Are You Getting into Hot Water?

September/October 2003
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Distribution Systems
September 01, 2003
We've come a long way in making hot water more efficiently. The next place to cut waste is in the distribution systems.
        Have you ever wanted to take a quick, hot shower and had to wait and wait for hot water to arrive? Have you noticed that your dishwasher or clothes washer doesn’t seem to be getting the hot water it needs to work effectively? And have you ever wondered what all that “cool”water down the drain is costing you, and what you can do to fix the problem?         The problems described above are limited to just a few older homes, where years of exposure to hard water have plugged the hot water pipes, slowing the flow to a trickle—right? Wrong! Energy and water waste in hot water distribution systems exists both in older and in brand-new homes. In fact, the newest homes built in the United States can have the greatest problems.As houses have grown in size, the distribution systems have increased in length. Modern home floor plans disperse the devices that consume hot water (lavatories, showers, clothes washers, dishwashers) throughout the house.There are more bathrooms per house than ever before, and fewer people to use them. Current plumbing codes ...

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