The Tank › Passive recirculator – should I punt the idea?
- November 6, 2010 at 3:23 pm #14427
Currently, it takes a good 120+sec to get hot water in our master bath. I just ordered a passive recirculator to “solve” this problem. However, after reading the ‘basics’ section of this website, I have learned that Aluminum anodes can be a potential health hazard.
My hot water heater is an American nat gas 40gal power vented model PVG6240T42NV – and I am not sure what type of anode it has. Anyway, let’s assume it Aluminum for worst-case planning.
Once I install the recirculator, won’t some aluminum tainted water be sitting in the cold water part of the recirc loop? Won’t that cold water be drawn out when I demand cold water, say, for drinking or cooking? Will it be sufficient to have a house-rule to run the water for XYZ seconds when drawing cold water for drinking or cooking? [All of the sinks will be part of the recirc loop.]
Assuming “yes” to the above, our fridge has a water/ice dispenser, and its water feed line currently taps into what will be part of the recirc loop. I assume if I move this tap to a point before the cold inlet to the hot water heater (i.e. so it will then draw water before the hot water heater does, relative to the source of cold well-water), it will no longer be in the recirc loop and won’t be drawing any aluminum-tainted water?
Has any one dealt with these issues? I am now wondering if I should just forget about the recirculator (?)
Thanks in advance for your advice.November 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm #14428energyexpertParticipant
How old is your WH? If you inspect the anode and it needs changed now or needs changed soon then you could install a magnesium anode (or power anode) vs. the current aluminum anode and the whole issue of aluminum is history. If you call the manufacturer and give them the model/serial numbers they should be able to tell you the anode type.
DavidNovember 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm #14429
Thanks for the reply.
The WH is just under 1 yr old. The power anode sounds like an interesting idea though, and I’m willing to replace the anode ahead of schedule to make sure the system is safe.
-AlNovember 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm #14430Randy SchuylerKeymaster
You don’t have to call the manufacturer. Every American that’s ever been has come with an aluminum anode. You only need a powered anode if you are softening the water, or have odor problems. Otherwise, magnesium should be fine.
Randy SchuylerNovember 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm #14431
Thanks for the reply.
We do have an ion-exchange (salt-based) softener, so I think the magnesium anode might not last very long.
-AlNovember 8, 2010 at 12:01 am #14439Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: Although I really like no moving parts, I’m not a fan of gravity circulation. It heats pipes when you don’t need them hot and unless you can clean all the sediment from your heater, you risk pulling it into your water supply. Demand circulation ( http://www.gothotwater.com ) makes better sense to me from both energy and health perspectives.
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