DIY with Andrew

How to control Rinnai water heater

Recirculate hot water via smart home commands

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Time needed


The story

I have a Rinnai tankless water heater that can recirculate water when I immediately need hot water. It’s got a wifi module hooked in which lets me recirculate water via the app or a push button. The button works fine, but I only have one of them and I couldn’t justify spending $60 on another button. The app also works most of the time, but it’s a little cumbersome to have to open the app and then navigate to the recirculate screen.

Using Alexa

I found that Rinnai actually has an Alexa skill. I have an Amazon Echo sitting around, so I set this up. (The Echo dot is also cheaper than the Rinnai button, and can do way more). In the Alexa App, go to the “more” tab, tap on “Skills & Games”, and search for Rinnai. Activate that skill and log in with your Rinnai account.

However, after setting it up, I realized that I had to say “Alexa, ask control r for hot water” which was a bit awkward. I just want to say “Alexa, hot water”. Turns out, there is a way to do this!

Back in the Alexa app, go to Routines, and create a new routine that triggers when you say “Alexa, hot water” (or whatever you want). Then, add a custom action with the phrase “Alexa, ask control r for hot water”.

alexa routine

Now, you can just say “Alexa, hot water” (or whatever you set), and it will trigger the Rinnai Control R skill!