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Thread: Second Thoughts!

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Second Thoughts!

    After having done all my research I was absolutely sold on the Evohome system, and was about to purchase and DIY install. However, I was admitted to hospital for a week and due to this experience have had second thoughts.

    We are a retired couple. My wife had to cope with my sudden absence. As I am the technical one, who fixes all the problems with the PC and deals with online matters etc my wife panicked. She did not know our various passwords etc. We were also in the process of moving. Thankfully I was discharged just before the move and was able to set up our broadband connection etc. If this was to happen again or worse, my wife would be clueless. She cannot set up wifi valves and deal with binding and or other glitches that are mentioned on this site.

    I reflected on this, as well as the facts in an existing thread on this site where the poster was unable to obtain recommendations for an Evohome installer anywhere in Scotland! Just after our move I had a Viessmann c.h. engineer onsite. He had no knowledge whatsoever about the Evohome system. I telephoned his company, which is a large one, and they too were in the dark. I believe that I could deal with most Evohome problems that could arise and would obviously use this site for support. What would my wife do if she was home alone? With winter upon us it could be quite disastrous.

    After much careful thought I concluded that the KISS principle was probably more appropriate in our circumstances,so it would be better to stick with the conventional system. My wife could simply telephone the c.h. company.

    It is with great reluctance that I am giving up on the Evohome system, unless I can be persuaded otherwise.

  2. #2

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    Hi Jonboy

    I researched my last used car purchase at length on forums before buying. After all I read it's a wonder I went ahead though. In the end I owned the car for over 5 years and it never as much as blew a bulb in all that time. it was exemplary. The point is forums are generally full of the problems suffered by a minority. They aren't balanced out by posts from the majority of owners (with no problems) and hence usually only give a negative image.

    We've had no problems at all with our EvoHome setup. That said you do make a good point about your wife needing support if anything does go wrong. But if your system was installed correctly and up and running I'm pretty sure any plumber or electrician could maintain it.

    M.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Why not start off with a Honeywell Single Zone Connected thermostat? Then if you want more functionality you can add a second to create a 2 zone system. If you then want to upgrade later to evohome you can simply add the additional parts

  4. #4
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    I agree, single zone should be fine to be used. Teach your wife what plugs/batteries to pull and re-insert to restart the Evotouch/boiler-relay and teach her to operate the manual boiler-relay button just to be sure.
    Last edited by erik; 29th October 2015 at 09:39 PM.

  5. #5
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    Good advice here that one can operate the heating manually by pressing the button on the boiler relay. I am not sure that this is documented in the Evotouch manuals. My heating installer pointed this out to.me when he was wiring up the boiler relay, told me it was common that there would be a manual override on any timers/controls.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jom View Post
    Good advice here that one can operate the heating manually by pressing the button on the boiler relay. I am not sure that this is documented in the Evotouch manuals. My heating installer pointed this out to.me when he was wiring up the boiler relay, told me it was common that there would be a manual override on any timers/controls.
    It's not in the manuals as its not recommend to do this. If you press too long you can go into binding mode and even wipe binding completely.
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

  7. #7
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    Jonboy - your well-written post deserves a considered response. Like you, I am retired and my wife has always tended to leave technical matters to me. She knows how to use the Evohome controller to adjust temperatures etc but that is about the extent of her understanding. My Evohome system was installed 18 months ago by an Evohome Specialist Installer (now known as an Evohome Connected Specialist).

    Otto-Mate makes a good point about people posting with issues; however, you are right to wonder whether Evohome is the right system for you. Following installation, and for about 6 months, I had issues with communication faults between the controller and the two boiler demand relays. Following advice from the Evohome UK support team, the two boiler relays were replaced and re-located within the airing cupboard. Sadly, when I turned the CH on last Winter the problems returned and required further investigation/rectification. I am pleased to say that after a replacement Evohome controller was fitted, I have had 9 months of trouble free operation. My CH has yet to go back on this year, but I have no reason to believe that there will be any further issues.

    If you look at the detail in the various posts on this forum, you will see that most of the problems are associated with the installation and the setting up (binding) of the system. The installation guidelines are pretty strict and for the amateur installer there is a pretty steep learning curve. Whilst I chose a specialist to do my install, I subsequently had to delete and re-configure two zones with multi-HR92s as the wrong HR92 had been set up as the zone sensor (eg; a HR92 behind long curtains). Not a major problem as the information to do this yourself is readily available.

    Despite the problems that I have had, Evohome is in many respects ideal for a retired household. It allows the homeowner to have heat in rooms wherever it is needed - without heating the whole house. For example, we can have heat on in the lounge in the evening and warm our bedroom/en-suite for an hour or so before we go to bed without heating 4 other bedrooms. To work effectively, zoning does, however, require the homeowner to separate off the various zones by actually closing internal doors in the house. Overall, last Winter. my wife and I were a lot more comfortable thanks to Evohome and, at the same time, we have reduced our gas usage by about 18%.

    That said, given a past history of communications faults, I still harbour some concerns about leaving the house unoccupied for a long period during a cold snap. In my view, a weakness in the design of the Evohome system is the lack of remote fault reporting. That said, we are not usually away from home for long periods during the Winter: the family normally come to us for Christmas!

    FWiW, despite some installation and component issues, I am still of the opinion that Evohome is undoubtedly the best system on the market; however, finding an installer with the required level of knowledge/experience isn't easy. I see that the number of Evohome Connected Specialists has fallen significantly in my area. If there are any technical issues, then the Evohome UK team are first-class. Finally, it is worth taking note of the fact that, unlike many smart heating controls, Evohome (Evotouch) has been used in the rest of Europe for some years. Honeywell is also a World leader in technological solutions. I suspect that you know that already.

    If I were you, I would seriously think about going ahead with Evohome. Giving a family member remote access to your system would allow them to make changes to the schedule etc for your wife. It is something that I have in mind if the need should ever arise.

    Apologies to others for the long post.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by top brake View Post
    Why not start off with a Honeywell Single Zone Connected thermostat? Then if you want more functionality you can add a second to create a 2 zone system. If you then want to upgrade later to evohome you can simply add the additional parts
    Thanks for your suggestion. Apart from control by app how would this be superior to the existing hard wired system with digital controller and thermostatic radiator valves?

    I would have thought that a hard wired system would be less prone to problems than a wi fi system.

    My principle reason for considering the Evohome system was to maintain a pre set bedroom temperature throughout the night, without the entire c.h. system coming on to achieve this.

    I am open to suggestions on how to achieve this without adding motorised valves or turning all the other therrmostats down before going to bed.

  9. #9
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    Many thanks for your considered reply Hengus.

    As I said in my last response to top brake, my principle reason for considering the Evohome system was to maintain a pre-set bedroom temperature, particularly throughout the winter nights.

    Unfortunately there is no family member or acquaintance I would entrust with our heating system.

    Our current new penthouse apartment was chosen as a latter stage residence in order to facilitate independent living as we mature. We believe we are healthy and young for our years but are aware that mobility and other issues can impact with the passage of time.

    Following our recent experience all matters are now under scrutiny and incorporating the KISS principle.

    My wifes' induction' on DIY, computers, gadgets etc, commences soon.
    Last edited by jonboy; 30th October 2015 at 11:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I would suggest that, once everything is set up, if your wife can use something like a TV remote control or a microwave oven keypad then she'll probably be OK with the Evohome controller.

    She might perhaps have to ask for help with things like changing a schedule, but that's a very rare thing to do once the system is set up and bedded in.

    I suspect that in an 'oldies' household, the added comfort that Evohome brings compared to traditional controls, combined with the fuel savings, would be a significant advantage.

    I wonder whether there's a market for a 'caretaker' service: For a small annual fee monitor your room temps to make sure the main living spaces stay within a set range, and remotely make changes to the heating schedule, as required.

    P.

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