I recently learned of an incentive rebate program by the Marina Coast Water District to encourage home owners to install a recirculation pump. If your house is already plumbed for a recirculation loop then you simply need to install a recirculation pump to qualify for the rebate, but I would also recommend installing our Smart Recirculation Control 3 when you do so you so you don't have to live your life on a strict hot water schedule.
I have discovered that many homes built in Monterey County within the last 30 years had a recirculation loop installed due to building code requirements, but there was no code requirement to actually install the pump! Check your utility closet near your water heater for a capped off copper pipe sticking out of the wall and that is your recirculation line.
If you don't have a dedicated hot water recirculation loop you can still take advantage of the rebate offer by installing a thermostatic hot water recirculation system. These systems use a thermostatic crossover valve that allows a pump to push hot water through the valve into the cold water line until the water heats up, then the pump closes. There are a few manufacturers of these types of retrofit systems, but they all run their pump on a timer and when the valve heats up and closes they simply allow the pump to "dead head" against the closed valve wasting energy and heating up the pump. Our Smart Thermostatic Control solves this problem by monitoring the system for water flow and when the thermostatic valve heats up and closes and the flow stops, the controller senses this and turns the pump off. Our controller also will run the pump on demand so you don't have to live your life on a strict hot water schedule. We also use the AquaMotion AMK-ODR crossover valve that has 4 - 5 times the flow of the plastic valves from our competitors so you get much more responsive on demand performance. It is recommended that you install one valve at the end of each dead end hot water line so that all your fixtures in your house have the benefit of on demand hot water. Save money when buying the full system.
If you don't live within the Marina Coast Water District, check with your local water district and see if they offer any rebates for installing a hot water recirculation system. If the do, please let me know, I'll be sure to add it to my blog.
Starting with Firmware Version 2.0.5 the timers in the Smart Recirculation Control will automatically disable themselves if a hot water draw is not detected within the last 24 hours. As soon as a hot water draw is detected or the controller is connected to with the smart phone app the timers will automatically be re-enabled.
This does not impact the ability to manually disable the timers from the settings menu in the smart phone app. This is intended simply as a fail safe if you do go on vacation and forget to manually disable the timers, not to worry, they will automatically disable themselves!
Leridian Dynamics, always looking for ways to save you worry :-)
I have had customers ask if there is a way to calculate the flow rate in gallons per minute from the value observed in the "Live Data" screen of the app. I have obtained the data and calculated the formula for both the 3/4" Stainless Steel flow meter and the 1" Brass flow meter.
3/4" Flow Meter formula is: X gal/min = Y/23.9 + 0.208
1" Flow Meter formula is: X gal/min = Y/14.2 + 0.158
Where Y is the value read from the "Live Data" screen. These formula assume you have not changed the value of the Advanced Setting -> Flow Meter Delay. The default value is 75 hundredths of a second. The accuracy of these formula is +/- 10%.
If your installation is configured such that your pump pushes water through the flow meter you can determine your pump flow from the formula. Just be sure to not have any fixtures drawing hot water when doing the reading. And if you want to determine the flow of a fixture, be sure that the pump is not running or unplug the pump.
Leridian Dynamics, Inc., makers of the Smart Recirculation Control, is now a distributor for AquaMotion valves and pump. We now offer a Smart Thermostatic Control Complete Kit for installation in homes that do not have a dedicated recirculation loop. The complete kit comes with the Smart Thermostatic Control, an AquaMotion AMR-S3F1 stainless steel pump and flange fittings and up to 6 AquaMotion AMK-ODR thermostatic valves. This system has everything you need to retrofit a home with an on demand recirculation system.
We also offer a Smart Thermostatic Control Valve Kit which comes with a Smart Thermostatic Control and up to 6 AquaMotion AMK-ODR thermostatic valves and you supply your own pump.
Or if you already own an AquaMotion AMK-ODR system you can simply purchase the Smart Thermostatic Control separately and upgrade your installation to an on demand system.
Leridian Dynamics, Inc. is proud to announce the release of the Smart Thermostatic Control. After years of testing to figure out a solution for homes that do not have a dedicated hot water recirculation loop, we have finally found a thermostatic crossover valve that has high enough flow to provide "on demand" comfort. The high quality AquaMotion AMK-ODR brass and stainless thermostatic crossover valve is designed to allow high flow in order for tankless water heaters to activate. It is this high level of flow that allows "on demand" comfort. The smaller plastic valves from Grundfos/Watts/Taco just don't allow high enough flow to allow the hot water line to heat up quickly enough. This is also the reason they do not work with tankless water heaters.
The AquaMotion AMK-ODR valve will work with both tankless and tank water heaters. Our control for a tank system comes with a thermostat to ensure the water coming out of the tank is greater than 95F, the temperature required to close the AquaMotion AMK-ODR valve, which prevents lukewarm water from being recirculated throughout the home. Since tankless water heaters never run out of hot water they don't require this extra check, but if you purchase a tank controller and later install a tankless, it is not a problem as the system will still work.
And as with all our products, there is a 2 year warranty and 90 day satisfaction guarantee.
Leridian Dynamics, Inc. is proud to release it's third generation Smart Recirculation Control. The new hardware supports "Live Data" which allows you to view the temperature values and flow meter value via the smart phone app. The Smart Countdown Control and Smart Thermostatic Control only show "Live Flow" as they don't have temperature sensors. We still have a few of the older second generation Smart Recirculation Controls left and are selling them at a $30 discount. The only functional difference is the model 2 doesn't support "Live Data" and is not available as a Smart Countdown Control or Smart Thermostatic Control. Buy the second generation model here.
More and more people are installing plumbing systems with PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) and are wondering if the Smart Recirculation Control with work with PEX. First I would like to caution that if you are considering installing a PEX system please check with your local building codes as many jurisdictions do not allow the use of PEX. That being said, the Smart Recirculation Control will work fine with a PEX installation. However, you will need to install a short section of copper pipe immediately after the water heater and on one side or the other of the recirculation pump to provide a location to attach the temperature sensors. PEX does a pretty good job of insulating which creates a lag in sensing the temperature causing the Smart Recirculation Control to react slowly to the changing water temperature in the piping. Also be sure to put pipe insulation over the temperature sensors to help with temperature sensing. As always, if you have installation questions, please email or call.
I often have people ask if the Smart Recirculation Control will work with tankless water heaters. The answer is yes it will. The only comment is to look over your water heater's specifications and check if there is a limit on the temperature of the water going into the water heater. I have heard of one electric model that limits the temperature to no greater than the outflow temperature minus 20 deg F. In which case you can set the temperature differential in the Smart Recirculation Control to a large differential of 25 deg F and a small differential of 20 deg F.
The system should be installed exactly as if the water heater were a tank model. The flow meter goes on the cold water input to the water heater, the one temperature sensor goes at the outflow to the water heater and the other temperature sensor goes on the recirculation return line near the pump and before the the recirculation line T's back into the cold water feed.
I have had people ask me in the past if it is possible to relocate the temperature sensors by extending the line connecting the temperature sensor to the wiring harness. My response has always been no because of support issues. But after receiving another inquiry asking if it could be extended by 75 ft. I decided to give it a try.
I measured out 75 ft. of standard telephone wire and crimped an RJ11 connector onto each end. I plugged the one end into the wiring harness and used a female to female telephone line connector to plug in the temperature sensor. I am happy to report that I was successfully able to make the temperature sensors work out to 75ft. After responding to the customer who inquired and telling him of my success, he went out and bought a 100 ft. telephone cable and a female to female connector and has reported that the controller if functioning normally.
Please note that this is outside the scope of my support, but if you would like to eliminate heating up a large section of your return plumbing, this hack seems doable.
A logging feature has been added to the Smart Recirculation Control and the Smart Recirculation Upgrade (sorry, it is not yet available in the Smart Recirculation Retrofit). This feature is available in firmware version 1.5 and later. To access the log, run the app and connect to the Smart Recirculation Control. Select the menu button in the upper right corner of the app and choose "Log" from the menu.
If you have the Smart Recirculation Control the log will provide you with the On and Off date and time and the respective high and low temperatures and the total run time. A total of 53 On/Off event pairs are recorded in a rolling window.
If you have the Smart Recirculation Upgrade it will provide you with the On and Off date and time and the total run time. The temperatures are unavailable as this controller doesn't use the temperature sensors to turn the pump on and off but instead uses the flow to know when to turn the pump off. The temperature of the water in the hot water line is controlled by the thermostatic cross over valve and is restricted to a maximum of 104 deg F by Uniform Plumbing Code. A total of 79 On/Off event pairs are recorded in a rolling window. There are more logs available in the Smart Recirculation Upgrade because there is less information recorded per event.
If you don't see "Log" in the menu then your firmware is lower than 1.5. To see the exact version select F.A.Q. from the menu while connected and the firmware version will be listed. If you would like to have your firmware updated so you can access the logging feature please contact us and we can arrange for you to send your controller in to be upgraded. There is no charge for this other than the actual shipping costs. If the firmware version is listed as "unknown" the app is not connected to the controller.