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Thread: Plumbed Towel Warmer

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member LHO's Avatar
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    Default Plumbed Towel Warmer

    I'd like to install a towel warmer. Not the electric type, but plumbed into the hot water line connected to the shower valve. Electric heaters and ones designed for hot water heating systems are available, but I can't seem to find one that uses the shower hot supply water to lightly warm towels. I am wondering about making my own out of polished and lacquered copper pipe snaked on the wall. Is this an idea that will work?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You can use one for a hot water heating system. Just pipe your hot water line through it on the way to the shower valve. It is debateable how effective it will be unless you take very long showers, and ANYTHING like that will reduce the hot water temperature.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    If at all possible, I would put in a return line and use a recirc pump. You will have the added benefit of instant warm at the sink when the pump is turned on.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Using a recirc line to the water heater would work all right.
    That could get a little toasty.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Your objection to an electrically heated one is? Mine is on an electronic wall timer, so it only runs when I'm likely to be needing it, but it is easily turned on at any other time I might want it. They do take some time to warm up as the heating element isn't all that huge (mine is I think 180W). They are on a thermostat, so they do limit how hot they can get. With typical supply hot water temps of 120-degrees, I don't think you'd warm you towels much. My electrical one gets to probably 150-degrees or so (I've never measured it). A hydronic one would get to whatever temp you're circulating the boiler water, which could be hotter. There's a point where it becomes unsafe.

    Running potable water through it without a circulation system, as already mentioned, probably wouldn't warm it much, and with a recirculation system, you'd be injecting heat into the room constantly while the pump was enabled, which may not be the best thing for the a/c season.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; with a recirculation system, you'd be injecting heat into the room constantly while the pump was enabled, which may not be the best thing for the a/c season

    OR when there were no towels on the rack. Or at least when no one was needing to use them.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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