Award-Winning Drain Heat Recovery (DHR) System


Notable Firsts, Photos, Etc.

Outstanding Green Product


Figure 1: How it works

   GFX is an award-winning plumbing product developed under a U.S. Department of Energy Grant; engineered to feed back enormous amounts of energy carried down the drain -- energy equivalent to "2 billion gallons of oil" annually wasted in the U,S. alone according to their evaluation. Adding multi-housing, commercial, industrial, state and federal usage increases potential savings to over 7 billion equivalent gallons of oil per year. In fact, about a trillion kWh (= 3413 trillion Btu) go down America’s drains each year. One Btu is required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree-F and there are 8.34 pounds in every gallon.

   Each unit of electrical energy delivered to millions of electric water heaters requires about 3.2 times as much fuel-energy be consumed at electric power plants. Millions of archaic gas and oil water heating systems are also very inefficient, as discussed in an A.D. Little Report for DOE & EEI. Consequently, far more than 3413 trillion Btu/yr go up smoke stacks used to produce heat or electricity for the billions of gallons of hot water Americans send down their drains. Whether gas, electricity or oil is used for water heating, every unit of energy recycled by GFX must be multiplied by some large factor when estimating fuel-energy savings or corresponding reductions in pollution. Since the EPA doesn’t offer Energy Star labels for either DHR or water heating systems, it’s up to consumers to cut waste and pollution from their water heaters.

   Perhaps the most important and immediate benefit to owners of all-electric homes is GFX's power-boost; enough to triple the shower-capacity of tank-type water heaters and halve the cost of a shower.

   For example, if GFX boosts cold water temperatures by 30 degrees, it's feeding back about 10 kW of power; more than enough to triple your family's showering-time and save 2 kW of energy per 12-minute shower.

Habitat For Humanity Video

Figure 2: GFX savings in 3 Climate Zones

   This means if you pay 8.5 cents to 17 cents per kWh for electricity and your yellow water heater sticker shows an efficiency rating (energy factor) of 85%, GFX could save you 20 cents to 40 cents per shower, depending upon where you live and type of showerhead installed.

   Other ramifications of GFX are discussed by Editor J.D. Nisson in "Extraordinary Water Heat Recovery Device" [December, 1996 "Energy Design Update" Newsletter]; including how GFX "gives an electric water heater the capacity of a gas heater". In fact, when tested with GFX, the first hour rating of two types of high efficiency 50-gallon electric water heaters tripled to 180 gallons; more than "double the capacity of typical 50-gallon gas heaters" -- with an energy factor rivaling that of a heat-pump, plus unsurpassed reliability and quietness.

   According to U.S. EPA standards, if just 6 million electric water heating systems were to be upgraded by GFX, carbon dioxide emissions would drop by more that 20 million tons per year; the amount released by burning 1.8 billion gallons of oil.

   All-copper, NSF/ANSI Std.-61 construction means GFX: (a) will not poison your loved ones they way some uncertified Canaidan knockoffs continue to do, (b) will last as long as your plumbing system and (c) will pay for itself many times over. Safety is guaranteed by U.L.-approved, NSF/ANSI Std.-61, double- wall-vented construction and self-cleaning ensures maintenance-free operation at peak efficiency. The falling-film heat exchanger models listed in Tables A & B offer ultra-high heat transfer coefficients required for compact size and high capacity.

[Patents Pending, Original U.S. Patent 4,619,311]

1st DOE Funded Field Tests (1993)

Figure 3
Model S3-60 serving two bathrooms in the NAHB 21st Century Townhouse Project.
(Bowie, MD 6/95)

Figure 4

Model S3-60 tripled the supply of hot shower water in an all-electric home
(Herndon, VA 5/93)

Figure 5

Model P3-30 serving the first floor shower and lavatory in an affordable housing project. (Islip, NY 4/93)

Simple Installation

(a) Replace a vertical section of drain pipe with one of the falling-film heat exchangers listed in the table above.

(b) Reroute the incoming cold water to flow in an upward spiral.

Canada: New Energuide/R-2000 Credits

16-GFX Array in Toronto Health Club

DOE Invention Success Story

ORNL's FEMP-Evaluation   FEMP Report

1st Multi-housing Applications: Oregon &

Duluth Triplex & Confirmation by ORNL

1st U.S. Hotel Application

1st Student Housing (29 S4-60 GFX's)

1st Foreign Hotel Application

1st Low Income Housing Program By PP&L

1st Solar Water Heater Case Study 

1st Commercial Dishwasher Case Study

1st Grease Trap Cooling System

1st Coin-Op Laundry Application

Tax Rebates/Incentives: Oregon & Vermont

Utility Rebates In: NY -- NJ -- MN -- CT

1st Habitat Blitz Build on Bob Vila’s TV Show

1st Power Feedback Water Heater (PFWH)

1st DOE Funded Hair Salon

Installations w/ Sewage Ejector Pumps

Why Multi-Housing Needs DHR

Bonneville Power's C&R Program


Simple Whole-House Installation (S3-60)

Customer Testimonials

Wall Installations For Upstairs Bathrooms

Installation Video

GFX Evaluation @ Old Dominion U.

GFX Evaluation @ Ulster U.

GFX Evaluation for Canada (Sec. 5.3.5)

DOE’s Contribution To CADDET

GFX in Greening Federal Facilities

Performance of GFX-Bundles With Links to Reports for DOE, EEI & Austrian EA

Comparison w/ Low-Flow Showerheads

Btu-Meter Displays for Showers

Residential Savings, etc.

Slab Construction

Combination Space and Water Heating

Tankless Combi Comparison

Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial and Industrial Applications

Heat Transfer Tables & Curves

Heat Exchanger Comparisons

Plumbing Code Approvals


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