It takes about 30 to 45 seconds for my shower to heat up. A lot of perfectly good water goes down the drain while I wait for the water to get up to temperature. Rather than letting this water go to waste, I would like to save this water (for use in watering a garden, if it matters). Of course, I could hold up a bucket to the shower head while it heats up, but I would like a solution that is a bit more automated so that when I turn on the shower the water is automatically stored (for gardening) without any extra effort.

Is there any way to easily achieve this without keeping a bucket in the shower?

  • 1
    <comments removed> If you have an answer, please post it in the 'answer' section below. Thank you. Apr 9 '18 at 13:33
  • Water conservation is a wonderful goal. I wish you great success.
    – Stan
    Apr 9 '18 at 15:54
  • I think this is the water in the plumbing that must pass to let water from the heater get to its destination (the shower head). How much volume is involved during this period? Conserving this time/volume was the thinking behind "flash" hot water heaters installed near the outlet needed.
    – Stan
    Apr 9 '18 at 16:00
  • I just wanted to say that wasting that water has always bothered me a bit. Excited to see if there are any solutions I would want to implement.
    – Ron Kyle
    Jun 24 '20 at 1:30

This solution only works if you have a separate bathtub in your bathroom.

I'm pretty sure that all the water for your bathroom (shower, sink, toilet tank, bathtub) comes from the water heater to your bathroom in a single pipe. The pipe then branches off into multiple smaller pipes, leading to the various faucets / outlets.

enter image description here

This should mean that if you get hot water from the bathtub, the "main pipe" is now full of hot water. The feeder pipe to the bathtub will be full of hot water, even though the feeder pipe to the shower is still full of cold water.

enter image description here

But filling the shower's feeder pipe with hot water from the main pipe should just take 3-4 seconds, instead of half a minute.

enter image description here

My solution, then is to keep a bucket in the bathtub. Turn on the hot water tap, and fill the bucket. When the water coming out is hot, turn on the shower. It should become hot in 3-4 seconds, and you will only have wasted the tiny amount of water that was in the shower's feeder pipe.

  • 2
    It may be worth noting that you could use that bucket to flush the toilet the next time you need to do so.
    – goodguy5
    Apr 9 '18 at 14:20
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    Your illustrations are getting better 'n better.
    – Stan
    Apr 9 '18 at 15:54
  • @Stan LOL I assume you're joking!
    – BrettFromLA
    Apr 9 '18 at 20:53
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    @BrettFromLA No.
    – Stan
    Apr 9 '18 at 21:30
  • 2
    A bucket in the sink would work, then! Or a length of hose from the sink's hot tap to a bucket, but we're then into the realms of extra effort.
    – owjburnham
    Apr 11 '18 at 14:59

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