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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:59 pm 
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Hi,

I'm after a wire free thermostat or programmer.
This is for my 85 year old mother and must be simple to use, at the moment she just leaves the boiler on all the time, when she gets hot she opens the doors and windows and when she gets cold she puts the fire on.

I've tried to show her how easy it is just to turn the heating up or down on the boiler but she just can't get her head around it, I think she sees all the buttons and lights and gets confused (she also has onset of Alzheimer's)

I was thinking of a programmable thermostat that she could simply twist the knob to turn the heating up or down and that I could programme to lower the heating at night.

Any ideas ?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:58 pm 
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We had a similar problem with my mother-in-law. She did have a wireless stat already, but it had a tiny LCD display that she couldn't really read very well and it was in Centigrade.

I replaced it with a Nest, even though she doesn't use any of the WiFi stuff herself. The reason being, it has a massive backlit display of the temperature it's set to (appox. one inch high digits), and you can set it to display Fahrenheight rather then Centigrade, which was easier for her. Just a big rotary dial to turn up or down so no complex buttons, etc.

I turned all of the "learning" stuff off and just set up a schedule to turn it down at night, etc. I can refine the schedule remotely from home, via the Nest website, and could even adjust the temp for her from here if I needed to.

If she hasn't got any sort of internet connection though, that might not be a sensible choice. Main problem I found was that most wireless stats seem to have tiddly little LCD displays.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Thanks chrrris,
did have a quick look at Nest and Hive but dismissed them as too complicated however I'll take another look.

She does have internet at the moment but doesn't use it, not sure if she'll keep it at the end of her contract.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:18 am 
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I am using this thermostat Image simply as it was what was fitted when central heating was put in, the cover comes off and behind the cover there are moveable stops, in our case set to 12°C minimum and 19°C maximum situated in the hall, mother also with Alzheimer's finds it easy to turn to stop in either direction it has become like an on/off switch rather than thermostat as far as she looks at it.

Although 19°C in the hall in the two rooms she uses we have eTRV fitted, hind sight, and of course easy with hind sight they did not need to be the expensive MiHome units I fitted which can be set using a PC or phone, the Pegler Terrier i-temp i30 would have done the job just as well, we realised she wants it warmer in the evening than during the day, so we have four temperatures set, over night set to 16°C in the morning (6 am) it goes to 22°C then at 8 am drops to 19°C then at 5:30 pm back up to 22°C dropping down to 16°C at 10:30 pm this is for living room, the bedroom set similar but without evening boost. It took some time to work out what she needed, but now it is simple turn dial on/off as far as she does things, to get the extra boost in the morning we have a Horstmann HRFS1 programmable thermostat, it was an early attempt to get better control, but it has a very poor wireless range, so only place it will work is in kitchen on side of cooker facing the base unit, however for what we want that is good enough, it switches on at 6 am and off at 8 am and is set to 22°C this means central heating boiler always runs in the morning even if mother has turned it down, Image bottom left button is frost setting, so in summer we just press that button to stop it working, since we started trying to get heating working correct we have moved in, when we moved in we found the problem was the thermostat in the hall would switch off the heating too early, before the other rooms were really warm enough, when heating was fitted they selected hall as coldest room, which it is, however they fitted a large radiator so when front door is opened it re-heats hall quickly, so cure was to fit a standard TRV to hall radiator, this is set to about 18°C so now it heats hall quick up to around 18°C but then slows down so it takes some time to get that extra 1°C to turn off the wall thermostat, it now works well.

In theory setting the TRV's in living and bedroom should have worked, it was the hall radiator being too big which was upsetting it all, before we moved in setting a TRV to 20°C was a nightmare, as you have no temperature marked on them, it just has numbers 0 to 5, when the heads were changed to the eTRV type then we had actually temperature settings, seems the eTRV heads have two sensors, one measures water temperature the other air temperature and the water temperature corrects the air temperature measurement so when it says 20°C that is the actually temperature the room goes to.

With a condensate boiler the flame height adjusts according to return water temperature, so if you control house temperature with the TRV it means it never switches on and off it just adjusts the radiator temperature so very little hysteresis, so if you can set the TRV correct then you get a even temperature, in every room. So aim is to set TRV to control the room temperatures, however the system has one big draw back, as summer approaches you get days where you don't need any heating, however the boiler still has to cycle on and off to test to see if any heating is required, so adding a room thermostat is a method to stop this summer cycling of the boiler, to do this the thermostat needs to be in a room which is normally left cold, in my case the hall, so once the ambient is over 19°C central heating will not run, there are better methods.

The EvoHome uses all eTRV's and these connect to a central hub, when every eTRV is satisfied then the hub turns off the boiler, this is the ideal system, however expensive. And in your case you are unlikely to get your mother to understand how to change temperature in each room, if anything like mine, she wants to feel she is in control, we found to start with once set up, mother would move the thermostat between the stops, but as time went by, she was comfortable, so she left the thermostat alone.

Hive and Nest like any other cheap thermostat only control the room they are fitted in, what you want is for whole house to be controlled, not just one room, the MiHome which I used will work with a follow command with Nest, however fitting MiHome heads in every rooms is very little different in price to fitting EvoHome heads in every room, with MiHome if set to follow every eTRV is set to same temperature, but with EvoHome every room can be different so if fitting eTRV heads either go for the cheap with no internet or expensive with full control, no point in going half way.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:42 am 
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Thank you for your comprehensive answer ericmark.

There are three rooms that she doesn't use so the TRVs are set low, however on the whole the house is usually warm, but she does turn the TRV in the living room down but forgets to turn it back up when she starts to get cold, she puts the fire on instead.

I have told her on many occasions that the TRVs shouldn't be adjusted once set, just let them do their job, and I'm guessing the same thing will happen with a room stat.

So I'm now in 2 minds, either fit a simple room stat with a dial, the disadvantage would be she'll just turn it on full when cold or down when hot which would defeat the object, and there would be no overnight control of temperature,
or, full digital programmer/stat with a simple override button, I would set the times and temperature and she could just hit the override button if she felt a little cold.

Apart from the heating being on 24/7 she does tend to put the gas fire on instead of turning the heating up (she frightened of touching the boiler in case she does something wrong, which she would) then she often falls asleep with the fire on full, I and other members of the family have often gone to see her and found her asleep with the room roasting. (fire has been tested and is safe)

Sorry it's a bit long winded, just trying to put you in the picture


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:19 pm 
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I'd go Nest as well. Set it up with a minimum setback temp of 16 or 17 degrees then you know she will never get too cold and you will be able to monitor exactly what temp it is from your phone. Personally I'd be inclined to remove the head from the TRV in the lounge to stop her turning it off.

I see it all the time and I know it's hard because it feels like you're taking her independence away but whatever keeps her safe :salute:

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For this message the author Razor has received gratitude : trogg
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:30 pm 
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OK then maybe same eTRV as I have, these heads as you can see Image have no controls other than one button which gives a boost if pressed, all the control is with the PC, so she would have no access, you can pre-set it all.

The same applies with programmable thermostats, however this one Image was a horror, and this is a problem, it has a single button which puts it in de-frost only mode, my mother, or carers would pick it up to look at it, and in doing so press the de-frost only button which set heating to 12°C it needed the button pressing again to cancel it, but the cheaper wired version DRT2 works very different seems discontinued or would show you a picture but I have set the one at home to get temperature to 12°C as house is now empty, when we visit we turn up heating, and at next timed even it auto turns down again.

What you need is the reverse, if program sets it to reasonable temperature through the day, then she can play to her hearts content, and next program change it will revert to what you have set it.

Nest will work with the eTRV's I have shown, I don't have Nest, but I will guess you can program it, so she can alter the temperature to what ever she likes, and come next program change it's back to your settings, and fitting the MiHome heads they can be set to follow Nest, I think Hive is the same, and there was something on this site about cheap kits from toolstation, if the programming is with a PC you can set it but she thinks she is in control.

The MiHome app lets me view my 5 devices with internet, I can tell you from here one room at 21°C and other at 20°C without going to room, you could access it from your home and see the temperatures of her rooms, I also have on same app a double socket which controls the alarms, bed, door and panic they are timed to switch off when carers are due then back on again after, pendent is independent on other socket of pair, this switches on/off once a day basically to ensure I don't forget to switch it back on.

The council were very good setting up alarms, but they are where we can hear them in bed, so if some one comes to an alarmed door, we would need to run upstairs and switch off the alarm before answering the door, not really ideal, so the sockets have three remote controls plus PC plus our phones, so we can turn the socket on and off from down stairs, since already fitted also have my bedroom light on same three remote controls as no switch by bed, so if in night alarm goes off, I can cancel alarm and switch on bedroom lights with same remote.

It was because I also wanted the remote socket that I got the MiHome TRV heads. However in hind sight, the sockets only have three events per day, it would have been better with four. But do consider what you may want in the future so you can expand if required.



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