I recently installed a hot water circulation system. It pumps hot water through the system and uses a cross-over at some end-point to return the hot water through the cold water back to the water heater. The system works as advertised, and I find the results at the tap in question completely satisfactory. Though the hot water isn't out-of-the-water-heater hot, it at least isn't cold and heats quickly, much more so than the sixty-five seconds or so it was taking.
Unfortunately, it also causes thermal stratification in the water heater. When I turn on a hot water tap, the water is extremely hot, much more so than what the water is actually set at. After a few seconds (10 - 20), the water temperature returns to normal.
Is there anything that can be done to eliminate this thermal stratification? I've thought about installing a pipe between the hot water outlet and the drain, but I'm not sure if that would work.