Can I have help finding a Wi-Fi controlled ON/OFF Timer for my water heater's recirculator pump?

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Jeff Davis

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Does anyone know why I don't get email notifications of every reply in this thread which is one that I asked and it seems like only 1 on any given day even if several people have Replied? I do get some notifications but then when I'm on the site to read & Reply to it, I see others.
 

Jeff Davis

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Does the Home Depot wi-fi switch have a timer function in it that can be set so that it only stays ON for so many minutes so that you don't need to remember to turn it OFF?
 

Jeff Davis

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There have been other recent posts on here from folks who are getting repeated pinhole leaks in copper pipes.

And apparently some are caused by corrosive water supply, in California.

So investigate that locally somehow.
Through social media, local news, ask plumbers.

Meanwhile, as copper fails, replace with pex, it is fairly inert.
What is PEX tubing? Can it be attached directly to copper? If so, how?
 

Jeff Handy

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Pex is modern flexible plastic type of tubing for water lines.
Very popular, replacing copper in much new construction.

It comes in rolls, or ten foot or longer straight pieces.

It can be joined to copper with special barbed fittings that attach to the pex, with a ring that clamps around the pex with a special tool that you can rent.
There are at least two types of connecting rings.
One gets squeezed all around to tighten.
Another has a bump on the side that gets squeezed, which pulls the whole ring tighter.

There are also Sharkbite brand fittings that can attach copper tubing directly to pex, with no soldering or special tools.
Sharkbite fittings seal with an o ring, and they grab on with metal teeth.
They can be removed with a small cheap tool you can buy.

Home Depot and many places sell Sharkbite fittings.

You can search “copper to pex Sharkbite fitting” on Google.

It is approved to be hidden behind walls and framing, very good track record when properly done.
 

Jeff Handy

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You can also get braces that will hold the end of the pex tubing in a nice long sweep 90 bend, and then fasten to framing for support.
 

Jeff Handy

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Sharkbite fittings will spin after attachment, sometimes this is a plus or a negative.
You can counter this with Gorilla Tape or lots of other ways.

But they don’t attach rigidly like other compression type fittings.
 

Jeff Davis

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Pex is modern flexible plastic type of tubing for water lines.
Very popular, replacing copper in much new construction.

It comes in rolls, or ten foot or longer straight pieces.

It can be joined to copper with special barbed fittings that attach to the pex, with a ring that clamps around the pex with a special tool that you can rent.
There are at least two types of connecting rings.
One gets squeezed all around to tighten.
Another has a bump on the side that gets squeezed, which pulls the whole ring tighter.

There are also Sharkbite brand fittings that can attach copper tubing directly to pex, with no soldering or special tools.
Sharkbite fittings seal with an o ring, and they grab on with metal teeth.
They can be removed with a small cheap tool you can buy.

Home Depot and many places sell Sharkbite fittings.

You can search “copper to pex Sharkbite fitting” on Google.

It is approved to be hidden behind walls and framing, very good track record when properly done.
Thanks. I appreciate the lesson that kept me from Googling it and then digging thru all the sites to learn a little. Since I'm pretty mechanically oriented, I bet I could replace the first 3' or so after the recirculation pump that goes into the wall myself but I don't know if I should or if I'm motivated enough. I should probably pay to have it done.
Replacing 3' would replace both spots that got leaks that were repaired.
That 3' of copper starts with 2-1/2' that's in my garage before it enters the wall. It has insulation foam on it which I guess is to prevent condensation & heat loss. Would the PEX need that too? Remember that I'm in southern California where it rarely gets below 45° and normal winter lows are in the 50°s or even the 60°s. :)
 

Jeff Handy

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I think pex loses less heat than copper, but insulation is probably still going to save a few pennies, long term.

Keep in mind that pex is a little smaller inside than copper, and also the barbed fittings reduce the diameter even more.

So you might want to upsize that pex section.
But pros would know better about insulation and correct pex diameter than me.

If you hire a pro, you might want him to look for any sharp 90 degree bends in the copper recirc lines, and change them to long sweeps.
Easier on the pump, but also less internal copper erosion from turbulence as the water goes through that fast bend.
 

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Diehard

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That paper can be misleading.
Didn't see any reference to AC voltage.
No mention of comparisons or amounts of DC voltage in homes. AC voltage of course gets grounded by way of many water supplies.

I'd conclude that if I was maintaining the plumbing in a jail that apparently uses a lot of DC voltage, I would add that to the many, many possible causes of erosion and pinholes in copper pipe.
 

Diehard

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Does the Home Depot wi-fi switch have a timer function in it that can be set so that it only stays ON for so many minutes so that you don't need to remember to turn it OFF?
Jeff....Keep it simple. Just pick up a separate little 120 volt timer.
 

Jeff Handy

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“The reason for my messing with this is because I've had two pinhole leaks form with in a few months in the same copper hot water pipe just a few feet past that recirculator pump in the last six months and I've read that the churning hot water can cause water pipe failures like that on the inside of pipes so I'd like to not have the pump running full time. That pipe is as old as this house, 27 years old.
Obviously I'd like to keep that from happening anymore if possible. Dehydrating the mess and then fixing the drywall and repainting was costly since one of the leaks was in the wall behind the hot water heater.”

Diehard, the above OP complaint is why I discussed changing the pin-holed section to pex, and possibly adding long sweep 90’s to reduce turbulence.
 

Jeff Handy

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Oops, never mind, you were talking to a different Jeff, my eyes are blurry today from Sjogren’s syndrome flare up.
 

Jeff Davis

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I probably should've asked this question very differently right from the start & here's what I should have asked: Does anyone know of a way to make a hot water recirculation system only run "on demand" so that it isn't flowing hot water through the copper pipes anymore than is needed & preferably even only whenever hot water is needed somewhere in the house? A system that can be used like might keep the flowing water from corroding pinhole leaks in the copper pipes either chemically or due to turbulence swirl wear that is possibly caused by sharp corners, from what I've read. I'm just a homeowner who's had 2 pinhole leaks burst within months of each other in the first 3' of copper tubing that is just after the recirculation pump and both leaks also formed just past very sharp 90° bends.
 

Jeff Davis

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So Diehard, just to be sure before I shut up & go away, are you saying that there's nothing better than just either using the standard timer on the power or a remote manual or wi-fi On/Off switch for people who want more control?
I've got an awesome idea for something way better that I should probably patent & sell the rights to. I just don't want to say it here before I look into a patent.
 

Jeff Handy

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You can set up to ten timers, only by smartphone.

Device will hold setting for two days without ac power.

There are two remote recirc line temp sensors.

You open a hot tap, and immediately the recirc line starts pumping.

Or it will start on a timer, and off by timer.

Some reviewers said they just ran the hot faucet in the bath sink for two seconds.
Then when they got in the shower, water was fully hot.

PS once again, I humbly declare myself King of Google, haha!
 
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