US20090211644A1 - Instant Hot Water Delivery System - Google Patents

Instant Hot Water Delivery System Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20090211644A1
US20090211644A1 US12/389,108 US38910809A US2009211644A1 US 20090211644 A1 US20090211644 A1 US 20090211644A1 US 38910809 A US38910809 A US 38910809A US 2009211644 A1 US2009211644 A1 US 2009211644A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
water
hot water
recirculation
supply line
delivery system
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/389,108
Inventor
Jacob E. Wylie
Ronald T. Lane, SR.
Original Assignee
Wylie Jacob E
Lane Sr Ronald T
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US6711408P priority Critical
Application filed by Wylie Jacob E, Lane Sr Ronald T filed Critical Wylie Jacob E
Priority to US12/389,108 priority patent/US20090211644A1/en
Publication of US20090211644A1 publication Critical patent/US20090211644A1/en
Priority claimed from US12/647,390 external-priority patent/US20100096018A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24HFLUID HEATERS, e.g. WATER OR AIR HEATERS, HAVING HEAT GENERATING MEANS, IN GENERAL
    • F24H1/00Water heaters having heat generating means, e.g. boiler, flow- heater, water-storage heater
    • F24H1/10Continuous-flow heaters, i.e. in which heat is generated only while the water is flowing, e.g. with direct contact of the water with the heating medium
    • F24H1/12Continuous-flow heaters, i.e. in which heat is generated only while the water is flowing, e.g. with direct contact of the water with the heating medium in which the water is kept separate from the heating medium
    • F24H1/121Continuous-flow heaters, i.e. in which heat is generated only while the water is flowing, e.g. with direct contact of the water with the heating medium in which the water is kept separate from the heating medium using electric energy supply
    • F24H1/122Continuous-flow heaters, i.e. in which heat is generated only while the water is flowing, e.g. with direct contact of the water with the heating medium in which the water is kept separate from the heating medium using electric energy supply combined with storage tank
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D17/00Domestic hot-water supply systems
    • F24D17/0078Recirculation systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T137/00Fluid handling
    • Y10T137/0318Processes
    • Y10T137/0324With control of flow by a condition or characteristic of a fluid
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T137/00Fluid handling
    • Y10T137/6416With heating or cooling of the system
    • Y10T137/6497Hot and cold water system having a connection from the hot to the cold channel

Abstract

An instant hot water delivery system for efficiently heating water when necessary to provide instant hot water to a faucet. The instant hot water delivery system generally includes a water heater including an inlet and an outlet, a cold water supply line introducing cold water into the inlet, a hot water supply line connecting the outlet to a faucet and a recirculation line connected to the hot water supply downstream of the outlet and the cold water supply line upstream of the inlet. The recirculation line forms a first recirculation loop for water within the water heater to flow during a first water heating process. A recirculation pump is connected to the cold water supply line between the local recirculation line and the inlet for circulating the water during the water heating process.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • I hereby claim benefit under Title 35, United States Code, Section 119(e) of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/067,114 filed Feb. 27, 2008. The 61/067,114 application is currently pending. The 61/067,114 application is hereby incorporated by reference into this application.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • Not applicable to this application.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to water heater systems and more specifically it relates to an instant hot water delivery system for efficiently heating water when necessary to provide instant hot water to a faucet.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Any discussion of the related art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such related art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.
  • Hot water heaters have been in use for years and are used in many homes and buildings. Generally, however, prior hot water heaters have lacked in various areas. One problem currently exists and is noticeable when an individual turns on the hot water faucet to get hot water. Generally, the user must wait several seconds for the hot water to arrive, wherein during that time, cold or warm water flows through the faucet. This can cause a large amount of water waste, especially when multiplied by thousands of homes all experiencing the same problem.
  • Another problem with current water heaters is that the water heater generally maintains a constant hot temperature of the water within the water heater tank at all times, thus wasting energy during the times when the user does not desire or need hot water, such as but not limited to when the user is sleeping, at work, or on vacation. This can drastically increase energy costs, as well as waste electricity. Because of the inherent problems with the related art, there is a need for anew and improved instant hot water delivery system for efficiently heating water when necessary to provide instant hot water to a faucet.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The general purpose of the present invention is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that has many of the advantages of the water heater systems mentioned heretofore. The invention generally relates to a water heater system which includes a water heater including an inlet and an outlet, a cold water supply line introducing cold water into the inlet, a hot water supply line connecting the outlet to a faucet and a recirculation line connected to the hot water supply downstream of the outlet and the cold water supply line upstream of the inlet. The recirculation line forms a first recirculation loop for water within the water heater to flow during a first water heating process. A recirculation pump is connected to the cold water supply line between the local recirculation line and the inlet for circulating the water during the water heating process.
  • There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, some of the features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and that will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.
  • In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction or to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • An object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system for efficiently heating water when necessary to provide instant hot water to a faucet.
  • Another object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that reduces energy consumption and water usage
  • Another object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that may be retrofitted to an existing water heater system or installed with a new hot water system.
  • An additional object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that only heats the water during specific preprogrammed times and days.
  • A further object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that includes a local recirculation method to quickly heat the water within the system.
  • Another object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that may be used in commercial or residential properties.
  • Another object is to provide an instant hot water delivery system that provides nearly instant hot water to a water usage location, such as a faucet.
  • Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention. To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a diagram of the present invention illustrating the first recirculation loop in use.
  • FIG. 2 is a diagram of the present invention illustrating the second recirculation loop in use.
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram of the present invention normal use of the water lines flowing to the faucet.
  • FIG. 4 is a front view of an illustrative control unit.
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart of the first and second heating processes.
  • FIG. 6 is a flowchart of the heating schedule.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION A. Overview
  • Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 6 illustrate an instant hot water delivery system 10, which comprises a water heater 20 including an inlet 22 and an outlet 24, a cold water supply line 12 introducing cold water into the inlet 22, a hot water supply line 14 connecting the outlet 24 to a faucet 19 and a recirculation line 17 connected to the hot water supply line 14 downstream of the outlet 24 and the cold water supply line 12 upstream of the inlet 22. The recirculation line 17 forms a first recirculation loop for water within the water heater 20 to flow during a first water heating process. A recirculation pump 40 is connected to the cold water supply line 12 between the local recirculation line 17 and the inlet 22 for circulating the water during the water heating processes.
  • B. Hot Water Heater
  • The hot water heater 20 is used to heat and possibly store the water in the system. The hot water heater 20 generally includes an insulated tank 21, a heating element 27, a pressure relief valve and a thermostat among other electrical and mechanical components common to hot water heaters, such as but not limited to a sacrificial anode to prevent corrosion of the tank, drain valves, and shutoff valves. The hot water heater 20 may be preexisting or may be newly installed with the present invention, as well as any other components described herein that assist in the function of the present invention.
  • It is appreciated that the hot water heater 20 may by a tank style, as described above, or tankless style configuration. The heating element 27 may be comprised of an electric heating element 27 or a gas burner and valve configuration. Other configurations may also be utilized for the heating element 27 all of which heat the water within the hot water heater 20. The pressure relief valve prevents over pressurization of the tank 21, wherein the relief valve will open when the tank 21 exceeds a certain threshold. The relief valve exists to prevent the tank 21 from over pressurizing and possibly rupturing. The thermostat is used for regulating the temperature of the water within the tank 21.
  • It is appreciated that the tank style water heater also generally has first dip tube 25 for allowing cold water to enter the tank 21 through the inlet 22 and a second dip tube 23 for allowing hot water to exit the tank 21 through the outlet 24. Since cold water is denser than hot water, the cold water dip tube 23 extends deeper into the tank 21 than the hot water dip tube 25.
  • It is appreciated that in a tankless water heater system, a heating element 27 is generally used with a heat-exchanging interface for transferring heat to the water in the form of coils, etc., and a flow sensing and controlling device is used to sense the flow of water through the heat-exchanging interface and to enable the heating element 27. The coils are generally comprised of highly conductive material for quickly and efficiently heating the water. Various other configurations of hot water heaters 20 may be used and integrated with the present invention.
  • C. Control Unit
  • The present invention includes a control unit 30 to control when the hot water heater 20 is heating the water via the heating element 27 and to turn the pump 40 on and off. The control unit 30 includes a user interface 32 and a display 38, such as a digital LCD display that can show numbers, pictures, letters, etc., for allowing the user to program water heating schedules, recirculation pump 40 shutoff temperatures, recirculation pump 40 timeouts, water heater set temperatures, recirculation pump 40 speeds, heating element 27 on and off positions, activation of the three-way valves 70, 72 and bypass valves 60, and various other settings. The control unit 30 may connect to the various components of the present invention remotely, through connecting wires 39 or various other means.
  • The user interface 32 preferably includes, but is not limited to, a keypad, rotating knob 34 for increasing or decreasing a setting, buttons 35 including left, right, previous, and next cursor arrows, time and mode buttons 35, on and off switches 36, slider bar 33 for selecting the day of the week for hot water scheduling, or anything else that allows for control of the control unit 30. The control unit 30 also is able to communicate with and/or control the hot water heater 20, the recirculation pump 40, the bypass valves 60, pump enable units 64, and various other electrical circuitry of the present invention.
  • The heat scheduling feature of the control unit 30 allows for the user to program what times and days to heat the water within the tank 21 of the hot water heater 20. During non-use hours, the water heater 20 will be set to an idle state where the water is not heated at all or is only heated minimally to prevent freezing. It is appreciated that the scheduling control may not be necessary with a tankless water heater 20. The control unit 30 may also communicate or receive signals from the thermostat within the hot water heater 20.
  • The control unit 30 may also include various safety features, such as shutoff timeouts for recirculation times, battery backup in case of power failure, audible alarms for over-temperature conditions, etc. The control unit 30 may also be surrounded by an enclosure 31 for protection, wherein the enclosure 31 is water resistant. The control unit 30 may further include a cover panel or other locking mechanism to prevent tampering with the control unit 30.
  • D. Recirculation Pump
  • The present invention includes a recirculation pump 40 for transferring the water through the pipes. The recirculation pump 40 is generally comprised of, but is not limited to, a centrifugal configuration and includes a motor 43, which may be electrically powered or may be powered through other means, connected to an impeller 44 for transporting the water or other fluid.
  • The pump also includes an enclosure 41 through which the water flows to contact the impeller 44 and to which connects the pump to the adjacent pipes. The recirculation pump 40 may further have a temperature sensor embedded which tells the control unit 30 when the water in the recirculation loop has reached the desired temperature and therefore when to turn the recirculation pump 40 off. The recirculation pump 40 is used during both heating processes (first and second) and is fluidly connected to both the first recirculation loop and the second recirculation loop
  • E. Pump Enable Units
  • Various pump enable units 64 may also exist to activate the recirculation pump 40. The pump enable units 64 may consist of push buttons, switches, or another kind of interface that enables the activation of the recirculation pump 40. In the case of a single recirculation loop in the hot water network, there could be only one pump enable unit 64 that initiates recirculation, or there could be a pump enable unit 64 at each water usage location (e.g. near the faucet 19, etc.) where nearly instant hot water is desired.
  • In the case where multiple recirculation loops and bypass valves 60 are utilized, there would generally be a pump enable unit 64 at each water usage location. In addition to enabling the recirculation pump 40, the pump enable units 64, in conjunction with the bypass valves 60, may relay information to the control unit 30 indicating when to turn the recirculation pump 40 off, such as when the water in the recirculation loop has reached the desired temperature.
  • The pump enable units 64 may be hard wired to the control unit 30 or have remote capability. The pump enable units 64 may further be integrated with the bypass valves 60 and/or mounted separately at water usage locations. The pump enable units 64 may also have circuitry that communicates temperature information at the bypass valves 60 back to the control unit 30. The pump enable units 64 may control the recirculation pump 40 via communicating information to the control unit 30 or may directly control the recirculation pump 40. The pump enable units 64 may further control the bypass valves 60.
  • The pump enable units 64 may have various mounting features, such as adhesive material, fasteners, or the like. The pump enable units 64 also include a water resistant enclosure and include various programming features, such as shut-off temperature, remote control communication frequency and various others. The pump enable units 64 may further have a visual readout for viewing the water temperature in their respective bypass valve 60 or in the recirculation loop.
  • F. Check Valve
  • The present invention may include a check valve 50 positioned before the recirculation pump 40 in the flow of the cold water supply to the hot water heater 20. The check valve 50 is also positioned upstream of the point of interconnection of the recirculation line 17 and the cold water supply line 12. The purpose of the check valve 50 is to prevent water in the recirculation loop 17 from back flowing into the cold water supply 12.
  • The check valve 50 is constructed to allow the water to flow only in one direction. The check valve 50 may be comprised of various configurations, such as a ball and spring style where the ball rests in a pocket on one side of the valve and is held in that pocket on the other side by a compression spring. When water pushes against the ball from the pocket side of the valve, the ball moves out of the pocket and compresses the spring thus allowing water to flow through the valve. If water attempts to flow in the other direction, the spring extends and the ball seals itself inside the pocket preventing flow through the valve. Other types of check valves 50, such as a gate style, may be appreciated as well.
  • G. Bypass Valves
  • The present invention may also include bypass valves 60 connected between the cold and hot water supply lines 12, 14. The bypass valves 60 are further preferably located at the water usage locations, such as under a sink or faucet 19. The bypass valves 60 may further be located at several water usage locations, or alternatively, only used at the end of the hot water run to provide near instant hot water for the entire network of water lines and be mounted in various manners, such as but not limited to a wall or a pipe.
  • The bypass valves 60 are used when it is desired to recirculate the water throughout the system when heating the water. When the bypass line is activated or open, the hot water supply line 14 flows into the cold water line 12 creating a recirculation loop (i.e. second recirculation loop). When the water at the bypass valve 60 reaches a certain temperature, the recirculation pump 40 and bypass valve 60 are deactivated for nearly instant hot water at the faucet 19 or water usage location. This feature saves water by preventing the user from letting cold water flow down the drain while waiting for hot water.
  • The bypass valves 60 may be comprised of various types of two-way valves, such as but not limited to diaphragm type, ball valve variation, or gate valve variation. The bypass valves 60 may further have integrated temperature sensors within to signal the control unit 30 when to turn off the recirculation pump 40 once the water temperature reaches a certain threshold. The bypass valves 60 may also include buttons or controls to enable the recirculation pump 40. It is appreciated that the bypass valves 60 should only be used when the hot water network is not pre-plumbed for recirculation.
  • The bypass valve 60 may further be operated either electrically via a solenoid, etc. or manually. If powered electrically, the bypass valve 60 is generally plugged into an AC wall socket or powered via batteries. The bypass valve 60 may further be configured in various manners, such as but not limited to as a diaphragm style valve, a ball valve, a gate valve, or any other type of valve using a two-way application The bypass valve 60 may further have various types of functionality, such as to control the shut off temperature of the bypass valve 60, or the speed of the recirculation pump 40. Further, the bypass valve 60 may have an audible and/or visual alarm to notify the user when the water has reached the shut off temperature and when the recirculation pump 40 has turned off. It is appreciated that the bypass valve 60 may further be comprised of a passive configuration.
  • The bypass valve 60 forms the second recirculation loop for water within the water heater to flow during a second water heating process. The second recirculation loop formed by the bypass valve 60 covers a larger fluid area than the first recirculation loop. The second recirculation loop is also separate than the recirculation line 17 of the first recirculation loop. The second recirculation loop preferably includes the cold and hot water supply lines 12, 14, the water tank 21 and all parts in the flow thereof except the recirculation line 17. The first recirculation loop thus includes the water tank 21 of the hot water heater 20, the recirculation line 17 and the parts of the lines of the cold and hot supply lines 12, 14 interconnected therebetween.
  • As opposed to an electrically operated bypass valve 60, the other option is to have a temperature activated valve that closes on its own when the water flowing through it reaches a certain temperature. This valve will open back up when the water cools down. In line with the temperature activated valve could be a check valve to prevent flow in the opposite direction.
  • In conjunction with the temperature-activated valve 60, the recirculation pump 40 could have but is not limited to a paddle wheel flow meter or pressure transducer connected to it. When the temperature actuated bypass valve 60 closes, the flow meter would sense either that flow had stopped or the pressure transducer would register a spike in water pressure. A signal would then be sent to the system control unit 30 to turn the recirculation pump 40 off. The pump 40 will be turned on briefly in arbitrary intervals to see if the temperature activated bypass valve 60 is open. If the pressure spikes or the flow is zero that means the bypass valve 60 is closed and the pump 40 will immediately turn off. Otherwise the pump 40 will continue running until hot water reaches the temperature operated bypass valve 60 and causes it to close again.
  • If a temperature activated bypass valve is used instead of an electrically operated bypass valve, pump enable units 64 will not be necessary. The change in pressure of flow is what is used to monitor the state of the temperature activated bypass valve, and there is no need for user interaction.
  • There are a few advantages to using the temperature operated bypass valve. A first advantage is that the temperature activated bypass valve 60 is a passive device that does not require power or communication means with the system control unit 30. Another advantage is that because the temperature activated bypass valve 60 is a passive device it is easier to install and much cheaper to make than the electrically activated version. Another advantage is that because of the cost saving, the temperature bypass valve 60 makes the overall recirculation system 10 more economically viable.
  • H. Three-Way Valves
  • The present invention may include multiple three-way valves 70, 72 to change from a first recirculation loop to a second recirculation loop, or back to an original flow setting. The three-way valves 70, 72 are generally only used when the hot water heater 20 includes a tank 21. Tankless water heaters do not need three-way valves since they only heat water when flow is initiated. The three-way valve can be comprised of multiple valve configurations, such as a ball valve, gate valve, diaphragm valve, electrically powered solenoid valves, or various others.
  • The three-way valve 70 generally includes an inlet, a first outlet, and a second outlet. The inlet is connected to the hot water supply line 14 coming from the water heater 20. The normally open first outlet is connected to the hot water network and the normally closed second outlet is connected to the quick reheat recirculation line 17, which is plumbed into the cold water supply line 12 going into the water heater 20 to form the first recirculation loop. When both three-way valves 70, 72 and the recirculation pump 40 are enabled, water recirculates through the water heater tank 21 via the second outlet causing the water to heat up quicker. When the hot water heater 20 is scheduled to begin reheating after a long period of inactivity, the three-way valves 70, 72 and the recirculation pump 40 are activated to create the first recirculation loop to heat the water in the tank 21 more quickly.
  • A variation of usage of the local recirculation loop is where the tank 21 includes two outlets 24 rather than one. The first outlet line is used to supply hot water to the water usage network, and the second outlet is used for the sole purpose of quickly reheating the tank 21. The second outlet may be tied into the cold water supply just upstream of the recirculation pump 40.
  • During normal operation, when hot water is being supplied to the water usage network, the bypass valve 60 is open and the three-way valves 70, 72 are closed. Then, when tank 21 regeneration is desired, the bypass valve 60 is closed and the three-way valves 70, 72 are open, thus allowing water to quickly recirculate through the tank 21 and heat up quickly.
  • I. Installation of Preferred Embodiment
  • During installation of the present invention, the system is installed in a pre-existing water heating setup or with a new water heating setup. The outlet 24 or hot water supply line 14 adjacent the outlet 24 of the water heater 20 first connects to the three-way valve 70. The normally open port of the three-way valve 70 then connects to the hot water supply line 14, which distributes hot water to each water usage location. The normally closed port of the three-way valve 70 is connected to the local recirculation line 17 for quick reheating which tees into the cold water supply line 12, via another three-way valve 72, upstream of the recirculation pump 40 and downstream of the cold water check valve 50.
  • If the pre-existing water heating system is plumbed for hot water recirculation, all hot water usage points are interconnected by a single pipe loop, which is tied into the cold water supply line 12, just upstream of the recirculation pump 40. It is appreciated that in place of the additional three-way valve 72, the check valve 50 may be used or any type of valve to prevent the water from the local recirculation line 17 from back flowing into the cold water supply line 12. The recirculation pump 40 can be placed near or far from the hot water heater 20 or may be an integral part of the hot water heater 20. The recirculation pump 40 is plumbed in line with the cold water supply line 12.
  • The pump enable units 64 may be placed at various locations, and are preferably located near the water usage points. The bypass valve 60, if not already connected, is connected preferably near the water usage point between hot water supply line 14 and the cold water supply line 12 to selectively form the second recirculation loop between the hot and cold water supply lines 12, 14. It is appreciated that the pump enable unit 64 may be integrated with the bypass valve 60. In alternative to the bypass valve 60, the end of the hot water supply line 14 may be connected to the water heater inlet 22 to form the second recirculation loop.
  • J. Operation of Preferred Embodiment
  • Once setup is complete, the control unit 30 is configured. The correct current time is ensured to be set upon the control unit 30. Then, the water-heating schedule may be specified. This is done by programming the times of day for which the water heater should be heating water. The same heating schedule can be set for each day of the week, or be unique for each day. The scheduling feature of the control unit 30 may also have features for setting vacation days where the water heater does not heat at all. The desired heating temperature may also be set with the control unit 30. The heating temperatures may include the desired temperature of the water within the tank 21, the recirculation shut-off temperatures, and the water temperature at the quick reheat points. Various other settings and synchronizations may also be set with the control unit 30.
  • The system is now ready for operation. At the start of the heating cycle, the three-way valve 70 on the hot water outlet 24 line toggles thus forming the first recirculation loop via fluidly connecting to the local recirculation line 17. The additional three-way valve 72 connected to the cold water supply line 12 upstream or the recirculation pump 40 also toggles. The recirculation pump 40 then turns on and recirculates water through the tank 21 causing the water to reach the desired set temperature much quicker. It is appreciated that the heating element 27 is turned on at this time. The heating element 27 may be set at a higher than normal level for even faster hot water regeneration. This reheat step could be automatically initiated later on in the heating cycle if the hot water in the tank 21 is depleted due to overuse. This reheat step is also referred to as the first heating process. If a tankless water heater is used, the local recirculation loop 17 will not be a part of the system 10.
  • Once the water is sensed to be at a desired temperature within the first recirculation loop, the control unit 30 changes modes to form a second recirculation loop and the first heating process ends and the second heating process begins. During the second heating process, the bypass valve 60 is opened connecting the hot water supply line 14 and the cold water supply line 12 at the water usage point and toggling the two three-way valves 70, 72 back to an initial position, thus cutting off the local recirculation line 17. The water then flows through the second recirculation loop to continue heating until the desired temperature has been reached via a sensor in the bypass valve 60, pump enabling unit 64, or other location.
  • Once the water is heated to a desired temperature, the control unit 30 signals the recirculation pump 40 to turn off and the bypass valve 60 toggles back to an initial position in which to connect the cold and hot water supply lines 12, 14 to their respective lines leading to the faucet 19. Now, when the user opens the hot water valve of the faucet 19, the user should receive nearly instant, hot water out of the faucet 19.
  • As time passes, and still within the heating schedule time, the water cools down, thus forcing the present invention back into heating the water. The recirculation pump 40 turns on and the bypass valve 60 toggles thus putting the water lines 12, 14 into the second recirculation loop. When the water is back at the desired temperature, the bypass valve 60 toggles back to an initial position to connect the water lines to the faucet 19. At the end of the heating schedule, the control unit 30 goes into an idle mode and the heating element 27 turns off to await the next preset heating schedule.
  • What has been described and illustrated herein is a preferred embodiment of the invention along with some of its variations. The terms, descriptions and figures used herein are set forth by way of illustration only and are not meant as limitations. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many variations are possible within the spirit and scope of the invention, which is intended to be defined by the following claims (and their equivalents) in which all terms are meant in their broadest reasonable sense unless otherwise indicated. Any headings, utilized within the description are for convenience only and have no legal or limiting effect.

Claims (20)

1. An instant hot water delivery system, comprising:
a water heater including an inlet and an outlet;
a cold water supply line introducing cold water into said inlet;
a hot water supply line connecting said outlet to a faucet;
a recirculation line connected to said hot water supply downstream of said outlet and said cold water supply line upstream of said inlet;
wherein said recirculation line forms a first recirculation loop for water within said water heater to flow during a first water heating process; and
a recirculation pump connected to said cold water supply line between said local recirculation line and said inlet for circulating said water during said first water heating process.
2. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, including a three-way valve interconnecting said recirculation line to said hot water supply line.
3. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 2, wherein said three-way valve toggles between a fluid connection of said outlet to said faucet via said hot water supply line or said outlet to said recirculation pump via said recirculation line,
4. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, a check valve interconnected along said cold water supply line upstream of said recirculation line.
5. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 4, wherein said check valve prevents water from said recirculation line from flowing upstream said cold water supply line.
6. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 5, wherein said check valve is comprised of a three-way valve.
7. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, including a control unit to set to control said water heater.
8. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 7, wherein said control unit includes a setting for a water heating schedule.
9. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 7, wherein said control unit turns on/off said recirculation pump.
10. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 7, wherein said control unit is connected to at least one temperature sensor for turning on/off said recirculation pump according to a water temperature.
11. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, including a bypass valve interconnecting said cold water supply line and said hot water supply line.
12. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 11, wherein said bypass valve forms a second recirculation loop for water within said water heater to flow during a second water heating process.
13. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 12, wherein said second recirculation loop covers a larger fluid area than said first recirculation loop.
14. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 13, wherein said second recirculation loop is separate than said recirculation line of said first recirculation loop.
15. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 14, wherein said bypass valve is located near said faucet.
16. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, wherein said recirculation pump includes a temperature sensor.
17. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, wherein said recirculation pump includes a flow sensor.
18. The instant hot water delivery system of claim 1, including at least one pump enabling unit to activate said recirculation pump according to a water temperature.
19. An instant hot water delivery system, comprising:
a water heater including an inlet and an outlet;
a cold water supply line introducing cold water into said inlet,
a hot water supply line connecting said outlet to a faucet;
a recirculation line connected to said hot water supply downstream of said outlet and said cold water supply line upstream of said inlet;
wherein said recirculation line forms a recirculation loop for water within said water heater to flow during a water heating process;
a check valve interconnected along said cold water supply line upstream of said recirculation line;
wherein said check valve prevents water from said recirculation line from flowing upstream said cold water supply line;
a recirculation pump connected to said cold water supply line between said local recirculation line and said inlet for circulating said water during said water heating process; and
a control unit for setting and controlling a water heating schedule, wherein said control unit turns said water heater and said recirculation pump on/off according to said water heating schedule;
wherein said control unit is connected to at least one temperature sensor for turning on/off said recirculation pump according to a water temperature.
20. A method of providing nearly instant hot water to a faucet, comprising:
providing a water heater including an inputted cold water supply line and an outputted hot water supply line;
forming at least one recirculation loop between said hot water supply line and said cold water supply line;
setting a heating schedule upon a control unit connected to said water heater;
directing a flow of water through said at least on recirculation loop during said heating schedule;
heating said flow of water with said water heater;
closing said at least one recirculation loop when said flow of water reaches a predetermined temperature;
directing said flow of water through said hot water supply line to a faucet;
activating said faucet; and
nearly instantly receiving hot water through said faucet.
US12/389,108 2008-02-27 2009-02-19 Instant Hot Water Delivery System Abandoned US20090211644A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US6711408P true 2008-02-27 2008-02-27
US12/389,108 US20090211644A1 (en) 2008-02-27 2009-02-19 Instant Hot Water Delivery System

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/389,108 US20090211644A1 (en) 2008-02-27 2009-02-19 Instant Hot Water Delivery System
US12/647,390 US20100096018A1 (en) 2008-02-27 2009-12-24 Instant hot water delivery system

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/647,390 Continuation-In-Part US20100096018A1 (en) 2008-02-27 2009-12-24 Instant hot water delivery system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20090211644A1 true US20090211644A1 (en) 2009-08-27

Family

ID=40997140

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/389,108 Abandoned US20090211644A1 (en) 2008-02-27 2009-02-19 Instant Hot Water Delivery System

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20090211644A1 (en)

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090301576A1 (en) * 2008-06-04 2009-12-10 Shiu-Yen Liu Water Saving Mechanism For Hot Water Supply Apparatus
US20100218807A1 (en) * 2009-02-27 2010-09-02 Skywatch Energy, Inc. 1-dimensional concentrated photovoltaic systems
US20100251974A1 (en) * 2009-04-07 2010-10-07 Clayton Ellsworth Showen Non-invasive Demand Response Hot Water Recirculation Pump Signaling and Control Appliance
US20100319684A1 (en) * 2009-05-26 2010-12-23 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic-Thermal System
US20110017267A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-01-27 Joseph Isaac Lichy Receiver for concentrating photovoltaic-thermal system
US20110231022A1 (en) * 2010-02-18 2011-09-22 Mcnamara Michael E Electronically controlled hot water recirculation pump
WO2011121140A1 (en) * 2010-03-29 2011-10-06 Alfonso Cuervo-Arango Y De Cachavera Modular water-saving device
WO2012038568A1 (en) * 2010-09-20 2012-03-29 Universidad De Castilla-La Mancha Water supply system and tap
US20120090597A1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2012-04-19 General Electric Company Pump drained solar water heating system
US20120118414A1 (en) * 2008-06-03 2012-05-17 Mcmurtry John L Water saver system
CN102597635A (en) * 2010-10-21 2012-07-18 (株)庆东Network Method for controlling the temperature of hot water by operating a circulation pump
ES2387855A1 (en) * 2010-02-26 2012-10-02 Disesta-Jp S.L. Installation of cold and hot water for consumption.
US20130214052A1 (en) * 2012-02-22 2013-08-22 Zhuhai Runxingtai Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd. Easy-t0-adjust water heater
US8669462B2 (en) 2010-05-24 2014-03-11 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating solar energy collector
US8686279B2 (en) 2010-05-17 2014-04-01 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating solar energy collector
US9270225B2 (en) 2013-01-14 2016-02-23 Sunpower Corporation Concentrating solar energy collector
US9353973B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2016-05-31 Sunpower Corporation Concentrating photovoltaic-thermal solar energy collector
US20160187004A1 (en) * 2014-12-30 2016-06-30 Vivint, Inc. Smart water heater
US9632514B2 (en) 2010-05-21 2017-04-25 Delta Faucet Company Electronic shower system
US20170138020A1 (en) * 2015-11-16 2017-05-18 Corporacion Andina De Fomento Economizer system and method for saving heat and water
EP3293461A1 (en) 2016-08-29 2018-03-14 Omlin Energiesysteme AG Installation for providing hot water circulating in buildings
US10407881B1 (en) * 2015-01-26 2019-09-10 Elarde C. Javier Water diverter and recycler

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3799181A (en) * 1972-09-05 1974-03-26 H Maddren Hot water supply system and method
US5261443A (en) * 1993-01-04 1993-11-16 Walsh Paul F Watersaving recirculating system
US5572985A (en) * 1995-12-12 1996-11-12 Benham; Roger A. Recirculating system with by-pass valve
US5735291A (en) * 1995-12-21 1998-04-07 Kaonohi; Godfrey K. Hot water re-circulating system
US5829467A (en) * 1995-12-19 1998-11-03 Spicher; Vincent M. Residential hot water circulation system and associated method
US6962162B2 (en) * 2001-11-09 2005-11-08 Act, Inc. Method for operating a multi family/commercial plumbing system
US7073528B2 (en) * 2000-10-25 2006-07-11 Grundfos Pumps Manufacturing Corp. Water pump and thermostatically controlled bypass valve
US7077155B2 (en) * 2003-04-11 2006-07-18 Bruno Giammaria Hot water recirculating system
US7178543B2 (en) * 2005-06-27 2007-02-20 Adams Charles L Rapid hot water apparatus and method

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3799181A (en) * 1972-09-05 1974-03-26 H Maddren Hot water supply system and method
US5261443A (en) * 1993-01-04 1993-11-16 Walsh Paul F Watersaving recirculating system
US5572985A (en) * 1995-12-12 1996-11-12 Benham; Roger A. Recirculating system with by-pass valve
US5829467A (en) * 1995-12-19 1998-11-03 Spicher; Vincent M. Residential hot water circulation system and associated method
US5735291A (en) * 1995-12-21 1998-04-07 Kaonohi; Godfrey K. Hot water re-circulating system
US7073528B2 (en) * 2000-10-25 2006-07-11 Grundfos Pumps Manufacturing Corp. Water pump and thermostatically controlled bypass valve
US6962162B2 (en) * 2001-11-09 2005-11-08 Act, Inc. Method for operating a multi family/commercial plumbing system
US7077155B2 (en) * 2003-04-11 2006-07-18 Bruno Giammaria Hot water recirculating system
US7178543B2 (en) * 2005-06-27 2007-02-20 Adams Charles L Rapid hot water apparatus and method

Cited By (36)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8876012B2 (en) * 2008-06-03 2014-11-04 John L. MCMURTRY Water saver system
US20120118414A1 (en) * 2008-06-03 2012-05-17 Mcmurtry John L Water saver system
US20090301576A1 (en) * 2008-06-04 2009-12-10 Shiu-Yen Liu Water Saving Mechanism For Hot Water Supply Apparatus
US20100218807A1 (en) * 2009-02-27 2010-09-02 Skywatch Energy, Inc. 1-dimensional concentrated photovoltaic systems
US20100251974A1 (en) * 2009-04-07 2010-10-07 Clayton Ellsworth Showen Non-invasive Demand Response Hot Water Recirculation Pump Signaling and Control Appliance
US20100319684A1 (en) * 2009-05-26 2010-12-23 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic-Thermal System
US20110036345A1 (en) * 2009-05-26 2011-02-17 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic-Thermal System
US20110017267A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-01-27 Joseph Isaac Lichy Receiver for concentrating photovoltaic-thermal system
US20110231022A1 (en) * 2010-02-18 2011-09-22 Mcnamara Michael E Electronically controlled hot water recirculation pump
US9207682B2 (en) * 2010-02-18 2015-12-08 Taco, Inc. Electronically controlled hot water recirculation pump with data logging
US20140074302A1 (en) * 2010-02-18 2014-03-13 Michael E. McNamara Electronically contolled hot water recirculation pump with data logging
US8594853B2 (en) * 2010-02-18 2013-11-26 Taco, Inc. Electronically controlled hot water recirculation pump
US20130289780A1 (en) * 2010-02-18 2013-10-31 Michael E. McNamara Electronically controlled hot water recirculation pump with data logging
ES2387855A1 (en) * 2010-02-26 2012-10-02 Disesta-Jp S.L. Installation of cold and hot water for consumption.
WO2011121140A1 (en) * 2010-03-29 2011-10-06 Alfonso Cuervo-Arango Y De Cachavera Modular water-saving device
US9151021B2 (en) 2010-03-29 2015-10-06 Alfonso Cuervo-Arango Y De Cachavera Modular water-saving device
US9353973B2 (en) 2010-05-05 2016-05-31 Sunpower Corporation Concentrating photovoltaic-thermal solar energy collector
US8686279B2 (en) 2010-05-17 2014-04-01 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating solar energy collector
US9632514B2 (en) 2010-05-21 2017-04-25 Delta Faucet Company Electronic shower system
US8669462B2 (en) 2010-05-24 2014-03-11 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Concentrating solar energy collector
WO2012038568A1 (en) * 2010-09-20 2012-03-29 Universidad De Castilla-La Mancha Water supply system and tap
ES2378932A1 (en) * 2010-09-20 2012-04-19 Universidad De Castilla-La Mancha Water supply system, and tap.
EP2492601A4 (en) * 2010-10-21 2013-05-01 Kyungdong One Corp Method for controlling the temperature of hot water by operating a circulation pump
US8851021B2 (en) * 2010-10-21 2014-10-07 Kyungdong One Corporation Method for controlling hot water temperature through operation of a circulation pump
CN102597635A (en) * 2010-10-21 2012-07-18 (株)庆东Network Method for controlling the temperature of hot water by operating a circulation pump
US20120216998A1 (en) * 2010-10-21 2012-08-30 Kim Si-Hwan Method for controlling hot water temperature through operation of a circulation pump
EP2492601A1 (en) * 2010-10-21 2012-08-29 Kyungdong Network Co., Ltd. Method for controlling the temperature of hot water by operating a circulation pump
US20120090597A1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2012-04-19 General Electric Company Pump drained solar water heating system
US20130214052A1 (en) * 2012-02-22 2013-08-22 Zhuhai Runxingtai Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd. Easy-t0-adjust water heater
US9270225B2 (en) 2013-01-14 2016-02-23 Sunpower Corporation Concentrating solar energy collector
US20160187004A1 (en) * 2014-12-30 2016-06-30 Vivint, Inc. Smart water heater
US10012394B2 (en) * 2014-12-30 2018-07-03 Vivint, Inc. Smart water heater
US10407881B1 (en) * 2015-01-26 2019-09-10 Elarde C. Javier Water diverter and recycler
US20170138020A1 (en) * 2015-11-16 2017-05-18 Corporacion Andina De Fomento Economizer system and method for saving heat and water
US10066372B2 (en) * 2015-11-16 2018-09-04 Ricardo CHICUREL Economizer system and method for saving heat and water
EP3293461A1 (en) 2016-08-29 2018-03-14 Omlin Energiesysteme AG Installation for providing hot water circulating in buildings

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6962162B2 (en) Method for operating a multi family/commercial plumbing system
US4606325A (en) Multi-controlled water conservation system for hot water lines with low pressure utilization disable
US6895985B2 (en) Smart device and system for improved domestic use and saving of water
US20090235992A1 (en) Method and apparatus for detecting water system leaks and preventing excessive water usage
US20100133258A1 (en) Systems & Methods For Monitoring And Controlling Water Consumption
US6622930B2 (en) Freeze protection for hot water systems
US20030089399A1 (en) Smart demand hot water system
US4672990A (en) System for freeze protection of pipes
WO2010090898A2 (en) Apparatus and control method for a hybrid tankless water heater
US5775372A (en) Universal water and energy conservation system
CN103604208B (en) Water heating system and method for operating thereof
US4498622A (en) Quick recovery heat pump water heater
US20050006402A1 (en) Method of operating a plumbing system
US20160342163A1 (en) Multi-tank water heater systems
US20120060827A1 (en) Control for a tankless water heater used with a solar water heating system
US5287876A (en) Water piping system
US6196246B1 (en) Freeze-resistant plumbing system in combination with a backflow preventer
US6039067A (en) Selectable control energy and water conservation system
US20120090341A1 (en) Water heater and control method therefor
CA2523491A1 (en) Heating system
US6536221B2 (en) Air conditioning heat recovery arrangement
JP2009264732A (en) Hot water system
CN100445664C (en) Thermal pump water heater
JP2006191946A (en) Mist sauna apparatus
US20100086289A1 (en) Modular tankless water heater with precise power control circuitry and structure

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION