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Old 04-06-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Hot water heating plumbing


I just replaced my hot water heater and the kitchen sink was Plumbed directly to the drain valve. The drain at the bottom of the Hot water was upside down and there was a 1/2 inch fitting that went to the kitchen sink suppy line. Installing the new unit we plumbed it to the top of the tank (my plumber thought the proper way). Now it takes forever for the hot water to reach the sink. With it plumbed to the bottom of the heater it heated almost at once. Can you explain why?.

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Old 04-06-2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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Hot water heating plumbing


Many decades ago they made water heaters where the COLD inlet was near the bottom of the tank. Nowadays, for most heaters, both hot and cold lines go into the top of the tank and the drain valve down at the bottom is for draining only.

Did your plumber hook up the heater incorrectly with the cold water going into the hot port and the hot water drawn from teh cold port? It makes a lot of difference, the cold port has a vertical tube going almost to the bottom of the tank to keep from mixing with the hot water which tends to rise and congregate at the top of the tank.

Also your old system may have had a motorized circulating loop using a third pipe up to the various plumbing fixtures so that the water in the pipes was always hot. This avoids the wait for hot water. That loop could have been decommissioned when the plumber put in your new heater.

Hmmm. Does a circulating loop work with no motor (pump) using "convection" if the return goes to the bottom of the tank in which case the old system also used both hot and cold ports on top of the tank and the third pipe was connected to the water heater drain valve?

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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-06-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:58 PM   #3
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Hot water heating plumbing


Yes, you can install a pumpless hot water circulation loop. I have one in my house and while it does not work as well as one with a circulator, it works fairly well. And yes you do tie the return back into the drain valve on the water heater.
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