When you want hot water from the faucet, do you have to stand and wait for a long time before anything happens? Some homeowners have the water running for minutes before the hot water makes it. This is because of the distance from the water heater to your faucet. The further the water has to travel before it gets there, the longer you have to wait, especially if the pipe already is full of cold water.
There is, however, a solution that some homeowners have opted for to drastically cut down on the waiting time as well as the wasted water when you leave it running. It is called a hot water recirculation pump, and it can be installed as an upgrade to your current system, or be installed separately to have the most effective solution possible. A hot water recirculation pump constantly pumps hot water through the pipes so that it will be virtually instantaneous when you open the faucet.
If you install a separate pipe for bringing the water back to the water heater, you won’t affect your cold water, but there is also an option that uses the cold water pipe for looping the water back. Naturally, this is not as efficient, but it does save you money on the installation.