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Recommend a plumber for circulation pump installation (tankless).

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  • Mar 8th, 2019 2:02 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 16, 2013
1435 posts
263 upvotes
Toronto

Recommend a plumber for circulation pump installation (tankless).

We have a Nuven tankless water heater and it takes anywhere from 30-60 secs for hot water to be delivered to our faucets. I'd like to have a circulation pump installed but it's being annoyingly difficult to find people who are familiar with this stuff.

Can anybody recommend a plumbing company capable of installing a tankless-compatible circulation pump? It's a small bungalow in Scarborough.
15 replies
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10847 posts
6118 upvotes
Paris
StratMangler wrote: No one?
Who put the water heater in?

I think a demand based system would make more sense. Push a button and it circulates the water to the furthest fixture. Saw that on Ask This Old House.

A constant circ pump negates the point of on demand hot water and only heating when you need it.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
You're fighting distance, heating cold pipes (might want to insulate your hot water supply pipes) and the need/time for the instant water heater to turn on and warm up.

As above, a circulation system in your application totally negates the advantage of an instant water heater.

A circulation system is expensive to run as it basically introduces heat loss and can constantly consume power in at least two ways (where there should be none at all/little), and wears your water heater to boot.

If it is such a bother, you could put in a small point of use heater where the water takes longest to run. If it is seasonal, run a bypass so you can turn off the point of use water heater in warm weather.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 16, 2013
1435 posts
263 upvotes
Toronto
Jerico wrote: Who put the water heater in?
Came with the house when we bought it.
Jerico wrote: I think a demand based system would make more sense. Push a button and it circulates the water to the furthest fixture. Saw that on Ask This Old House.
Is this what you're referring to?


thriftshopper wrote: If it is seasonal, run a bypass so you can turn off the point of use water heater in warm weather.
It isn't seasonal. I've thought of installing a small water tank to alleviate the issue but I'd prefer to permanently nip it in the bud.
pootza wrote: Best to find a dealer for your tankless.

https://www.pmmag.com/articles/97857-na ... irculation
Thanks for this. The problem is the Nuvien unit we have is older. We bought the house 6 years ago and I don't know how long it's been in use before then. I'll have to see if a Navien dealer in the GTA could somehow address the issue.

In the meantime, here's an interesting article detailing the possibilities.

https://www.thespruce.com/hot-water-rec ... em-2719054
Last edited by StratMangler on Mar 7th, 2019 11:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2309 posts
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SW Ontario
If you meant Navien, not an expert on them but I believe some/all of their units have circ pumps already built into them for this purpose the last time I looked at them. Homeowners with this sort of setup seem to really love it, and the only way I would be willing to go tankless myself.

The heat loss from the hw lines just goes to space heating so it's not really lost given the high efficiency of these units.

I'd ask your local authorized distributor for a plumber referral so it's done right.
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Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10847 posts
6118 upvotes
Paris
pootza wrote: Works good if done properly ... don't listen to the armchair experts as they tend to not know how things work these days.
Best to find a dealer for your tankless.

https://www.pmmag.com/articles/97857-na ... irculation
On demand is what I was talking about if you are referring to me as “an armchair expert” who by the way is the previous owner of a house with a timed pump and I maintain that doesn’t make sense. On demand where it pumps cold water into the cold side until hot it attained doesn’t waste water or heat, both of which are pricey where I live (especially frigging water).

My brother has an on demand/timed setup for his traditional water tank. Timer for the mornings and on demand rest of day. He has a switch in the kitchen and I feel like their master en-suite but I don’t remember for sure.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1784 posts
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Toronto
I'm in a small bungalow and have a 199K BTU tankless unit. I don't have to wait more than 10 seconds for hot water - I'm surprised you are saying it takes a minute for hot water.
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Jan 2, 2012
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jacquesstrap wrote: I'm in a small bungalow and have a 199K BTU tankless unit. I don't have to wait more than 10 seconds for hot water - I'm surprised you are saying it takes a minute for hot water.
The length of time to receive hot water at the faucet/showerhead is going to be influenced by length of run (distance from the heater), diameter of the supply line, and efficiency of the fixture. Also, if you have a "preset temperature" that you use on your shower control, it will influence how quickly you will get hot water.

I think a lot of people are confused by tankless 'on demand' hot water versus 'instant' hot water.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 16, 2013
1435 posts
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Toronto
Jojo_Madman wrote: If you meant Navien, not an expert on them but I believe some/all of their units have circ pumps already built into them for this purpose the last time I looked at them. Homeowners with this sort of setup seem to really love it, and the only way I would be willing to go tankless myself.
Yes, I meant Navien, sorry. Interesting. I'll have to look at the specific model number to check whether it has a built-in one but I suspect it does not as it appears to be on the older side.
Jojo_Madman wrote: I'd ask your local authorized distributor for a plumber referral so it's done right.
A great idea! Thanks.
jacquesstrap wrote: I'm in a small bungalow and have a 199K BTU tankless unit. I don't have to wait more than 10 seconds for hot water - I'm surprised you are saying it takes a minute for hot water.
MrFrugal1 wrote: The length of time to receive hot water at the faucet/showerhead is going to be influenced by length of run (distance from the heater), diameter of the supply line, and efficiency of the fixture. Also, if you have a "preset temperature" that you use on your shower control, it will influence how quickly you will get hot water.

I think a lot of people are confused by tankless 'on demand' hot water versus 'instant' hot water.
I agree and count myself as one of them. It appears there's more than one way to skin a cat but which way is best would depend on many factors. I'm not the type to know about these types of things so a lot of it is over my head but if it helps any, the pipes are quite small in diameter and the longest distance I'd guess it goes from the Navien to a fixture would be about 60 feet, tops! To me, that's a small distance.
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May 23, 2009
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Mississauga
What is the model of yours? Some 1st generation Navien units had built in recirculation pumps with buffer tanks to circulate water internally. Same built-in pumps could be used for external water circulation(bringing cold water in the lines back to the tankless).
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
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Youtube has lots off info on various ways to do this which will meet peoples needs.

Such as:

[OP]
Deal Addict
May 16, 2013
1435 posts
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Toronto
pootza wrote: Youtube has lots off info on various ways to do this which will meet peoples needs.

Such as:

Look at post #6. ;)

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