LESLIE: Alright. Sarge from Wisconsin listens to The Money Pit on WAGN and you’ve got a question about a hot water pump. What can we do for you?
SARGE: My wife requested this for Christmas, believe it or not, to get the hot water to your faucet faster so you don’t have to run so much water; the hot water will always be there.
TOM: Well, basically, you have a faucet that’s far from the water heater itself.
TOM: And you want a way to get the water there faster. Problem is that if you do that, you’re going to be running that water back through the heater much more frequently than you have right now. And as a result, it’s going to cost you a lot more to heat the water. So you can put a loop in the plumbing system that brings water back and circulates it back through the heater. But what this means is that you’re going to have the hot water pipe and the return pipe be warm all the time. That means the water heater’s going to run all the time and that’s going to cost you a pile of money to heat the water.
TOM: Now, if you want to try to do it a different way, you might think about putting in a second water heater. But it involves replumbing your house, Sarge, to have a shorter run. Another way to save money with a water heater is to replace the tanked water heater with a tankless water heater which is a little more expensive to buy up front, but it saves you a lot more money because you’re only paying for the water when you actually use it. But in any event, that’s not going to deliver water to you any quicker.
SARGE: Okay. Is there anything … I thought I read somewhere about a convection pump or … it wouldn’t be a pump then, I guess, just …
TOM: Hmm. Nope. Not familiar with that. I mean it’s basically a simple loop of pipe that’s installed into your house. If you want to have it be hot all the time, you’ve got to have a return loop back to the water heater on the domestic hot water side; but that means you’re going to have to keep it hot all the time and that’s going to cost you more money.
SARGE: Okay. Appreciate the advice.
TOM: Alright, Sarge. Thanks so much for calling us.
LESLIE: You have to get her a different gift.
SARGE: (chuckling) I guess so. Or a diamond or something, ay?
TOM: There you go.
LESLIE: It’s just as good.
SARGE: Yes, definitely.
SARGE: You know what, Sarge? She really doesn’t want the water heater. She’s just trying to kind of get you to feel guilty so you buy her something that she really does want.
LESLIE: Oh. All I know is one year my mom asked for a treadmill and treadmill actually meant diamond earrings.
SARGE: There you go.
LESLIE: And when she got that treadmill, she was mad. (laughing)
SARGE: This could mean Corvette.
TOM: Yeah, you’ve got to understand the code.
SARGE: Yeah, right.
LESLIE: Yeah, take apart the letters and rescramble them and I bet it spells out Corvette. (laughing)
SARGE: Sounds great.
TOM: Thank you so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.