Professional Course

Design Considerations for Hot Water Plumbing

PDHengineer, Online
6 hours
170 USD
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Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
6 hours
170 USD
Next course start
Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

engineer in tunnel

In Design Considerations for Hot Water Plumbing, you'll learn ...

  • How to estimate hot water demand for residential and commercial buildings
  • The characteristics and relative merits of the two main types of hot water heaters
  • How to size hot water heaters, circulators and piping systems
  • Hot water temperature control methods


Credit: 6 PDH

Length: 89 pages

Heating water is typically the second largest use of energy in residential and commercial buildings (after space heating and cooling). Despite its resource intensity, the hot water delivery system is seldom an area of significant focus when constructing a building. As a result, many buildings today are built with poor performing, inefficient hot water delivery systems that take minutes to deliver hot water to the point of use and waste large amounts of energy and water in the process.

How quickly and efficiently a hot water system can deliver to the point of use requires focus on three areas:

Generation: Heaters should be sized for meeting both the daily requirements and for the hourly peak loads of the occupants of the building. Hot water can temporarily run out if the design is inadequate and will have higher energy costs if the system is oversized.

Distribution: Once heated, the hot water must be delivered to the intended point of use. The factors influencing the distribution efficiency include length of piping between the water heater and a given fixture, continuous recirculation controls, and materials and insulation effectiveness.

Use: Hot water is used by a variety of fixtures and appliances (faucets, showerheads, clothes washers, and dishwashers). Using efficient products such as labeled faucets and showerheads that function at lower flow rates will increase the efficiency of the system.

This course provides a brief overview of design considerations for hot water plumbing systems for residential and commercial buildings.

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Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 30 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Training content

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Estimate the hot water demands based on theory of probability, fixture types and number of occupants
  • The hot water generation techniques, type of fuels and heaters
  • Three primary factors influencing the heater selection: 1) capacity and frequency of use, 2) heater performance and 3) operating costs
  • The appropriate sizing of storage water heaters and the meaning of the terms - first heat recovery, storage capacity and recovery rate
  • The components of centralized hot water systems, direct and indirect heating systems
  • The basics of hot water distribution in domestic and commercial installations and its relation to water and energy efficiency
  • The application of various types of water supply configurations - an upfeed system, a downfeed system, or some combination thereof
  • The difference between direct and reverse return piping configurations
  • Compare and contrast the different control options for designing a continuous recirculation hot distribution system and the impact of such choices on water and energy sustainability
  • Size the hot water circulator and the piping diameters on velocity and pressure drop criteria
  • The different techniques and options for hot water mixing control
  • Facts, formulas and good engineering practices pertaining to energy efficiency and safety


This course costs $169.99 - Contact PDHengineer to learn about discounts and upcoming offers

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77070 Houston Texas

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