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Home heating automation



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,992 ✭✭✭ Glebee

    Suddenly decided to start working again yesterday for some reason. Wife is furious, I now have access again to the house heating controls...🤣🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 761 ✭✭✭ WildCardDoW

    What's the nicest way to replace the below Immersion setup?

    The manual timer is broken (multiple pins broken etc).

    An electrician said he can't install certain things as the Immersion is analog?

    For a mate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell


    or this

    The electrician is probably concerned about using solid state switches, perhaps he's thinking of app controlled devices like Sonoff, or he's maybe concerned about the current load of the immersion, but either of these should suffice for a pure resistive load. Most zoned heating controllers are only rated 10A or less, so shouldn't be used to power an immersion directly. I assume you're not looking for any fancy Internet control here, just a new timer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 761 ✭✭✭ WildCardDoW

    Yeah, I suggested smart but they're concerned.

    I didn't see anything easy in terms of smart controls other than something like the Climote but that is pricey.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    Climote immersion device is a bit of a mystery. It gives app control of the HW in your cylinder heated by an immersion. It doesn't use timing as such, or a thermostat or temperature readout. Rather, it seems to use a method of estimating how much of your cylinder is heated in terms of volume, and gives you the facility to increase this quantity of heated water. There's no published installer's guide, but I'm guessing it's just a remote switch which will power on the immersion for a particular time, and is calibrated by calculating the time required to heat a % volume of the cylinder by using the known power of the immersion element and the capacity of the cylinder. It may even use the powered off resistance of the immersion element as a sort of thermometer by measuring its resistance. An immersion element immersed in cold water will have a lower resistance than one immersed in hot water, and this measurement could be used to estimate the % heated volume of the cylinder. It all sounds a bit flaky to me.

    You could just use a Sonoff 16a switch to get internet remote controlled power to your immersion, 16A is sufficient current capacity to power the immersion when on Bath or Sink, but these devices may not be up to such a high continuous load, electricians would have their doubts about their safety and capacity. This was discussed long ago on this thread, with some posters getting a little heated (like the switches) at the idea of using these devices, and in some respects I agree. You probably should only switch the mains power to the immersion spur with a proper mechanical relay device, perhaps din rail mounted in its own mini breaker cabinet, and 20A minimum, such as this. . Most of these DIN rail wifi breakers appear to be of Chinese origin, its difficult to find this function in a mainstream brand.

    There are a few wifi controlled fused spur switches on the market such as this,

    You would have to ask your electrician if he trusted them to function safely and consistently. This Time guard brand supplied by a NI dealer would seem to be up to the task, but at 13A rating it would at its limit with a 2.8Kw immersion element.

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 5,297 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sheep Shagger

    One of our Nest thermostats has disconnected from it's heat link. Have tried re linking, factory reset etc but despite the blue light flashing it just won't connect.

    We have two and the other is working fine,.both are probably less than 6 months old.

    Any idea?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    Warranty? Tedious if you bought on Amazon, but probably quick enough. If they were two seperate purchases, match it to its correct order

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 5,297 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sheep Shagger

    Bought one from Harvey Norman the other was Screwfix although not sure which came from whlch!

    Waiting on Google support to advise but was wondering if anyone had experienced the same issue. The web seems littered with similar cases.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 orlafr

    Hi all,

    I do realise this question has been asked a million times already, so apologies for asking again... but since I don't know if my set up is the same as what has been shown here before, I'll go ahead and ask.

    I would like to replace my current heating system with a Drayton Wiser ideally (probably 3 channels??).

    I have an oil boiler, firebird enviromax outside.

    Inside, in the "heating control room", I have 4 devices. The immermat flash, which is a simple timer to turn the boiler on/off.

    Next to it is the "systemlink" box. Beside that are the pumps that come on/off to heat the different zones. The pump above the systemlink box controls the stove (with back boiler) but we don't really use it because it doesn't work well and we plan on removing it.

    Then I have 2 wired thermostats (Robus), one downstairs for zone 1 and one upstairs for zone 2. I imagine they are wired in.

    Zone 3 is supposed to be the hot water but it doesn't seem to ever come on on its own, although it does have a separate pump. The hot water only works if zone 2 is on I think (I don't think it comes on with zone 1). We also have a switch to turn on the immersion if we're not using the oil.

    Do you think the Drayton wiser 3 channels would work? Otherwise, I was thinking of Tado maybe?

    Thanks in advance for the advice. Pictures below

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    At first glance, your system is a classic pumped zoned system, 2 CH and one HW. Each zone is independently pumped, at the behest of a combination of closed thermostats and a timed schedule. In order that all three zones can call the boiler when the above conditions are satisfied, the boiler control would normally require a relay box to combine the live stat requests into one, so any of CH1 CH2 or HW go live, it will request the boiler, but the same three sources will turn on their respective pumps only. In an S plan zoned system where valves are used instead of pumps, the valves contain relays whose live outputs are combined to call the boiler. The systemlex provides this function fora pumped system, and normally its three outputs would be triggered by a three channel input timer, and these three timed lives would in turn be interrupted by the three zone thermostats, two on the walls, one in the HW cylinder.

    The reason your system was pumped rather than valved is to do with the fact that you have two heat sources, oil and stove. The function of the grey Sytemlink tank is to blend both sources in a manner known as neutralising, and from this pressure neutral source, pumps supply the individual destinations, (I'm assuming the right side of the neutraliser has a flow and return from the oil boiler). A key reason for pumps would be that they are open circuit even when unpowered, which give the option to have some circuits fed by gravity from their zone, such as the HW, or an upstairs radiators. This is required because one of the sources is a stove, and in the event of a power failure there needs to be a gravity path to sink the heat from the stove boiler jacket. It would also be normal in a two source system to to have a dual coil HW cylinder, so that the stove could gravity feed it directly prior to blending, with the other coil operating to heat HW when the oil boiler is activated and the HW zone is called.

    It can get a bit more complicated. The stove pump is generally only activated when the stove flow is sufficiently hot that it is not being fully absorbed by the gravity HW coil ( if fitted), and once activated, at least one CH zone must run, regardless of the wall stat settings and the need for heat in the CH zones, as the stove can't be called on and off like the oil boiler. There is also an optional override relay in the lex box which will mute the combined live call to the oil boiler for the duration of the pumped heated supply from the stove, handing over CH heating to the stove while it maintains an output above a threshold of in the region of 65°.

    Your system seems to have some issues, in that a timer request does not call the boiler when the HW stat is closed and calling for heat while both CH stats open. Added to this is the presence of a zone valve on the cylinder, which seems to suggest that HW heating is closed off in certain circumstances, such as when the cylinder is sufficiently hot but the CH is running. This in turn suggests that the HW cylinder thermostat is not being used to call the boiler for HW heating, rather to close it off when heating as a result of a CH1 call.

    All the above preamble is necessary to illustrate that your system does not seem to be wired in a manner that has three straight live inputs, two CH and one HW. If this were so then it would the easiest thing to wire in the Drayton receiver three channel live outputs into the lex box inputs. If you want independent three zone heating, this should be sorted first, and it will require a bit of tracing to see what the exact logic of your system wiring is, and what is the manner of the stove's interconnectivity to the lex wiring centre. (I notice a seperate small passive wiring box connecting the cylinder thermostat, the cylinder motorised valve and in all probability some connections back to the lex).

    If the above is frying your head, and if you are content to not have HW heated by the oil unless a CH zone is also on, (in the summer for example, you probably just use the immersion?), then I would suggest that you just change out the two wired Robus for two wired Tado stats, and have them take charge of all CH timing and temperature control. The old timer can just be switched to always on, assuming that no boiler activity takes place if both room stats are off. If you would really like to get your three pumped zones working independently, then a bit of investigation and rewiring would be required to integrate the Drayton 3 channel receiver and wireless wall stats.

    I'm baffled how such an involved and well plumbed installation, which included manifold fed radiators, the expense of the neutraliser tank and the lex wiring centre, fell short with just a crude single channel mechanical timer when an EPG three channel electronic timer would have been a trivial extra cost, and would have made your upgrade a DIY job

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 orlafr

    Thank you so much for your detailed reply Deezell! At least now I know where I stand with the system that is in place. I totally agree with you on terms of the mechanical timer, I don't really understand who the previous owners, who built the house, didn't go the digital route... It was back in 2009 so maybe it wasn't as common at the time.

    Anyway, I will think about it but I'll probably go with Tado. Can I just confirm that if I switch the 2 robus with tado, the HW will still be heated by the boiler when the heating is on? And could I have a timer then on the hot tank to control the immersion when we don't use the oil?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,253 ✭✭✭ Nelbert

    Those manifolds are begging to be swapped out for ones you can put an actuator on too.....

    Disclaimer: it's what I have so a comfort zone. Heatmiser do wireless (or wired) thermostats and matchimg wiring centres that work with their neohub (which links to home assistant no issues).

    Would potentially give you the same end result but with the option to down the road split your zones at those manifolds and heat a room or two as opposed to a whole floor.

    I think the first port of call is to understand (and map / draw) the existing wiring logic so that you know what calls what and how.

    That will then guide you on how to rewire and change for more modern controls or further splitting of zones (if desired). In particular obviously calling for hot water in isolation is important (even if you go with a valve handle you turn in March and turn back in September, my old water only setup....).

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    You said previously that HW only heats when the boiler is on and one of your CH zones is active, which shouldn't be the case. HW should heat whenever the single timer is active and the cylinder thermostat is closed. Replacing the two robus with two Tado will move the CH timing and temperature control individually to the Tado stats. Either should fire the boiler assuming it is fired from the combining relay in the systemlex.

    You could get a wireless Tado with extension kit for one of the CH zones. This will require wiring the ext kit directly to the lex for it's zone, the other wired in place of a Robus. The ext kit also has a timed relay for HW, and thus can be wired to the lex HW channel to definitively call the HW pump and fire the boiler for HW only without a CH channel being on. You may need an electrician to assist with this to get it right, and also figure how the valve and stat on the cylinder are connected.

    Either Drayton kit 3 or Tado wireless starter kit plus an extra wired Tado stat will give you the three independent live channels, but as I previously said, the existing setup needs mapping and its logic understood to prevent odd outcomes like you currently have.

    The previous poster is dangling some further options in front of you, the manifolded distribution of flow to individual radiators does tempt one to consider individual room control by adding valves at this manifold, but each valve here would need a room installed wireless stat to actuate it, and further logical wiring to combine CH calls to fire the boiler, so first things first. Get the two CH or all three zones running independently and from a smart app. Get familiar with the benefits of that. Figure out the role of the HW cylinder valve. Decide if you wish to keep the integrated boiler stove, (my system is almost identical to yours, just a different brand of equaliser tank and wiring centre, plus I have true gravity HW to a seperate cylinder coil from the stove as well as pumped from the equaliser). My stove is a hugely important part of my overall heating, in terms of the aesthetic of an actual fire, and in terms of significant savings on oil in the evenings, as I've large amounts of timber to hand, which I or the storms fell. 👲 Man who chop own firewood warm himself twice!

    Finally, look back a few posts for my advice on timed immersion elements and the issues thereof.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 orlafr

    Thank you both again! We definitely have wiring issues in terms of the stove. The last time we usedi it the pump didn't turn on and we were worried the whole system would be under too much pressure 😬. It certainly is food for thoughts and we will start investigating all that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    There's probably a pipe stat right next to it which is set too high, stuck, loose connection, OR, the stove pump at the blender tank is stuck internally from lack of use. The little brass cover screw on the pump face can be removed to reach in and give the rotor a spin to get it going if it's powered but not turning.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

    Hi and apologies I bet this will have been asked a bunch of times.

    Firebird Condenser Boiler which I'm happy with out in the shed.

    In the utility room we have a simple heating on/off or timed pins. There is 2 zones controlled via valves. No thermostat.

    Zone1: Downstairs heating

    Zone2: Downstairs / Upstairs / Hot Water.

    I'm looking to get a Hive or Nest type set up with thermostat app etc. Im not huge into technology so something mainstream thats proven be normally what I go for. Were due a newborn baboig and want to be able to control Downstairs and upstairs temperatures. If the Stát is move able don't mind bringing it upstairs at night.

    Also in next couple of months will probly try and split out to 3 zones (upstairs, Downstairs, HW all Independant). Would this require a seperate model type to what I need for my current set up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    'Controlled by valves' you say. Are these manually opened, or motorised valves. How many are there? Is it the case that you can just close off the upstairs and HW leaving downstairs connected, but you can't do the opposite, and have upstairs CH and HW only? Add some images of the valves, timer and any zone switch if they're electrically operated valves.

    Depending on the physical plumbing, it may be possible to isolate out the hot flow to the upstairs radiators from the flow to the HW cylinder, which would permit a HW zone only, but first it would require being able to close downstairs CH flow while upstairs is maintained. How do you heat HW only in the summer without CH in either zone. Do you have to manually turn off all radiators, or do you just use an immersion in the HW cylinder.

    You will ideally need this split to implement a two thermostat controlled system, with independent HW timing. Otherwise you're looking at a hybrid, where thermostats can perhaps call for the boiler to heat their location, but all zones will heat if the call is from the upstairs as your current valve setup can't exclude downstairs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

    @deezell thanks for reply.

    It's a Flash Programmer 31032 that we use to operate the heating.

    It's a single 2 port motorised valve connected to the flash programmer. It is located downstairs in the house on the pipework that goes upstairs.

    Your correct in your assumptions - I can't operate the (upstairs ch and hw) independant of downstairs ch. We have an immersion on the hot tank.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    How do you activate /deactivate the motorised valve, do you change the switch from HW only to HW+H to get both zones?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

    Yeah there is a 2 position switch

    Position 1: ch downstairs only

    Position 2: ch downstairs / ch upstairs / hw

    There is a boiler constant on / timer or off switch then aswell.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    So this switch on the Flash is wired with one channel to the boiler and pump, which heats the downstairs by default, and the other position opens the valve for HW and upstairs CH. These timers were designed to operate differently than your installation, with the upper postion, HW only, firing the boiler without the circulation pump on, so only HW will heat by gravity connection from the boiler pipes. Position 2 turns on the pump, heating all CH and the HW. Because your boiler is in a shed, gravity to the HW cylinder is not possible if the flow and return pipes drop into the floor the enter the utility room. Is this the image of your timer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 ankhitp

    Apologies for jumping into the middle of the discussion, has anyone ordered from the website? Was going to grab some factory refurb stuff that's a bit cheaper, but wondering if I would get hit by custom/import duties or if anyone had experience there. Thanks!

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

    Right Hand Switch / Top Position: CH downstairs only

    Right Hand Switch / Bottom Position: CH upstairs / CH downstairs / HW

    Left Hand Switch / Middle : Boiler Off

    Left Hand Switch / Top : Boiler comes on as per timer in scenario dictated by R. Switch

    Left Hand Switch / Bottom : Boiler comes on Constantly in scenario dictated by R. Switch

    I wouldn't have thought it was a too out of the ordinary set up to be honest. Glad I asked the question

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    You could replace this timer with two channel wireless wall thermostat receiver. Due to the current logic of your system, one of these thermostats would operate CH for downstairs by firing the boiler. the other would operate the motorised valve, which would heat upstairs and HW, provided the Downstairs thermostat was actively calling the boiler. The probably unused relay in the motorised valve can be connected to the boiler live currently wired to the downstairs CH only terminal of the Flash. This will then fire the boiler for upstairs zone and HW regardless of the downstairs thermostat status. With the addition of one more motorised valve on the downstairs branch, you would have fully independent upstairs and downstairs heating, with HW on the upstairs timer. To have 3 zones, up, down and HW, you will need to move the upstairs motorised valve to a point in the circuit where there is a clear branch from the upstairs flow to the radiators and the cylinder coil. At this point you could insert the original valve plus the extra one into the upstairs CH branch and the HW branch. If the boiler flow/return upwards is branched underfloor to different radiators prior to emerging into the HW cylinder press, it will be very difficult to achieve this final isolation. It was common enough for the HW branch to be made downstairs, with two sets of flow and return heading up, in order to facilitate isolated heating of the HW, but you or a plumber will need to investigate if this is the case. If you can't isolate the upstairs CH flow from the HW flow, a future alternative is to install smart TRVs on the radiators which which enable upstairs CH to closed off during the summer enabling HW only to be heated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    The clue is in the ie in the url. This is the Irish site, vat is 23% and delivery is inclusive. Goods are dispatched from the EU afaik, but frustratingly, they have the currency fixed in £. I queried this November 2021, complaining that we were European, and initially got this reply;

    The Ireland section of the tado° shop is merged with the UK section. The prices are shown in £ as intended, it is not an error. Reason for the sections to be merged is because heating systems in Ireland and UK are similar. Same tado° devices are sold in both countries, so it was a technical and logistic decision to keep the shop together. Any purchases from Ireland will be normally charged in Euro equivalent of the displayed price.


    I rejected this as the UK was no longer in the EU, it was insulting to price our branch of the site in £, and we were at the mercy of currency exchange. At the time, they had also stopped supplying into the UK due to the farce of Brexit. later I got a more positive reply, but still nothing was done.

    I apologize for this terrible mistake. We have no intention to imply Ireland is in UK. That would be utter disrespect of glorious Ireland. We will take care of the matter urgently.


    There was a touch of Borat about this reply, so I left it at that.

    Try the discount code 'Tado12' , it might work on the refurbs, though it was emailed for use on add on devices, but, you never know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 ankhitp

    Thanks so much for the reply. The currency being in £ really threw me off, was worried I was ordering from yet another IE site that would do me in with fees when I shipped it! I do like glorious Ireland as a description, what an interesting reply.

    Sadly that code doesn't work on refurbished stuff, thanks anyway.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 johnboy_85

    Thanks very much for your input. I think I need to do some digging and get the plumbing sorted before automating

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭ bittihuduga

    looking for guidance on automating the heating..i have drayton thermostats with home assistant. this is my automation. is this good? i mean will it cause too much on the boiler if there is frequent motion?

    currently i have drayton set to it keeps heating on off even when nobody is downstairs.

    i have few motion sensors all over downstairs which can tell if anyone is down.

    on heating automation:

     When kitchensensors changes from off to on for 2:00

    and time is after 9am before 10pm

    and down temp is less than 17

    set expected temp as 17 deg

    (this would fire on heating if there is motion and when it is cold)

    off heating:

    When kitchensensors changes from on to off

     set expected temp as 5 deg

    (when nobody is down, turn off heating)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    Is that 2:00 = two minutes? Are the motion sensors IR or some type of doppler movement sensor. Regardless, you can test this out by substituting an alert or notification for heating On or Off actions, which will give you an indication of the potential boiler call pattern. I'd expect it to only fire for a steady period where there was constant movement, or constant presence in front of an IR sensor. I'm curious about the 2 minute line. Is it cumulative? Once its high for two minutes, does it stay on until its instaneously low,or does it just require any transient high in a 2 minute window?.

    A long time ago, I installed IR motion sensors to lecture theatre AV equipment, in about 30-40 rooms. Once turned on, a countdown timer of 20 minutes commenced, and the facilities would turn off if the countdown was not reset by the presence of someone on the lecture podium. The idea was to prevent equipment, particularly data projectors, being left on for long periods, often entire weekends, consuming expensive 500 hr life mercury discharge lamps at €400 each. The 20 minutes seemed like a generous window, but it failed when lecturers delivered their talks from the back of the room, using their own wireless mouse to change slides. It also failed when some would stick on a 40 minute video and clear off to the shops at Xmas! I changed it to an hour. You may need to code your conditional statements to reflect the actual operation of the sensors, their range, sensitivity etc, and have a minimum on period while temperature is below target. If someone falls asleep in a chair in a corner, there may be no trigger for their presence.