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Thread: Hot water recirculation

  1. #1
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Hot water recirculation

    I recently encountered a Laing Auto Circ device on sale at a box store. This is a pump that circulates the hot water in your home so that you will have hot water instantly when you turn the fixture on. I liked the idea, but this is a retro-fit model that uses the existing cold water lines to return the hot water, and that didn't appeal too much to me. I contacted the Laing company about using a separate return line, and they replied that they had models that used a return line and that would be preferred if it was possible to install the return line. My plumbing is entirely exposed in the basement, so this did not represent any problem for me. I found a Laing SM-303-BTW on **** that I obtained for less that $100, and while I was waiting to receive it, I did most of the plumbing, got the automatic air vent, cut off valves, etc. that are required, so when I got the unit, it took less than an hour to complete the installation. Friends, this is an amazing device! Where it used to require 15 seconds or so to purge the cold water for the hot water line in my shower, it now take less than 2 seconds. Virtually instant hot water. It find it curious that there has never been a mention of this on this forum, at least that I have seen, and I have even posted questions regarding ways to accomplish this.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default water

    I am not sure about this site, but it is a constant subject on others, and the dedicated return line, when possible, the Laing Auto-Circ, (and others like it), and the Grudfos Comfort Zone which is similar except the pump is at the water heater and the conrol valve is under the sinks are always mentioned as possibilities. Just remember that your utility bill will increase because of the constant demand on the hot water heater, and its life will be decreased for the same reason.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Re circulation pump

    Guess I've just miss seeing those comments. I'm sure there will be an increase in the gas bill, but for me this will be the price of the luxury of having hot water without a delay. Thanks for the comment.

  4. #4
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    I'm not too worried about the extra fuel and loading on the heater, it's almost insignificant compared to the thousands of gallons you use each month... I do, however, use rigid fiberglass insulation to insulate all of the HW and return lines to keep down heat loss and place as much of the tubes as I can in interior heated spaces. I suspect this way the owner spends more on the electricity to run the pump than to heat the water.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Insulation

    I've been considering the foam pipe insulation for some time. I don't think the cost to operate the pump will be enough to notice at all, but there will be heat loss from the pipes since there are now two hot lines and they are both full of hot water all of the time. The insulation will likely be more cost effective that ever now. Not a big job with all of my pipes exposed in the basement.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    While you are at it, do the cold pipes, too. Then in the summer, they won't sweat.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    Engineer jk60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    I am not sure about this site, but it is a constant subject on others, and the dedicated return line, when possible, the Laing Auto-Circ, (and others like it), and the Grudfos Comfort Zone which is similar except the pump is at the water heater and the conrol valve is under the sinks are always mentioned as possibilities.
    I know it's been awhile since this thread was posted, but can you tell me what are the other sites you are referring to where the Laing Auto-Circ and the Grundfos Comfort Zone are discussed.

    Thank you,

    Jerry

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default

    I installed a Hot to cold water line bypass/check valve many yrs ago that had the same effect w/o the cost / energy req'd to run a recirc pump. The unit is added at the farthest or most freauently used point (master bath sink in my case). It uses the cold water line to return but could also be piped w/ a separate line if desired. I don't recall the manufacturer but some searching might turn something up.

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