(19)
(11)EP 3 657 077 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
27.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/22

(21)Application number: 19210862.9

(22)Date of filing:  19.11.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F24D 19/00(2006.01)
F24H 9/00(2006.01)
F24D 19/10(2006.01)
F24D 17/00(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 20.11.2018 US 201816196538
08.10.2019 US 201916595781

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
19209957.0 / 3657076

(71)Applicant: Watts Regulator Co.
North Andover, MA 01845 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • D'AMORE, Theresa
    New City, NY New York 10956 (US)
  • BOTHNER, Paul
    Arlington, TX Texas 76012 (US)
  • SUMMEY, Jana
    Clever, MO Missouri 65631 (US)
  • TRAMMELL, Michael
    Hondo, TX Texas 78861 (US)
  • SCHMITT, Craig
    Peoria, AZ Arizona 85383 (US)

(74)Representative: Mewburn Ellis LLP 
Aurora Building Counterslip
Bristol BS1 6BX
Bristol BS1 6BX (GB)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 22-11-2019 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)WATER HEATING AND TREATMENT SYSTEM WITH UV LAMP AND ANTI-SCALE WATER TREATMENT FOR SANITARY WATER


(57) A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system includes an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp. A single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to one or multiple temperature zones. A water heater sanitation loop includes a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater. In some embodiments, a three-way return water diverter valve allows for safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to a drain, as needed. A method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system is also described.




Description

EARLIER APPLICATIONS



[0001] This application is a division of European patent application EP19209957.0 filed on 19 November 2019. EP19209957.0 itself claims priority to: (1) U.S. patent application Serial No. 16/196,538, UV LAMP AND ANTI-SCALE WATER TREATMENT WATER HEATER APPARATUS WITH SANITATION LOOP, filed November 20, 2018, and (2) U.S. patent application Serial No. 16/595,781, UV LAMP AND ANTI-SCALE WATER TREATMENT WATER HEATER APPARATUS WITH SANITATION LOOP, filed October 8, 2019. Both priority applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE APPLICATION



[0002] The application relates to sanitization of water and particularly to sanitization of water in a water heater and treatment system.

BACKGROUND



[0003] Legionnaires' disease from bacteria vaporized by evaporation from contaminated waters contaminated with Legionella germs is a well-known risk. As described, for example, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the June 2016 issue of Vitalsigns™, "Legionella grows best in building water systems that are not well maintained. Building owners and managers should adopt newly published standards that promote Legionella water management programs, which are ways to reduce the risk of this germ in building water systems".

SUMMARY



[0004] According to one aspect, a water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic water system includes a water heater. A cold water supply line to supply water to the water heater includes an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp. A single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to one or multiple temperature zones. The single or multiple mixing station is fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater. The single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature. A water heater sanitation loop includes a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater. The water heater controller causes an activation of the water heater sanitation loop and a water temperature of the water heater to increase momentarily to a sanitization temperature above 151° F for one or more periods of at least two minutes in a sanitation loop mode. The mixing station maintains the at least first temperature zone at about the first hot water temperature during operation of the sanitation loop mode.

[0005] In one embodiment, the water heater controller causes the activation of the water heater sanitation loop on a pre-determined schedule.

[0006] In another embodiment, the water heater controller is communicatively coupled to at least one of: the UV sanitation lamp or the anti-scale device, and the water heater controller causes the activation of the water heater sanitation loop in response to a detection of at least one of: an anti-scale device failure indication or a sanitation lamp failure indication.

[0007] In yet another embodiment, the cold water supply line includes a sediment filter.

[0008] In yet another embodiment, the water heating and treatment system further includes a hot water recirculation line.

[0009] In yet another embodiment, the water heating and treatment system further includes a one-way check valve disposed in the hot water recirculation line.

[0010] In yet another embodiment, the hot water recirculation line includes a sediment filter.

[0011] In yet another embodiment, the hot water recirculation line includes an additional UV lamp sanitation device.

[0012] In yet another embodiment, the hot water recirculation line includes an additional anti-scale device.

[0013] In yet another embodiment, the water heater includes an automatic blow down device including a blow down valve controlled by the water heater controller, the automatic blow down device to dispose of scale formed in the water heater.

[0014] In yet another embodiment, the water heater includes a gas fired heater with a modulated burner.

[0015] In yet another embodiment, the water heater includes an indirectly fired heat exchanger.

[0016] In yet another embodiment, the indirectly fired heat exchanger is selected from the group consisting of: a plate and frame heat exchanger, a brazed plate heat exchanger, and a shell and tube heat exchanger.

[0017] In yet another embodiment, the water heater includes an indirectly fired steam heated heat exchanger.

[0018] In yet another embodiment, the indirectly fired steam heated heat exchanger is selected from the group consisting of: a brazed plate heat exchanger, and a shell and tube heat exchanger.

[0019] In yet another embodiment, the water heater includes an electric heater.

[0020] In yet another embodiment, the water heating and treatment system further includes at least one chemical injector downstream of a hot water outlet of the water heater.

[0021] In yet another embodiment, the water heating and treatment system includes a hot temperature distribution water held to about a setpoint temperature by the mixing station, and a high temperature water distribution fluidly coupled to an outlet line of the water heater without active water temperature tempering.

[0022] In yet another embodiment, the water heating and treatment system further includes a one-way check valve at a hot water outlet of the water heater.

[0023] According to another aspect, method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic water system includes: providing a water heater, a cold water supply line to supply water to the water heater including: an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp, a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, the single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater, the single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature, a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater; sanitizing a cold water before flowing or pumping the cold water to the water heater; and sanitizing hot water of the water heater by operating the sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater at an elevated temperature exceeding 151° F (66° C) and holding the elevated temperature in the water heater for at least 2 minutes as controlled by the water heater controller.

[0024] In one embodiment, the step of sanitizing hot water of the water heater by operating the water heater sanitation loop includes sanitizing hot water of the water heater by operating the water heater sanitation loop on a periodic schedule.

[0025] In another embodiment, the step of sanitizing hot water of the water heater by operating the water heater sanitation loop includes sanitizing hot water of the water heater by operating the water heater sanitation loop in response to a fault alarm of the UV sanitation lamp.

Three-way return water diverter valve



[0026] A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system includes a water heater. A cold water supply line to supply water to the water heater includes an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp. A single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to one or multiple temperature zones. The single or multiple mixing station is fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater. The single or multiple mixing station supplies a heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature. A water heater sanitation loop includes a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater. A three-way return water diverter valve is fluidly coupled to the single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain via a drain line. The three-way return water diverter valve provides a portion of a re-circulated hot water from a hot water recirculation line to the mixing station and a remaining portion of the re-circulated hot water to the drain.

[0027] The three-way return water diverter valve allows for safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting an over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to another use via a diverter line, such as, laundry machines or dish washers or other purpose as designated by site personnel, or to a drain via a drain line or a diverted water line, to prevent the heated water of the at least a first temperature zone from exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature.

[0028] The water heater controller can be operatively coupled to the three-way return water diverter valve and at least one temperature sensor to cause the three-way return water diverter valve to divert or drain recirculated water during an overtemperature condition as detected by the at least one temperature sensor (e.g. FIG. 4, I-40).

[0029] The water heater controller can be operatively coupled to the three-way return water diverter valve and at least one temperature sensor and at least two temperature sensors to cause the three-way return water diverter valve to divert a portion of, or substantially all of a recirculated water based on a differential temperature as measured by the at least two temperature sensors (e.g. FIG. 4, I-40, I-41).

[0030] The at least two temperature sensors can include a water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.

[0031] The three-way return water diverter valve can be set to divert substantially all of a recirculated water to the drain during a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation.

[0032] The three-way return water diverter valve can be set to divert substantially all of a recirculated water to the drain when a water heater controller is set for a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation.

[0033] The one or more sanitation components can include at least one UV sanitation lamp.

[0034] The one or more sanitation components can include at least one sediment filter.

[0035] The three-way return water diverter valve can include a proportional three-way return water diverter valve.

[0036] The proportional three-way return water diverter valve can include a modulating 3-way valve.

[0037] A method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system including: providing a water heater, a cold water supply line to supply water to the water heater including: an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp, a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, the single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater, the single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature, a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate a hot water within the water heater, a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to the single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain via a drain line, or to another use via a diverted water line; returning substantially all of a re-circulated water via the three-way return water diverter valve to the single or multiple mixing station during a normal operation; diverting 0% to 100% of the re-circulated water to a drain or to another use during an overtemperature condition; and diverting 90% to 100% of the re-circulated water to the drain or to the another use during a shock treatment operation.

[0038] The step of returning the re-circulated water to the drain during the overtemperature condition can include returning the re-circulated water to the drain based on the overtemperature condition being detected by at least one temperature sensor operatively coupled to a controller.

[0039] The step of returning the re-circulated water to the drain during the overtemperature condition can include returning the re-circulated water to the drain based on a differential temperature measured by at least two temperature sensors operatively coupled to a controller.

[0040] The at least two temperature sensors can include a tempered water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.

[0041] The step of returning the re-circulated water to the drain during the shock treatment operation can include returning the re-circulated water to the drain during a temperature shock treatment operation.

[0042] The step of returning the re-circulated water to the drain during the shock treatment operation can include returning the re-circulated water to the drain during a chemical shock treatment operation.

[0043] Another water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprises a water heater. A cold water supply line supplies water to the water heater comprising an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp. A single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to one or multiple temperature zones. The single or multiple mixing station is fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater. The single or multiple mixing station supplies a heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature. A water heater sanitation loop includes a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within the water heater. A three-way return water diverter valve is fluidly coupled to the single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain or to another use, via a drain line or a diverted water line. The three-way return water diverter valve allows for safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting an over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to the drain or another use to prevent the heated water of at least the first temperature zone from exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature.

[0044] The foregoing and other aspects, features, and advantages of the application will become more apparent from the following description and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0045] The features of the application can be better understood with reference to the drawings described below, and the claims. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles described herein. In the drawings, like numerals are used to indicate like parts throughout the various views.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing an exemplary UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop according to the Application;

FIG. 2 is a diagram showing recommended sanitation temperatures and times;

FIG. 3 shows a drawing of an exemplary self-enclosed, single cabinet implementation of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing another exemplary UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop according to the Application including a three-way return water diverter valve; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram showing detail "A" of FIG. 4.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0046] As described hereinabove, Legionnaires' disease from bacteria vaporized by evaporation from contaminated waters contaminated with Legionella germs is a well-known risk. Water heaters, including low volume instantaneous hot heater heaters, pose a significant risk if mitigation techniques are not in place. Associated cold water supply lines and hot water distribution systems are also at risk from contamination by pathogens such as Legionella, bacteria, and other undesirable microorganisms in a domestic water (eg. hot water) system.

[0047] One method to substantially eliminate Legionella and other pathogens is to heat the water to a sufficient temperature for a sufficient amount of time. One method of the prior art is to heat water in a system to about 50° C to 60° C for about an hour. However, such sanitation methods can also cause several problems. Bulk heating of the water in the system for sanitation reasons uses significantly more energy consumption than might otherwise be used. Also, the overall system or parts of the system may need to be removed from service during periods of elevated water temperatures used for system sanitation cycles. More recently, it has been found that further elevated water temperatures above 151° F (66° C) or higher can be effective in at least about two minute sanitation cycles. However, the energy cost compared normal lower hot water temperature should still be considered.

[0048] In recent years, sanitation by ultraviolet light has become more effective and more widely used. One advantage of UV sanitation is that the UV light can be operated continuously to treat water at one or more key point in domestic water (eg. hot water) system, such as, for example, in a cold water supply line, and also in a recirculating water return line.

[0049] Pathogens also accumulate in scale formation at various places in a domestic hot water system and heater. There have been efforts related to water hardness to mitigate scale formation to prevent failure and premature aging of various water system components. Scale buildup has also been found to be a gross vector for pathogens such as Legionella. Scale deposits provide a place where pathogens such as biofilms can adhere. There should also be efforts to mitigate scale formation to substantially prevent habitats for pathogens.

[0050] Anti-scale technologies, such as, for example, the OneFlow® anti-scale system, available from Watts Water Technologies, Inc. of North Andover, MA, can be employed as part of a pathogen suppression program. Anti-scale systems are distinguished from water softening devices and systems which are less or not effective at preventing scale buildup as part of a pathogen suppression or mitigation program. U.S. Patent No. 9,879,120 B2, RESIN FOR PRECIPITATION OF MINERALS AND SALTS, METHODS OF MANUFACTURE AND USES THEREOF, assigned to Watts Water Technologies Inc., describes a method of producing a scale-control resin including an aqueous solution a cation-exchange resin and a weak-acid anion mineral or salt having a multivalent cation to allow ion exchange between the resin and the multivalent cation. The cation-exchange resin may be a weak-acid ion exchange resin. The method may further include adding a strong-acid salt having the same multivalent cation as the weak-acid anion mineral or salt to the aqueous solution. U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 62/675,898, QCM MEASUREMENT OF SCALE FORMATION, describes an exemplary water hardness mitigation or treatment evaluation system and method to evaluate the effectiveness of a water hardness mitigation or treatment evaluation system. Such exemplary techniques can be used to develop a fault indication for an anti-scale apparatus which can be received by a controller, such as the water heater controller, similar to a fault from a UV lamp device. The '120 patent and '898 application are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

[0051] The addition of UV sanitation and/or water treatment products, such as the OneFlow® products in a domestic water (eg. hot water) system can provide sufficient treatment and pathogen mitigation alone. Because the energy consumption of such systems is relatively small (e.g. the power to run one or more UV lamps, or the power to monitor operation of a water treatment system which is negligible), domestic water (eg. hot water) sanitation can be now accomplished without the higher cost for the additional energy consumption used to raise the temperature of the water for sanitation by elevated water temperature. Exemplary suitable UV sanitation systems have been described in U.S. Patent No. 9,738,547 B2, ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT SANITIZING ASSEMBLY WITH FLOW SWITCH AND KEYED LAMP, and U.S. Patent No. 9,932,245 B2, UV SANITIZING ASSEMBLIES WITH HIGH DOSE FEATURES AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING THE SAME, both assigned to Watts Water Technologies, Inc. The '547 and '245 patents are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

[0052] More advanced UV sanitation systems offer fault indications, typically via a local component controller which can also be in communication with a building controller, such as, for example, a system programmable logic controller and/or directly in communication with the water heater controller (e.g. a processor or microcomputer based controller). Faults, such as, a UV lamp failure can be displayed or alarmed locally and/or through a building controller system. Unfortunately, it is common for many such domestic water (eg. hot water) systems to continue to provide water to end users, including sinks and showers, sometimes for relatively long periods of time, before a defective UV lamp or other sanitation device is realized to be defective and/or there can be a delay until the failed device is repaired. Failure of timely maintenance and repair of water sanitization components might be caused by a lack of routine system and maintenance checks, a delay in calling for the repair, a lack of spare parts on hand, or carelessness by a building owner. After some period of time without device repair or replacement, the domestic water (eg. hot water) system can become vulnerable to contamination by pathogens, as if the failed remediation equipment had never been installed.

[0053] There is a need for a water heating and treatment, system and method which can effectively suppress pathogens, including undesired bacterial content, in a domestic water (eg. hot water) system with some degree of certainly, even where one or more sanitation device has failed or is otherwise inoperative.

[0054] It was realized that by incorporating advanced pathogen mitigation devices as part of a water heating system, that an elevated temperature water heater sanitation loop can be programmatically operated on schedule, and/or operated on a fault indication from a sanitation device, such as a UV lamp or anti-scale device communicatively coupled to a controller of the water heater. Where the controller of the water heater has such fault information, the controller can include a process to automatically invoke a backup or failsafe sanitation routine following notification of a fault by one or more of the system sanitation devices.

[0055] Scheduled operation of a sanitation loop: On a predetermined schedule, the controller of the water heater can command the water heater (e.g. as by modulating the burner heat output of a gas fired water heater, as controlled by the water heater controller) to an elevated temperature for a desired period of time as a scheduled backup or failsafe sanitation operation.

[0056] Operation of a sanitation loop in response to a fault detection: On notification from one or more sanitation devices that the sanitation device has failed (e.g. a failed UV lamp), the controller of the water heater can command the water heater (e.g. as by modulating the burner heat output of a gas fired water heater, as controlled by the water heater controller) to an elevated temperature for a desired period of time. For example, there can be scheduled at a predetermined interval or intervals, 2 minute temperature rises of the hot water in the water heater to above 151° F. The sanitation effectiveness of periods of elevated hot water temperature can be enhanced by a water flow through the water heater, such as a water flow caused by a close-in bypass loop which includes a sanitation pump.

[0057] In one exemplary embodiment, the water heater includes a sanitation bypass sanitation loop with a sanitation loop pump. Either on a pre-programmed schedule and/or following notice of a sanitation device failure from the failed device, the water heater controller runs a sanitation process, where the sanitation loop is activated (including activation of the sanitation loop pump) and the temperature of the water in the heater is raised by the water heater to an elevated temperature for an appropriate time, for that elevated temperature, to kill pathogens. For example, using currently best understood sanitation techniques, the water heater can increase the temperature in the water heater to above 151° F in one or periodic cycles lasting at least two minutes. Such water heater cycles can be performed by any suitable number of times during a day and repeated as for as long as is needed until the fault indication from the sanitation device goes away or is otherwise reset. As described hereinabove, there can also be sanitation cycles run on a predetermined schedule, even in the absence of sanitation device fault indications, as a backup or failsafe mode of operation for a more certain pathogen suppression. An entire sanitation cycle, including heating the water to above 151° F and at least 2 minutes of relatively high water velocity (high flow rate) through the sanitation loop at the elevated temperature above 151° F.

[0058] Some hot water distribution lines may be able to continue to operate normally without any additional manual or automatic operations during the times of elevated hot water temperature. For example, some high temperature water users, such as, for example, some industrial type washers and dishwashers can run normally even with periods of elevated hot water temperatures such as can result from operation of the sanitation loop (where there is no mixing valve in the hot water distribution line). Other hot water distribution systems cannot tolerate an elevated hot water supply at the sanitation temperature, such as, for example, hot water to building sinks and showers. However, water to those "low temperature" hot water distribution lines can be supplied through a mixing system, such as, for example a digital mixing system, where cold water is automatically injected into the distribution line to ensure that the desired hot water temperature, typically about 120° F is provided, despite any short term operation of a sanitation loop at the water heater causing higher than normal water temperature of the hot water in the water heater as well as the hot water at the water heater outlet line.

[0059] There can also be either a single or a multiple mixing station which supplies heated water to one or multiple temperature zones. The single or multiple mixing station is fluidly coupled to the cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from the water heater. The single or multiple mixing station supplies heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature.

[0060] FIG. 1 shows a schematic diagram of an exemplary UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 for suppression of pathogens including undesired bacterial content in a domestic water (eg. hot water) system (i.e. mitigation of pathogens such as Legionella in potable water systems) according to the Application. Cold or cool water 181 enters UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 from a source of potable cold water 181 (e.g. a municipal domestic water (eg. hot water) utility source as distributed within a building) passing through a sediment filter (A) 171, anti-scale system 141 and UV water treatment lamp (A) 137 to ensure that substantially no waterborne pathogens are introduced to the water heater 110 from the municipal supply. The anti-scale system 141 is placed before the UV lamp 137 to substantially prevent scale formation or build up in the UV lamp. The anti-scale system 141 also prevents scale formation in the water heater 110. Booster pump 153 can provide a desired water pressure and flow rate for the cold water inlet supply line. Cold water 181 is provided to the hot water 110 (of any suitable domestic water (eg hot water) heater, form clarity of illustration, not shown in detail in FIG. 1) via cold water line 196, one way valve 163 (which prevents hot water from the sanitation loop from flowing into the cold water lines), and line 193 which doubles for cold water supply, and to provide the return line for the sanitation loop 101.

[0061] One suitable anti-scale system is the OneFlow® anti-scale system available from Watts Water Technologies, Inc. of North Andover, MA. Water heater 110 can be a part of a water heater device such as, for example, any suitable water heater available from PVi™ of Fort Worth, TX, or from AERCO International, Inc. of Blauvelt, NY.

[0062] Water is heated to the desired setpoint and delivered to an integral mixing valve such as a digital mixing station 160. Suitable digital mixing stations include, for example, the IntelliStation™ available from POWERS™ (Watts Water Technologies, Inc.) of North Andover, MA. Principles of mixing have been described, for example, in U.S. Patent No. 9,122,284 B2, Electromechanical temperature regulation system for providing tempered mix water, assigned to PVI Industries Inc. (Watts Water Technologies, Inc.). Hot water from water heater 110 is provided to the mixing station 160 via one way valve 161, and hot water lines 191 and 194 to provide the "first temperature" hot water 131 supply. Digital mixing station 160 is used for tempering water to a controlled temperature hot water supply, shown in FIG. 1 as LT supply 131. Hot water is supplied directly to the high temperature water system, shown in FIG. 1 as HT supply 133.

[0063] Any suitable water heater 110 can be used. It is unimportant whether a source of heat, heats the water in the water heater directly (e.g. some types of electrical heating elements), or if there is a heat exchanger, such as, for example, where a hot combustion gas flows through tubes that run through a water heater to heat the water. It is also unimportant what type of fuel is used. While in commercial water heaters, gas burning burners are common, the same system and processes described by the Application can be implemented with electric, oil, direct, or indirect heat exchangers, including steam or non-potable boiler water heaters.

[0064] Exemplary suitable heat exchanger units include a plate and frame heat exchanger heater used with boiler water on one side and domestic water (eg. hot water) heater on the other side. The higher temperature boiler water heats the domestic water (eg. hot water) to the desired hot water temperature. Steam heating can also be used, such as where steam runs through pipe with water flowing around the pipe in a shell. For example, the water heater can include an indirectly fired heat exchanger, such as a plate and frame heat exchanger, a brazed plate heat exchanger, or a shell and tube heat exchanger. Or, the water heater can include an indirectly fired steam heated heat exchanger, such as a brazed plate heat exchanger, or a shell and tube heat exchanger.

[0065] Other suitable water heaters include gas fired water heaters, such as those with a modulated burner. Electrical elements, such as, for example, coiled electrical heating elements can also be used to more directly heat the water in an instantaneous type water heater. It is understood that water heaters as described hereinabove typically include any suitable water heater controller (e.g. controller 201, FIG. 1).

[0066] Controller 201 is typically, but not necessarily, the same as the controller of the water heater 110 via communication line 203. Controller 201 is optionally communicatively coupled to UV water treatment lamp (A) 137 via communication line 205, anti-scale system 141 via communication line 209, and/or UV water treatment lamp (B) 135 via communication line 207. Similarly, controller 201 can be optionally communicatively coupled via communication line 211 to any suitable communication lines to peripherals, such as, for example, one or more displays or indicators (not shown in FIG. 1) and/or any suitable wired or wireless connections (e.g. Bluetooth, WIFI, etc., to any other suitable computers or controllers. Communication lines 203, 205, 207, 209 and/or 211 can be any suitable wired or wireless connections of any suitable hardwired control wires, hardwired communication bus or protocol, any suitable wireless connection and/or any combination thereof.

[0067] Sediment filters 171, 173 can remove undesired particulate matter before it enters the parts of the UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 at either the cold water inlet or the recirculation water inlet. Any suitable sediment filter can be used.

[0068] Recirculation water is water that has gone out to a building hot water distribution system, but that was not used at any of the fixtures, or devices and which can be returned via a UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 as "unused" hot water. In the exemplary system of FIG. 1, building recirculation water is brought back to the UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 via sediment filter (B) 173 and UV water treatment lamp (B) 135, to ensure that substantially no waterborne pathogens are introduced to the system from the building hot water distribution lines and fixtures. Recirculated hot water 183 is distributed directly back into the water heater via line 195 for reheating and reuse, and to the mixing valve 160 via one-way check valve 165 and line 199.

[0069] Chemical injection ports 181, 183 (e.g. for chlorine dioxide) can be optionally used to further treat the outgoing hot water from the water heater. Chemicals such as chlorine dioxide are preferably introduced downstream of the heat exchanger so that they do not deteriorate the heat exchanger structure.

[0070] FIG. 2 is a diagram showing recommended sanitation temperatures and times sanitation Loop Sequence of Operation. The Diagram shows how several Legionella species, including Legionella pneumophila, respond to water temperatures in a laboratory setting. In an actual hot-water system, legionellae may multiply at temperatures well above 122° F because of scale, biofilm and other complexities (Legionellae Control in Health Care Facilities: A Guide for Minimizing Risk, Matthew Freije, HC Info, as reprinted in Understanding Potential Water Heater Scald Hazards A White Paper Developed by the ASSE International Scald Awareness Task Group, May 2013).

[0071] Sanitation loop - When enabled, the UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop 100 resets the setpoint temperature of the water heater from a normal operational setting (e.g. typically about 120° F to 140° F), up to about 160° F. As part of the sanitation or sanitation loop 101, circulating pump 151 pumps water from the supply connection 191 through pipe 192 to the cold inlet connection 193 and continues until the water within water heater 110 temperature exceeds above 151° F (66° C) and holds for at least 2 minutes, per the water treatment recommendations of FIG. 2.

[0072] Suitable water flow rates for the sanitation loop range as caused by the sanitation pump in the sanitation bypass loop are generally at least about the GPM flow rate of the water heater in normal operation, or higher. Note that a sanitation loop is distinct from bypass loops of the prior art which are used for temperature regulation and other applications, such as continuous water circulation or condensation reduction in the water heater. Such bypass loops use relatively small diameter pipes, and much lower flow rates, not suitable for the new sanitation loop described hereinabove.

[0073] Example: A water heater includes a sanitation loop as described hereinabove using a 2" pipe diameter and a 1/3 hp pump to achieve a sanitation loop flow rate of about 80 GPM. Typically, the pump and sanitation loop pipe should be large enough to support a flow greater than the normal flow of heated water from the water heater (i.e. as related to the heat capacity of the water heater).

[0074] When complete, the setpoint can be returned to the pre-sanitation loop normal operating temperature and the heated water will be delivered to the mixing valve 160, and where used, to the high temperature system water 133 supply. Optionally, a blow down valve 121 may be opened, during both automatic and manual sanitation loop operation, to connect water heater 110 to drain and rapidly return the heater supply to normal operational temperature settings. The sanitation loop function can be scheduled for periodic operation (e.g. at regular or irregular time intervals) and/or operated (eg. manually operated) based on a maintenance alarm, such as, for example, a fault indication from a water quality or water treatment device, such as a UV lamp fault or an anti-scale fault indication.

[0075] Automatic Blowdown Sequence of Operation - In some embodiments, an auto-blowdown feature can automatically drain any sediment that may have settled to the bottom of the heater 110 by operation of the blow down valve 121. Once complete the blow down valve can be closed and the unit placed back into its standard sequence of operation. An automatic blowdown sequence can be programmed to be performed on a regular or irregular schedule and/or on a more frequent operating schedule, such as, for example, in response to a fault condition, such as, for example, a fault indication from the anti-scale system. Such anti-scale system fault indications are being developed for commercialization, such as, for example, the QCM system described in the '898 application reference to hereinabove.

[0076] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing another exemplary UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop according to the Application. The UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus of FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 includes a three-way diverter valve 501 in the recirculation line 183 which allows the apparatus under certain circumstances, to send all or a portion of the recirculated water to a drain 505 via drain line 503 or for another use via diverter line 504. Temperature sensors in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 are shown in a rectangular schematic box marked by a "T" with designators such as I-40, and I-41. Any suitable analog or digital temperature sensors can be used, such as, for example, an analog or digital (Resistance Temperature Detector) RTD, or analog or digital thermistors.

[0077] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram showing detail "A" of FIG. 4. Three-way diverter valve 501 is typically operatively coupled to controller 201, such as, by communications line 513 which can be any suitable wired or wireless connections of any suitable hardwired control wires, hardwired communication bus or protocol, any suitable wireless connection and/or any combination thereof.

[0078] Over Temperature Protection - Over Temperature Protection is useful for typical operation, such as, where the high and tempered return lines are combined and connected to the systems recirculation line.

[0079] Anti-Scald System - An optional anti-scald system can be used to offer scald protection for building occupants where the recirculation temperature exceeds the tempered water system temperature setpoint. In the exemplary system of FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the tempered water (LT supply) is delivered by a digital mixing station 160, such as, for example, by use of an IntelliStation Jr™, available from POWERS™. Valve open and valve closed setpoint temperatures for the three-way return water diverter valve 501 can be set by user at a controller such as controller 201 or another interface device (e.g. a smartphone communicatively coupled to controller 201 by any suitable means, such as, for example, Bluetooth™, WIFI, Internet, etc.) operatively coupled . Operation of the three-way return water diverter valve 501 by a controller can also be based on the differential temperature between the tempered supply temperature sensor and the recirculation temperature sensor.

[0080] By partially opening the three-way return water diverter valve 501 (e.g. a modulating 3-way valve), to divert some returning water to the drain line 503 or diverted water line 504, an artificial demand can be placed on the system. Cold water can also be drawn into the digital mixing station 160 for mixing down to the tempered supply temperature.

[0081] Shock Treatment Options - Shock treatment options include temperature shock and chemical shock. Shock treatment options are useful for when installing in a retrofit application, or when an infection event has occurred. These are temporary unscheduled actions that are typically entered manually. Temperature Shock - To cause a temperature shock, the digital mixing station 160 can be placed into a sanitation mode where the delivery temperature is increased to temperatures known to reduce bacterial populations in the system piping. Chemical Shock - To cause a chemical shock, one or more of the chemical injection ports can be used to introduce very high doses of water treatment chemicals for a system flush or infection event.

[0082] Shock Protection - In the case of either a thermal shock treatment or a chemical shock treatment of a building piping system, substantially all of the water returning to the water heater and treatment device can be drained to protect components from exposure to high concentrations of chemical treatment and to allow the piping system to rapidly return to safe temperature below scalding levels. By fully opening the three-way return water diverter valve 501 during a shock protection event, substantially all of the retuning water can be diverted to drain 505.

[0083] Diverted water - In some installations such as exemplary water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in domestic water (eg. hot water) systems as described hereinabove, diverted water is diverted to a drain, via a drain line. However, in other installations, there can be another use of diverted warm or hot water, as designated by site personnel for the diverted hot or warm water (as opposed to the diverted water being sent directly to a drain via a drain line). In such alternate use cases, the diverted water can be alternatively piped to the other application to be used before later being drained after the alternate use, or to an end use which otherwise consumes and/or evaporates the diverted water. Where a diverted water line is used to pipe diverted water to another alternate use, the diverted water line takes the place of the drain line in the exemplary systems shown in the drawings.

[0084] Generally, the addition of a proportional three-way return water diverter valve provides more flexibility and options on how to use the re-circulated water. Typically, in a normal operation of the system, substantially all of the recirculated water is returned to the mixing station, such as in the exemplary system of FIG. 4, via a UV water treatment lamp and a sediment filter. During an overtemperature condition, the proportional three-way return water diverter valve can return 0% to 100% portion of the recirculated water to the system, the remainder being diverted to a drain or to another use. Note that during some overtemperature conditions, depending on the allowed variation of particularly the LT supply (sometimes referred to as the first temperature hot water supply hereinabove), a facility manager can still optionally allow substantially all of the recirculated water to be returned to the mixing station. However, during a shock treatment operation, substantially all of the re-circulated water (i.e. 90%-100%) is diverted to the drain, or optionally to another use (where the other use can tolerate the shock treated water).

[0085] Controller - the water heater can include any suitable controller, typically a processor based controller. The processes described hereinabove can be performed by the water heater controller or another controller operatively coupled to the water heater controller. The controller can be based on any suitable embedded processor or embedded computer. The water heater control can monitor and report the status and faults of the UV fluency and Mixing Valve, as well as perform standard water heater operational functions. Similarly, the mixing station can include its own controller operatively coupled to the controller which is carrying out any of the processes described hereinabove.

[0086] The UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop of FIG. 1 can be built into a single enclosure as a compact self enclosed apparatus. FIG. 3 shows a drawing of an exemplary self enclosed, single cabinet implementation of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

[0087] Applications of the UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop of FIG. 1 include domestic water (eg. hot water) installations for critical healthcare facilities such as hospitals, and in the hospitality areas, including, for example, restaurants, resorts, and hotels.

[0088] Instantaneous water heaters have relatively small volumes of heated water, and hot water tanks are no longer used or at least are less common in modern water heating applications and installations. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the same techniques of a UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop as described by the Application, can be applied to hot water tanks of a hot water system. While present trends are towards water heaters that heat water on demand (e.g. instantaneous water heaters as used in the exemplary systems described hereinabove), those skilled in the art will also recognize that the same techniques of a UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop as described by the Application can also be applied to tank type water heaters.

[0089] Suitable wired communications include direct wired contact controls and/or analog voltages or currents including current loop standards, serial standards, such as RS-485, ethernet connections, etc. Suitable wireless connections include, for example, Bluetooth™, WIFI, Internet, etc.

[0090] Software or firmware of processors, controllers, and computers that can be used to implement a water heater, a digital mixing station, a UV lamp and an anti-scale water treatment water heater apparatus with sanitation loop of FIG. 1 can be provided on any suitable computer readable non-transitory storage medium. A computer readable non-transitory storage medium as non-transitory data storage includes any data stored on any suitable media in a non-fleeting manner. Such data storage includes any suitable computer readable non-transitory storage medium, including, but not limited to hard drives, non-volatile RAM, SSD devices, CDs, DVDs, etc.

[0091] It will be appreciated that variants of the above-disclosed and other features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be combined into many other different systems or applications.

[0092] The following numbered paragraphs describe various combinations and embodiments of the water treatment systems described herein comprising a three-way return water diverter valve:
  1. 1. A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprising:

    a water heater;

    a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp;

    a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply a heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature;

    a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater; and

    a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to said single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain or to another use, via a drain line or a diverted water line, said three-way return water diverter valve to provide a portion of a re-circulated hot water from a hot water recirculation line to said mixing station and a remaining portion of the re-circulated hot water to said drain.

  2. 2. The water heating and treatment system of paragraph 1, wherein a water heater controller operatively coupled to said three-way return water diverter valve and at least one temperature sensor causes said three-way return water diverter valve to divert recirculated water during an overtemperature condition detected by said at least one temperature sensor.
  3. 3. The water heating and treatment system of either one of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, wherein a water heater controller operatively coupled to said three-way return water diverter valve and at least two temperature sensors causes said three-way return water diverter valve to diverter a portion of, or substantially all of a recirculated water based on a differential temperature measured by said water heater controller between said at least two temperature sensors.
  4. 4. The water heating and treatment system of paragraph 3, wherein said at least two temperature sensors comprise a water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.
  5. 5. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraph 1 to paragraph 4, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve is set to diverter substantially all of a recirculated water to said drain during a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation.
  6. 6. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraph 1 to paragraph 5, wherein when a water heater controller is set for a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation, said three-way return water diverter valve is set to diverter substantially all of a recirculated water to said drain.
  7. 7. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraph 1 to paragraph 6, wherein said one or more sanitation components comprises at least one UV sanitation lamp.
  8. 8. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraph 1 to paragraph 7, wherein said one or more sanitation components comprises at least one sediment filter.
  9. 9. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraph 1 to paragraph 8, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve comprises a proportional three-way return water diverter valve.
  10. 10. The water heating and treatment system of paragraph 9, wherein said proportional three-way return water diverter valve comprises a modulating 3-way valve.
  11. 11. A method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprising:

    providing a water heater, a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising: an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp, a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature, a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate a hot water within said water heater, a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to said single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain via a drain line, or to another use via a diverted water line;

    returning substantially all of a re-circulated water via said three-way return water diverter valve to said single or multiple mixing station during a normal operation;

    diverting 0% to 100% of the re-circulated water to a drain or to another use during an overtemperature condition; and

    diverting 90% to 100% of the re-circulated water to said drain or to said another use during a shock treatment operation.

  12. 12. The method of paragraph 11, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said overtemperature condition comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain based on said overtemperature condition being detected by at least one temperature sensor operatively coupled to a controller.
  13. 13. The method of paragraph 11, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said overtemperature condition comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain based on a differential temperature measured by at least two temperature sensors operatively coupled to a controller
  14. 14. The method of paragraph 13, wherein said at least two temperature sensors included a tempered water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.
  15. 15. The method of any one of paragraph 11 to paragraph 14, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said shock treatment operation comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain during a temperature shock treatment operation.
  16. 16. The method of any one of paragraph 11 to paragraph 14, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said shock treatment operation comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain during a chemical shock treatment operation.
  17. 17. The water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation of any one of paragraphs 1 to 16, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve allows for a safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting an over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to said drain or said another use to prevent said heated water of said at least a first temperature zone from exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature.
  18. 18. A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprising:

    a water heater;

    a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp;

    a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply a heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature;

    a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater; and

    a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to said single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain or to another use, via a drain line or a diverted water line, said three-way return water diverter valve to allow for safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting an over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to said drain or said another use to prevent said heated water of said at least a first temperature zone from exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature.



[0093] The following numbered paragraphs describe various further combinations and embodiments of the water treatment systems described herein:
  1. 1. A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic water system comprising:

    a water heater;

    a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp;

    a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature;

    a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater;

    wherein said water heater controller causes an activation of said water heater sanitation loop and a water temperature of said water heater to increase momentarily to a sanitization temperature above 151° F for one or more periods of at least two minutes in a sanitation loop mode, and wherein said mixing station maintains said at least first temperature zone at about said first hot water temperature during operation of said sanitation loop mode.

  2. 2. The water heating and treatment system of paragraph 1, wherein said water heater controller causes said activation of said water heater sanitation loop on a pre-determined schedule.
  3. 3. The water heating and treatment system of either one of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, wherein said water heater controller is communicatively coupled to at least one of: said UV sanitation lamp or said anti-scale device, and said water heater controller causes said activation of said water heater sanitation loop in response to a detection of at least one of: an anti-scale device failure indication or a sanitation lamp failure indication.
  4. 4. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 3, wherein said cold water supply line comprises a sediment filter.
  5. 5. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 4, further comprising a hot water recirculation line.
  6. 6. The water heating and treatment system of paragraph 5:
    1. (i) further comprising a one-way check valve disposed in said hot water recirculation line;
    2. (ii) wherein said hot water recirculation line comprises a sediment filter;
    3. (iii) wherein said hot water recirculation line comprises an additional UV lamp sanitation device; and/or
    4. (iv) wherein said hot water recirculation line comprises an additional anti-scale device.
  7. 7. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 6, wherein said water heater comprises an automatic blow down device including a blow down valve controlled by said water heater controller, said automatic blow down device to dispose of scale formed in said water heater.
  8. 8. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 7, wherein said water heater comprises a gas fired heater with a modulated burner.
  9. 9. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 8, wherein said water heater comprises an indirectly fired heat exchanger, optionally wherein said indirectly fired heat exchanger is selected from the group consisting of: a plate and frame heat exchanger, a brazed plate heat exchanger, and a shell and tube heat exchanger.
  10. 10. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 9, wherein said water heater comprises an indirectly fired steam heated heat exchanger, optionally wherein said indirectly fired steam heated heat exchanger is selected from the group consisting of: a brazed plate heat exchanger, and a shell and tube heat exchanger.
  11. 11. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 10, wherein said water heater comprises an electric heater.
  12. 12. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 11, further comprising at least one chemical injector downstream of a hot water outlet of said water heater.
  13. 13. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 12, comprising hot temperature distribution water held to about a setpoint temperature by said mixing station, and a high temperature water distribution fluidly coupled to an outlet line of said water heater without active water temperature tempering.
  14. 14. The water heating and treatment system of any one of paragraphs 1 to 13, further comprising a one-way check valve at a hot water outlet of said water heater.
  15. 15. A method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic water system comprising:

    providing a water heater, a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising: an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp, a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature, a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater;

    sanitizing a cold water before flowing or pumping said cold water to said water heater; and

    sanitizing hot water of said water heater by operating said sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater at an elevated temperature exceeding 151° F (66° C) and holding said elevated temperature in said water heater for at least 2 minutes as controlled by said water heater controller;

    optionally wherein said step of sanitizing hot water of said water heater by operating said water heater sanitation loop comprises sanitizing hot water of said water heater by operating said water heater sanitation loop (i) on a periodic schedule, and/or (ii) in response to a fault alarm of said UV sanitation lamp or anti-scale device.



Claims

1. A water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation for suppression of pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprising:

a water heater;

a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp;

a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply a heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature;

a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate hot water within said water heater; and

a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to said single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain or to another use, via a drain line or a diverted water line, said three-way return water diverter valve to provide a portion of a re-circulated hot water from a hot water recirculation line to said mixing station and a remaining portion of the re-circulated hot water to said drain.


 
2. The water heating and treatment system of claim 1, wherein a water heater controller operatively coupled to said three-way return water diverter valve and at least one temperature sensor causes said three-way return water diverter valve to divert recirculated water during an overtemperature condition detected by said at least one temperature sensor.
 
3. The water heating and treatment system of either one of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein a water heater controller operatively coupled to said three-way return water diverter valve and at least two temperature sensors causes said three-way return water diverter valve to diverter a portion of, or substantially all of a recirculated water based on a differential temperature measured by said water heater controller between said at least two temperature sensors.
 
4. The water heating and treatment system of claim 3, wherein said at least two temperature sensors comprise a water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.
 
5. The water heating and treatment system of any one of claim 1 to claim 4, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve is set to diverter substantially all of a recirculated water to said drain during a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation.
 
6. The water heating and treatment system of any one of claim 1 to claim 5, wherein when a water heater controller is set for a temperature shock operation or a chemical shock operation, said three-way return water diverter valve is set to diverter substantially all of a recirculated water to said drain.
 
7. The water heating and treatment system of any one of claim 1 to claim 6, wherein said one or more sanitation components comprises at least one UV sanitation lamp.
 
8. The water heating and treatment system of any one of claim 1 to claim 7, wherein said one or more sanitation components comprises at least one sediment filter.
 
9. The water heating and treatment system of any one of claim 1 to claim 8, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve comprises a proportional three-way return water diverter valve;
optionally wherein said proportional three-way return water diverter valve comprises a modulating 3-way valve.
 
10. A method for treating hot water to suppress pathogens and undesired bacterial content in a domestic hot water system comprising:

providing a water heater, a cold water supply line to supply water to said water heater comprising: an anti-scale device, and a UV sanitation lamp, a single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to one or multiple temperature zones, said single or multiple mixing station fluidly coupled to said cold water supply line and to a hot water outflow line from said water heater, said single or multiple mixing station to supply heated water to at least a first temperature zone at a first hot water temperature, a water heater sanitation loop including a sanitation loop pump to circulate a hot water within said water heater, a three-way return water diverter valve fluidly coupled to said single or multiple mixing station via one or more sanitation components, and to a drain via a drain line, or to another use via a diverted water line;

returning substantially all of a re-circulated water via said three-way return water diverter valve to said single or multiple mixing station during a normal operation;

diverting 0% to 100% of the re-circulated water to a drain or to another use during an overtemperature condition; and

diverting 90% to 100% of the re-circulated water to said drain or to said another use during a shock treatment operation.


 
11. The method of claim 10, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said overtemperature condition comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain based on said overtemperature condition being detected by at least one temperature sensor operatively coupled to a controller.
 
12. The method of claim 10, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said overtemperature condition comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain based on a differential temperature measured by at least two temperature sensors operatively coupled to a controller
 
13. The method of claim 12, wherein said at least two temperature sensors included a tempered water supply temperature sensor and a recirculated water temperature sensor.
 
14. The method of any one of claim 10 to claim 13, wherein said step of returning the re-circulated water to said drain during said shock treatment operation comprises returning the re-circulated water to said drain:

(i) during a temperature shock treatment operation; or

(ii) during a chemical shock treatment operation.


 
15. The water heating and treatment system with UV lamp and anti-scale water treatment sanitation of any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein said three-way return water diverter valve allows for a safe sanitation of a domestic hot water system by diverting an over temperature re-circulated water away from the mixing valve to said drain or said another use to prevent said heated water of said at least a first temperature zone from exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description