Mike, there is “special” piping that is needed for the current application of the SmartPlus. Just like any other Taco circulator, it needs to move the water in a “circle.” If water comes into the SmartPlus, it needs to leave the SmartPlus. If there is no fixture open at the moment, the water won’t move and you would just “dead-head” the circulator. We don’t want to wait until a fixture is open, if we did that there would be no need for the SmartPlus, the water is already flowing. The SmartPlus needs a dedicated recirculation line in order to move the water. This can be done with smaller copper or even PEX tubing. Drop a TEE in the hot water supply as close as possible to the furthest fixture and return it to the suction side of the SmartPlus. This return tee does not need to be right at the furthest fixture, just as close as you can get it. If it’s three-quarters of the way there, you have eliminated the wait for hot water at the furthest fixture by 75%. And at all of the other fixtures before the TEE, hot water will be available immediately.
Hey Dave, How does the SmartPlus recirculation pump sense flow? Tom W, NC
Tom, the SmartPlus comes with a sensor that you want to strap on the hot water supply pipe coming out of the water heater. As soon as you power up the circulator, it’s in the learning mode. SmartPlus learns the hot water usage in the house for 7 days. The initial 7 days the system is powered, the SmartPlus will pulse the pump for 2-1/2 minutes every 10 minutes. While in this learning mode, SmartPlus is looking for a rise in water temperature, a steady temperature, and then a degradation of that water temperature over a period of time. For example: taking a shower or running the dishwasher would constitute a rise and then a steady temperature. A quick washing of hands is not recorded because of the short amount of time. Once this is recorded, SmartPlus expects this event to happen again 7 days from now. So let’s look at typical hot water usage in a home. Every morning someone’s using the shower at 6am, Monday through Friday. There is a second shower taken at 8:30 am, Monday through Friday and dishwasher usage at 7 pm, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. All of these events are recorded and the following week, the SmartPlus will anticipate these events and turn the circulator on one hour before the event and continue for one hour after the event. It does not run continuously for that time period, it is running for those 150 seconds every 10 minutes.
If there is no use of hot water for 36 hours, SmartPlus goes into “vacation mode” until there is another event and then the schedule starts up again. If you need more information on the SmartPlus or any other recirculation product, check them out here.
Excellent guys, I hope this helps everyone out there and keep ‘em coming