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Thread: Using Occupancy sensor and appliance swicth to control hot water recirc pump

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Using Occupancy sensor and appliance swicth to control hot water recirc pump

    I have an RRA2 system and recently installed an occupancy sensor in the bathroom to activate a hot water recirculation pump. The installation works very well, but could be improved with a more advanced set of parameters. It would be ideal if I can limit the run time for the pump to 5 minutes after the initial occupancy sense, then have a timeout of something like 30 minutes before a new occupancy sense can activate another 5 minute run time. Is anything like this possible to program?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    This would be available through third party or through HomeWorks. RA2 cannot do this by itself. You might see if an ice-cube relay could be incorporated for the time functions that you are looking for.
    Simple automation when DIY isn't working

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Walter - I'm doing this exact same thing. I have multiple occupancy sensors located around the house, and they set the recirculating pump to run for 2 minutes, and have a timeout of 30 minutes like you're stating. With the length of the hot water line run to the far side of the house and the second story, we found that with the recirculating pump running, the water was cooling enough that the hot water heater was running continuously. By setting this up with occupancy sensors, it had a huge effect on reducing the run-time of the water heater, and the electric bill.

    I couldn't get RadioRA2 to do what I needed, but I have an integration to an Elk M1 automation / security panel that connects to the serial port on the Radio RA 2 main repeater. So I'm handling the on / off for the appliance module as well as the timeout settings through the Elk, as they have much better logic for creating rules.

    I'm not saying that the Elk is the best option for what you want to do, but I am saying that it's probably worth your time to go down the path of figuring out a way to automate this. Elk just happens to have an integration to Radio RA 2, which is why I chose that particular panel.

    The other thing that I have done is knowing that our schedules are fairly standard most days of the workweek, I've setup the recirc pump to run for a few minutes on days when our alarm system is armed to stay (when we're home) just before the alarm clock goes off. This fixes the problem of waking up, and having to wait a few minutes for the pump to get water where it needs to be - again I'm handling this through the Elk M1.

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