Do Recirculation Systems Save Water & Energy?

3 min read

Do Recirculation Systems Save Water & Energy?

Recirculating Hot Water Systems - Still have a wait, and a waste

It is commonly believed that reducing Structural Waste (the cold water you must purge before your shower becomes warm) increases convenience and decreases water and energy use. As a result, many people install expensive hot water recirculation systems with dreams of instantly stepping into a wonderfully warm shower. 

They hope that speeding hot water delivery will change their daily routine. Namely, they'll no longer turn-on the shower and leave to do something else like brushing teeth, making the bed, picking out clothes or using the toilet while waiting for hot water to arrive (Behavioral Waste).

The desire for instant hot water and a corresponding behavior change is a good one. In reality however, due to the complexities of plumbing system design, most hot water recirculation systems only reduce waits by about 50%, they don't eliminate them.

Faster Hot Water Delivery Increases Hot Water Waste

In theory, fast hot water delivery could reduce hot water waste. However data from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab ( LBNL data ) suggests the opposite is true. That's right. Faster hot water delivery actually increases hot water waste - by a lot. How can this be true? Let's explore the data.

In the LBNL study, bathrooms with consistently fast hot water delivery times exhibited significantly more Behavioral Waste. In fact, half of the bathrooms monitored by LBNL received hot water in 20 seconds or less, yet these same bathrooms produced, on average, 32% more Behavioral Waste.

Rather than significantly reducing the total amount of Warm-Up Waste (Structural Waste + Behavioral Waste), fast hot water delivery primarily increases the percentage of Behavioral Waste within a relatively consistent Warm-Up Waste volume. In other words, hot water arrived quickly, but people's behavior did not change. They turned the shower on and left to do something else, just like they always did.

Waiting for hot water, even if its a only for few seconds, is just too inconvenient. And due to the way homes are plumbed, it takes a little time for hot water to reach the shower - even when recirculation systems are present.  

Fast Hot Water Delivery, More Convenience & Savings Too

Tub/Shower Solution: Auto Diverting Tub Spout System

Evolve Technologies' Auto Diverting Tub Spout System with ShowerStart Technology is what you're looking for if you want fast hot water delivery and savings to boot! Not only is it a fraction of the price of hot water recirculation systems, it installs in just minutes. But most importantly, it slashes hot water waits from minutes to seconds while guaranteeing your hot water won't be wasted if you happen to step away for a moment or two before you begin showering.

The Auto Diverting Tub Spout System has two more comfort and convenience oriented water saving features too. It's ShowerStart Technology prevents tub spout leaks (the hot water that runs out of the spout while your showering) and the system includes a great-feeling, high-pressure, water saving shower head or hand shower.

All in all, the Auto Diverting Tub Spout System saves up to 16 gallons of water per shower by:

  • Reducing Structural Waste
  • Eliminating Behavioral Waste
  • Preventing Tub Spout Leaks
  • Providing comfortably-efficient showering. 

Learn More About Auto Diverting Tub Spout System

Shower Solution: ShowerStart TSV

Like the idea of eliminating Behavioral Waste, but have a stand alone shower? We've got that covered too. Adding ShowerStart Technology to your existing shower head is as simple as using one of our ShowerStart TSV adapters. Once installed, you can conveniently step away from the shower while waiting for it to become warm without wasting hot water after it arrives.  

Now you can multitask and save hot water because the ShowerStart TSV automatically lowers flow to just a trickle once your hot water arrives. That's the signal your shower's warm and waiting. Just finish what you're doing, return to the shower, pull the cord, and step in.  ShowerStart TSV automatically resets itself for the next shower too. 

In addition to our ShowerStart TSV adapter we offer a complete line of shower heads and hand showers with integrated ShowerStart TSV Technology.

Learn More About ShowerStart TSV

Contact Us

Contact us today to learn more about how Evolve Technologies' products can bring comfort and convenience to your shower while lowering your residence's water and energy bills.


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