According to Grundfos, placement of the pump on the water heater in the mechanical room, where there is often wiring in place, precludes the need for an electrician.
SNELLVILLE, Ga. - Roy Wendt, president of Wendt Builders, is somewhat of a rarity. He offers environmentally friendly construction practices without a specific government or community mandate.

His interest in finding an economical way to save water in the 155-unit Woodberry Community development led him to offer the Comfort Series instant hot water system.

The Comfort System, from Grundfos Pumps of Olathe, Kan., provides hot water recirculation throughout the home. Nearly one-quarter of the buyers in the development (25 homes) have opted to install the pump. More are expected to add it as a retrofit, based on concerns about comfort and conservation.

Plans also call for water savers on all plumbing fixtures, house wrap insulation, low-emissivity glass, and high-efficiency air conditioning units.

The Woodberry houses are between 2,000 and 4,200 square feet with an average pipe run from the water heater to the farthest fixture of approximately 100 feet. Without a recirculation system, it would take up to two minutes for hot water to reach the farthest fixture, according to Grundfos. This delay means 2.5 gallons of water are wasted per use, for a total annual water loss of more than 9,100 gallons.

The hot water recirculation system, which uses a stainless steel circulator pump on the water heater and a bypass valve to connect the hot and cold water pipes on the farthest fixture, reduces that wait to 30 seconds, according to the company. The system can be installed in about an hour, the company said. The system comes with a 25-W, UP15-10 circulator pump, and Comfort Valve. Additional valves can be purchased wholesale.

"Placement of the pump on the water heater in the mechanical room, where there is often wiring in place, removes the need for an electrician on the installation," said Clint Andrews, segment business specialist-HVAC, Grundfos Pumps. "It also means that no matter how many branches you have on your plumbing system, you still only need one pump, although each branch needs its own valve."

Publication date: 04/19/2004