The Hot Water System: How Does It Work?

hot waterA lot of people don’t understand the concept of a hot water system. The main reason for this is that anyone with main water connection to the house will not even care about this concept. Mostly builders won’t offer this option to you and most plumbers are not aware that the benefits of the system are many.

In Australia, drought conditions and water restrictions are rampant and, hence even on hot or main water systems; prudent usage of the scarce resource is certainly a welcome move!

What Is A Hot Water System?

This system simply refers to the heated water pipe from one tap to the next which continues to flow around in a loop back to some location (normally, the cold water inlets to the heated water system).

In a normal plumbing setup there is normally one main heated water line. In your quality heated water plumbing loop, (where you got closed loop or gravity loop) the line from the system flows from one tap to the next. There are no branches as the line loops back to the system.

How Does It Work?

Now you know what this system is and you may be wondering why you need it!

It all comes down to water conservation and efficiency in usage.  At one time you may have run the kitchen tap or bathroom shower until the water becomes hot. Your heated water loop cuts down on the water wastage and instead of the cold water going down the drain; it will be recycled back to the cold inlet of the tank. The water is will reheated and therefore can be reused.

There are a number of ways the system can be implemented.

–    You can use a pump which has a press button for each tap to start the heated water cycling in the system.

–    You can setup a gravity fed system which will continually recycle the water.  The water is cycled from the top of the tank and back to the bottom. It requires a lot planning as it no pipe ever goes higher than the system.

–    You can use a continual pump to recycle the water. This way you can ensure that as soon as you turn on the tap the water is hot.

Is Water Conservation Achievable?

The savings in water you get can be quite staggering. Consider the statistical example below.

A typical shower with a water saving shower head typically uses in the range of 9 litres of water per minute. If it takes 2 minutes before the water is hot enough to shower that’s 18 litres that is normally wasted in a year this goes up to 6570litres!

With 2 bathrooms this will double and then there is the kitchen, the laundry that will add up the amount of water wasted. This is according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

With the drought in Australia beginning to affect parts of the huge country, it is important that the guidelines given by the Commonwealth Department of Environment are put into practice.