What is a cold water diverter?
A cold water diverter is a system that, once installed, stops cold water from flowing from the hot tap while the hot water makes its way from your hot water unit. It achieves this by rerouting water that isn’t hot enough. Cold water diverters help to reduce water wastage.
How a cold water diverter works
Cold water diverters achieve a similar goal to recirculation systems. Where a recirculation system will ensure a continuous, instantaneous flow of hot water to your hot taps using a circulation pump though, cold water diverters require no external power source and work directly from the power of the incoming water flow.
A cold water diverter is a valve with a temperature switch that checks the incoming flow of water through the hot tap, and diverts it away until it meets the required temperature. This diversion line can be connected to a grey water tank that can supply your toilets and garden, or it can be connected back to the hot water storage tank. Because diverters require no electricity, they can be placed almost anywhere.
The only drawback to this system is that when the hot tap is initially turned on, no water will come out. It will take the same amount of time for the hot water to emerge from the tap as it did before; it’s just that instead of all the cold water in the line being poured down the drain while you wait, it is diverted somewhere where it can be used again.
The benefits of installing a cold water diverter
Saving water is the sole purpose of this device, and it does that very well. By holding back the water until it is hot enough it saves all those litres that would otherwise have to be captured in buckets or poured down the drain. In addition to saving water at the point of use, it also means that there is a reduction in the water flowing through the treatment plants, thus saving a small amount in greenhouse emissions (CO2) there too.