Redwater Hotwater saving

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by trickle, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. trickle

    trickle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    While looking into recirculating hot water lines i found this.

    [​IMG]


    http://www.redwater.net.au/index.php/product.html

    Just wondering if any one has used them and any thoughts you have on them.

    It uses the lines existing pressure to move the cold water out. Must have a a thermal expansion switch (just made that up). I like the fact that there are no pumps. One per line may be excessive but i think i would only do the shower, tub and kitchen sink.

    I like how it trickles the water before going full hot...gives you a warning system. My wife tends to run the shower for 10 minutes before getting in, she says she is preping her water (she also complains about running out of hot...gee wonder why). The Trickle/Blast looks like it could help train her...

    I also Emailed them because they say to divert the extra cold water to a garden or cistern... I am wondering about recirculating it to the water heater.

    Worst thing i can think of is that it somehow won't work with a Thermostatic valve, but i cant see why it wouldn't, though you would still waste the cold water from your temp setting.

    Last of all, just wondering what you would expect to get as a life span out of a device like this.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    great way to WASTE a lot of water.
  3. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    That was my thought too.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,918
    Location:
    IL
    That device is going to need much lower pressure on the cool water output port to flow the water. The cold input for a hot water heater will not be at a sufficiently lower pressure to flow the water. So while it might work if you had need of lower pressure water somewhere, it's not going to work to feed the cool water back to the water heater without a pump.
  5. trickle

    trickle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    I don't understand what water would be wasted, the water i was going to run down the drainanyway while i waited for the shower to be ready?

    I can understand the pressure idea. Too much resistance to push it water heater...most likely out come is it would exit the tap like it would of if the device was not installed (path of least resistance).

    The part that is still a little odd to me is the videos say the reclaimed water is moved at the same water pressure as the incoming hot...or nearly the same(slow trickle at the tap) is that not enough pressure to get it back into the water tank?

    It would be nice it they had a data sheet.

    I received an email back.

    " Essentially no. It is best used with a return line that diverts the water to a place for storage or immediate use."
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I don't understand what water would be wasted, the water i was going to run down the drainanyway while i waited for the shower to be ready?

    Except this one will be doing it 24/7, any time the water cools down and activates the unit, NOT just when your wife wants a hot shower. They do NOT say the water returns to the tank, they suggest you use it in a flower bed or collection barrel.
  7. trickle

    trickle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    I must be misunderstanding.
    I was under the impression there would be no flow with the tap off. They make it sound that way with out saying it.

    "Operation
    Once installed your Redwater™ Diverter should operate as follows – when the hot tap is turned on, a small amount of water will be released from the tap and will continue to trickle. This is to show the cooled water in the line is now being diverted.Once hot water reaches your Redwater™ Diverter it will be directed to the tap for use. Depending on the location of your Redwater™ Diverter a small amount of cooled water will be released from the tap before the hot water. Hot water will now flow to the tap. If the tap is not used for some time and the water in the hot water pipe cools the cycle will begin again the next time the tap is operated. If hot water is required frequently, it will be delivered to the tap without the cycle taking place.

    About the Return Line
    The return line will deliver potable water to any area required at the same pressure it is supplied with. If using gravity fed supply and you wish to store the water for later use, a separate storage tank would be required. Ask your plumber about the best way to use your water around the home."

    I will re-email them.

    I know they did not say it could go back to the waterheater, I even posted that they said "no, this product is not for that". Still not 100% on why not but I think thats just my inner cheap ass talking, Reach4 was pretty clear.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Just install a real recir system. There is no wasted water, your water is hot virtually instantly. There are several good brands available. The best type is one that uses a return line, but sometimes that would be difficult to retro install. The other type work pretty well too.
  9. trickle

    trickle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    I only started looking at recircs yesterday, not even sure I will use one. That said it makes more sense to me to use a passive demand device if possible so I thought it prudent to ask.

    Its really to bad this can not divert to the waterheater.


    Response from Redwater

    "The valve uses the pressure in the supply line to close off the valve when the tap is turned off.* When the tap is opened the valve registeres a pressure drop and diverts if the water is under 35 DegC.* Once water at 35DegC reaches the valves it closes off the return line and opens the hot outlet. If the water is already over 35 Deg then it will not divert and come straight through the tap"
  10. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I am using a Bell & Gossett "ecocirc e3" circulator pump having a temperature-controlled switch (on the pump) plumbed with a dedicated return line. The pump consumes 10 watts WHEN RUNNING, and because I've insulated the supply and return lines the pump runs for a very limited amount of time each day. I think the long-savings from not dumping gallons of water down the drain while waiting for the shower to warm up - not to mention the convenience - is worth the minimal operating cost of the pump. It was a bit challenging to get the return line plumbed, but I installed that when I remodeled the master bathroom so access was a bit easier.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You would be depending on that valve to NOT malfunction and operate when the faucet is not turned on, which is a lot to ask of a "dumb" valve. A system such as the Grudfos "Comfort" unit, or the one by Laing, returns the flow to the water heater so you do NOT have to waste it, AND it has the hot water there much faster, because the line is already warm so it does NOT have a wait time.
  12. trickle

    trickle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    jadziedzic - Your "ecocirc e3" temperature-controlled switch, does it run when ever the water cools? ie the middle of the night or when the family is gone of vacation?
    I like the low wattage. I was on their web site the have a model called autocirc that feeds the waste water to the cold water line...seems odd to me.


    Going back to what Reach4 said "it's not going to work to feed the cool water back to the water heater without a pump." If i added a pump this could be a demand hot water system controlled by the tap with a short lag (low pressure) before use? Wonder if there is a pump for that, a pump that comes on when is senses flow? how would it turn off?
  13. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,785
    Location:
    01609
    If you surf their website for more info you'd see that they'er not dumping the cooled-water, they're storing it, to be re-used elsewhere in your potable plumbing system.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    If/how they're managing the pressure at the storage tank isn't explained in detail, but the valve can detect the pressure spiking during the turning off of the hot water tap and turn off it's own hot input, and allow the downstream section(and the tank) to drop to a lower pressure.

    It only re-starts the cycle when it senses the pressure drop of a tap opening when the incoming line from the water heater is cool. It does NOTHING while in wait-mode, only when there's a flow toward the hot water tap, that is reduced to a trickle until the hot water arrives at the valve. Rather than a 24/7 operation, it's an on-demand operation, and the only water that is potentially dumped is the section of pipe between the valve and the tap calling hot water.

    They're vague about how the diverted & stored water is later distributed (leaving it as an exercise to for the plumber. :) ) I s'pose you could dump it down the drain if you like, but you clearly don't have to.

    They're also a bit vague about expansion tanks & other aspects that would be necessary for this thing to work in a real system. A schematic of a representative system showing the other details would be useful.
  14. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The ecocirc pumps can be obtained with a temperature-controlled switch AND a timer so you can control when the unit runs. If you leave on vacation and you're concered about energy usage just unplug the pump. But since the pump draws so little current it can run several hours a day for a couple of weeks and not use a kilo-watt worth of electricity - or about 15 CENTS given our electricity rates in New Hampshire.

    The autocirc (and other brand) pumps that connect to the cold water line *at the fixture* are for use in cases where you don't have/want to install a dedicated return line.
  15. Redwater Diverter

    Redwater Diverter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Queensland
    Hello all, I have come across this thread and thought it might be best to add some information. I invented this technology to save water that is otherwise wasted down the drain while waiting for hot water to arrive at a tap or shower. The valve works as a diverter valve only. It is a pressure sensitive thermostatically actuated valve. The trickle that you see in the video is the built in leakage that the valve has. This serves two purposes, firstly being to indicate that the tap is on, and secondly it is this water that pressurizes the valve once the tap is closed to shut off the return line.

    The return line must be at a lower pressure than the inlet - so most often the water is diverted to a rainwater tank at atmospheric pressure for later use.

    The valve will not "cycle" unless the tap is turned on. If hot water is already at the valve - the valve will not cycle it will just pass hot water through the valve.

    The valve simultaneously opens the hot outlet as it closes the return line. This happens in approximately 1.5 seconds after water at 35 DegC get to the valve.

    The time it takes for hot water to reach the tap is also reduced as there is no flow restriction on the outlet - like there might be on the hot tap itself so hot water may arrive three times faster than otherwise.

    The valve is made of quality materials and the element is the same as in a mixing/tempering valve and the model we use is one of the largest sellers in the world. Apparently it is good for 120,000 cycles. We have never had one of these elements fail (that we know).

    As I said - I am the inventor so feel free to ask any burning questions you feel like.

    Also - this concept was thought up taking many things into consideration. If you would like any info about the shortcomings of other ways to save this water I would be happy to run through the issues - but would prefer not to talk about specific other brand names - but happy to talk about systems in general.

    Overall we think our solution that uses no power and has no premeditated action by the user to save water is the best - but I would say that wouldn't I.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Looking at the diagram, how does that differ in waste water or time compared to if you just opened the faucet and let it run there. I guess you do get some benefit if you use the water in your plants, otherwise, instead of running the water in the sink, you wait until the unit decides the water is hot enough, THEN the faucet starts to flow. When your wife turns on the shower, first the water will water the plants, while water trickles from the shower, and for the rest of the 20 minutes the hot water will run in the shower. Sounds like a lot of time and materials for almost zero benefits. You are depending on a "pressure differential valve" to start the flow to the garden, and a thermal control, to shut it off when the water gets hot. TWO mechanical valves which have to work to together, and if EITHER fails you will waste a lot of water until you discover it.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  17. Redwater Diverter

    Redwater Diverter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Queensland
    I must say I don't know where Arizona is at with respect to water saving so it is hard to say exactly. In parts of the world that are focus on water efficiency it is common to have the water at the faucet restricted by a flow control washer. Flow restriction is typically about 6 litres per minute. In circumstances like this an unrestricted return line would deliver hot water to the faucet maybe three times faster than would otherwise be the case. When water efficiency does become an issue in Arizona I think you will find that a valve that can save in the order of 10% of water usage will not be considered a "Zero" benefit. It sounds like you are getting close to understanding how the valve works. You can see that it is a single valve that is both pressure sensitive and thermostatically actuated. As you ponder its operation more you will probably come to realise its benefits. Once again feel free to ask any questions to help the readers here. I also think it is a bit rough to try and paint this valve as a valve that will waste a lot of water through failure. Maybe you could ask yourself how often a pressure relief valve fails on a hot water system - the answer being not very often. If you think there is something I am not understanding about the plumbing systems you have in Arizona please let me know as I would be very interested. Regards
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