Central Heating Control
Via the IPad!
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I had a new boiler put in last year and spent £2700 on it. It comes with a 10 year guarantee, and is bigger that we need now as we will extend the house long before the guarantee runs out.

The controller on the boiler is one of those annoying little wheels with the teeth which surprised me given the cost and hi spec!
So I was looking at getting a wireless thermostat that would allow us to turn the heating on or off via an IPad. There is no need for water control as it’s a combi.

Looking online I see that I will need a thermostat and wireless controller to do this, its starts to get expensive when you look at zoning rooms. For this you need to add a wireless thermostat to every radiator at a cost of £55. I wouldn’t mind having one of these in the baby’s room, but for now that would be it.

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of set up? I’m wondering that if I put one zone in the baby’s room it might mess up the rest of the heating so not sure if the zones are “all or nothing”

I’ve asked my plumber to look as some devices on line, but whilst he will be able to fit it, not sure we will understand any pitfalls of zones etc
Personally, I wouldn't bother. I had a new boiler recently and we talked about this with the plumber. He said not to bother wasting money on them.

You'll rarely mess with the controls and a simple thermostat on the radiator will control your babies room.

It's not like you'll suddenly panic that the room is cold so save your money and treat your baby to something nice instead. They'll appreciate it more.
We're having a new boiler right now, and fuck it I'm having Honeywell evoHome - I think that's what asfish was talking about, because the wireless rad controllers are £59.99 each on top of the base pack (boiler bit, touchscreen controller, stand).

for now just the base pack, because we're doing the bathroom.as well, but there's no way it won't earn itself back with being able to have it follow our weekday pattern*, plus not having to have one rad without a trv (it only fires the boiler when it KNOWS there's at least one valve open).

It monitors trends so going into winter it comes on earlier, into summer later,to match temp-at-time.

It does proper sci-fi too - open a window and it notices the shock and turns the rad off regardless.

* Bedroom 1 5:30-6:30, kitchen 5:30-6:00, living room 6:00-6:30, bathroom 6:00-7:30. every other rad off, then kitchen, hall from 4:00-7:00, living room 5:00-9:00, bathroom 6:00-8:00 and bedroom 8:00-9:00.
There is an existing very similar thing but its not as good to my mind. Plus Hive and now Google Nest, but they're shit at zoning.
Apparently my thermostat has a dongle that plugs into your router, but it would appear the last tenants took it with them.
Downside to evohome is that unlike all the others to have mobile access requires a £100 box. But we're both windows phone so that doesn't matter, obviously.
This new boiler is scary quiet.

Evohome is dead simple.

The separate, traditional frost protection thermostat has already caused infinitely more bother.
Hello. We are in the market for a new boiler and want something like nest. Anyone know what the good deals are? We don't really want to ask the man over the road to do it off the books in case he is crap and kills us all
I installed mine myself. It wasn't that bad, and there are videos on the Internet to show you how.
A guy at work just got a nest protect. He says there's now a third party thing that can do individual radiator control.

That's the downside to nest - all it does is drive the boiler.

We've got Honeywell EVOHOME which is fully integrated, replacing the thermostatic head on the radiator TRV with a wireless controller so it all feeds back on a zone/room basis.

It's not got the fancy self-learning stuff of nest but its much better in that regard.

Edit: OHAI, me a year ago. Still happy with it, even if helen can't just let it get on with it.
Both Next and Hive (much the same thing by British Gas) can be bought and fitted for £249.

Next holds more promise for the future, owned by Google so a lot more people working on other products

So far with Nest you get Central Heating and Smoke alarms. I also think Phillips Hue bulbs can work with the smoke alarms and make the bulbs flash red or light a path to get you out of the house if there is what they call "A Smoke Event"

Coming soon (so in the US now) proximity sensor plugs that detect how much time you spend in a room and adjust the heating, can't see this working with out independence on every radiator though

Whirlpool dishwashers and other stuff with work with Nest as well although when I call them in the UK they were clueless
Grim... wrote:
I installed mine myself. It wasn't that bad, and there are videos on the Internet to show you how.

Don't you have to be Gas Safe registered?
Nah, it's only a thermostat.

I mean, I doubt it.
Grim... wrote:
Nah, it's only a thermostat.

I mean, I doubt it.

:DD
It doesn't involve gas, for starters ;)
Grim... wrote:
It doesn't involve gas, for starters ;)

Is the pilot light not part of boilers then? Shows how much I know tbh.
Future Warrior wrote:
Grim... wrote:
It doesn't involve gas, for starters ;)

Is the pilot light not part of boilers then? Shows how much I know tbh.

Only if you have gas central heating.

And again, it's only the thermostat. All it does is say "off" and "on".
It's, what, 2 wires?
I think so, yeah. Plus a live and an earth to make it work.
DavPaz wrote:
It's, what, 2 wires?


3, power in, power out and a signal wire to the timer if it is anything like mine.
You put this between your existing thermostat controller and the boiler (at least I did), so you'll have a signal in and a signal out.
Grim... wrote:
You put this between your existing thermostat controller and the boiler (at least I did), so you'll have a signal in and a signal out.


Cool. A man is coming to quote to remove the existing boiler and tank and to run the gas up to the loft and put a new combo boiler in there. I might move the fuse box up a few feet so I can then put the freezer in that cupboard, but that depends on where the feed into the house is.
Ooh - I'd be interested in hearing how much he wants to move your boiler - we could do with moving ours.
Grim... wrote:
Ooh - I'd be interested in hearing how much he wants to move your boiler - we could do with moving ours.


I will let you know.
We've got a Worcester 28CDi Compact in the loft. Overcharged for a bad job as it turns out but the boiler is ace. Would recommend.
Britsh gas want £6k for boiler, radiators and gubbins. £2100 for boiler and installation, the rest for 5 radiators and valves etc. I doubt they will see our business
I don't think that's a bad price for the boiler, but an extra £4k for five radiators?
Future Warrior wrote:
I don't think that's a bad price for the boiler, but an extra £4k for five radiators?


I agree.
But the gold pipes conduct the hot water so much better!
I had British Gas round to give me a quote on a new combi boiler and new radiators.

It started off bad as the guy who came round was in my year at school and I never really liked him then. When I asked about changing the radiators, he asked if I was "handy" as that was something I could do myself so he wouldn't quote me on it.

He then checked my water pressure and said it wasn't strong enough for a combi boiler so he quoted me on a water tank and boiler.

The quote turned out to be around £3k more than the most expensive quote I'd already had and was for a lot less work.

Yeah.... I didn't go with British Gas.
Agree.

Radiators are considerably cheaper at Wickes, so I might buy some, fit them myself and then do the boiler.
MaliA wrote:
Agree.

Radiators are considerably cheaper at Wickes, so I might buy some, fit them myself and then do the boiler.


Heh. That magnet thing they wanted a string of ponies for is only £85. And it places on line.
Local guy was £2.6k for the same. Think I'll go with him....
Still no built-in per-room/rad control? Tut.

Honeywell refuse to add combi boiler water scheduling which new Nest has, so they're idiots for a different reason.

One day, heating control will be right. Nest are basically there now, apart from the per-rad control.
BikNorton wrote:
Still no built-in per-room/rad control? Tut.

You want an internet connected motorised valve on each radiator, complete with the requisite power lead, and (probably) also a temperature sensor in each room for calibration? Have you considered what that would cost?
"They are battery powered with a two-year battery life..." I stand corrected. Impressive!
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
"They are battery powered with a two-year battery life..." I stand corrected. Impressive!


Huh. They should put a little paddle wheel in the valve to drive a current to power them. Forever.
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
"They are battery powered with a two-year battery life..." I stand corrected. Impressive!

Properly expensive, though.

Obviously I'm thinking about it.
MaliA wrote:
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
"They are battery powered with a two-year battery life..." I stand corrected. Impressive!


Huh. They should put a little paddle wheel in the valve to drive a current to power them. Forever.

Genius. Middle-age tech!
DavPaz wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
"They are battery powered with a two-year battery life..." I stand corrected. Impressive!


Huh. They should put a little paddle wheel in the valve to drive a current to power them. Forever.

Genius. Middle-age tech!


I am copy editing Kissyfur's book on engineering
We paid less than 60 a pop for our rad heads, and something like 180 for the EVOHOME starter kit (controller, boiler relay, one rad head).

The two year battery life is bullshit, obv - especially for the shitty in-box ones. Its started complaining about some of them after less than 18 months. We've an accidentally-accrued huge pile of Duracell's to use up but then eneloops will be going in (2x AA per rad head).

They use a custom protocol at about 811MHz and the 'put it on the ibtarwebs' box is another hundred quid we didn't want to pay because fuck off a hundred quid just so I can mess with it when I'm not even there.

And the scheduling is traditional 'designed by a heating engineer trained in the Dark Ages' stuff rather than the lovely Nest learning business. But it does the bit I want. But not a water schedule on a combi, just a kit for tanks.
Do they let you know when the battery has gone out?

Do they fail open or closed?
The controller shows battery (and comms) warnings starting quite in advance.. They fail a bit randomly, which is a bit shit, though I am wondering if (even worse) they get a bit messed up by moisture because its the bathroom and bedroom where we've been using a wallpaper stripping steamer recently that have gone, and simply taking that batteries out and putting them back in fixed the bedroom one yesterday.

So I still recommend it if you put zones above Nest loveliness, but now with caveats.
I do recommend https://theevohomeshop.co.uk/ as a vendor - they seem to have and get more stock than anyone else, ship quickly, were priced competitively when I was buying, and are ace at answering emails.
We has hive.

Our heating system and appliances are covered by BG home care, so when our boiler started firing up on its own they said they'd replace the current thermostat or give us £100 off Hive.

I like it.
BikNorton wrote:
We paid less than 60 a pop for our rad heads, and something like 180 for the EVOHOME starter kit (controller, boiler relay, one rad head).

The two year battery life is bullshit, obv - especially for the shitty in-box ones. Its started complaining about some of them after less than 18 months. We've an accidentally-accrued huge pile of Duracell's to use up but then eneloops will be going in (2x AA per rad head).

They use a custom protocol at about 811MHz and the 'put it on the ibtarwebs' box is another hundred quid we didn't want to pay because fuck off a hundred quid just so I can mess with it when I'm not even there.

And the scheduling is traditional 'designed by a heating engineer trained in the Dark Ages' stuff rather than the lovely Nest learning business. But it does the bit I want. But not a water schedule on a combi, just a kit for tanks.



I remember getting to around £70 a head, but at the time you need a wireless thermostat for each room which pushed the price up.

I'm not sure I see the value in having that level of control, I have those 1-5 manual knobs on each one of mine and we manage it with those, also have my 2 year old son turning them down all the time this winter :D

Will be giving the topic of heating a deeper look next year as our house plans go in and I want all the boilers etc in the garage. Also has the house will be gutted and underfloor heating will have to be the solution in the open plan kitchen\Living area so the heating will need looking at.
Right. Good news: new boiler is hung up and 3 radiators and a towel rail are in. Bad news: no heating or hot water tonight. Or in the morning.
Crikey. The shower has levelled up a fair but. All done now.
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