Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve

Frequently Asked Questions

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Table of Contents

 

(1) How does the HWL circulate hot water without a pump?

The thermal convection (warm water rising and cool water sinking), which takes place within your existing hot water tank, and the normal use of cold water create a higher water pressure on the hot water side of your plumbing system. This pressure differential circulates the warm water through your plumbing system and the HWL.

 

When the hot water cools at the Hot Water Lobster Valve, the valve slowly opens allowing the cooler water to cross through the valve to the cold-water side of the plumbing. The thermal convection (within the hot water tank) draws the cooler water (through the cold water pipes) to the bottom of the hot water tank, while it forces the hotter water (from the top of the hot water tank) into the hot water pipes.  When the hot water reaches the HWL, the HWL slowly closes and stops the crossover flow of water.  The cycle repeats when the HWL cools below the adjustable temperature setting.

 

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(2) Why is the HWL better than pump systems?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is temperature controlled, which means you have instant hot water whenever you need it-unlike the pump systems that only deliver hot water for a brief period each day.  In addition, electrical pumps require an electrical source or operate and make installation more complicated; the noise level of the pumps is often noticeable (which can wake you up) and can also cause interference with television and radio reception (especially as the pumps get older). These pumps typically wear out in only 18-24 months (as their warranties reflect).  Whereas the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is silent and has a 10-year warranty.

 

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(3) Does the HWL have to be installed above my hot water tank to work?

Since the thermal convection (the rising of hot water and sinking of cooler water) takes place within the hot water tank, we have had success with hot water tanks below the valve, on the same level as the valve as well as hot water tanks on levels above the valve, pipes in attics, pipes in crawls, pipes in slabs, manifold systems (PEX), expansion tanks, vertical runs over 5-stories and linear runs over 250 ft.

 

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(4) Will the HWL work with my tank-less water heater?

Although the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve was designed to be used with hot water tanks (where the thermal convection takes place), we have had limited success with tank-less hot water systems.  Hot water will cycle through the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve whenever cold water is periodically used anywhere in the house (lowering the pressure on the cold water side of the plumbing system). This is often enough circulation to bring the hot water all the way to the HWL.

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(5) How many HWL units will I need?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is intended to create an open loop within your hot water system.  Although the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve can be installed anywhere in your plumbing system, for best results we recommend installing the unit at the end or close to the end of your plumbing run (at the fixture furthest from you hot water heater).  This allows other facets or showers along your hot waterlines (between your heater and the HWL) to also have faster hot water (by keeping the main hot-water-run hot). Multiple units may be used if desired. In the event you have separate plumbing runs from your hot water tank: two or more units may be beneficial.

 

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(6) Will I need a plumber to install my HWL?

Because the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is a do-it-yourself solution (simple 15-minute installation with easy to follow instructions), you will not need a plumber.  However, there are many plumbers and handymen throughout the US and Canada which have installed HWL units. Please check with your local plumbing supply store or local hardware store for their recommendations of local installers in your area.

 

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(7) Does the HWL meet plumbing codes?

All HWL components used in the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve Assembly meet the standard plumbing approvals of  “CSA”, “UL”, “ASNI” and “MEA”.  We are not aware of any code restrictions for the use of this type of valve.  Many communities promote the HWL for water conservation and energy savings.  However, it is always a good idea to check with your local community for any code restrictions.

 

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(8) How much energy does the HWL save?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is thermostatically controlled and operates only when the hot water temperature at the HWL drops below the adjustable temperature setting. There are so many variables from plumbing system to plumbing system calculating energy saving is difficult.

 

Generally we found that in most homes if hot water is used at least twice daily, the Hot Water Lobster saves energy (less energy is used reheating the already warm water).  Instead of replacing the water (wasted down your drain-while waiting for hot water) with cold ground temperature water (which has to be heated from a low temperature), the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve allows the already warmed water to circulate back to your hot water tank for reheating. This recirculation of already warmed water not only saves the cost of the water, water treatment charges (sewer charges), it also takes less energy to bring the already warmed water (being re-circulated) up to temperature.

 

If you will not require instant hot water for an extended period of time, you may turn the temperature control knob to a lower setting.  This will prevent the water from re-circulating unless the valve temperature drops below the set temperature.

 

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(9) Will the HWL make my cold water be warmer?

During a cycle, the cooled hot water returns to the hot water tank through the cold water pipes.  Therefore, the water in the cold water pipes (between the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve and the hot water tank) will be warmer. You will probably only notice the cold water periodically being warmer at the faucet where the HWL Valve is mounted.  Most of the time this warmer water is a benefit (washing dishes, laundry, hands and etc). If cooler water is desired, it takes the same amount of water and time to reach ground temperature water as when ground temperature water replaces ambient temperature water in your cold water pipes.  As the warm water sits in the pipes it will drop to ambient temperature (similar to cooler water in the pipes raising to ambient temperature).

 

Adjusting the HWL temperature control to a cooler setting (or completely off) will reduce warm water in the cold water pipes.  However, reducing the temperature setting too much also reduces the effective recirculation cycle.

 

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(10) What is the adjustable temperature range of the HWL?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is temperature adjustable from about 45 Deg. Far. to about 140 Deg. Far.  The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is designed to allow the hot water at the HWL to be at the full temperature of your hot water tank setting (usually 120-140 Deg. Far.).  The expansion and contraction of the linkage closes and opens the HWL valve slowly (taking 5-15 minutes to fully close or open).  Because the majority of the time thermal convection alone provides only a trickle of water flowing through the HWL, by the time the valve reaches temperature and fully closes, the water at the HWL should be at or close to the temperature of your hot water tank.

 

We recommend initially setting the HWL temperature about 15 Deg. Far. below the temperature of the water in your water heater. You can then adjust the HWL temperature higher of lower to suit your needs.

 

If you will not require instant hot water for an extended period of time, you may turn down (or completely off) the temperature control knob. The HWL valve will not open unless the temperature at the HWL drops below the set temperature.  This setting is handy when instant hot water will not be required for extended periods.

 

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(11) How does the HWL help prevent my pipes from freezing?

The HWL is designed to open once the temperature of the valve drops below its temperature adjustable setting (even if your home looses power or heat). When open the HWL will allow the warm water to circulate through your hot and cold pipes-aiding in preventing your pipes from freezing.

 

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(12) Can I install the HWL on my shower?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve comes completely assembled and tested for standard under sink mounting.  In most cases showers also have male 1/2" NPT fittings to connect the HWL.  However, if your shower has different fittings, you may purchase standard adapters or flexible water lines at you local hardware or plumbing store. 

 

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(13) Does hard-water have an affect on the operation of the HWL?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve is designed to be MAINTENANCE FREE! The HWL has very few moving parts. It is a solid brass valve body with an adjustable mechanical thermal controller (isolated from the water) and a stainless steel valve stem enclosed in a mounting box.  To date we have not experienced problems with hard water deposits.  In the event deposits do stop the functionality of your unit, the HWL also carries a 10-year reconditioning/replacement warranty.

 

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(14) How long will it take to get my order?

We automatically expedite all online credit card orders. When you purchase your Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve online using your credit card (through PayPal’s secure site), your order should arrive in 3-4 business days. Currently you can save $10.00 in Expediting Charges by printing, completing and mailing the Mail Order Form to us (along with your check). Mail Orders should arrive in 8-12 business days after we receive your order.

 

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(15) Is the HWL available for resale?

Wholesale pricing is available for quantity purchases of the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve.  The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve also offers opportunities for Independent Sales Representatives.

 

Simply email customerservice@hotwaterlobster.com with your request for Wholesale Pricing or Independent Sales Representative information.

 

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(16) Will the HWL affect my refrigerator Icemaker?

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve will have no effect on your icemaker or refrigerator water. Modern hot water tanks do not introduce any contaminates into the water system and will not adversely effect the water quality in your home. Icemakers use such a low volume of water that the water used is usually at ambient temperature before entering your refrigerator.

 

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(17) Will the HWL work if my plumbing system has an expansion tank?

Properly installed expansion tanks do not affect the operation of the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve.

 

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(18) What are the HWL dimensions and fitting sizes?

 

The Hot Water Lobster Mounting Box (which encloses the valve) is less than 3” wide (6” wide with tees) X 3” deep X 6” tall.  Four 12” Flexible Water Lines are pre-assembled to the valve tees (two on the hot side and two on the cold side). Two 12” Flexible Water Lines have a 3/8” brass female compression fitting (for connecting to your hot and cold water supply valves) and two 12” Flexible Water Lines have a ½” brass female pipe thread fitting (for connecting to the hot and cold fittings on your faucet).

 

The Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot water Valve may be installed in any position. The flexible lines can be looped (not less than 2" radius) to accommodate a variety of installation applications.  If necessary, you may also purchase standard adapters or various length waterlines at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.

 

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(19) Will the HWL work with a water filter system or water softener system?

Yes, as long as the water softener or filtration system is not plumbed between the Hot Water Lobster Valve and your hot water tank, the Hot Water Lobster Valve should work fine. For example a properly installed whole-house water softener system or filtration system do not interfere with the operation of the Hot Water Lobster.

 

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(20) Will the HWL work with a water boiler heating system?(20) Will the HWL work with a water boiler heating system?

Yes, as long as your water boiler heating system has an open plumbing circuit (no “fresh water” flow restrictions) and the heating tank introduces the cold water at the bottom of the tank (usually and internal pipe takes the cold water to the bottom of the heating tank) and draws the hot water from the top of the tank (to allow thermal convection within the tank to properly circulate the water through your plumbing system).

 

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(21) Will the HWL work with a dedicated return line?

Yes, the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve works excellent with dedicated return lines.  Simply cap one of the cold water tees on the Hot Water Lobster Valve and connect the other end of the cold water tee to your dedicated return line. The benefit of using a dedicated return line is that you will not get warm water mixed into your regular cold water pipe as the water returns to your heater for reheating.

 

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(22) Will the HWL work with a single handled faucets?

Yes, the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve works equally well with either single handled faucets and double handled faucets.

 

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Last revised: Date 02/01/10