Troubleshooting

The Chilipepper On-Demand Hot Water Recirculation System was designed to be a no-maintenance, problem-free solution to wasting water. As with any mechanical device, occasionally something may go wrong. If you have any issues with your Chilipepper, this is the best place to start looking for a solution. If none of these suggestions/steps resolves the problem, or if the problem is not listed, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. The best way to contact us is by sending an email describing the problem and including the model, approximate length of time it has been installed, when the problem began, and any other information that you feel might help us to diagnose the problem, to admin@chilipeppersales.com.

 This guide covers the most common problems that customers contact us about. Most problems can be resolved through troubleshooting.

Tips:

This is not a troubleshooting step exactly, but a good step to take prior to going through the whole installation process: Upon removing the Chilipepper from its packaging, plug it into an outlet and test the remote keyfob. If the unit gives two beeps then you know that the remote keyfob is correctly coded to that unit and that it is working correctly. Now you can proceed with installation.

When handling the temperature sensor, it is important to use care to not pull on the wires. If they come loose, or if they get damaged, then your Chilipepper will not work.

 

I'm installing my Chilipepper and it won't start. It just gives me two beeps.

There are a few possible reasons for this. First, check that the sensor cable is firmly seated in its connection at the base of the unit and that the wires have not come loose.

Second, the sensor is very sensitive and it my be reading latent heat from being handled as hot water in the system. Give the unit an hour or so and then try again. If this is the problem then it will resolve itself shortly.

Lastly, if any water got on the unit during installation, it may have leaked into the sensor connection and is causing a faulty reading. It only takes a drop or two in the right spot to cause the sensor to "short" and respond with a faulty reading. Try CAREFULLY unplugging the sensor and dry it and the connection with a fan or hairdryer. Once dry, it should go back to normal functioning.

I'm installing my Chilipepper and it isn't doing anything; it's dead.

The most common cause for this is when the Chilipepper is plugged into an outlet that is also used for the garbage disposal. Although normally only one side of the outlet is wired to the switch, sometimes both sides are. Try plugging a lamp into the outlet. If it doesn't light up then you can be pretty sure that the whole outlet is on the switch. Time to talk with your electrician!

If the outlet isn't the issue, then double-check the sensor connection. If the sensor is plugged in, but the wires are loose, or have been damaged, then the unit will not start.

My Chilipepper has been working fine but today it won't start.

Check the battery in the remote. If you have a hard-wired button, see if that will start the unit. If so, then the problem is with the remote and not the Chilipepper itself. If the remote works but the wired button does not then try disconnecting the wires from the button and touching them together for a couple of seconds. If the unit starts up then the button is the problem and not the Chilipepper itself.

My Chilipepper is beeping every 10-15 seconds.

There is most likely a short in the low-voltage (button wire) system. Check the wires from the button all the way to the connection at the Chilipepper. Disconnect the button from the wires and reconnect it, being careful that the wires aren't touching each other.

I'm getting cold water in the hot. -or- All of a sudden the hot water isn't as hot as usual. -or- My Chilipepper is running longer than usual to bring the hot water.

The cause of all of these is almost always debris in the spring check valve keeping it open and allowing the cold water to bleed over into the hot. Fortunately this is a simple problem to fix, and you can probably do it yourself. You will need to check and clean the Spring Check Valve.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Turn off the water supply valves and unplug the Chilipepper.
  2. Disconnect the temperature sensor being CAREFUL to not pull on the wires.
  3. Remove the brass sensor fitting with hose attached.
  4. You will notice a "retainer cap" with a hexagonal opening.
  5. Use the hex tool that came with your kit to remove that retainer. The spring may pop out when that retainer is removed so it's best to keep a hand over it.
  6. Remove the spring check valve and examine it and the outlet of the pump head for debris. Clean it out and replace the spring check valve. The plunger end goes in first, i.e. head down into the pump head outlet.
  7. Replace the retainer, tightening it so that it is flush with the top of the pump head outlet. It does not need to be tightened any further as it can restrict the water flow and cause additional problems.
  8. Replace the brass sensor fitting with hose and reconnect the sensor cable.
  9. TURN THE WATER SUPPLY VALVES ON ALL THE WAY.

I'm getting mixing of the cold and hot water randomly - not all the time.

First, is your Chilipepper installed on a perimeter wall where the sprinkler system is connected on the outside of the wall? 99% of the time this answer will be yes. Then you will need a little more pressure on the spring check valve to compensate for the flow of the cold water to the sprinkler system. Follow the same procedure as above, but stop before removing the retainer cap. Instead of removing it, use the hex tool to tighten it 1/4 turn clockwise. Reassemble everything and see if that resolved the problem. Once in a while it may be necessary to use up to 1 full turn, but it is best to do this in 1/4 turn increments as you want the least amount of restriction possible on the water flow through the Chilipepper.