LESLIE: Now we’ve got Bela on the line from North Carolina who’s dealing with a bathroom that’s just got chilly water. Tell us what’s going on there.
BELA: Well, we have a two-story house, about 3,400 square feet. And on the first floor, in a bathroom, it takes forever for the hot water to come.
BELA: I talked to a plumber and he said we need a recycling loop or something.
TOM: Yeah. A couple ways you can tackle this, Bela. You can add a recirculating loop that will constantly move warm water around the house, because it’s a distance thing. You know, you’re a certain distance from the water heater and as a result of that, you’ve got to wait for the warm water to get from the water heater to your bathroom.
TOM: Or you could consider something that’s going to be a little more expensive but probably more energy-efficient in the long run and that is to add a second water heater closer to the bathroom. You can do this very easily today with tankless water heaters because they’re very small and they can fit in virtually any space that you have. And in doing so, you would basically shorten the distance – the physical distance – from the bathroom to the water heater.
BELA: Well, the other – they have two water heaters, electric. Each 40 gallons.
TOM: Are they side by side?
TOM: Well, why don’t you move one up closer to the bathroom? I bet you it’s on the same loop. Yeah, that would definitely shorten the distance.
Now, by the way, with those two electric water heaters, do you have them on timers so that they go off in the middle of the night, say, when you don’t need hot water?
TOM: That would be a smart thing to do because they’re very expensive to run. So you can put those on 240-volt timers, set them to be off between 10:00 at night and 8:00 in the morning. It won’t take that long for the water to heat back up again but you could turn them off for 8 to 10 hours a day and not have to pay for that electricity. That saves you a lot of money.
BELA: I appreciate that.