Automated Recirculating Hot Water System

johnnynine

Active Member
My home in is in construction and will have a recirculating hot water system which is based on a timer when installed. Basically you set it up to circulate your hot water to your faucets in the morning so your bathroom water is already hot when you turn on the water, etc.

I'm wondering what kind of ideas you guys might have as far as automating the system a little more than just using a timer.

I'm not 100% sure yet but I am leaning towards an Elk M1, Insteon, CQC HA solution.

So any ideas on how to make the recirculating hot water system "smarter" would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Johnny
 

nsisman

Active Member
I remember reading years ago about a little pump device called a "Chilipepper" that mounted under your sink to accomplish this.

I never needed one for my little bungalow but I was intrigued by it just the same.

Certainly cheaper than running all that extra copper (and probably noisier too) !

I think it is here :

http://www.chilipepperapp.com/Default.htm

It re-circulated the hot water into the cold water or something like that ??

I think it could have been started with an appliance module based on motion or a timer or whatever ?

Might give you some ideas anyway !

Neil
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
johnnynine said:
My home in is in construction and will have a recirculating hot water system which is based on a timer when installed. Basically you set it up to circulate your hot water to your faucets in the morning so your bathroom water is already hot when you turn on the water, etc.
My new home came with one of these installed. I just disabled the timer on it and control the power to it via an X-10 appliance module. Now we just press a key on a mini controller in the bedroom a few minutes before we shower for instant hot water. The key also starts a timer on my Ocelot that turns off this pump after five minutes.

A very nice feature (that is very much WAF approved :blink: )!
 

Squintz

Senior Member
What are some manufacture name and websites to these types of products. I would like to read more about how it works. I have read about HOTEL systems using these but never in a home. I think its pretty cool.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
Your plumber should be able to install a simple water circulating pump to the faucets and shower. Have the controller turn it on before getting up and be able to turn it on by remote control from telephone, push button, wireless, etc. You could also turn it on when someone enters the bathroom area during certain times of the day by using a motion detector. Probably want a turn off switch to help save hot water. It you use a flow switch in line with the faucets, the controller can turn off the pump after the faucet is used. And the ideas go on!!
 

johnnynine

Active Member
Spanky said:
Your plumber should be able to install a simple water circulating pump to the faucets and shower.
Depending on how your house was plumbed this could be a bit complicated since you'll need a return pipe.
 

cliffs

Member
I have had a ChiliPepper pump for 6 years now, they work fine except
they are noisy.

In my new house I bought a Grundfos pump with a built in timer. Probably
won't use the timer, but will plug it into a x10 duplex and trigger it with
a contact on my M1G keypad. Could also run it on a schedule form the M1G. These pumps are also rebranded under other names.

FWIW: Here is Scottsdale, AZ the city will pay you $250 to install one
of these pumps to save water. CHeck your local city they also might have
a rebate plan.

Cliffs
 

pete

Active Member
johnnynine said:
Depending on how your house was plumbed this could be a bit complicated since you'll need a return pipe.
some design use your cold water pipe for the return . . .


Pete C
 

markthomas

Active Member
Another brand is Metlund (www.gothotwater.com). They have a reputation for being fairly quiet. Also, I seem to recall they had an installation option where you can put the pump near the water heater, and a special valve between the hot and cold lines under a sink (or any accessible lines far from the water heater), but I don't see it now.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
markthomas said:
Another brand is Metlund (www.gothotwater.com). They have a reputation for being fairly quiet.
On page http://www.gothotwater.com/D'MAND/Bene...umptions_ss.asp they are assuming people pay $5/thousand gallons of water AND $5/thousand gallons of sewer. Does anybody pay that high? My town charges a max of $2.15/1000 for water and $2.73/1000 for sewer. When they more than double the cost for water, it makes the savings for their system appear greater. I find it hard to believe that I would save enough in water to pay for the higher electricity, but I will have to play more with the math another day.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Digger said:
These devices are really for convienence and not savings in my opinion.

While I still have to wait for the hot water like with a regular water heater I did move the tankless closer to the kitchen and bathrooms so that the run is shorter.
Yes I totally agree! I have to wait a long time for hot water in the shower if I didn't use this device. Like I said in a post above, this has a very high WAF (how can you put a price on that ? :unsure: ).
 

huggy59

Active Member
IMO, the best system would be one that automatically shuts off after a specific period of time (which is usually set with a timer when installed to run just long enough to get hot water to the remote location) so that you could just use a button or relay to trigger the pump, much like you use a button push to start the garage door.

Were I still in FL, where I had a long run with pipes in concrete (longer to heat the pipes) from the hot water heater to the master bath, I would install one. My new house takes less than 10 seconds to get hot water to all faucets - probably not worth the effort or expense.

For an example of a product, look for Autocirc Undersink Instant Hot Water Circulating System Model 6754 on the HomeDepot.com web site, but this one is triggered by water temp, not manually. There some that trigger manaully. Or maybe this one could be hacked.
 

cliffs

Member
My ChiliPepper has a small button under the sink cabinet in the Master Bath
and you push it and the pump starts and shuts off when the warm water
reaches the faucet. It runs about 2 minutes usually(my water heater is
over 100' from the sink). My only complaint is that the pump is noisy.

In the new house I will use a Grundfos pump that is remotely controlled
by my ELK M1G, this way I can both a manual system and a automatic
system. The pump is in the garage on the water heater so I won't hear
any noise.

Cliff s
 
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