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Water Taking Too Long to Get Hot? Install a Second Water Heater

  • Transcript

    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.

    TOM: OK.

    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.

    TOM: Yeah.

    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.

    TOM: Alright?

    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.

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