Hot Water Recirculation Appliance
THE CHILIPEPPER HOT WATER APPLIANCE – ONE OF A KIND
If you are a long time reader of our column you know that we love it when we get the chance to review a new product or service. Well, this time it’s an invention that offers a new twist to an old idea. The old idea is instant hot water at the tap, and the new twist is that it is NOT a point-of-use water heater. And it is NOT a conventional recirculating system either. Instead, it is a simple, inexpensive plumbing appliance called the Chilipepper hot water appliance (that contains a pump and timer) which provides instant hot water. And best of all it is designed for an easy do-it-yourself installation. If you can install an in-line water filter you can install this appliance. All you need is a pair of pliers, an electric screwdriver/drill and about a half-hour of your time.
The Chilipepper hot water appliance has two benefits. First, water waste is reduced. Believe it or not, an average family of four wastes nearly 10,000 gallons of water each year waiting for hot water at the shower, the kitchen faucet and bathroom sinks. Second, by simply pressing a button and waiting a few seconds before turning on your faucet you can have instant hot water (directly from your water heater) the moment you turn on your faucet or shower valve. No more cold water tests that chill every bone in your hand.
The Chilipepper hot water appliance isn’t its inventor’s first attempt at solving the problem of water waste and chilly hot water. The Chilipepper hot water appliance has an ancestor – the Hot Water On-Demand (HWOD) system. When we were first shown the original HWOD system we thought it was a point-of-use water heater. Boy, were we wrong! The HWOD system was a completely different invention. The HWOD used a computer chip, a small but powerful pump and a series of check valves to move the cold water sitting in a hot water line back to the water heater through the cold water line – without spilling a drop! And even though the HWOD system was more energy efficient than a conventional recirculating system, and even though its cost was one-fifth of the price of a conventional recirculating system, it was still relatively pricey – and somewhat complicated to install. Although it could be conveniently located in either the kitchen sink cabinet or bathroom vanity cabinet, it had the disadvantage of having to be soldered into place. There were a couple of other drawbacks. The thermostatic controls didn’t always work effectively and a system repair could take weeks – there were no local dealers to make an in-home repair. But then, we figure they had the same problem way back then when one of Thomas Edison’s inventions failed.
Anyway, the HWOD system was a phenomenal idea and a marvelous contraption that saved water and added convenience – warm water at the tap. Without the wasted energy associated with the operation of a fancy, expensive recirculating system. All without the added expense of a point-of-use water heater.
Even though we were thoroughly impressed with the HWOD fixture’s operation we told the inventor that the $400 price tag had to be brought below $200 and that the complex installation had to be completely eliminated. We even made suggestions as to how we thought this could be accomplished. Well, three years later he proved that he was listening. About a month ago we got a call. “Hey guys, we finally did it”. No more soldering, no more computer chip to fail, no more check valves to seize up, and best of all, if the system fails, it can be removed in 15 minutes and mailed in for repair it only weighs 4 pounds.”
Now instead of a complicated plumbing fixture that requires computer chips, check valves and soldering, the second generation Chilipepper hot water appliance is simply a timer driven pump that operates at the press of a button (an optional wireless remote control is available). And all the works are encased in a small, compact plastic housing that hangs on a single screw. Disconnect the water lines from your faucet and screw them into the Chilipepper hot water appliance. Then, add two new lines from the Chilipepper hot water appliance to the faucet. All fittings are threaded. No soldering or special wrenches are required. A pair of pliers is all that it takes. You will need an electric drill to make a small hole in the face of your bathroom cabinet to mount the control button. The Chilipepper hot water appliance sounds like a bath fan so don’t be surprised if you hear a little noise. Remember, the pump only runs for a few seconds and only when you want cold water displaced. Our solution to the problem is to mount the appliance in the kids bathroom. They love noise. Don’t worry, they won’t hear it over their boom box anyway!
For more information about this amazing appliance you can email the inventor at Chilipepperapp.com or you can call him at 800 914-9887.