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What is Quick Recovery?

The Answer Guide

What is Quick Recovery?


How can I get more hot water?
What can I do if there's not room for a bigger water heater?
What is the most energy efficient solution?

Some families continually run out of hot water. The water heater may be sized for a smaller household or for less intensive usage patterns. Space limitations often preclude a larger storage tank. Besides, larger tanks use more energy due to standby heat loss. The solution is a quick recovery water heater.

In this Answer Guide, we offer a brief explanation of quick recovery water heaters and how they deliver more hot water with lower standby energy losses.

A Few Facts

  • There is no such thing as a hot water heater. After all, if water is already hot, there is no need to heat it.
  • Many of today’s builder grade water heaters lack the capacity to supply large spa tubs, which can require as much as 50 gallons of hot water.
  • A family of four uses an average of 65 to 75 gallons of hot water per day.
  • Each year, between 10,000 and 20,000 people in North America contract Legionnaire’s Disease, a potentially fatal illness caused by Legionella. Often the Legionella bacteria was located in residential hot water systems.
  • Legionella cannot survive water temperatures of 131°F or higher. However, to prevent scalding, the maximum water temperature recommended by the Shriners and other authorities is 120°F. To prevent Legionella and scalding, homeowners are advised to set storage water temperatures above 131°F and lower water temperatures automatically with the addition of a thermostatic mixing valve.

What is Quick Recovery?

Quick recovery water heaters have extra burners or electric heating elements to heat water faster. The storage tank is the same size as a standard water heater’s storage tank. However, the ability to heat water faster as the water is being used makes it seem like a quick recovery water heater has a larger tank. It does have a greater hot water capacity over a given period of time.

Quick recovery water heaters are typically used when a homeowner desires more capacity and a larger tank is impractical due to space limitations. Even when there is room for a larger storage tank, a quick recovery water heater makes the most sense. It uses less energy and is more affordable.

How Does Quick Recovery Save Energy?

Water heaters use energy to 1) Raise the temperature of water supplied to the home, and 2) Maintain water temperature. Energy must be used to maintain the water temperature because of “standby losses” up the piping or through the storage tank’s insulation. With quick recovery water heaters, standby losses are less for a given capacity because the tank is smaller. Less standby loss means less energy usage.

Does Quick Recovery Cost More?

No. A quick recovery water heater costs less than an equivalent capacity water heater with a larger tank, though slightly more than a standard water heater with the same size tank.. In some instances there may be an additional cost to install the proper size gas venting (more gas combustion means more venting for carbon monoxide and other combustion by-products). Also, if the mechanical codes have changed since your water heater was installed, there may be some adjustments necessary to meet code (remember, the mechanical code is merely the minimum requirement).

Before any work begins, we will give you a fixed amount, inclusive of all material and labor. If it takes longer than planned, you do not pay more. Usually we can complete a water heater replacement the same day, depending upon when we start.

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