environment, which makes it no surprise that hot-water recirculation is a growing home improvement trend.
The NRCR Residential Condensing Tankless Water Heater from Noritz uses a built-in pump to keep hot water close to even the farthest outlet in the home, minimizing the wait and, therefore, the waste of unused potable water down the drain. Whether you want to replace your water heating system with a modern tankless option or add a crossover valve that retrofits to your existing system, it offers several options for different plumbing configurations. As a result, hot water is always available in whatever part of the house you need it.
Some homes have a pre-built pipe loop that is ready to add a pump to work in conjunction with your water heater. If your home doesn’t have this dedicated return line, you can install a crossover valve at the farthest fixture of your home.
Alternatively, homeowners may decide to replace their systems with tankless options. With tankless systems, the hot-water circulation pump is fully integrated into the tankless water heater. This technology operates only when there is demand to bring hot water to you, which saves even more energy.
These systems are more affordable than ever. Federal tax credits combined with possible rebates from local or state governments can drive the price down significantly.
Smart technology for a smart home
In addition to providing on-demand hot water and reducing water waste, the NRCR technology learns how and when you use hot water. The new learning mode records habits over time based on your daily use and will turn on the recirculation pump only when you need it, meaning your system is efficient as well as convenient. You can also set your own schedule to your lifestyle needs if you choose.
If you're done with the unpleasant stream of cold water every time you want to shower, you might want to consider tankless hot-water recirculation systems that also reduce water waste. Learn more at www.noritz.com/nrcr.