What to renovate in a rental property?

I’m renting a house that I would describe as nice and paying the water bill and it takes at least this long to get hot water. I would never dream of complaining about it.

I would assume that people who can afford to rent a house are less likely to feel the need to fight for every single legal right against the landlord


ok please elaborate more. What exactly are you renovating?

Theoretically EVERY faucet in the house would need to deliver warm water in 30 seconds.
Normally you do this with insulating the pipes or have a circular pipe so the water get heated up again/ stays warm.
Another option is to add an electric resistance on the pipes or generally keep the pipes short.

So its hard to help you if we don’t know what exactly will be renovated. Heating system? Kitchen? Bath?

What the hell is even that answer. I personally would stop any business relation with this plumber. Tenants are not going to complain because of this. Or should tenants in older buildings complain and go to court, that their windows and home isolation are shit and thus they pay more for heating? Just my two cents…

This is a house with a (currently oil-based but that will change soon) boiler in the basement and then one bathroom, one WC and one kitchen where hot water is expected to flow. These are all more or less on top of each other. WC and kitchen are at the ground floor so hot water will probably come relatively fast, bathroom (with shower) is at the first floor and there one could have to wait some 15s before the water comes out hot from the tap. In the future I could also raise the house one more floor, adding a bathroom which would then need a few more seconds still.

No, there’s no such law and it’s totally normal to wait for the hot water to come out of the tap.

I would find a different plumber as this one wants to sell unnecessary stuff by putting pressure on you.

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Which law are you referring to? Newer heard of such a law.

you are right, its not a law, its the SIA 385/1 & 385/2 (https://www.forumenergie.ch/images/fez/anlaesse/fez/betriebsoptimierung/2015/pdf/FEZ_BO_Folien_SIA-385_Nipkow_20150909.pdf)

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Mmh, isn’t that 15s though (not 30s), see on page 16?

The SIA Norm is not law, it’s a standard or “recommendation” for the engineer/installateur. A tenant can’t sue the owner for such things, but he could complain and demand changes, but what a terrible reason to sour the relationshop, no? (see “cheap” solution further down).
But the owner could sue the plumber, if the works were contractually agreed to be by SIA Norm, and the works don’t satisfy the Norm.
Maybe the plumber is afraid of this, and in that typical Swiss way doesn’t come out with it, but makes the story about someone else/a future tenant bla bla bla.
If it’s borderline 15s though, and there is a complaint, just install a shower head or tap inlay which lets through more water. Easy to win a few seconds. For example some water-saving shower heads deliver 9l/min, while rainshower heads deliver 30l/min. This example would easily halve the time.

Circulation line for such a case is first-world decadence.

I suggest 1, 3, 4, 6 and possibly 9.

that’s the plumber you should change

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I wish I had the time to invest on interviewing every single plumber out there! I met 6-7 and, for the same job, I was quoted numbers between 20 and 70K…

we can summarize the discussion. Yes it is 15s and not 30.

The plumber will and has notified you that the works he is doing are not conform to the SIA Norm. He has every right to do so (and some vested interest).

However you as owner can choose not to follow the SIA Normes, and i honestly would do here. The downside is minimal and you can follow the SIA once you change the heating system or any other renovation down the line.

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How can I do it in the future without breaking walls and bathrooms again? At least I’d need to install the circular pipe system now, possibly without the pump. What I am not sure about is whether in that case the water would need to do even a longer journey to come out from the faucet…

I’d decide if you want it or not and get it done now if you do. I have to say, in my own home I have a similar issue and it is a minor inconvenience to wait 15 seconds for hot water. But since I really only use hot water in the morning and evening, it doesn’t really make sense to have this circulation system. Maybe if I put it on a timer, it might be useful - otherwise it seems a huge waste for such a trivial matter.

I took the time this morning. In my home, late 1970’s, I waited 1-2 seconds befor the water got warm, another 5 until hot and yet another 5 until really hot.

(And the warm water pipe to the new kitchen still is without insulation in the basement vor maybe 6 meters - should absoluteley fix this)

No wonder, with 16mm diameter piping and approx 10m lengh I have 2 liter in the pipes between boiler and faucet. In the kitchen I got 1l in 5s.
It would be longer in the bathroom since there are watersafer “Perlatoren” installed

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Unrelated to the renovation, but may I ask how your bank calculated affordability for the house when you rent it out (assuming there is still a mortgage on the house)? Does the rent need to cover the full costs (5% interest + ammortization + renovation) or are you able to provide the affordability of the net difference with your salary?

I can cover it with the salary so we didn’t get into the details but I know they could have taken the rent into account somehow.