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Thread: Evohome/HR92 battery notification

  1. #1
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    Default Evohome/HR92 battery notification

    I am a satisfied Evohome user, i have 7x HR92 and a floor heating control unit in my setup. The only thing that keeps bothering me is the (lack of) low battery notifications via email/app and especially the subsequent 'opening of the radiator', or as the local evohome support calls it; frost protection.
    It has occurred 2 times during a holiday and most recently at night in the baby room, effectively pushing the room temperature to >30 degrees C on an already hot summer night. There was no notification on the Evohome hub during the day and the last time the batteries where proactively replaced early this year, so probably something wrong with the battery. Either way, we woke up with a crying baby and they notification was shown on the evohome hub and the radiator was full on. The HR92 itself was still functioning though, albeit almost out of battery.

    Ideally I can disable the automatic opening of the valve when the batteries run out, but support advice me that that is not an option and also won't happen. Although i can't get an answer as to why 'frost protection' would be required in a home environment? So now i'm just looking for better options to get notified when there is a battery issues, so i can fix it before it goes in the frost protection mode. If there any solution out there to get a notification somehow? Either via email, text, in the Home app? If there is some notification other than the one i get on the screen of the Evohome? Any help is welcome!

  2. #2
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    I'm not aware of any "automatic opening of the valve when the batteries run out" feature. I've had batteries run out on me many times and never had this happen.

    I think you're just unlucky and what has happened is the valve has opened to warm the room up to the regular set temperature and at the point where the valve has fully opened and stalled the motor the HR92 has then "crashed" due to a low battery condition and left the valve mechanically fully open, so the room has continued to heat uncontrolled.

    I would be checking the tension on the battery contacts as they can lose tension and become unreliable, then when a heavy load is caused by the motor stalling at the end of the valve travel the unit suffers a "brown out" that reboots it or leaves it in a confused state. (Poor battery connection at the contacts can cause sudden unexpected shutdown of the HR92 which is not proceeded by the normal low battery warnings on the controller)

    This is nothing to do with frost protection. Frost protection will open a radiator valve if the measured temperature gets below 5C - clearly this is not the situation here. Frost protection is nothing more than a 5C minimum set point - it won't heat the room significantly past 5C and certainly not to 30C...

    I agree that there should be low battery warnings via app or email though - users have been clamouring for this for years now to no avail.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 24th August 2020 at 04:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Even when off HR92s will cycle from time to time to stop the valve from sticking, and it probably uses less battery load to open a valve than it does to push it back down again (especially if the valve is old), so I don't think the observation of a battery dying half way though this palaver is unreasonable, if it's just on the edge.

  4. #4
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    I can't see why the valve would be open during summer, the heating is turned off. It's 25 degrees in the house. Same situation last year during the holiday.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Like I said, even when the heating is off the HR92s will cycle from time to time (monthly?) to stop the valves from seizing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    Even when off HR92s will cycle from time to time to stop the valve from sticking, and it probably uses less battery load to open a valve than it does to push it back down again (especially if the valve is old), so I don't think the observation of a battery dying half way though this palaver is unreasonable, if it's just on the edge.
    It's not that the battery dies while the motor is turning, it's that the sudden stall when it reaches the fully open end causes a heavy load on the battery, and if you have a combination of batteries getting a bit low and the dreaded poor (high resistance) battery connection issue, it can cause the device to black out due to the voltage taking a steep dive.

    I've actually seen it happen more than once on my system (I was literally watching as it happened) where the display went blank just as it finished opening the valve. I think the physical jolt also moves the device slightly and disturbs the battery contacts if they have very marginal contact pressure.

    In the cases where this (HR92 crashing or blanking out) has happened to me I've found it was a combination of the batteries getting low (but still good enough to work) and loose battery contacts - tensioning the contacts fixed it even with the ageing batteries still in place.

  7. #7
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    Sadly we are stuck with the dubious battery contacts on all existing product, it would be great if this was sorted out for future product but that will not help existing users. However improving notification of low battery level may at least help avoid the problem seen by Forza11. The occasional, random hot water sensor failure warnings give a large display on the controller. If LOW battery warnings had the same prominence they would be difficult to miss and give the option to change the batteries (or bend the contact springs) before the risk of stalling on high load. Those wanting to get the last micro watt out of the batteries could always dismiss the warning and wait until they fail.

    Pushing notifications of error messages to the app would help some, but I only look at the app when I want to edit the schedules or turn the heating on remotely so would not be likely to see them in time. Some may find email notification helpful but others may find them irritating when they have already seen them on the controller screen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
    Sadly we are stuck with the dubious battery contacts on all existing product, it would be great if this was sorted out for future product but that will not help existing users. However improving notification of low battery level may at least help avoid the problem seen by Forza11. The occasional, random hot water sensor failure warnings give a large display on the controller. If LOW battery warnings had the same prominence they would be difficult to miss and give the option to change the batteries (or bend the contact springs) before the risk of stalling on high load. Those wanting to get the last micro watt out of the batteries could always dismiss the warning and wait until they fail.
    Oh but the low battery warnings from the HR92's and wall sensors DO give a large prominent warning on the Evotouch's screen. I've seen it plenty of times.

    The problem is that when the battery is first getting a bit low the device keeps reporting low battery then a bit later not low battery, then maybe a few days later it will report low battery again etc... When it reports low battery a big warning will come up on the screen but when the device later reports the battery is not low again the warning will be removed from the screen - perhaps before anyone has seen it.

    The only place to see the warning if it has been removed again is to check in the fault log.

    Low battery warnings tend to be intermittent for the first few weeks before they become permanent.

    In the case of a motor stall followed by a blackout there will be no warning on the screen until lost comms is reported which can take an hour or so. Assuming that comms are actually lost. Maybe the HR92 goes into a vegetative state where it still has comms but can't close the valve when this happens. (Speculating here)

    And none of these warnings are ever sent by email or made available to the phone app.
    Pushing notifications of error messages to the app would help some, but I only look at the app when I want to edit the schedules or turn the heating on remotely so would not be likely to see them in time. Some may find email notification helpful but others may find them irritating when they have already seen them on the controller screen.
    Email warnings are a bit clunky to be honest - I don't need yet more email notifications from services, I'd prefer to get them as push notifications to the phone app.

    Remember that you don't have to launch an app to get push notifications, so even if you never go into the app, as long as it's installed and signed in at some point in the past you'll still get the push notification on your phone.

    A choice between push notifications and email alerts should keep everyone happy.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 25th August 2020 at 05:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    I seldom have the app running as I use it infrequently so would miss most push warnings. I can see why some would appreciate them, but like email warnings, I would probably find them irritating over time and turn them off. I don’t have many notifications active on my phone just a few essentials. For me it would maybe be useful to make warning on the controller display sticky as I obviously miss them apart that is for the HW sensor fail that comes and goes at random, but that’s another issue.

    Off topic, but I alway find my login times out while typing a message and I have to log back in to send. Is there some way to extend the session time?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
    I seldom have the app running as I use it infrequently so would miss most push warnings.
    You still don't seem to be getting what I'm saying. Once the app is installed and has been logged in once you don't have to "use" the app, push notifications will go to your phones notification area (along with email notifications etc) even if you never open the app again, provided you don't uninstall the app.

    The good thing about a push notification is once you've read it and dismissed it, it's gone, it's not still an email cluttering up your inbox which has to be manually deleted or moved.
    I can see why some would appreciate them, but like email warnings, I would probably find them irritating over time and turn them off.
    So don't use them ? Nobody is asking to make it mandatory for everyone. But would you really find a warning that the batteries on a radiator controller need replacing irritating, or would you be thankful to know about it and replace the batteries before that zone stops working ? I find batteries last about 18 months so it's not like I'd be receiving warnings every day. When a zone does go flat I want to know about it.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 26th August 2020 at 08:10 AM.

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