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Hot water ring mains

  • 23 November 2017

    Do you hate waiting for your shower to warm up in the morning?

    A common way to avoid this is to install a hot water ringmain. This type of system works by circulating hot water around your house to minimise the amount of waiting time when you turn on a tap.

    Consider an ordinary hot water system. You’ll have a hot water cylinder (or maybe a gas water heater) somewhere in your house. If you have a large home, the distance between your water heater and your bathroom might be quite a long way.

    When you turn on a hot tap, water has to run from your water heater all the way down to the tap. If the pipes are cold, it’ll cause the water to cool down along the way so you’ll have cold water coming out of the hot tap until all the pipes have warmed up between your water heater and your tap.

    Who’s got time to wait for hot water?

    The ring main solution has a small return pipe installed with allow water to flow back to the water heater. A circulating pump keeps the hot water moving slowly around the system, so that hot water is always available within a couple of metres of each hot water fixture.

    The pump is controlled by a thermostat attached to the hot water pipe at the furthest point. This turns the circulating pump on when the pipe gets too cool.

    The main drawback with a hot water ringmain system is that because the hot water is always circulating through the pipes, your system can lose heat if the pipes aren’t properly insulated. This increases your water heating costs.

    Make sure your installer is correctly lagging the pipework. It should be specified by your designer.

    If properly designed and installed, a hot water ringmain will provides you with endless hot water at a moment’s notice.