Thinking about installing a hot water demand system to speed up your slow hot water and provide you with water conservation?
If so, there is a simple procedure you can use to find out how a demand hot
water system will perform with your particular plumbing layout.
Hot water demand systems like the
Chilipepper CP6000 and the CP2011 can sometimes deliver hot
water to more than one sink, and if your plumbing is looped, sometimes all of
your fixtures. This would mean that combined with a hot water demand
pumping system you would have a very green plumbing system.
Plumbing Test for Hot Water Demand Pumps
Go to the sink or fixture where you think you want to install
your demand system.
Turn on the hot water and let it run until the hot water reaches the sink,
and shut it off. The hot water piping between the fixture and the water
heater is now full of hot water. Just the same as if the Chilipepper had just shut off.
Go to the next closest fixture and see how long it takes to get hot water.
If you time the fixtures after the piping has fully cooled off you can measure
the time difference you would experience with and without the system.
If another fixture in your home uses some of the same pipe run it will get hot
water more quickly than normal and by testing you can find out how much.
You can also measure the amount of water you would save with the system.
Timing and measuring hot water flow
You can use a container with a known volume to do your timing
and measuring. I like to use a 1 gallon milk jug since it holds a gallon
of water when full.
To find the flow rate, divide 1 gallon (or
whatever size container you are using) by the number of seconds it takes to fill
the jug. Then multiply the result times 60 to convert to gallons per minute.
This only works for a one gallon container. For a different size container
just divide the volume of the container in gallons by the seconds and proceed as
If it takes 30 seconds to fill the one gallon jug then
the flow rate is 2 gallons per minute. 60 seconds would be 1 gallon per
Be sure to let the pipes cool completely between tests to
prevent inaccurate results.
The Chilipepper pump
generally will pump around 2-1/2 to 3 gallons per minute, so you can compare it
with the flow rate of your fixtures. Different fixtures will have
different flow rates.
The bath sink faucets will probably be the slowest, followed by
the kitchen sink , and the shower, with the bathtub faucet probably having the
highest flow of all the fixtures.
Using this method of testing
will enable you to map out your plumbing layout and find out just how green it
is and what the water conservation effects would be with a hot water demand