Test Your Plumbing
Wondering how to decide where is the best location to install the Chilipepper? Curious to know what other locations will be helped by having using a Chilipepper?
Two of the most common questions asked by people new to the Chilipepper are: "Will one pump work for my whole house?" and "How do I decide the best place to install it?"
We always recommend that the Chilipepper be installed at the furthest run from the water heater. But how do you know for sure which faucet that is?
There are various ways that a plumber can lay out the pipes in a home. Some systems are “looped”, meaning they run from one fixture to the next all the way through to return to the start. Other systems can have branches that can run from the main trunk to a fixture or fixtures. This branch can be a short or long run from the main trunk. Other systems can use a manifold or “Spokes and Wheel” arrangement where the water runs to the common center point and then down a spoke to a faucet.
Each of these systems will effect the choice of the optimal placement location for the Chilipepper. The layout will also play a role in deciding whether your home needs just one, or more than one Chilipepper to get the desired results.
For example, a basic loop system should only require one Chilipepper, placed at the last fixture in the loop, to bring hot water to any of the faucets. But a branch, or spoke/wheel layout may mean that one Chilipepper will be able to bring water to one fixture only and so you may need additional Chilipeppers to get the same results at additional faucets.
Here is a simple experiment that you can do to get an idea of what type of layout is in your home, how a Chilipepper placed in a certain location will/will not effect other locations, and where is the optimal location to install the Chilipepper(s). This experiment can also show you how much water you will actually save by using a Chilipepper.
*It is best to run this experiment in the morning when the pipes are cold, or after the house has been vacant for at least a few hours. This experiment will normally be done over 2-3 days.
Day One: Start by going to where you think is the end of the farthest run, based on physical distance from the water heater or by whichever faucet seems to take the longest time to get hot water. Open the hot water and time how long it takes for the hot water to arrive. If you want to measure the water wasted too, that will show the actual amount of water that you will be able to save using a Chilipepper.
Next Day(s): Go to another faucet, one that you would also like for the Chilipepper to effect. Run the hot water and time it. You can measure the water volume as well, if you like. You can do this procedure with any number of faucets, just be sure to start when the water in the pipes is cold to get the best readings. With these times, you can see where the longest run from the hot water is.
Final Day: Go back to the location that you timed first and run the water until it is hot. This is basically imitating the effect of the Chilipepper if it were installed and run at this location. Turn that faucet off and go immediately to one of the other fixtures that you timed. Run the hot water and time it again. If it takes less time than before, then you know that the Chilipepper will effect this location. If not, then it is likely that your system has branches or spokes, and further consideration will be needed.
Once you have all of that information, you will know which faucet(s) effect which other one(s), if any. You can then decide on where to install and how many Chilipeppers you want to install to get the water savings/fast hot water that you desire.