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My new house has an outdoor spigot which is supplied by the same copper pipe as my hot water heater. (There's no cut-off valve for the outdoor faucet individually!) Going backwards, the pipe from the outdoors come in just a couple of feet to a T back to the supply and down to the water heater — just a few more feet.

When it's cold ­— and this is New England, so it gets cold! — that pipe going down to the hot water heater gets very cold to the touch. Much colder than the water source pipe further back inside . Heat is being drawn to the cold outside tap and water going into the water heater is effectively pre-chilled. This can't be good!

The question is: how bad is it? Is this costing me enough that it's worth having a plumber come out soon to just correct this problem, or should I wait until I have some other bigger things going on to put all together?

  • The water in the pipe may get cold when sitting, but this will quickly be replaced by water from the pipes underground. If you have access, you could add foam tube pipe insulation, but just go ahead and use the hot water system as is> – Jim Stewart Dec 29 '18 at 2:52

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