February 13, 2013
I believe Dick of Roswell has a viable solution for very low demand water usage. I'm not so sure even a 5 gallon heater could supply enough hot water for a front load washing machine. The Watts Valve and Pump kit costs around $200 so that is comparable to a 5 gal heater. However the pump uses only about 15 watts power vs 1,500 watts for the heater. That means that for every one hour the heater is active you could run the pump for 100 hours for the same electric cost. True the pump / valve will cause your water heater to come on slightly more often, but generally this is an insignificant amount.
If you have an available electrical outlet within easy reach of your water heater, the pump / valve kit should install with just a couple of wrenches and in 1-1/2 hours. Put the valve at a sink farther down the line than the washer... water at the washer will be hotter than at the sink. Program the timer on the pump to bracket your normal washing times, + 30 min on each side. This is the easiest and cheapest improvement.
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