Controling Navien NPE internal recirculation pump

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by SamMtn, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. SamMtn

    SamMtn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Does anyone know the logic behind how Navien controls their internal recirculation pump when it is circulating with an external loop?

    This would be with the second dip switch in the "On" position and the water valve in the "external loop" position.

    Here is what I want to do:
    Turn off the recirculation when the house is not occupied, in order to save even more energy.
    I can figure out occupied or not from a home automation or alarm system.

    How?
    One option is to put a relay/contactor between the Navien and the internal pump, so that that pump can only get power when the house is occupied. But would the Navien be calling for the pump to run and then not see results and get confused?

    I am aware of the PZZZ-00046 "Hotbutton Switch" ( http://componentmfg.com/hotbutton-switch/), but am assuming that if I used it to specify if I am occupied or unoccupied then it might end up running recirculation all the time when occupied and therefore use more energy than the default recirculation logic. I guess I could add more logic so that when occupied it only sends a periodic manual circulation call, but that is more complicated.

    Anyone have the inside scoop?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Sep 2, 2004
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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Does the thing have a 'vacation' mode? IF it does, could it be controlled remotely? If it does, you could trigger the operation to save money whenever your system detected 'away' or however you've got it programmed.
     
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  4. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Crazy coincidence that I ran into your post because I've been researching the same issue. I am contemplating getting the NPE-180A and controlling the pump with a remote control in each bathroom. This setup is very similar to the one I have with my 40 gallon tank setup with recirc/return line by using an X10 home automation module to program the remote to turn the pump on for 4 minutes and automatically turn off whenever someone presses it before taking a shower. Works great and saves the copper pipes. Circulation pumps can wreck havoc on your lines if you run them constantly due to friction at bends causing pinhole leaks.

    Now to the Navien. I was originally looking at Noritz units but I am liking the Naviens. They have an accessory called the HotButton (PZZZ-00046). If you look at the instructions, which tech support emailed to me, there is a Signal 1 input for 12 or 5V devices including remote controls or motion sensors. The time on value can be programmed through the front panel keypad. It's a little pricey for the HotButton but it'll accomplish what you want with great accuracy. You can pick up a remote or motion sensor online for a reasonable amount.

    Darn, I can't upload the pdf because it says it's too big. If you Private message your email, I'll send it to you.

    Hope that helps!

    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2017
  5. Texas711

    Texas711 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Jon;
    I just built a new house using the Navien NPE-210. Did not get wired for the hot button. I am now looking for an alternative, did this work for you?

    Marty
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  6. jbiddle

    jbiddle New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Canton, MI
    What about adding the NaviLink WiFi board and controlling it from your phone anywhere?
     
  7. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes!!! It worked perfectly. I connected the Hot Button control board to the main PCB per the instructions. Rather than using the hard wired door bell style push button that comes with the kit, I bought this remote control unit ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-MOM...ONTROL-RM11-/350575987090?hash=item519ff50992) to send 12 V power to the signal line when I push the wireless remote. Now, whenever I need hot water in the shower, I push the remote control button, wait 2 minutes and I have hot water at the valve. When I initially tested, the Navien pump was shutting off after only 15 seconds. I quick call to Navien and they had me program a parameter which defines the length of the return line and now I'm golden. In fact, it's pretty slick because the Navien automatically shuts the pump off when the return line water temp reaches 90 degrees F. I set the timer to shut off after 3 minutes but it is shutting off before that because it is reaching 90. The parameter they had me change was number 16. The default is 30 feet but we increased it to 100 feet. The instructions on how to change parameters is included in the Hot Button kit. To adjust the time on value, you adjust parameter 12. I was told they don't release information for all the parameters because there are some that are critical to the unit and they don't want plumbers messing with them. Of course, this 'solution' isn't officially supported per their instructions but I believe they aren't releasing the wired solution because they have the NaviLink product.

    The NaviLink option is interesting, but who has their phone with them in the bathroom. Also, what do you do when guests come over. I think a cheap remote is the best solution.

    I took some video of the install and will post after I edit. I'll post the link here when I'm done.

    Good luck.
     
  8. jbiddle

    jbiddle New Member

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Canton, MI
    That's an interesting solution. Did you mount the contact switch next to the Navien? What kind of range do you get from the remotes?
     
  9. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I mounted the contact switch inside the cabinet per the kit instructions. It clips on the side of the PCB board without screws and then you connect a ribbon cable to the PCB. The remote control module sits beside this area (I have it floating but I'll put double stick tape and mount it to the interior soon) and the antenna lead drops through a grommet (conveniently already available at the bottom of the unit near the pcb) to the outside.

    I can get about 50 feet away and still operate the pump. I haven't tried further but it should work fine. If you have a large house and range is an issue, you could always put the remote, say in the kitchen or anywhere closer to the Navien, and push it after having your coffee and then have plenty of time to head up to the shower.

    This morning I noticed it went on for 1 minute 30 seconds since it was colder outside. I forgot to mention that my Navien is installed outdoors. If yours is installed indoors say in a garage, range should really not be an issue.
     
  10. jbiddle

    jbiddle New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Canton, MI
    I bought the remote PB you referenced above and the specs on it say it uses 12 VDC, but I couldn't find anywhere whether the 12 V supplied by the Navien board is either AC or DC. Where did you find that info? Also, did you wire the PB from the Hot Button kit or only use the remote?
     
  11. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Use a digital multimeter and test the circuit on the Navien Hot Button PCB. It's 12V DC. With DC voltage, polarity matters so you'll notice it right away on a digital multimeter.

    I'm confused by your second question. But I'll take a shot at it. The RM11 remote's control box has a bunch of wires. The blue one is the antenna and drops through the grommet on the bottom to the outside of the tankless housing. The black wire is ground and you can connect both or only one to the negative terminal on the Hot Button Board. The red wire goes to the positive terminal. The white wire is the signal wire. Once the remote button is pressed, a relay inside the RM11 switches and allows 12V to flow to the signal post. This activates the pump. Here is a picture. I'm still working on the video but I should have it done by the end of the week.

    Oh and I just had the need for another remote to put by my kitchen. If you contact the seller, he'll setup a separate listing and sell you individual remotes without having to buy another control box. He'll also email you the directions on how to pair the remote to your existing RM11 box.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Here is the final install. I added an additional remote for a total of 3. I used a razor and carefully pried each side of the RM11 open to reach the programming switch.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Finished the How-to Video

     
  14. cboot

    cboot New Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hi proxybox, I'm trying to install the on demand re-circulation system as you did with the remote controls and push button board. The push button board istructions says that it is not compatible with old PcB Version Rev P12. Do you know what version of the main PCB you have on your Navien water heater? Just wondering if this might work anyway with the remote control setup.
     
  15. proxybox

    proxybox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have the newest version pcb since I just bought the tankless. I recall it was p23 but it was definitely larger than p20. Call Navien and explain if yours is older. Worst case is your plumber might have to call since they require them to maintain it.
     
  16. nik.taylor

    nik.taylor New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2020
    Location:
    CA
    Hey proxybox

    I’ve just installed a HotButton on my Navien and i’m having the same issue with the cycle not completing when the button is activated (I used a fortrezz MIMOlite moment switch instead). I set P.16 in the menu to the correct return pipe length and I changed P.12 from a 5 min cycle to 3min. It’s still only running for 15 secs. I haven’t had much luck calling them. I keep getting disconnected. What other changes did you have to make? Hope you can help.
     
  17. nik.taylor

    nik.taylor New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2020
    Location:
    CA
    Turns out that it was the temperature of the return water was high enough to stop the recirculation. I think it's 100F. The Navien is smart enough to stop recirculation when it recognises hot water has made the entire loop. The setup is correct and the only two settings you need are P.12 for recirculation time and P.16 for length of recirculation line from farthest point in the house.
     
  18. Grogger

    Grogger New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Location:
    California
    I just hooked up the NR-20DU wired remote control ($80 from Fergusons) and programmed 3 on/off recirculating cycles based on family needs. Plug n play (after removing front panel to access the plug).

    I’m assuming the default without the remote is to always keep the hot water throughout the house nearly instant so by having a few ‘off’ cycles, I’ll be recirculating less and saving water/gas/pipes. Is this correct?

    Loved the YouTube on the wireless hot button, but our problem is that we would need several remotes in each bathroom. I suppose we could leave it somewhere central, but we have three floors of bedrooms/showers so having a central button isn’t much different than just going to the unit and powering on/off. Also, not sure 50’ range for the remote will cover the whole house.
     
  19. cslee

    cslee New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    irvine, ca
    I have an NR240A for about 10 years now. Working well so far. However, I have envious of those who have the NPE with the hot button and wifi link. Is there the same solution for NR240A? Can I swap out the mainboard in the NR240A to an NPE240A board to get all that features? Is the cable harness compatible?
     
  20. Tanklees

    Tanklees New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2020
    Location:
    SJ
    Got mine wired up and I had to attach the temp sensor. Not sure if only the newer units come with the bridge installed across the Temp sensor lines but the re circulation would end mere seconds later. I removed it and wired up the sensor after attaching to the recirc pipe.

    Edit: In fact looking closer you do not even have the temp sensor on your HotButton. They removed signal #3 and put a sensor. Anyone having issues should make sure to use the included sensor or your HotButton kit likely will not work well.
     
  21. Tanklees

    Tanklees New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2020
    Location:
    SJ
    BTW the other remote was sold out. I bought the
    RX10M-6

    It claims 80ft remote range. I added a wire extension to the antenna and seems to be working pretty well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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