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.
Hello everyone, I just wanted to say I just added a blog feature to the Smart Recirculation Control web site. I will be posting product announcements, updates and tips about the Smart Recirculation Control family of products.