Turns out that Kenneth has already built a shower that is essentially a recirculating shower.
Kenneth's goal was a long, hot shower with LOTS of flow. In order to keep this from using tons of energy, he worked out the simple design shown in the pictures below.
The top shower head is the original shower head, and is used as is for the non-recirculating portion of the shower.
The six new heads below are used with recirculated and reheated water during the recirculation part of the shower.
To use the shower:
- Run some water into the tub via the top (old) shower head. Do this with the tub drain closed.
- When there is enough water in the tub for recirculation (a couple inches), turn off the top shower, and turn on the recirculation pump and the recirculation water re-heater.
This will power up the 6 new shower heads. The re-heater keeps the shower water from cooling off too much.
Continue in this mode as long as you like.
- When done, shut off the recirculation pump and re-heater. Open the tube drain.
- You can do a final rinse with fresh water as desired.
A view of the pump used to recirculate water through the six new shower heads. The pump picks up water from the dishwasher Tee that was added to the shower/tub drain plumbing. This equipment is placed on the opposite end of the tub from the shower heads.
This shows the electric water re-heater that keeps the water hot during the recirculation part of the shower.
The water reheater is an automotive part similar to these...
This one is a 1500 watt heater.
The heater is wired so that it only gets power when the pump is on to avoid overheating.
The heater is located under the pump to insure that it retains water in it.
Close-up of the the pump used to recirculate water. This is model of pump used... About $135.
The Tee used in the bathtub drain that taps of the water for recirculation -- this recirculating water goes from here to the re-heater and then to the pump, and then out the six new shower heads.
Thanks very much to Kenneth for sending this in.
By the way, Kenneth has sent in material on a very nicely done "Solar Shed" project that provides both solar heating of domestic water and space heating -- it will be up on the site in a few days.
Gary March 29, 2010