The home has a slab foundation and there's a very small partial attic. The water heater was moved (by previous owner) from garage to back of house with piping for it rerouted (or extended) from original location to the back of the house, creating a large loop for water to run through to the heater. And the pipes run outside under the roof eave. Where the pipe connections & heater vent are in the garage have mostly been walled & ceiling'd off with sheetrock.
I have a floorplan drawing showing the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, water heater, and rerouted pipes layout:
pardon the drawing, text might be a little small to read, hope you can read it.
Given this, would it be feasible to add a dedicated return line for hot water recirculation? If yes, where would you likely run it from to the water heater?
Or would you suggest moving the water heater back to original location as best solution? I am considering that but not able to at present with the stuff stored in the garage.
For the time being, I have installed a Watts recirculation pump at heater with a valve that feeds the warm water back to cold water line installed at a bathroom sink fixture. And have also insulated the hot water pipe outside the house. Didn't for cold water line but maybe should later on. We live in Bay Area California so freezing of pipe generally shouldn't be an issue. The current setup works fine, but just considering my options for the longer term (in combination with assessments for other planned home remodel work and reroofing that directly/indirectly impact the water heater piping and venting.