Robert Lamoureux | Water heater advice is free, but no autographs, please

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux
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Question: Hi Robert, thank you for allowing the breakfast interruption last week. It was gracious of you to take the time to answer our questions. We need to install a new water heater, but we are also considering an instant hot system. We have a home that is about 4,000 square feet with our master bedroom upstairs and in the back of the home, so getting hot water to that point is most important to us both in time and volume.  

We’ve heard of putting a loop in so that we can have instant hot water. Is this something we can and should consider?  

— John H. 

Answer: John, no problem regarding stopping by my table for a question. I’m happy to help. The loop is designed for a multi-dwelling building. Installation is with a half-inch or three-quarter-inch line in which the water constantly circulates.  

The volume of water passing through a smaller space, such as a single-family home, allows the microscopic particles to begin to deteriorate the line prematurely and failure of the lines occur. There is also the pump that needs maintenance on a loop, another source of your time and money for maintenance.  

You can definitely use a tankless water heater to improve the duration of having hot water — just don’t waste your resources installing a loop line. That’s my best advice. Good luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].    

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