I'm contemplating getting a residential hot water recirculating system.
Two models available are the the Chili Pepper
(http://www.chilipepperapp.com ) and the Laing Autocirc
(http://www.autocirc.com ). Both operate on the same principle. The
pump goes between the hot and cold lines at the fixture farthest from
the water heater. Water is pumped from the hot side back through the
cold side until hot water arrives at the faucet.
What experiences, good or bad, has anyone had with such devices?
They work, but they don't pay for themselves in water savings. The cost
of energy to run the pump and continually keep the circulating water hot
exceeds the cost of the municipal water saved virtually everywhere in
So if you want the convenience, go ahead. Butr you aren't saving the
planet or anything.
Correct, also the plumbing loop will be heated to a constant temperature
which is then radiated off. That is a waste of energy. It is a
convenience but as you said cetainly doesn't fit into the "save the
The plumbing loop is only heated for the times that you have set on
the timer. Ours runs 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. for showers, washing,
etc., and again at 9:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. primarily for the
dishwasher. The big saving for us is a reduction of the load on the
septic system. When the leach field gets saturated, it costs us $500
to get it pumped out. Happened twice last year. That's when we put
in the recirculator and 1.6 gal. toilets. Cut our normal (no
irrigation) water consumption from 6,000 gallons per month to 2,500
gallons. That keeps 3,500 gallons out of the septic system.
This is true...the savings don't come from the water reduction. The
savings come from utilizing proper timer settings, optimized delivery
to your specific desired temperature. If the hot water is delivered
at YOUR DESIRED temperature...there will be no waiting and LESS cold
city water will enter your water heater.
Efficient use is operating a recirculator 'only' during known hot
water usage times.
Operating a recirculator continously is better known as a circulation
system not a re-circulation system.
I dare to disagree with the above last sentence because saving water
puts less of a demand on the nations water delivery infrastructure
beginning with savings at the main water supply source (less
demand=less water to deliver=less pumping =less power) and ending with
waste water treatment plants (reduced processing / chemicals)
Unless I'm missing something, it looks like your cold water line would have
to go directly back to your water heater. If there were any Ts in the cold
water line, someone opening a cold water faucet anywhere else in the house
could get hot water.
I have the chili pepper, I bought it because it takes 40 seconds for hot
water to get to my bathroom. I soften my water so I got tired of seeing all
that water going down the drain that I had once heated and softened. The
only complaint I have is it is loud so if you have a house full of light
sleepers or one person gets up much earlier than the other the one in bed is
not going to be happy with it. The other consideration is if you have a
septic system your putting a lot of water in there that wouldn't need to go
there if you use one of these on demand type recirculating pumps. The chili
pepper comes with a small door bell button that I mounted to the right of my
sink under the lip so you can't see it unless your in the tub.
Good luck, Rich
Sounds like a freaking waste of money to me. I wuold think that you
would have more important things to worry about then how many seconds
it takes to get hot water. If you are in that much fo a hurry that you
can't wait, then try an on demand water heater under the sink.
This can occur when a recirculator's temperature sensor is cheap or is
placed in an inefficient manner. Some recirculators have clamp-on
temperature sensors. They are clamped on to the outside of the pipe
to measure temperature. This is very inefficient and requires the
pipe to also be heated before the temperature sensor measures it.
Additionally, if a recirculators pump moves water too quickly, it may
result in too much hot water being placed into the cold water line
before the system has time to react. Most cases of homeowners who've
complained that they now have lost their cold water are a result of a
recirculator NOT having two-way checkvalve crossover engineering.
When the hot water faucet is opened, it causes the hot water lines
pressure to drop quickly, without a checkvalve in place, the cold
water line could bleed over cold water into the hot water line and out
the faucet tap. Thereby, reducing the heated waters temperature..
Engineers realized this and most have corrected this from happening.
On the other hand, if the cold line faucet is opened then the hot
water lines pressure can bleed into the cold line. This is where most
bleedover occurs causing the loss of cold water comfort in the home.
RedyTemp uses two way bleedover prevention. Utilizing a solenoid
valve which only opens when recirculator pump operates. Additionally,
we utilize a stainless steel 3" scientific temperature probe which is
placed strategically at the hot water entry point into the manifold so
that it runs over the probe as it enters the manifold. Resulting in
highly efficient temperature sensing / management.
Most would agree that the KEY to real savings is to reduce the amount
of very cold city water that enters into a homes water heater, because
it demands the highest amount of therms to heat that water. A
properly tuned / optimized recirculation system that delivers hot
water at a temperature most near the home owners desired temperature
will have the greatest reduction in TIME SPENT WAITING for hot
water....during this TIME SPENT WAITING is when the city is filling
your water heater with the COLDEST most expensive to heat water into
your water heater.
Either reduce the time you spend waiting for hot water...or reduce the
amount of hot water you use. That's were the savings can come from.
RedyTemp let's the home owner OPTIMIZE their hot water system by
adjusting the temperature and delivery/readiness that best fits their
lifestyle. If you get more then 2 seconds of warmish water from the
faucet where the RedyTemp is installed, simply turn the temperature
down just a hair.
OPTIMIZE the temperature setting
OPTIMIZE the schedule / delivery / readiness
results in optimized comfort AND savings.
most common response on our registration cards are;
Now that they've tried it...they can't live without it.
Take a look at the Grundfos recirculation instant hot water system, the
mounted on the hot water heater and a bypass valve goes under the sink to
faucet with no return line needed. We had a big problem waiting for hot
at our kitchen sink and it solved our problem. I bought mine from Circulator
Pump Store in NJ. they always have them listed on E-bay under instant hot
for about $175.00. Not too hard to install. Every thing is silent as
Rich's description of his.
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