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My 2 story home built in 1960 has upper level Kitchen and MBR, lower level kitchenette, 2 bathrooms. There is a dedicated loop back to bottom of H2O heater. There is a Honeywell Aquastat but it has been disconnected from the recirculation pump and the pump was removed in 1990. I think there is a check valve near the water heater on the return loop. The return loop water is warm and the hot water out is hot. Cold water out from water heater becomes cold when hot water is opened at any tap.

Lower level hot taps in bathrooms and kitchenette are at best lukewarm. Previous owner says the system always worked well with near instant water everywhere. Also claims the sytem is gravity based and does not need pump. We are new to the house and have had recent remodeling but contractor says they did not change anything.

Would installing a pump fix the issue of likewarm water?? Help please!

  • I figure out what the problem was. The new faucet temperature via the thermostatic cartridges are set to a mid level by default. In our home, that means you only get lukewarm water when the hot water is turned on to maximum. I turned the faucets up to maximum hot on the cartriges and this mostly solved the issue. I still think the hot water could be hotter because the older faucets without these thermostatic cartridges are hotter. So this is great for preventing scalding in the very young and elderly but terrible if you want to take a bath. – Joe Jan 29 at 16:47
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The gravity based re-circulating system should work very well I had 1 in my last home. Installing a new pump should not be necessary.To trouble shoot the water getting cool after a short period of time I would have a member of your family hold or touch the recirculating loop at the water tank, have another person turn on the hot water faucet that gets cool to see if the water in the loop reverses and flows out the bottom of the tank, where the water is cool, and mixes with the hot water. If that is the case, your problem has been identified. The fix would be to install a new check valve near the tank in the re-circulation loop.

  • On the lower level, when the hot water faucet is opened, the water is room temp and then becomes luke warm, but never becomes hot or cool, or cold. With the faucet opened, I feel vibration in the return pipe (flow?). Near the water heater, the return never becomes cold. – Joe Jan 27 at 21:20
  • Important caveat: Shortly after the lower level bathroom rough in, the upper level water was luke warm on one end of the house. In the upper level kitchen, hot water was coming out of the cold and luke warm out of the hot faucet. Then the contractor fixed it by "removing a block". I have no idea what he did, but the upper level hot and cold began working normally again. – Joe Jan 27 at 21:25
  • Note that the return appears to come from the lower level bathroom. – Joe Jan 27 at 21:27
  • You may need to trace all the lines to see if there is a crossover somewhere. At the laundry, check the hot and cold delivery hoses to make sure that the hot/cold water is not flowing between the two of them. – d.george Jan 28 at 11:02
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I figure out what the problem was. The new faucet temperature via the thermostatic cartridges are set to a mid level by default. In our home, that means you only get lukewarm water when the hot water is turned on to maximum. I turned the faucets up to maximum hot on the cartriges and this mostly solved the issue. I still think the hot water could be hotter because the older faucets without these thermostatic cartridges are hotter. So this is great for preventing scalding in the very young and elderly but terrible if you want to take a bath.

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