In this post we’re going to discuss the retrofit hot water heat loop. Previously we’ve discussed two types of hot water heat loops: Standard hot water heat loops & Gravity hot water heat loops (Thermosyphons). There is a 3rd option that can be installed in any home. It’s the retrofit hot water heat loop. Many of my Lees Summit plumbing customers are enjoying instant hot water because of this system.
What’s retrofit hot water heat loop mean?
Retrofit means to add to something that’s already been manufactured. In this case, it means to add a hot water heat loop to a home that’s already been built. This implies that the plumbing system wasn’t originally designed for the heat loop. A retrofit heat loop can be installed regardless of the homes design. The most commonly installed brand in Lees Summit is the Grundfos Comfort System.
The Grundfos Comfort System
A Grundfos Comfort System is a standard hot water heat loop without the extra pipe. There’s no need to install a pipe from the bottom of the water heater to the furthest hot water fixture in your home. Instead, a low flow hot water recirculating pump is installed on the hot water side of your existing water heater. Then the hot and cold water pipes are connected at the furthest plumbing fixture using a bimetal blade bypass valve. This system enables any homeowner to install a hot water heat loop.
Pros & Cons of the Grundfos Comfort System
The Pros of the Grundfos Comfort System are the reason for it’s popularity over the years. Those are:
- Instant hot water
- Water waste is minimized
- No need for access to the plumbing pipes
- No need to insulate the hot water pipes
- The low wattage pump uses very little electricity
- A whisper quiet pump with a built in timer
And the Cons are:
- Initial upfront cost ($850 – $1,100)
- An outlet is needed near the water heater
- Bypass valves need replacing every few years
- Cold water side of fixture with bypass valve has a short burst of warm water
Where to get a retrofit hot water heat loop system
The Grundfos system can be purchased online, at many home stores or professional plumbing supply stores. But due to the type of skill needed to install the pump, you better leave it to the plumbing professionals to install the system. It’s a pretty straight forward install. But a lot can go wrong if you don’t have the plumbing chops to handle it. So call Advocate Master Plumbing. We’re your local Lees Summit hot water heater specialists near you.