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Thread: Looking for an Evohome installer in the East Midlands

  1. #11
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiteWulf View Post
    Update: finally got a convincing quote from a plumber we'd had do work for us in the past, 2 RED up in Chesterfield. They'd recently taken on a member of staff who had experience with the evohome equipment and offered testimonials from his previous customers. The boiler went in yesterday, we went with a Worcester Bosch Greenstar 34Cdi Classic without opentherm on their advice as the efficiency gains seem hard to prove and the added complexity was a worry. The evohome gear is all going in today and being configured so I'll hopefully be able to play with it all tonight!
    cool look forward t your feedback

    The Bosch is a good boiler and will play nicely with the evohome
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

  2. #12
    Automated Home Jr Member WiteWulf's Avatar
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    Okay, quick update: 2 RED did a great job of installing the new boiler but the wheel's came off on the evohome setup. The installers turned up at 8am on the second day and I left them to it, expecting to be called mid-afternoon to lock up the house. I turned up around 5pm and they were still trying to configure the system (on their third attempt running through the guided setup at this point). I was going on holiday the following day and I knew one of the installers was due to go out with his wife that evening so I called it a day, leaving the whole system powered off. Two of the HR92s were not bound and many of the ones that were bound were in the wrong zones. I was unimpressed that, after being assured that they had an installer familiar with the equipment, they basically sent out two other guys with his phone number. They'd also crossed the threads on one of the HR92s and damaged the bezel on the controller. In addition to this, they'd turned up with RFG100, which made me think I'd got an older controller. I checked and I do have the ATC928G3000, so no idea why they've supplied the bridge. Last but not least, the BD91 is tucked right in under the boiler on the wall, definitely not 30cm away from any metal (although RF check is good for all HR92s that are bound).

    I explained all this in an email to Operations Manager, Ben, who was immediately very apologetic and tried to call me but I was already on a plane head to my holidays! I've since arranged for them to re-visit with the replacement parts and the installer they'd initially told me about who will hopefully configure everything correctly and I'll discuss a refund for the RFG100 (although they claim in a pack from their supplier with the rest of the gear.

    I'll update again once everything's sorted properly, but I'm finding this a hard recommend at the moment

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiteWulf View Post
    Okay, quick update: 2 RED did a great job of installing the new boiler but the wheel's came off on the evohome setup. The installers turned up at 8am on the second day and I left them to it, expecting to be called mid-afternoon to lock up the house. I turned up around 5pm and they were still trying to configure the system (on their third attempt running through the guided setup at this point). I was going on holiday the following day and I knew one of the installers was due to go out with his wife that evening so I called it a day, leaving the whole system powered off. Two of the HR92s were not bound and many of the ones that were bound were in the wrong zones. I was unimpressed that, after being assured that they had an installer familiar with the equipment, they basically sent out two other guys with his phone number. They'd also crossed the threads on one of the HR92s and damaged the bezel on the controller. In addition to this, they'd turned up with RFG100, which made me think I'd got an older controller. I checked and I do have the ATC928G3000, so no idea why they've supplied the bridge. Last but not least, the BD91 is tucked right in under the boiler on the wall, definitely not 30cm away from any metal (although RF check is good for all HR92s that are bound).

    I explained all this in an email to Operations Manager, Ben, who was immediately very apologetic and tried to call me but I was already on a plane head to my holidays! I've since arranged for them to re-visit with the replacement parts and the installer they'd initially told me about who will hopefully configure everything correctly and I'll discuss a refund for the RFG100 (although they claim in a pack from their supplier with the rest of the gear.

    I'll update again once everything's sorted properly, but I'm finding this a hard recommend at the moment
    Sorry to hear this WiteWulf. Obviously they need to change their evohome supplier. Had the items of been bought from us they would have had my full backup at the end of the phone as well as specification help at the start. It is always disappointing to hear installers getting the basics so wrong with evohome. I find evohome a really simple system to install and configure - you just need to read the manual, do the Honeywell training and have an evohome supplier that know your needs.

  4. #14
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    I think that this is a make or break situation for Honeywell Evohome. Customers who go the DiY route have only themselves to blame if the installation procedures are not followed, and something goes awry.

    Customers who pay a Honeywell Connected Specialist to do the work do so on the basis that the installer will have a level of competence way beyond that of most DiYers or jobbing plumbers. Sadly, as this forum has reported over the past 2 years, even the specialists do not always follow Honeywell's published guidelines.

    Richard at The Evohome Shop has very kindly produced a raft of extremely helpful configuration videos: I just wonder why Honeywell hasn't done the same for their installers - pointing out some of the 'pooh' traps for the unwary; for example, when a good RF check may mean absolutely nothing with respect to misplaced BDRs and actuator comms faults etc.

    It might be helpful if Honeywell offered Evohome customers some form of visual installation checklist based on photos sent in by the customer. This would allow Honeywell to check compliance, provide feedback to the Connected Specialist and give the customer an avenue to resolve any present/future issues.

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I think there's a general problem (not just with Evohome - it happens across various product ranges and indeed various industries) where one person in a company gains accreditation for a system, but then other employees are sent out to do the actual work.

    I'm not sure that there's an easy answer, either.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    I think there's a general problem (not just with Evohome - it happens across various product ranges and indeed various industries) where one person in a company gains accreditation for a system, but then other employees are sent out to do the actual work.
    I think it's more than just that - understanding and installing something like an Evohome system competently requires some degree of cross-disciplinary skills on the part of the installer.

    To install a complete heating system, the bulk of the work is a plumbing job to which most plumbers are of course well skilled at doing. Naturally there is also some electrical wiring to be done to get a boiler and basic thermostat and timer working but lets face it - as electronics/electrical wiring goes this is very simple stuff, and with today's standardised "wiring centres" it becomes almost "paint by numbers". Connect your switched spur supply here, connect your wall stat there, connect your boiler here, fit these link wires if you do or don't have zone valves, and so on.

    I don't want to step on any toes but I would venture to suggest that from what I have seen a significant number of otherwise very competent plumbers who install boilers for a living get by with a very limited understanding of the electrical side of things and pretty much do the electrical side on a paint by numbers approach using a few memorised common configurations without really understanding the electrical circuits that are behind those configurations. Likewise a basic timer is something akin to programming an alarm clock and not particularly daunting to deal with especially if you are supplying and installing a few familiar models.

    However when faced with something new like an Evohome they suddenly have extra complications thrown into the mix that they have probably not had to deal with before - wireless communications, including the binding process, and more sophisticated programming. (Even the TRV's have configuration options on an Evohome, let alone the controller, and the controller is basically a full computer...)

    Because of the flexibility of the Evohome system, system design becomes even more important - if the system design isn't something that matches a configuration they've dealt with before they're likely to struggle.

    In short, to do a good job of installing an Evohome system (at least on a professional basis) you really do need some conception of how RF propagation works in buildings, how to configure wireless devices to communicate with each other, how to program devices more complicated than a conventional timer, how do design an overall system consisting of so many different wirelessly communicating devices etc...

    Some of this can be acquired by training but I think for some plumbers it will never be their thing and they will eventually retire out of the system as these smarter heavily computerised control systems become more common...

    This is not a slight on the Evohome system in particular - it's a general trend towards more complicated and intelligent heating systems which simply require a broader set of cross disciplinary skills to do competently.

    The same thing has happened in the field of car repairs where mechanics who are good at "spannering" and might be brilliant at stripping down an engine and overhauling it are really struggling with the increasingly complex electrical and computer systems that control and manage all aspects of a car these days...some will adapt and keep up while others will fall by the wayside.
    I'm not sure that there's an easy answer, either.
    I think the only real answer is more cross disciplinary training of people in fields like heating and plumbing - it's no longer a field where you can get by only with your mechanical and plumbing skills. You need to be an all rounder, and not everyone is cut out to do that.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 19th April 2016 at 12:18 PM.

  7. #17
    Automated Home Jr Member WiteWulf's Avatar
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    Last post (hopefully!) on this matter: I met with 2RED's "proper" evohome installer today at lunchtime, who came out armed with a box full of spares. We replaced the faulty items then spent some time going around checking each valve was accepting changes, opening and closing properly and the radiator was actually heating. We replaced a couple of dodgy HR92s and corrected some other incorrect settings on a couple of HR92s. Some HR92s didn't seem to be actuating the valves properly, but these were reseated and started operating properly.

    The installer told me that the whole thing wouldn't work without the RFG100 powered up and working. I explained to him that they'd supplied the newer controller with built-in WiFi and he wasn't aware these even existed! They'd bought the package from Plumbcentre and, even though their website doesn't list the RFG100 as part of that kit, it was in the picture on the website and they'd supplied it. The installer checked the invoice and found they'd not been charged for it, that no cost had been passed on to me, and he took the bridge back with him.

    Everything seems to be working properly now, although I had a bit of a panic when I got back to office and all my monitoring scripts abending. It seems Honeywell have retired some old API URLs, a quick update to my scripts and all is well.

    I have to say, despite the initial problems with the install, 2RED have responded swiftly and appropriately to my concerns and the eventual outcome has been what I hoped for initially. I'd certainly use them for regular plumbing jobs again in the future but I'll be looking after the evohome stuff myself from now on.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiteWulf View Post
    Everything seems to be working properly now, although I had a bit of a panic when I got back to office and all my monitoring scripts abending. It seems Honeywell have retired some old API URLs, a quick update to my scripts and all is well.
    ABEND! Haven't heard that for 20+ years -- talk about useless nuggets of information being stored in the brain...

  9. #19
    Automated Home Jr Member WiteWulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotor View Post
    ABEND! Haven't heard that for 20+ years -- talk about useless nuggets of information being stored in the brain...
    I know, I know...showing my age/heritage ;-) Cut my teeth doing PL/1 coding on a big MVS/CICS 'frame back in the day...

  10. #20
    Automated Home Sr Member ludditeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiteWulf View Post
    I know, I know...showing my age/heritage ;-) Cut my teeth doing PL/1 coding on a big MVS/CICS 'frame back in the day...
    British Gas. British Shoe or Nat West in Kegworth? (PL/1 IMS from RR Derby)

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