Cold Shower? Not Anymore

With one water heater and almost 2,700 square feet spread out over only one level, you can imagine that anyone waiting for a toasty hot shower in our house had a pretty long, cold wait.  Until now.
 

Enter the recirculating pump.  What is a recirculating pump, you might ask?  Well, it’s a cool little device that a plumber or an ambitious DIYer can connect to your water heater to provide hot water to all of your fixtures, practically instantaneously.  Check out an example of a recirculating pump right here.  While we briefly thought about installing a tankless water heater instead, we quickly realized that recirculation pumps are about 1/3 the cost of tankless water heaters – decision made!
 

Not only does a recirculating pump keep you from freezing while you wait for a hot shower, but it can also save you buckets of money in utility bills – if you do it right, as we learned the hard way.  At our house, we installed a second hot water heater AND a recirculating pump, guaranteeing that we’d never again take a cold shower.  However, we were shocked when we got our first, gasp-inducing gas and electric bills – how could this be??  Once we actually thought about it, the high bills made a lot of sense – the gas bill was high because the hot water heaters were constantly heating water, and the electric bill was big due to the recirculation of water throughout the house.  But now that we had the culprit behind the high bills figured out, how could we fix it?  Well, the hubs had the brilliant idea of installing a timer on the recirculating pump, limiting the time that the recirculation pump was operating to those times that we would actually be showering (with different settings for weekdays v. weekend).  Pretty cool, right??  Now we have hot water when we need it AND cheapo gas and electric bills!

Got any great tips for keeping your bills down?  Stay tuned for more water heater fun…

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