In a typical water system, there’s at least one faucet whose distance from the water heater requires running a significant amount of cold water down the drain until the hot water reaches the fixture. According to your reliable Santa Cruz plumber, this practice is extremely wasteful, but with a recirculator, it becomes unnecessary.
At least one unit – the RedyTemp® recirculator – can be installed by the homeowner at a bath or kitchen sink, and it takes only a few minutes. This system employs a thermostat to sense cooled water in the hot line and automatically sends it back into the cold line. Not only do you have hot water ready at the faucet, but you don’t waste (and pay for) discarded cold water. The RedyTemp® can also be used with a timer. Certain models add a variety of other optional sensors.
Plumbing Pro Tips to Share
Before you start, purchase two supply tubes with 1/2-inch female threads on both ends (if they are not already included with the unit).
Tip #1 Slide the recirculator under the sink, typically the sink most distant from the water heater. Turn off both stop valves and loosen and remove the supply tubes from the faucet.
Tip #2 Connect these ends of the supply tubes to the two male connections at the rear of the circulator – hot on the left, cold on the right.
Tip #3 Connect one end of your purchased supply tubes to the two front nipples on the recirculator.
Tip #4 Connect the other end of the supply tubes to the faucet, with the left-front tube going to the hot water faucet and the right-front tube to the cold water faucet.
Be sure all the connections are tight at both ends. Then turn the water back on at the stop valves.
Tip #5 Drill a 1 1/8-inch hole in the side of the sink cabinet that’s closest to a GFCI outlet. Plug the unit into the outlet, using timers as specified by the manufacturer. If drilling a hole through the cabinet is not desirable, then install a GFCI outlet under the sink.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: If you already have two outlets under the sink, says the most referred Santa Cruz plumber, plug the unit into the dishwasher outlet, not the disposal outlet.