How to Get Hot Water with a Recirculating Pump | Ask This Old House

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This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how a recirculation line can save energy, money, and time. (See steps below.)
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Steps for How to Get Hot Water with a Recirculating Pump:
1. A recirculation line is a separate water pipe that runs off the hot-water line from the farthest plumbing fixture back to the water heater.
2. A pump at the water heater moves hot water through the recirculation line. Any cold water in the recirculation line is returned to the heater.
3. A check valve must be installed in the line to ensure hot water only goes in one direction.
4. An aqua-stat is mounted to the hot-water pipe. When it senses that hot water is returning to the heater, it shuts off the pump.
5. A timer is used to ensure that the system isn’t maintaining the recirculation line when you’re away at work or sleeping.
6. All-in-one pumps are available that have the aqua-stat and timer built into them.
7. Pumps and fittings can be used to push cold water in the hot-water pipe into the cold-water line until it senses that hot water has finally arrived from the heater.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Get Hot Water with a Recirculating Pump | Ask This Old House
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