|The Hot Water Lobster
Instant Hot Water Valve
SAVE WATER! At ONLY $179.95, the eco friendly Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve provides
faster hot water which saves water, saves energy and saves time. How long does it take for hot water
to get to your faucet or shower? A lot of precious water is wasted down the drain while waiting for hot
water. Even worse is the cost to heat the cold replacement water, which enters your house at the cold
HOW IT WORKS! When the water in your hot water pipe and the Hot Water Lobster control valve cools
below the user adjustable temperature (77-140 F. degrees), the thermal materials within the Hot
Water Lobster control valve contract and silently open the valve. Thermal convection within your hot
water tank naturally circulates the cooled water through your existing cold water pipes and back to
the hot water tank for reheating. Your existing hot water tank now uses less energy reheating the
warm water instead of cold ground temperature water. When fresh hot water enters your hot water
pipe and reaches the Hot Water Lobster control valve, the valve automatically closes. This maintains
hot water at the control valve without wasting water or wasting energy. Turn on your faucet or shower;
and you get instant hot water instead of wasting it down the drain! Installing the Hot Water Lobster
instant hot water control valve at the fixture furthest from your hot water tank (as shown in the
installation diagram) will provide faster hot water to all of the fixtures in your house.
NO ELECTRICITY NECESSARY! The Hot Water Lobster is all mechanical and designed to provide an
electricity free solution to maintain hot water at the tap. This makes installation a snap (in less than
10 minutes). Other hot water solutions require the use of electricity and pumps that make installation
difficult and the pumps are often noisy and wear out in 2-4 years.
MORE HOT WATER! Adds as much as 10% more capacity to your current hot water system (by
keeping the water in your hot water pipes hot!).
KEEP PIPES FROM FREEZING! The Hot Water Lobster instant hot water valve automatically allows
water in your pipes to circulate when the control valve cools below the set temperature (even when
your electricity goes out).
REDUCES CONDENSATION! The Hot Water Lobster instant hot water valve reduces condensation on
pipes and toilets basins.
MAINTENANCE FREE! The Hot Water Lobster has a solid brass valve body with an adjustable thermal
controlled mechanical stainless steel valve stem enclosed in a mounting box.
EASY INSTALLATION! The Hot Water Lobster comes complete with the mounting box, 4 sets of 12"
flexible water lines and standard brass fitting. All pre-assembled and tested for an easy 10-minute
STATISTICS! *A typical family wastes approximately 12,000-17,000 gallons of water annually waiting
for warm water to reach the tap. *as determined by GAMA (Gas Appliance Manufactures Association)
Note: Circulation of water by thermal convection must not be restricted (no check-valves) between the
hot water tank and the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve.
Best Ways to Prevent Pipe Freezing Next Winter
When water freezes, it expands...like a can of soda explodes if it's put into a
freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands
the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious
Why Pipes Burst
Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice
blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe
that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe,
continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to
increase downstream -- between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the
end. It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe
bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the
water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-
up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that
are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the
building's insulation, insulation on the pipe, heating, or water movement within
the pipe are safe.
Generally, houses in northern climates are built with the water pipes located on
the inside of the building insulation, which protects the pipes from subfreezing
weather. However, extremely cold weather and holes in the building that allow a
flow of cold air to come into contact with pipes can lead to freezing and bursting.
Water pipes in houses in southern climates often are more vulnerable to winter
cold spells. The pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside
of the building insulation, and homeowners tend to be less aware of freezing
problems, which may occur only once or twice a season.
Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing,
especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to flow
across the pipes. Research at the University of Illinois has shown that “wind chill”
(the cooling effect of air and wind) that causes the human body to lose heat, can
play a major role in accelerating ice blockage, and thus bursting, in water pipes.
Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can
provide access for cold air to reach pipes. The size of pipes and their
composition (e.g., copper or PVC) have some bearing on how fast ice forms,
but they are relatively minor factors in pipe bursting compared with the absence
of heat, pipe insulation and exposure to a flow of subfreezing air.
When is it Cold Enough to Freeze Pipes?
When should homeowners be alert to the danger of freezing pipes? That
depends on how well your pipes are protected from the cold. The “temperature
alert threshold” is 20°F or below.
This threshold is based upon research conducted by the Building Research
Council at the University of Illinois. Field tests of residential water systems
subjected to winter temperatures demonstrated that, for pipes installed in an
unconditioned attic, the onset of freezing occurred when the outside temperature
fell to 20°F or below.
This finding was supported by a survey of 71 plumbers, in which the consensus
was that burst-pipe problems began to appear when temperatures fell into the
teens. However, freezing incidents can occur whenever the temperature is 32° F.
ore below. Pipes exposed to cold air (especially flowing air, as on a windy day)
because of cracks in an outside wall or lack of insulation are vulnerable to
freezing at temperatures above the threshold. However, the 20°F “temperature
alert threshold” should address the majority of potential burst-pipe incidents in
Mitigating the Problem
Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to subfreezing air. The best
way to keep water in pipes from freezing is to slow or stop this transfer of heat.
Ideally, it is best not to expose water pipes to subfreezing temperatures, by
placing them only in heated spaces and keeping them out of attics, crawl spaces
and vulnerable outside walls. In new construction, proper placement can be
designed into the building.
In existing houses, a plumber may be able to re route at-risk pipes to protected
areas, although this may not be a practical solution. If the latter is the case,
vulnerable pipes that are accessible should be fitted with insulation sleeves or
wrapping (which slows the heat transfer), the more insulation the better. It is
important not to leave gaps that expose the pipe to cold air. Hardware stores
and home centers carry the necessary materials, usually in foam rubber or
fiberglass sleeves. Better yet, plumbing supply stores and insulation dealers
carry pipe sleeves that feature extra-thick insulation, as much as 1” or 2” thick.
The added protection is worth the extra cost.
Cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes should be
sealed with caulking to keep cold wind away from the pipes. Kitchen and
bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks
and in adjacent outside walls. It's a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during
cold spells to let the warm air circulate around the pipes. Electric heating tapes
and cables are available to run along pipes to keep the water from freezing.
These must be used with extreme caution; follow the manufacturer's instructions
carefully to avoid the risk of fire, and check to make sure the product conforms to
UL 2049. Tapes and cables with a built-in thermostat will turn heat on when
needed. Tapes without a thermostat have to be plugged in each time heat is
needed, and may be forgotten.
Letting the Water Run
Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from
bursting. O opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that
builds between the faucet and any ice blockage (if freezing occurs). If there is no
excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the
A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (ones
that run through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with the water
flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will
provide pressure relief when needed. Where both hot and cold lines serve a
spigot, make sure each one contributes to the drip, since both are subjected to
freezing. If the dripping stops, leave the faucet(s) open, since a pipe may have
frozen and will still need pressure relief.
There is new innovative technology on the market that is easy to install (not
requiring pipe cutting or electrical wiring) and a great pipe freezing prevention
aid. A eco-friendly temperature controlled thermal convection powered hot water
recirculation valve installed at the plumbing fixture at the end of the “at risk
plumbing run” (pipes most likely to freeze). The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot
water Valve will allow water to flow from your water heater-through the existing
hot water pipe in the “at risk plumbing run”-to the recirculation valve. From the hot
water recirculation valve the water will continue back to the water heater (for
reheating)-through the cold water pipe in the “at risk plumbing run”. To save hot
water the system contains a sensor, which opens the valve only when the water
temperature drops below the adjustable temperature setting. This open loop of
water circulation keeps temped water circulating through the “at risk plumbing
run” without wasting water while it also provides instant hot water. In addition you
save water and save energy.
If You Suspect a Frozen Pipe
If you open a faucet and no water comes out, don't take any chances. Call a
plumber. If a water pipe bursts, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve
(usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house); leave the
faucet(s) open until repairs are completed. Don't try to thaw a frozen pipe with an
open flame; as this will damage the pipe and may even start a building fire. You
might be able to thaw a pipe with a hand-held hair dryer. Slowly apply heat,
starting close to the faucet end of the pipe, with the faucet open. Work toward the
coldest section. Don't use electrical appliances while standing in water; you
could get electrocuted.
Going on a Trip
When away from the house for an extended period during the winter, be careful
how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill,
but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would
be safe, freeze and burst.
A solution is to drain the water system. This is the best safeguard. With no water
in the pipes, there is no freezing. This remedy should be considered even when
the homeowner is not leaving but is concerned about a serious overnight freeze.
To drain the system, shut off the main valve and turn on every water fixture (both
hot and cold lines) until water stops running. It's not necessary to leave the
fixtures open, since the system is filled mostly with air at that point and not
subject to freezing. When returning to the house, turn on the main valve and let
each fixture run until the pipes are full again.
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