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Commercial hot water control systems

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Commercial hot water control systems

A commercial hot water system includes a hot water source, and a hot water delivery line connected between the hot water source and at least one plumbing fixture. A pump, enables circulation of hot water to and from the fixtures. A controller provides for turning on the pump in conjunction with an external signal, and a detector, preferably a temperature sensor, in conjunction with the controller, is effective in stopping the pump to prevent heated water from being circulated.
Related Terms: Hot Water System Circulation Fixtures

USPTO Applicaton #: #20130327410 - Class: 137 13 (USPTO) - 12/12/13 - Class 137 
Fluid Handling > Processes >Affecting Flow By The Addition Of Material Or Energy

Inventors: Larry K. Acker

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130327410, Commercial hot water control systems.

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This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 12/641,236, filed Dec. 17, 2009, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

The present invention is generally directed to plumbing systems and more particularly directed to commercial plumbing systems with energy saving recirculation of water.

In large buildings, such as, for example, apartment buildings, hotels, motels, and other commercial buildings, the boiler, or hot water supply, is disposed remotely to the point of use of hot water. Accordingly, if the water in the piping system has cooled, a user may have to run the water for an extended period of time in order to get hot water to a fixture.

In this case, water is wasted because the cooled water in the pipes is typically discharged into a drain during a period of time waiting for the arrival of hot water. Energy is also wasted because the discharged water was heated previously by the boiler.

This problem of both water waste and inconvenience has been solved by providing hot water recirculation systems which are installed in commercial buildings. Continuous circulation of hot water around the loop is quickly available at various points of use throughout the building. Most often, an electrically driven pump is installed at an end of a return line which draws hot water from the supply side of the boiler and returns it to the cold water inlet of the hot water supply.

This type of system enables quick access to hot water and, in fact, saves water; however, it is wasteful from an energy conservation point of view.

Even when insulated, recirculation pipes have a high heat loss. Accordingly, the heat loss from a continuously operating recirculation system can be quite high.

In order to conserve energy, systems may be configured to turn off the recirculation pump at specific times. This may be affected through a time clock which operates recirculation pump during the day and turns the pipe off at night.

While this system will reduce the heat loss at night, it has a severe drawback because recirculation is actually needed most during the evening. That is, during the day in an apartment building or hotel/motel, people will often use hot water at a number of fixtures throughout the building. This water draw keeps water in the distribution system thereby providing hot water quickly.

However, at night, very little hot water use occurs. When a person uses hot water at night, without operation of the recirculation pump a long time may be necessary for hot water to arrive at a remote fixture.

Accordingly, a system is desirable which enables the continuous, or sporadic, use of recirculation to maximize efficiency of this system, depending on the users\' requirements. The present invention solves that problem.



A hot water delivery system in accordance with the present invention generally includes a boiler having a storage tank interconnected therewith and hot water delivery lines connected between the storage tank and at least one plumbing fixture. A cold water delivery line is provided and connected between the plumbing fixture and a cold water source and the boiler for delivering cold water thereto.

A pump is provided which is interconnected between the boiler and the storage tank, for circulation of the water from the storage tank to the fixture and return to the storage tank. A controller causes the pump to circulate water.

A temperature sensor, connected to the control system, is provided for causing the controller to stop the pump to prevent heated water from being circulated; a timer may be connected to the controller to turn on the pump. Alternatively, the pump may be turned on by the controller using any of various ways, such as through use of a switch or button, or automatically by use of, for example, a flow detector installed in the hot water line, or opening a hot water faucet.


The advantages and features of the present invention will appear from the following description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of a plumbing system 10 in accordance with the present invention for a commercial establishment, such as an apartment building, generally showing a boiler and conduits, in communication with at least one plumbing fixture, along with a pump, flow switch, controller, and timer.



Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a hot water recovery system 10 for a building 14 which generally includes a boiler 18, connected to a storage tank 22, and supplied by a feed line 24. A hot water delivery line 28 connecting the tank 22 with a plurality of plumbing fixtures 32 that are dispersed throughout the building 14. Also provided is a cold water delivery line 36 interconnecting the fixtures 32 with a cold water line 36 which is also interconnected with the boiler 18.

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Industry Class:
Fluid handling
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130327410 A1
Publish Date
Document #
File Date
137 13
Other USPTO Classes
137334, 137563, 13756511
International Class

Hot Water System

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