Water down the drain? – on d’mand hot water

By Chet Zebroski

Beyond Green

Inspired as we are to harmonize with nature by creating as much solar electric energy our homes need annually, we also come to understand the impact of our water use.  We realize too much water runs down the drain as we wait for warm water.

A simple tactic homeowners can take is to not allow water to pass down the drain while waiting for hot water.  Many people are placing buckets, or other containers in the flow until warm temperature is at hand.  While commendable, many just don’t have the patience and/or motivation to perform such a duty.  Another tactic would be to use the stopper at the sink allowing the cold water to accumulate until enough hot water has warmed it up for use.  But, this too has it’s limitations.

Priming with Hot Water D’MAND

The good news is that there’s a pump that can be retrofitted strategically to prime the majority of the hot water line with hot water.  It’s manufactured by ACT and is called Hot Water D’MAND Kontrols Systems.  They offer many options for water conservation for both residential and commercial buildings. Here’s a link to the product used in our small home:

One of the first things we did during our remodel was to install this recirc pump at the kitchen sink for our hot water.  The kitchen’s hot water line runs past the bathrooms.  So, those lines would be primed with hot water at the main line, delivering hot water to the bathrooms with very little cold water left in the branch lines.  In larger homes additional pumps may be required to attain efficiency.

The pump works by forcing the cold water in the hot water line into the cold water line by use of a clever plumbing fitting.  That’s right.  The pump is powerful enough to force the water into the cold water line until it reaches a temperature of 72°, then automatically shuts off.

While Laundry to Landscape can be done by most homeowners using simple tools, we felt this gadget may require a plumber for a proper connection.  But, for those of you more confident in your capabilities, here’s a link to a video of an installation:

More: The image at the top captures the title.  Here’s a link to the article that it’s from, explaining many of the aspects of grey water.  The more we learn, the better we become.  Let’s embrace this moment and use these techniques to change the way we share space on this precious sphere:

Garden Gate – Recycled Heat Register Grill

garden gate

By Chet Zebroski

One of the things we’ve learned to enjoy over the years is seeing traditional architectural design merge with contemporary design aesthetics and production values. A lesson we learned from Barbara Winslow, while working at JSW, was her ability to honor traditional architecture while merging with our casual California atmosphere. She consistently brought into her designs recovered artifacts such as doors, panels, tiles, which would take a significant place in the new design. Her method reminds us of work from other artists who spend much of their time researching and learning traditional methods in order to evolve their newer concepts and techniques, merging the two.

With that in mind as we developed the gate to our rear yard, it was inevitable that something old would be within the new gate. In this case we discovered a beautiful rusty old heater grate and realized it would make the perfect peek-a-boo spot to see beyond.

recycled heat register grill

Enamored as we are by the combination of curved and squared shapes, the grate takes on an arch top frame to match the arched top of the gate which is surrounded in it’s squared frame.

To carry on with the aesthetic we used an iron locking door set instead of typical gate latch. The combination seems to have been made in heaven! Well, to some anyway!

garden gate handle

Respect, Recycle, Reuse is the catch phrase of the day for us. Not everything has to be brand new as we remodel our nest. We wish you happy hunting as you rummage through the many new venues warehousing these valuable artifacts for your next project!

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