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Thread: Honeywell evohome and Vaillant ecotec plus 838

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyq View Post
    - TRV installation was slightly trickier. I didn't need any adapter for my radiator valves as they were already the right measurement bit I found in some cases the part of the TRV which screws on to the radiator had a tendency to over-screw very easily. If you do that, then it's likely the trv won't be able to open and close the radiator properly. After a bit of messing around I managed to get the TRVs installed. When I turned a particular zone on for the first time I noticed radiators not in that zone were still getting slightly warm, i.e. The trv wasn't screwed in far enough so the radiator valve wasn't being fully closed. I went round and slightly tightened the screw slightly so that the trv would fully close the valve but not so much that the TRV's motorised function would find it too stiff to close. Also, the pin on the radiator only need to depress a couple of mm so that's another reason why you need to get the screwing of TRVs right. I also tested the screwing by rotating the black part of the trv clockwise until it got to the end, i.e. to replicate the valve being closed. By doing this I could test how stiff it felt to close the valve and therefore whether the trv would be able to close it properly or not. Anyway, once I figured out what the trv would be doing and tweaked it's positioning, the radiators were all being turned fully on and fully off as expected.
    Although you're saying that its easy to over tighten the adaptor the symptoms you describe are actually those of not screwing it on enough. Don't worry about it not being able to open the valve fully - the HR92 has a pin travel range of 4mm which should be plenty for most valves. Nor does screwing the adaptor on more make it "too stiff" for it to close. The only real danger of screwing the adaptor on too tight is splitting the adaptor - after all you're screwing a plastic threaded adaptor onto a metal thread, if it's over tightened the plastic would break or strip, so you want to judge the tightening torque and not be too ham fisted.

    The way I do it is screw it on approximately by hand first, then sit the HR92 in place and turn the HR92 body to "nip up" the thread as if it was a screwdriver. It's a lot harder to judge how tight the thread is if you turn the adaptor by hand but turning the HR92 body gives a lot better sense of how tight it is and where it starts to bite and start resisting turning. If you can undo it by bumping the HR92 with the screen strut in place then its too loose.

    The HR92 has a calibration process that it performs when you click the locking tab shut where it will try to wind the pin right down until the exerted force reaches a certain limit - by doing this it "explores" how much travel the pin has so that it knows where closed and open are and that gives it its working range. If the threads are screwed on firmly and you still find it struggles to close the valve fully (radiator heating when other zones call for heat, as you describe) you might need full stroke mode enabled - this increases the torque applied to the motor when closing the valve, but also increases how far it tries to open the valve, but at the expense of reduced battery life.

    If it still doesn't shut them off properly either you have stiff/sticky valves or they're not 100% compatible. I've got some cheap Peggler Bulldog valves on my radiators (the TRV heads that the HR92 replaced were horrible) and while I don't have any problems with the HR92's closing the valves, I have noticed on a couple of them that the valve doesn't fully open until the black wheel the HR92 turns is virtually fully unwound and at the limit stop, so I've had to set these two to full stroke mode in the cold weather as it wasn't fully turning on the radiator. I'm going to try filing a tiny bit off the top of the pin to see if I can fix that....
    My only question is that I'm not sure how the controller would be mounted on the wall because it's power supply connector is on the back of the stand, rather than controller itself. Unless there is a connector on the back of the controller too which I didn't notice? I don't think the wiring for my old manual wall thermostat is sufficient to power the controller anyway but I'm just wondering nonetheless.
    There is a separately sold wall mount which I use. The Evotouch is designed to be powered all the time so I'm not a fan of the dock. I have ours on the wall in the hallway where the old stat used to be and its the perfect place as its a nexus of travel through the ground floor of the house so easy to catch a glance of as you pass or get to when you need to.

    The wall mount comes with a small transformer a bit bigger than a box of matches - you can either keep this behind the wall mount and bring 240v mains to the mount (but then you require a normal depth electrical back box behind it) or you can fit the plate more or less flush on the wall with a low voltage cable coming out of the wall and put the transformer at the far end - that's what I elected to do to save digging a load of plaster out of the wall and fitting a back box. I actually managed to squeeze the transformer inside my wiring centre box for a nice neat installation and send the low voltage (5v) across the cable that used to go to the old wall stat.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st November 2016 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #42
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    Points noted. I will keep an eye on radiators which shouldn't be on and if I find them heating even slightly I'll go round all the TRVs and reinstall them but I think I'm good. For now it looks like only the rads I'm expecting are heating up and no that's.

    Re the wall mounting - that's cheeky of them to sell it separately but I guess they'd have to provide it with the transformer if it came with the starter kit which would increase the price I guess. But I'm still not sure, if I buy the mount, could the controller be installed in place of the old thermostat? I get the impression the wiring behind the old thermostat is not sufficient but not sure.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyq View Post
    Points noted. I will keep an eye on radiators which shouldn't be on and if I find them heating even slightly I'll go round all the TRVs and reinstall them but I think I'm good. For now it looks like only the rads I'm expecting are heating up and no that's.

    Re the wall mounting - that's cheeky of them to sell it separately but I guess they'd have to provide it with the transformer if it came with the starter kit which would increase the price I guess. But I'm still not sure, if I buy the mount, could the controller be installed in place of the old thermostat? I get the impression the wiring behind the old thermostat is not sufficient but not sure.
    Mine is. It replaced a standard Honeywell thermostat and, in my view, looks rather neat. I also us it as the zone sensor for my hall, stairs and landing.

  4. #44
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    Useful to know. I'm fine with it in the living room at the moment. Our hallway is always colder than the rest of the house so not sure how useful a thermostat there would be. Anyway, a couple of other questions I have now that I've been using the system for a couple of days:

    1. If the system is set to operate on the schedule and a particular zone is off at a given point in time, is there a quick way to turn that zone on? I have been pressing on that zone on the controller, upping the temperature to say 21 degrees and then setting a time until that applies. That feels like a lot of button pressing just to turn one zone on temporarily. Same applies for switching a particular zone off temporarily.

    2. Now that I have the system operating on a schedule, where does the learning functionality come into play in terms of it learning how long it takes to heat a zone? Although I have a zone set to go on at say 2pm and set at 21 degrees, will evohome start to turn the rads on in that zone before 2pm so that the temperature is at 21 by 2pm? Or is that not how it works?

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyq View Post
    Useful to know. I'm fine with it in the living room at the moment. Our hallway is always colder than the rest of the house so not sure how useful a thermostat there would be. Anyway, a couple of other questions I have now that I've been using the system for a couple of days:
    A room that is colder than other rooms sounds like the perfect candidate for a thermostat to me. One of the advantages of a zoned system like the Evohome is that even if you want the same temperature in different rooms, because each room is measured and regulated separately it will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal, even if one of those rooms needs a lot more heating than another. (Provided that the radiator does have enough oomph to actually get to the target)

    So you can get a much more evenly heated house, if that is your goal.
    1. If the system is set to operate on the schedule and a particular zone is off at a given point in time, is there a quick way to turn that zone on? I have been pressing on that zone on the controller, upping the temperature to say 21 degrees and then setting a time until that applies. That feels like a lot of button pressing just to turn one zone on temporarily. Same applies for switching a particular zone off temporarily.
    Large manual temperature overrides from the controller are a bit cumbersome, yes. I find it quicker and easier to make a large change by just turning the dial on the HR92. The smart phone app is another option.
    2. Now that I have the system operating on a schedule, where does the learning functionality come into play in terms of it learning how long it takes to heat a zone? Although I have a zone set to go on at say 2pm and set at 21 degrees, will evohome start to turn the rads on in that zone before 2pm so that the temperature is at 21 by 2pm? Or is that not how it works?
    There are two parts to the learning - one is learning how to get your rooms up to temperature without an overshoot in the temperature, this can take a few days or more. So for example if you change a set point from 16 to 20 you want it to get there as fast as possible but without going much past 20 in the process.

    But what you're probably thinking of is "Optimal Start" where instead of you specifying when you want the temperature to change, you specify when you want it to get to the target. Optimal Start is off by default so you need to turn that on yourself in the settings.

    As an example, say your living room is scheduled at 16 degrees from 12pm to 6pm and then 20 degrees from 6pm to 11pm.

    If Optimal Start was disabled the set point would always remain at 16 degrees from 12pm to 6pm then always at 6pm it would change to 20 degrees at which point the room would start to heat and eventually reach 20 degrees some time later, how long depends on how quickly your room can heat up etc.

    With Optimal Start enabled you specify targets - now the goal is for the system to reach 20 degrees by 6pm. So some time between 12pm and 6pm the set point will change from 16 to 20 ahead of the time set in the schedule so the actual room temperature gets there in time. How early it comes on to achieve this has to be learnt and this can take anywhere from days to weeks - initially it will tend to come on too early and get the room ready too soon but it should eventually adapt.

    The time that optimal start changes to the next set point will vary day to day based on prevailing conditions, primarily the starting temperature of the room - the colder the room is to begin with the longer it will take to warm up to reach the target and the sooner it will switch the set point up to achieve this.

    You'll see a small wavy arrow on the screen beside the set point for a zone that optimal start has changed set point on early. In settings under Optimal start you can also specify the maximum number of hours early that it is allowed to bring on a zone - which defaults to 3 hours. This is a "sanity check" to make sure it doesn't come on ridiculously early if for some reason it doesn't do a good job of calculating when to come on.

    This can sometimes happen in either a room that heats very fast, or a room that struggles to actually meet the target (not enough oomph from the radiator) both cases can lead to optimal start coming on too early.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st November 2016 at 10:52 PM.

  6. #46
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    Ahh - this is really useful to know! So on that first point about radiator in hallway, yes sorry I should have mentioned that there are a couple of reasons why I haven't bothered doing anything in the hallway; firstly, and this is a problem with the whole house, is that the front door and windows let in a lot of draught. We bought the house last year and the windows in the house are very old so I need to replace them very soon but for now, all I can do is insulate however possible. Secondly, the hallway radiator is a small one and I doubt it would ever be able to get the hallway to the target temperature. The first point contributes a lot of this as well. So I think the hallway isn't worth tackling until the door and windows are sorted.

    Re large temperature overrides, I'll try the thermostats and also the app. Annoyingly I still haven't got that working - honeywell support wanted a photo of the controller showing mac id and CRC so I had to do that last night and will see what they can do today.

    And yes, optimal start was exactly what I was thinking about. I will check out the settings and give that a go. I do worry that given my previous point about windows every room probably takes longer to heat up than it should. That may result in the optimum start engaging too early every time but I'll test it out. At least I know now

    Many thanks!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyq View Post
    Ahh - this is really useful to know! So on that first point about radiator in hallway, yes sorry I should have mentioned that there are a couple of reasons why I haven't bothered doing anything in the hallway; firstly, and this is a problem with the whole house, is that the front door and windows let in a lot of draught. We bought the house last year and the windows in the house are very old so I need to replace them very soon but for now, all I can do is insulate however possible. Secondly, the hallway radiator is a small one and I doubt it would ever be able to get the hallway to the target temperature. The first point contributes a lot of this as well. So I think the hallway isn't worth tackling until the door and windows are sorted.

    Re large temperature overrides, I'll try the thermostats and also the app. Annoyingly I still haven't got that working - honeywell support wanted a photo of the controller showing mac id and CRC so I had to do that last night and will see what they can do today.

    And yes, optimal start was exactly what I was thinking about. I will check out the settings and give that a go. I do worry that given my previous point about windows every room probably takes longer to heat up than it should. That may result in the optimum start engaging too early every time but I'll test it out. At least I know now

    Many thanks!
    Re online access. Try deleting your account from the Total Connect website and then carryout a normal set up. In my experience, this usually solves the problem,

  8. #48
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    Ah ok, I'll give that a go.

  9. #49
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    App working now and I can confirm it is much easier and quicker to turn temp up and down in zones from the app. Well designed app actually. I will soon test out the optimal start stuff as well.

    I've also started to look at IFTTT integration with evohome as that should create some interesting opportunities. I think it would be good if honeywell build some geolocation based controls into the system as well as weather integration. Both can be done with IFTTT so not a biggy but I suspect the features would be more reliable as part of the system itself.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyq View Post
    App working now and I can confirm it is much easier and quicker to turn temp up and down in zones from the app. Well designed app actually. I will soon test out the optimal start stuff as well.

    I've also started to look at IFTTT integration with evohome as that should create some interesting opportunities. I think it would be good if honeywell build some geolocation based controls into the system as well as weather integration. Both can be done with IFTTT so not a biggy but I suspect the features would be more reliable as part of the system itself.
    Good news.

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