Domestic Hot Water: Get It Faster, Better, and Cheaper

By Nick Tallos

“I turned on the water in the shower and waited for 10 minutes. Warm water finally started flowing, however it never lasted more than a minute and alternated mostly with cool to cold water.”

That’s the exact quote extracted from an online review of a guest who rated a hotel in Pennsylvania on The reviewer gave the hotel a rating of two out of a possible five. The site is full of similar comments from guests complaining about how long it took them to get hot water when they wanted to take a shower or wash their hands.

In the hospitality industry, when a guest turns on the hot water in their room, most wait patiently for the water to run a while to the proper temperature. Guests do not like to wait too long for their hot water according to the International Hospitality Association. In fact, they specifically address “the availability of hot water” as a factor for consideration in their quality standards and star rating systems that they set as the bar for multi-star ratings.

The cost to deliver hot water to insure customer satisfaction means the domestic hot water system must be balanced in a way that keeps the delivery time low. Until recently, that meant larger recirculating pumps, more recirculating flow, more wear and tear on your hot water system, and more cost.

Reduced Demand on Hot Water System

However, now modestly priced stainless steel control valves are available that use a temperature sensor and may be installed at the endpoints of domestic hot water systems. This inline fitting thermostatically controls a temperature set point typically in the 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit range, or at any specified temperature. The thermostatic signal subsequently controls hot water flow through the hot water system’s branches, which controls temperature to the individual endpoints: showers and other fixtures in the hotel or lodgings facility. Instead of using flow to control the availability of hot water on demand, it uses temperature and consequently requires much less work and demand by the hot water system.

What does this mean for hospitality owners and operators? It provides greater efficiency, lower total costs, and a solution that promotes LEED projects and a “greener” building configuration.

A self-operating thermostatic valve controls flow in response to the temperature of the water flowing through the valve. This was developed specifically for domestic hot water applications. The underlying challenge for hotels and large facilities such as condominiums, apartment buildings, stadiums, hospitals and universities is that patrons want to turn on the hot water and would like it to be hot in some reasonably expected time frame, without a guest waiting a long time when they turn on a faucet for hot water.

Read more on Green Lodging News:–faster-better–cheaper