moved into my home in 2018. We have a gas water heater with a re-circulation system in our house. I always knew something wasn’t right with the re-circulation system, but I hadn’t been able to quantify it. Even when the re-circulation pump was on a timer or smart plug (I tried both), we had hot water instantly at every tap 24×7.
I tried a little internet research, insulated the hot water lines I could get to (most are in the walls), but largely gave up because I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
When I installed Sense over the summer, I was able to quickly see what was going on. I could see the electric usage from the water heater power vent fan. It was turning on 10 minutes of every hour! I then dug into the math on my gas bill, and figured that this water heater was costing me over $450/yr in gas and electricity. Not to mention premature wear on the equipment.
I dug back into internet research and figured it out it was likely a bad check valve. After being ghosted by two plumbers, I just went to Lowe’s and got $50 worth of tools and parts to fix it.
Now the re-circulation system is set to work on a scheduled smart plug. It runs for 4 hours a day. I’m ordering a few smart buttons as well so I can turn it into a true “on-demand” re-circulation system.
I expect this change will cut my water heater expense by 50-60%.