How a Drain Water Heat Recovery System can Help you Save Money

Are you looking to slash your energy bills and make a positive environmental impact, all while enjoying the comforts of hot water at home?

Look no further!

Introducing the innovative solution of a Drain Water Heater Recovery device, a game-changer for your home energy management.

What is a Drain Water Heater Recovery system?

Drain water heat recovery system

A Drain Water Heater Recovery (DWHR) system is a technology designed to recycle heat from water that has been used in showers, dishwashers, or other appliances.

Emphasizing its importance, it's noteworthy that around 18% of energy consumption in residential homes is attributed to water heating, making it the second most significant energy expenditure after space heating.

By investing in and installing a DWHR system, homeowners can effectively address this substantial portion of their home's energy usage. This not only leads to notable energy savings but also fosters a move towards more sustainable and efficient energy use in day-to-day living.

The problem: Modern water heaters are efficient but energy-intensive

Water heaters today are faster, more efficient, and easier to use than ever before. However, their energy consumption remains high, which can strain your budget and harm the environment by emitting NOx and CO2 gases.

This issue is a significant problem in contemporary times, but fortunately, there are effective solutions available.

DWHR is a solution

One such solution is the Drain Water Heater Recovery system. This innovative technology allows users to reduce their total energy consumption from water heating by 25% or even more.

What's more, these systems are remarkably straightforward, requiring no electrical functions, controllers, pumps, moving parts, and little to no maintenance, while providing long-lasting service of over 20 years.

These systems can also reduce your monthly water bills by 5% to 20%, a substantial saving for many households. However, it's important to note that investing in one of these systems may not be the best choice for everyone.

Do you need a Drain Water Heat Recovery System?

DWHR systems are typically used in homes where water heating significantly increases bills, especially in households with four or more members. They are designed for use with showers, not sinks or toilets. Therefore, if a household predominantly uses sinks, toilets, and other appliances more than showers, and if there are no more than two people in the home, a water heat recovery system may not be as effective or efficient, and it could take many years to pay off.

However, these systems are valued not just for their potential to save money but also for their ability to conserve water and energy. Installing a DWHR system is more about moving your home towards a more sustainable approach and protecting the environment. The financial return in terms of savings might not be substantial for some, but it is considerable when factoring in its sustainable efficiency.

So, do you need one of these systems? It ultimately depends on your desire to save energy and your commitment to environmental stewardship.

How does a DWHR work?

A single wastewater heat recovery system efficiently utilizes energy from wastewater from showers (primarily), sinks, and washing machines, while also raising the temperature of incoming cold water. In showers or sinks, the warm water mixes with the hot water from the heater, thereby reducing the amount of hot water used.

Additionally, there's an option to connect the unit to the water heater. This allows the preheated water from the DWHR system to feed into the water heater, further reducing the energy needed for heating the water inside the tank.

A DWHR system comprises a thick copper pipe wound in a helical profile around a copper drainpipe. The drain water flows through this pipe, initiating the heat transfer process. The heat from the drain water warms the drainpipe, which then transfers this heat to the external copper pipe where fresh water is flowing.

This process can significantly reduce energy consumption—some experts suggest by over 40%—by providing an efficient drain-heating process unmatched by other devices. It lowers the energy demand from gas and electric water heaters. The efficiency of a Drain Water Heat Recovery unit increases with the volume of drain water, demanding less energy. It performs even better when the incoming freshwater is already warm.

Some units may also store water in a tank, heating it while on standby as warm drain water flows through the bottom. These wastewater heat recovery systems enhance both the heating efficiency and water pressure, enabling users to achieve better results more quickly.

Advantages and disadvantages of a DWHR unit

Just like any other product, using a DWHR system has its pros and cons. Understanding these will help determine if a wastewater heat recovery system is the right choice for you.


  • DWHR systems can be integrated into existing drain systems or installed as part of a new drain pipe project. It is often more cost-effective to install them in new homes, as retrofitting them into an existing system can be more expensive.
  • These systems range from 36 to 120 inches in length and 3 to 4 inches in diameter, making them versatile enough to accommodate various pipe systems.
  • A DWHR system requires little to no maintenance.
  • Installation is straightforward and does not require extensive experience or special tools for correct installation.


  • Primarily effective with water from showers and sinks. However, if showers in a household do not all drain into one pipe, the device's effectiveness significantly decreases.
  • Less efficient in homes with fewer than three occupants, likely due to lower usage of showers and sinks.
  • Longer payback period: A DWHR system often takes more than five years to yield financial returns, though this may vary with usage.
  • Can be costly, starting around $500 for a basic yet efficient model. More advanced and effective units can cost upwards of $1000, not including installation.

Benefits of using DWHR at home

Save energy & money

Drain Water Heater Recovery units are merely outstanding if you’re looking to save energy and make your home more sustainable. Both the energy and money savings will receive a boost each year, not a massive increase but good enough to make it worth the installation.

According to a study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 2012, estimated annual cost savings range from $74 to $171 in cities like Montreal, Whitehorse, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. This calculation was based on a comparison between using an electric water heater alone and combining it with a DWHR system.

However, the estimated annual energy cost savings are lower when using gas units, ranging from $41 in Calgary to $81 in Montreal.

Long-lasting water heater

By reducing energy consumption, a DWHR unit lessens the workload of water heaters compared to systems without wastewater heat recovery. This extension in efficiency can add several years to the lifespan of a water heater.


All DWHR units are compatible with a broad range of drain pipe systems. Most can be seamlessly integrated into almost any home, functioning without issues. Additionally, they can be connected to other water heating systems to further enhance efficiency.

Reliable & simple

Requiring no maintenance, being highly efficient, and offering a long service life, a wastewater heat recovery system delivers one of the most reliable and sustainable experiences.

Once installed, you can expect hassle-free operation for up to 20 years. This proven technology is already widely used in numerous homes.

How to get even more savings by doing these simple and effective steps


Yes, a water waste recovery system comes with a higher initial cost, but once installed, homeowners will appreciate its zero maintenance, lower energy usage, money savings, reduced carbon footprint, and increased comfort.

Don't let more water go to waste – pair your high-efficiency, condensing water heater with a DWHR system and achieve excellent results!

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