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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OMG, my invention was already invented & available on the market for $209 - $219!!!
That works exactly like what I'd dreamed up yesterday. All the details except I'm too old to think of APPs for smartphones so I hadn't thought of using one to program it.
Thanks man. I owe you big time.
Heck, it says it saves your settings for 2 days if there's a power failure or I suppose also if it was unplugged.
One question that hopefully is explained somewhere, what connects the 2 water temp sensors into the switch to turn it ON or OFF? Or maybe it doesn't matter if it is just a wire since the sensor can just be somewhere near the water heater & recirculation pump in the line that is bringing the water back to the heater so a short wire will be easy to run?
If that's the case, it seems like only using 1 would be ok.
 

Diehard

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I'm not in a position to say something is better than something else.
It's a matter of personal preference, needs, desires, etc.
If I was to have a hot water recirc system, which I don't, I would probably go with a combination timer and Aqua-stat, as I believe was mentioned elsewhere in this thread and/or videos.
 

Jeff Davis

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I'm not in a position to say something is better than something else.
It's a matter of personal preference, needs, desires, etc.
If I was to have a hot water recirc system, which I don't, I would probably go with a combination timer and Aqua-stat, as I believe was mentioned elsewhere in this thread and/or videos.
Thanks. I hadn't explored those Aqua-stat links for some dumb reason. I bet it's way cheaper & by the name I'd assume that it turns the pump ON & OFF all day long whenever it senses that the water that's being returned to the water heater falls below some temp that you pick. I'll go look at those sites now.
After all, if I might sell the house soon, why invest $209 if I can get away with less & still be protected from water damage until then?
 

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I guess my dream of inventing & patenting an awesome piece so I can be on Shark Tank has been crushed once again. ;-)
 

Jeff Davis

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Jeff Davis

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Is the drop in temp that will turn ON these little Aqua-stats adjustable or is it set? I haven't explored the tech specs but to would I just cut the 110v power line to the recirculation pump and then wire this into that split? If so, that's pretty simple. Even I could do that. ;-)
Aqua-stat pic from Amazon.jpg
 

Jeff Davis

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Diehard, why would you want a timer along with the Aqua-stat? Is it to keep the Aqua-stat from noticing that the water in the recirculation return line in the middle of the night got too cool when everyone has been asleep for awhile and turning on the recirculation pump?
 

Jeff Davis

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Diehard, I have 2 silly questions.
1. How do I know which Aqua-stat to get? Do I need to figure out what size my copper pipe since I'll need a fitting that size put in or are there various size T fittings to fit whatever my pipes are so that I assume then the thermometer probe can be treaded in?
2. Are those cheaper Aqua-stats that I see on Amazon OK or would there be any reason to upgrade?
 

Jeff Davis

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How much does the temperature need to cool off when no hot water is being used before an Aqua-stat would turn on the recirculation pump?
 

Jeff Davis

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I'm not in a position to say something is better than something else.
It's a matter of personal preference, needs, desires, etc.
If I was to have a hot water recirc system, which I don't, I would probably go with a combination timer and Aqua-stat, as I believe was mentioned elsewhere in this thread and/or videos.
I do see that the Aqua-stats will say "can be used with a timer",
Is the timer timing the power to the Aqua-stat or to the recirculation pump? That might be a boneheaded question but I really don't know.
 

Diehard

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Diehard, why would you want a timer along with the Aqua-stat? Is it to keep the Aqua-stat from noticing that the water in the recirculation return line in the middle of the night got too cool when everyone has been asleep for awhile and turning on the recirculation pump?
Exactly!
 

Diehard

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I do see that the Aqua-stats will say "can be used with a timer",
Is the timer timing the power to the Aqua-stat or to the recirculation pump? That might be a boneheaded question but I really don't know.
Well if it's a timer that simply plugs into the power outlet, it would not allow any electrical power through to energize the pump.
 

Diehard

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Diehard, I have 2 silly questions.
1. How do I know which Aqua-stat to get? Do I need to figure out what size my copper pipe since I'll need a fitting that size put in or are there various size T fittings to fit whatever my pipes are so that I assume then the thermometer probe can be treaded in? Looks like you already have a 1/2" elbow on that pump? You must already have something existing that you can clip on to.
2. Are those cheaper Aqua-stats that I see on Amazon OK or would there be any reason to upgrade? They appear to be the same mfr and model number.
 

Jeff Davis

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Is the pipe on the left above the water heater (see photo) the one where a T for a temp probe could be screwed into? I'd have to assume that's the return line since the one with the valve in it on the right must be the feedline. Or would that be a bad place to read the temp since it might be warmed due to it's closeness to the water heater & since heat rises?

If I could put it there, that would make installing either the Aqua-stat thermometer probe or the Smart Recirculation Control thermometer probe an easy job that I could do myself without a plumber to install a T somewhere else in copper tubing.

Or, maybe I should put the thermometer probe thing in the line that I see just above the recirculation pump where lines are connected by thread? I see some little item right there that I don't have a clue what it is. What is it?

While I'm asking, if that is where I'd take it apart to put in a T, how would I get rid of all the water in it before I unscrewed it? Just drain the hot water heater? If so, would I need to kill the pilot before I drained the water heater & unplug the recirculation pump first?
I realize that I'm asking about lots of dumb, basic stuff but I really can't afford to hire anyone to do this so I'm trying to figure it out and do it myself. I'm on some really poor paying federal disability after suffering a bad MX accident in 2007 & losing my real estate business (www.facebook.com/vankjeff/videos/vb.100000609734900/198194306877559/?type=3&theater) & my new Mustang. At least we didn't lose our house. copper pipe that sprung tiny leaks.jpg top of water heater & plumbing.jpg


 

Diehard

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First off, I am not sure why you keep referring to a tee and probe, while I thought you were looking at the clip on Aqua-stat.

Secondly, all I see on he top of your water heater is a hot water line on the left, a cold water line with a valve on the right and the Safety relief valve.

Now I'm wondering what exactly is going on with that recirc pump at the bottom of the tank.
Typically, a separate recirc line gets pumped back to the cold water inlet to the water heater. Or alternately to a tee added to the tank drain. But your implications from the start were that the pump was discharging towards the left. It's not making a lot of sense that I can see.

I think you should take a couple of photos further back from that pump so we can see where it returns to.

Also, verify the direction of flow of that pump. Should be a flow arrow somewhere on it.

I'm starting to think someone may have put that pump on backwards.o_O:confused:

EDIT: While you're at it, take a couple of pictures of under all your sinks. Between the HW and CW supplies.
 
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Jeff Davis

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First off, I am not sure why you keep referring to a tee and probe, while I thought you were looking at the clip on Aqua-stat.

Secondly, all I see on he top of your water heater is a hot water line on the left, a cold water line with a valve on the right and the Safety relief valve.

Now I'm wondering what exactly is going on with that recirc pump at the bottom of the tank.
Typically, a separate recirc line gets pumped back to the cold water inlet to the water heater. Or alternately to a tee added to the tank drain. But your implications from the start were that the pump was discharging towards the left. It's not making a lot of sense that I can see.

I think you should take a couple of photos further back from that pump so we can see where it returns to.

Also, verify the direction of flow of that pump. Should be a flow arrow somewhere on it.

I'm starting to think someone may have put that pump on backwards.o_O:confused:

EDIT: While you're at it, take a couple of pictures of under all your sinks. Between the HW and CW supplies.
Thanks!! You just made my day when you told me that the Aqua-stat thing just clips on.
I'd been thinking all along that both the Aqua-stat system and that other one (I forget the name) needs a thermometer of some type with a little probe that's actually in the water flowing by so if I was going to try doing this installation myself, I'd need to find where to plumb it in & hire a plumber to do that.
Just clipping it on anywhere will be easy as heck.
As far as the recirculation pump being plumbed backwards, I'd have to say that's no way possible. It has worked perfectly for 27 years since the house was new. There are 286 other homes in this tract that were all built in the late 80s and early 90s by Standard Pacific with this same recirculation plumbing.
It draws the water out of the bottom of the heater from the outlet that also has a place to put a garden hose on to drain it.
I think this recirculation system must have dedicated return lines since it's not a silly conversion add-on situation & there's never any hot water in cold faucets.
 
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Jeff Davis

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Thanks!! You just made my day when you told me that the Aqua-stat thing just clips on.
I'd been thinking all along that both the Aqua-stat system and that other one (I forget the name) needs a thermometer of some type with a little probe that's actually in the water flowing by so if I was going to try doing this installation myself, I'd need to find where to plumb it in & hire a plumber to do that.
Just clipping it on anywhere will be easy as heck.
As far as the recirculation pump being plumbed backwards, I'd have to say that's no way possible. It has worked perfectly for 27 years since the house was new. There are 286 other homes in this tract that were all built in the late 80s and early 90s by Standard Pacific with this same recirculation plumbing.
It draws the water out of the bottom of the heater from the outlet that also has a place to put a garden hose on to drain it.
I think this recirculation system must have dedicated return lines since it's not a silly conversion add-on situation & there's never any hot water in cold faucets.
I guess I need to do the Aqua-stat & timer deal. That's just a plug it in, plug the recirculation pump into it & clip on the heat-sensor somewhere deal, right?
If so, where should I clip it on? I'm gonna guess up on the pipe that brings hot water out of the top of the water heater, as far away from the water heater as I can?
 

Jeff Davis

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Is the pipe on the left above the water heater (see photo) the one where a T for a temp probe could be screwed into? I'd have to assume that's the return line since the one with the valve in it on the right must be the feedline. Or would that be a bad place to read the temp since it might be warmed due to it's closeness to the water heater & since heat rises?

If I could put it there, that would make installing either the Aqua-stat thermometer probe or the Smart Recirculation Control thermometer probe an easy job that I could do myself without a plumber to install a T somewhere else in copper tubing.

Or, maybe I should put the thermometer probe thing in the line that I see just above the recirculation pump where lines are connected by thread? I see some little item right there that I don't have a clue what it is. What is it?

While I'm asking, if that is where I'd take it apart to put in a T, how would I get rid of all the water in it before I unscrewed it? Just drain the hot water heater? If so, would I need to kill the pilot before I drained the water heater & unplug the recirculation pump first?
I realize that I'm asking about lots of dumb, basic stuff but I really can't afford to hire anyone to do this so I'm trying to figure it out and do it myself. I'm on some really poor paying federal disability after suffering a bad MX accident in 2007 & losing my real estate business (www.facebook.com/vankjeff/videos/vb.100000609734900/198194306877559/?type=3&theater) & my new Mustang. At least we didn't lose our house. View attachment 23131 View attachment 23132


So I'm curious, which pipe brings the recirculation system's water back into the water heater?
 

Jeff Davis

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How does that other system that was mentioned here, that's an On Demand deal that only starts the recirculation pump when it senses water flowing, sense water flow? Would it take any plumbing alterations to add something that senses the water flow?
If it would, I think that for sure I should just go with the Aqua-stat & timer deal.
 

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