Replacing a Standard Hot Water Circulating Pump on a Conventional Hot Water Circulating System with a Chilipepper Demand Pump
Replacing a standard hot water circulating pump with a Chilipepper hot water demand pump is easy to do and will save you a tremendous amount of energy turning your hot water system truly green.
Standard hot water recirculating systems have a dedicated hot water return line and the pump is typically located at the water heater.
Installing a Chilipepper pump in place of a standard recirc pump is simple. There are basically two steps to the procedure.
First is to install the pump itself, and second is to wire the control buttons, or to set up a remote control system with X10 modules.
Physical Pump Installation
Simply replace the old pump with the Chilipepper pump. The pump must be installed using either hoses or flexible tubing. The Chilipepper was not designed to be mounted with rigid plumbing connections.
Normally hot water circulating systems will have a brass swing check valve between the pump and the water heater. The Chilipepper has a built in check valve. You don’t need both check valves so remove the one in the Chilipepper which should result in a little faster delivery time for the hot water.
The check valve in the Chilipepper is easy to remove. Simply remove the brass fitting on the side outlet and pull the valve check/spring assembly out. See the figure below.
Control system set up
With the Chilipepper located at the water heater you will need a start button at each fixture where you want to be able to control the pump. You must wire the buttons in parallel. You can wire up any number of buttons.
Any old insulated hookup wire will work. The control wires only carry 5 volts with a maximum current of less than 1 milliamp.
The buttons need to be momentary contact type buttons like doorbell buttons. Any non-illuminated doorbell button will work. Illuminated buttons appear to the Chilipepper as a short circuit and will cause the pump to cycle on for a short burst every 15 seconds, letting you know there is a problem.
Using X10 Modules to Control the Chilipepper
To activate the Chilipepper the control wires need to be shorted and then have the short removed. In other words, the pump won’t start until you RELEASE the button.
The X10 UM506 universal remote receiver has a momentary contact relay which works great with the Chilipepper.
You simply wire the two control wires from the Chilipepper to the two terminals on the UM506. Plug the UM506 into a wall outlet.
Then plug in a remote switch at each location where you want to control the pump.
For more details about using X10 modules to control your Chilipepper visit this page: Remote Control
To see the actual detailed installation instructions shipped with the Chilipepper: