I'd mentioned that we were looking at hot water recirculators. We broke down and got the Metlund D'MAND S-50. The reasons we went with the more expensive solution were:
- We wanted an on-demand system rather than one that recirculated the water all day. With all of the other systems we found this would have required a communication system back to the hot water heater and a timer there, at additional cost and complexity.
- We read horror stories about the systems with simple mechanical valves at the far end costing huge amounts in heating because every time the cold water pressure dropped (ie: for outside use, for instance), the hot water flowed across.
- We've got galvanized steel pipe, so we went with the smallest pump we could find.
All of the pros and cons of water heaters got hashed out in the previous thread, although we also found out in the mean-time that water in winter costs us 3x as much as water in the summer, because that's when they determine our baseline for waste recovery charges. Rather bizarre, given that summer's when we should be conserving water, but who am I to challenge bureacracy.
At any rate, we got it for the convenience factor more than the cost savings, and as a convenience device it is very cool. Looooong baths no longer have the "have to cool down the bath to warm it up" problem. Punch a button by the bed-side, by the time we get to the morning shower it's warm.
The only down-side was the wackiness of the fittings they sent to hook it up, but our house is old and weird, and a quick trip to the hardware store fixed that.