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Thread: Battery Low readings

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    Default Battery Low readings

    Yesterday a fault appeared in my log book, timed at 05:13, it appeared twice at the same time once saying "Battery Low, Hall, Actuator" and the other reading was "Battery Low, Hall Sensor". There are of course not two lots of batteries but presumably the sensor and actuator require different amounts of power. But then at that time the Hall TRV is not set to come on and would not come on until 07:30, so no need to want power. Exactly an hour later at 06:13 it reads in both cases that the fault has been "restored". I am curious to know what is happening.

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    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G4RHL View Post
    Yesterday a fault appeared in my log book, timed at 05:13, it appeared twice at the same time once saying "Battery Low, Hall, Actuator" and the other reading was "Battery Low, Hall Sensor". There are of course not two lots of batteries but presumably the sensor and actuator require different amounts of power. But then at that time the Hall TRV is not set to come on and would not come on until 07:30, so no need to want power. Exactly an hour later at 06:13 it reads in both cases that the fault has been "restored". I am curious to know what is happening.
    Devices are paired as either sensors or actuators or both in the case of HR92

    It is telling you to change the batteries, also worth doing a signal strength test
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

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    Quote Originally Posted by top brake View Post
    Devices are paired as either sensors or actuators or both in the case of HR92

    It is telling you to change the batteries, also worth doing a signal strength test
    I don't think it is telling me to change the batteries as surely it would not say everything was OK an hour later? Usually when batteries are low a message appears on the main screen telling me and does not go until I have touched the screen. Plus the batteries in the relevant HR92 are good, it is giving me two of the three bars with respect to remaining life. This particular HR92 is not far from the Wifi Panel.

    It could of course be no more than an occasional sneeze which happens to us all!

    I will check signal strength later as I need to do that again for another room where in 15 months I have had to replace the batteries three times and I had a screen flash last week to tell me they needed changing again - they were new on the 6th December last. They lasted 3 months. Could be duff batteries of course - Duracells. This other room is not quite line of site of the Panel but near enough with only a plaster board wall in between. But with radio waves life is not as simple as that. One HR92 is the furthest away from the Panel and has not needed a battery change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G4RHL View Post
    I don't think it is telling me to change the batteries as surely it would not say everything was OK an hour later? Usually when batteries are low a message appears on the main screen telling me and does not go until I have touched the screen. Plus the batteries in the relevant HR92 are good, it is giving me two of the three bars with respect to remaining life. This particular HR92 is not far from the Wifi Panel.
    Noticed the same thing only yesterday - no warnings on the control panel (not when I have been looking at it anyway) but when I checked the Fault log out of idle curiosity I saw about 6 pairs of "Battery Low, Living Room, Actuator" "Battery Low, Living room Sensor" followed some time later (did not think to save screen shots before clearing unfortunately) saying the fault was restored. As I only have an HR92 in that zone they are of course both the same unit but bound twice for two different purposes (actuator and sensor) hence the "duplicates".

    The first fault occurred way back on the 24th of February, the most recent one a few days ago, with the frequency increasing over time. That HR92 was actually the first one installed in the house back in February last year - in fact it pre-dates the controller by about 6 months and was running unbound for the first 6 months of its life... When I checked the battery indicator on the HR92 it still says 2 bars, however the reading dropped from 3 bars to 2 bars only a couple of months after it was installed and stayed there ever since, so I think the battery indicator on the HR92 itself is far too coarse to be terribly useful.

    I think it's fairly easy to explain what happened - the HR92 obviously reports its battery voltage back to the controller periodically (and probably in much greater resolution than the 3 bar scale on the display!) and if at the time the voltage is sampled and sent back it is below a threshold a fault gets logged in the fault log book, but that does not immediately display a big red warning on the screen.

    In all likely-hood the "low" voltage measurement happened to coincide with the motor turning or occurred shortly after the motor was turning and thus the voltage was a bit lower due to the load. If you listen to the motor winding the pin down to 0% you can really hear it "strain", I bet the current drain when it is doing that is pretty high. Alkaline batteries are not really designed for heavy current drain so when they are getting near the end of their life the voltage probably sags quite a bit while the motor is doing this.

    During the next voltage sampling period the motor is most likely idle and the voltage has rebounded above the threshold, so a "fault restored" is logged in the fault log.

    We've seen that faults are only displayed as a big red warning on the screen if they persist for a significant amount of time - I can't remember what it is exactly but I think it's about 3 hours. So as long as a good battery reading came through within 3 hours you would not see a warning, it would only go to the Fault log.

    Eventually the battery would drain to the point where the reading was permanently too low, the fault would persist for more than 3 hours and a warning would then appear on the screen.

    So I would take these warnings in the fault log as an early warning that the battery is nearing the end of its life even though it hasn't been reported on the device itself yet. I could probably squeeze another month or two out of the batteries if I left them in but I decided I might as well just replace them! You don't want the batteries in an HR92 to run out if you have failsafe mode enabled - unless you like your boiler running at 20% duty cycle for no reason...
    It could of course be no more than an occasional sneeze which happens to us all!

    I will check signal strength later as I need to do that again for another room where in 15 months I have had to replace the batteries three times and I had a screen flash last week to tell me they needed changing again - they were new on the 6th December last. They lasted 3 months. Could be duff batteries of course - Duracells. This other room is not quite line of site of the Panel but near enough with only a plaster board wall in between. But with radio waves life is not as simple as that. One HR92 is the furthest away from the Panel and has not needed a battery change.
    I suspect that the radio transmitter/receiver in the device is not the main contributor of battery drain - surely it has to be the motor ? Especially when it winds the pin down hard when scheduling frost protect. Yes it doesn't turn very often but it will be many orders of magnitude greater current drain than the wireless receiver/transmitter, which only turns on for a few seconds every 4 minutes. (And I suspect even the CPU is put into a suspend state for every 4 minute interval, just using a latch to maintain a static display on the LCD) Alkaline batteries have a much lower "capacity" at high current drain than they do at low current drain, so this would be more of an issue with alkaline than lithium.

    If it is the motor then battery life is going to be highly dependant on environmental factors such as how complex your schedule is (the more set points you have, the more often the motor turns each day) and how much difficulty it has in trying to regulate the temperature due to either disturbances (people opening and closing doors, manually overriding etc) or overshoot.

    If it is able to regulate the temperature smoothly and find a valve opening that maintains a perfect equilibrium the motor may sit completely still for an hour of more - I have seen this in the winter where it finds a perfect balance and doesn't need to make any corrections for hours at a time. On the other hand now that the outside is warming up I'm starting to see a little bit of cyclical overshoot - only about 1 degree but every time that goes up and down the motor is opening and closing the valve a bit to try to compensate - thus more battery drain due to frequent small corrections.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 14th March 2016 at 12:12 PM.

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    My system was installed August 2015 and my errors (as above) started happening about a year later. The first room that it happened with was the bathroom. I kept ignoring it (partly as it restored itself and partly as, once it had restored, unless you go into the log you can't tell there is a problem.) Eventually the whole system crashed. It put that room down to the HR92 being adjusted manually very often (all too easy to crank the temp up when you are sat in there ). Since then every room has needed the batteries changed ( probably at a rate of about 1 a month.) The batteries were the originals as supplied and I have replaced them with Duracell Ultras. All is good but the bathroom HR92 went nearly straight away to 2 bars for battery power. (This is not the furthest HR92 from the controller.)

    I tried to buy my batteries from somewhere that I thought would have quite a high turnover (as opposed to poundshop batteries).
    I have one more HR92 to change and then all of them will be on Duracells.

    As I only have a total of 6 HR92s and a DT92 my plan is to probably change the batteries once a year. This would then solve the potential problem of the system crashing totally and me not being not around - husband would not be happy and would probably call our heating engineer out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mavis View Post
    My system was installed August 2015 and my errors (as above) started happening about a year later.
    Could I borrow your time machine please ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    Could I borrow your time machine please ?
    I am in denial! That should of course read August 2014

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    I got 50 Duracell Procell Industrial batteries for 14.14 post free from a well known online supplier. Unlike their Oral B toothbrushes, these are the genuine article with a cell life of 2022.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenGus View Post
    I got 50 Duracell Procell Industrial batteries for 14.14 post free from a well known online supplier. Unlike their Oral B toothbrushes, these are the genuine article with a cell life of 2022.
    My Procells don't seem to last very long. Less than basic B&Q Duracells. It is Procells that were in the TRV that had to be replaced after 3 months. It is also a TRV that rarely needs to operate, a spare bedroom where the temperature only changes if we have guests, temperature is set to 10C all the time otherwise.

    Obviously I am being warned the batteries in my Hall TRV are going down!
    Last edited by G4RHL; 14th March 2016 at 02:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G4RHL View Post
    My Procells don't seem to last very long. Less than basic B&Q Duracells. It is Procells that were in the TRV that had to be replaced after 3 months.
    I suspect your Procells are fake.

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