Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Waiting Water Wecovewy

Saves wasting high-quality water.
  [vote for,

Billions of gallons of tap water is wasted every day whilst we wait for it to run hot or cold enough for our purposes.

Very simply. Fit a holding tank under the sink/shower/bath and have a three button panel to operate the system . On, Off and Refill.

Depressing the "On" button diverts the flow of water away from the drain and into the holding tank. Once the water coming from the tap is hot or cold enough for your liking, press the "Off" button and stick the plug in/get in the shower. Any waste water will now go down the drain.

When you are done doing whatever you were doing, hit the "Refill" button. The water collected in the holding tank is then either pumped to your hot water tank/collection tank or to a water butt outside for gardening purposes.

A UV lamp in the holding tanks zaps most bacteria if you really must be so fussy. You may decide yourself whether the saved water gets pumped back to the hot water tank or to the garden (slip the plumber a tenner).

squeak, Oct 01 2003

UK Water Quality 2003 http://www.thismorn...dwater_15_07_03.htm
Read paragraph starting "Announcing the results" for quality of water from kitchen sink taps etc. [squeak, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

"Super charge your water heater....get your hot water fast!" http://www.chilipepperapp.com/tcs.htm
[half, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Hot water recirculation pump http://www.autocirc.com/Autocirc.htm
One of many. Unlike this one, some only operate when you open the hot tap, but you still have to wait with those. [oxen crossing, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       are you woger wabbit or bugs bunny?
po, Oct 01 2003

       The point is that the water we waste in this way is NOT the slightest bit dirty, not even gray. It is still drinking quality. That's why I wanted to keep it separate from graywater.   

       Who boned me and why?
squeak, Oct 01 2003

       once it comes out of the tap it is likely that it has become contaminated.
po, Oct 01 2003

       Drinking water comes out of the tap and that's safe to drink sooo......?
squeak, Oct 01 2003

       I never figured out why water of drinking quality was heated for hot water. I know no-one who drinks from the hot water tap.   

       I suspect that getting into the shower and then realising that you hadn't pressed the "off" button would occur once in a while, and then you'll have problems.
PeterSilly, Oct 01 2003

       The instant it hits the sink / drain the water becomes contaminated by anything currently growing there. And there's plenty growing, I assure you. The water would have to be caught by a system whose every surface remained untouched by gray water, airborne microbes, and the like -- or else had all those surfaces thoroughly scrubbed, rinsed and sanitized immediately prior to collection of clean water. The first is impossible and the second would use even more water than letting it run.
BigBrother, Oct 01 2003

       //Drinking water comes out of the tap and that's safe to drink sooo......?// lets take your shower for a start, where you habitually keep your dirty feet? so it runs outta the tap past your feet and back into some other plumbing feature. nope, not nice enough to drink thanks.   

       oh! you aint going to drink this stuff?
po, Oct 01 2003

       See link for details of the uk Drinking Water Inspectorate's report on drinking/tap water 2003.   

       [po] I never get in the shower before the water's hot enough.   

       [BB] So you sanitise the inside of your taps do you? They are permanently exposed to those bad old airborne microbes and ALL your water comes through there.
squeak, Oct 01 2003

       I've often thought that it would be useful to have a thermostatically controlled diverter under the sink. Until the water coming through the hot water pipe is up to a specified temperature, the water will be diverted to a holding tank.   

       Although it would require some new sorts of fixures, this method would allow advantage to be taken of the pressurized water. It could be stored in a tank sufficiently high above ground to permit later gravity fed use. With the right plumbing and controls in place, this water could be suitable for domestic water uses rather than being relegated to gray water uses. The system could allow the holding tank to feed water back in to the house where a non-temperature specific, lower pressure water supply would suffice (refilling the toilet tank for example).
half, Oct 01 2003

       [Half] Yep!   

       Apart from the nifty thermo cut off feature this is almost exactly the kind of thing I meant. Relegating it to graywater uses is a waste of perfectly good, high-quality water.
squeak, Oct 01 2003

       BigBrother: What [squeak] said. Don't count on the water pipes that carry your water to you being sterile, or even particularly clean. In a many places, it's a given that it's not clean and people drink bottled water.   

       And isn't the idea here not to recycle water, but to divert it for future use before it emerges from the tap?
snarfyguy, Oct 01 2003

       Jeez. How dirty are your showers, you guys? I'd drink out of mine.
squeak, Oct 01 2003

       Does my water butt look big in this shower?
k_sra, Oct 01 2003

       Squeak, this will work just fine if the "diverter" valve is upline of the *mixing* valve.   

       If the water is returned directly to the hot water tank, rather than collected in a holding tank, then your idea could even be considered for "Energy Star" applications.   


       Many northern US region utility companies cycle water in a similar manner during sufficiently cold temperatures, both in the mains and the sevice lines, to keep the water from freezing.
Tiger Lily, Oct 01 2003

       It doesn't require anything other than a valve and a return line.
Tiger Lily, Oct 01 2003

       Oh, sorry, [Tiger Lily]. I stand corrected then. I'm only familiar with recirculating systems that use a pump. In the system you reference, what causes the water to move back in to a pressurized tank from a line that is under equal pressure?
half, Oct 01 2003

       No problem, [half].

       Any pressure difference inside a hot water tank is incidental to the tank of water being heated. In other words a hot water tank is not additionally pressurized.   

       Hot water running through a faucet is actually being pushed by cold water from the intake supply line which is filling the hot water tank to replace the hot water you are using. Like wise this water is pushed by the water pressure in your main service line. It's all basically a closed loop managed by valves. Service line water is usually much colder than water resting in house lines waiting to be drawn. Hence the added efficiency if your hot water tank was to be filled initially with return water before the colder water from the main service line.   

       Having said this, there are actually residential water tanks made of neoprene that are pumped to expansion. This puts your water delivery line under additional pressure, thereby giving better water pressure "flow" in otherwise whimpy systems.
Tiger Lily, Oct 01 2003

       Baked, i am sure -- I have seen public ads for a system that runs a loop back to the HW tank for n minutes so your first actual water drawn is hot.   

Amos, Oct 01 2003

       What disturbs me, Amos, is that this practice isn't already standard building code, that I know of anyway.
Tiger Lily, Oct 01 2003

       Amos -- what a nice name! You can never have enough annotating Amoses.
Amos Kito, Oct 01 2003

       I understand that the hot water tank is not additionally pressurized. It's at the same pressure as the rest of the system. I've done enough plumbing to have an average understanding of the subject.   

       I guess I must be missing something because it sounds like you're saying that an outlet line from a water heater could be looped directly back in to the water heater and the not-quite-hot water will flow through this line back in to the tank without an additional circulating device. The way I'm visualizing it, only a thermal siphon effect would move any water through that line which is effectively equally pressurized on both ends. The thermal siphon would keep the water in the entire loop hot whether hot water was being called for or not. It doesn't sound like that's what you mean.   

       Probably, I'm just too dense to grasp what you're actually saying. There's lots of stuff in the world that I don't understand. I'll move on now.
half, Oct 01 2003

       My appologies this time, [half]. My power went out and I couldn't respond before your latest annotation.   

       I'm on a well system. I already have one pump inline and was assuming it could be intergrated within the system.   

       Some how I've managed to slide right off track there. Now that I'm back online, I will read over everything again...   

       What you've just stated in your first paragraph though, is correct.
Tiger Lily, Oct 01 2003

       First timer. I think electric heat wraps on the pipes would be a better idea. You would have to have a pump to return the water to the HW tank. The water is recycled already anyway. That's what clouds are for. I would rather see heater toilet rims. 57 Bob.
57 Bob, Oct 01 2003

       nice name, and if already baked, like [TL] says it needs awareness raising+
nichpo, Oct 02 2003

       Several devices exist that will pump the cold water back into the supply line until the water coming out of the tap is hot enough. No tank required, no recirculation system necessary. (link as soon as I can remember the name)
oxen crossing, Jan 27 2004

       [squeak] " who boned me and why ? "   

       I'd be embarassed to ask that question...at the very least, one should remember.
normzone, Jan 27 2004


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