LESLIE: Janie, you’ve got The Money Pit, what can we do for you today?
JANIE: We moved into this hour recently and it’s a ranch home. Our hot water tank is at one end of the house and about 65 feet down is our back bathroom.
JANIE: And it takes forever for the water to get hot.
TOM: I bet it does.
JANIE: Yes. And we’re wasting a lot of water and that really bothers me.
JANIE: We’ve seen, at the local home improvement stores, a water circulation. We were told to get a water circulator or something; a hot water circulator.
TOM: Well, it’s like a pump.
JANIE: But we couldn’t figure out, by reading the directions, really how it worked and if we could put it in.
TOM: Yeah. It’s a little bit of a plumbing project; not so sure it’s a good do-it-yourself project.
LESLIE: Well, you would need to create a loop, correct, so that it sort of likes circles back around?
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, it does. But the situation is that whenever that runs it’s using electricity, so it can be costly. What some people do is put them on timers so they only run, say, a couple of hours before you get up in the morning. A much better long-term solution here is to add a second water heater nearer the bathrooms and I would look to tankless water heaters for that because they’re very small and you can essentially get them almost anywhere in a closet or something of that nature; you don’t need a big space; you could vent them through the wall right to the outside. And this way you’ll have almost an instantly-available supply of hot water.
There’s not a really good solution for a water heater that’s so far away. A circulator is an option but it costs money to install and it costs money to run.
LESLIE: To operate.
TOM: And you know, by the time you do all that, I’d much rather see you invest in a better water heater, have a second one right near the bathroom and then replumb it so, essentially, your domestic hot water is now in two zones: one for one end of the house; one for the other end of the house.
JANIE: OK. OK, and that’s possible because there’s – my walk-in closet is right by there. So …
TOM: Yeah, and it’s about the size of a small suitcase, so it’s not very big.
JANIE: Yes. OK, that sounds really good.
JANIE: I appreciate it. We didn’t want to spend that money if it wasn’t going to do the job.
TOM: Yeah, I think that’s a better solution for you, Janie. OK?
JANIE: OK, thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.