Thermostat + Smart Radiator Valves

Hi all

I have been researching this for quite a while - inside and outside of this forum - and have yet to make a decision on which setup I am going for over here in the UK. In summary, I have the ST v2 hub and require:

  • a smart thermostat;
  • compatible smart radiator valves (mainly to control the kids bedrooms in isolation);
  • [optional] hot water control integration.

Nest seems to have flaky / poor radiator integration. Ecobee isn’t well supported in the UK (and lacks decent ST radiator integration as far as I can see). I haven’t had great feedback from friends about the Hive setup either.

The best bet I have seen is the Honeywell Evohome but whilst all inclusive, that feels a little pricey and - quite honestly - I’m shocked the other thermostats mentioned can’t offer what I’m after reliably.

Am I missing something patently obvious here?

I have the hive setup, with 7 TRVs, while they were flaky to begin with they have gotten better with the software updates they have had. Still not perfect but they are certainly taking them seriously and making every effort to iron out all the bugs. What I have discovered is that with he earlier hubs they seem to behave a bit worse than with the newer 360 hub.

Then with hive (connect) v3 DTH they work lovely. I had to make a few code changes the TRV device handler to stop them timing out, if you decide to go for them I can guide you on what changes to make.

After researching all the heating systems in the UK, I opted for Hive, this was before the TRVs were available as I new they were making some. I was really disappointed when they were released due to all the bugs, however I have worked very closely with 3rd line support to get them working. Spending many hours running test cases for them and feeding back my results. I also provided them all the test cases I run, I really should have been compensated for all the work I did, however I am just happy that I now know them inside out, know how to set them up properly so that they work effectively (which is not that well documented and why so many people are having issues) and TBH I am aware that when new products are released these days they will always have issues. The important thing for me is knowledge that the company is doing something about getting them working and confidence that they will get there

I can recommend hive, let me know if you decide to invest and id be happy to pass on my wisdom. Its not really that hard, but if you don’t follow the set routine that I figured out to the letter then you have a high chance of running into issues with them.

1 Like

You can check Schneider’s Wiser Heating system. They have heating, hot water, TRVs and wall thermostats too. There is a custom DH for integrating their heating unit to ST too.
But reading the post above, you have the right person to contact for Hive integration.

I’ve never heard of this one, might be worth checking out, they may be more stable than hive, certainly worth exploring all your options before investing.

It runs under the brand, Drayton in the UK.

In Germany it is called Eberle Wiser Heat

https://wiser.eberle.de/

But both companies are part of Schneider Electric.

I’m using standard mains operated radiator valves and smart plugs. Using the temperature value from each room’s motion sensor means I can set the heating individually for each room. Whilst there is a SmartApp for heating/cooling, I’m using WebCore for much finer control. I have a guest room which I can keep cooler when not in use, with a ‘guest’ flag in ST to control it (among other things). I also have the heating turn up slightly when the outside temperature goes below freezing, and have it run cooler when I’m away. Gets a bit OCD after a while, though it has knocked about a couple of hundred quid off my annual gas bill!

@Cheggers33
There is Tado which includes options for a Smart Thermostat, Hot water, and TRVs. There is no official Smartthings support but there is an independent solution listed in these forums. It also has IFTTT support.

I am somewhat annoyed with HoneyWell because they have quite a few (better) models only available in the US.

Various Z-Wave products are a possibility.

I am going the Tado route.

Appreciate responses. I still baffled how this process of identifying products within the ST ecosystem is so cumbersome…

Thanks @Rizlah, I’ll give the Hive setup a second chance based on your feedback and do some reading. Will also do some digging on the Schneider system as well @GSzabados.

@jelockwood - I had noted the Tado stream on this forum and considered it a few times but always reticent to commit. Any feedback on stability of the community developed smart app? From memory I think I found a stream saying Tado had no plans to create an official integration which scares me somewhat.

RE: US products. The Ecobee is the most frustrating in this category. Looks a great little setup…

I don’t know how big investment you are planning. And what is the current state of your heating system. Old or new…

But if you want to get something out of it, then you would look for something with some AI/learning/weather forecast capabilities.

I used to have in my previous appartment a Nest thermostat. That was quite nice, as it has learned by the presence sensor what is the daily schedule of me and my wife. It was working fine for me, but that was years ago.

I use Wiser TRVs around the house now, as I couldn’t replace my central unit. I have wrote a DH for them, but I couldn’t fine tune them last winter and the DH has a lot of work to be done on it too. Maybe I missed the point, but I couldn’t find a way to give the learning curve to the Smartthings setup. It is great that I can turn on heating on the radiators when I am in the way home, and the house warms up, but you might want to have that already learned by a complex solution.

All system has its pros and cons. If you can do, get one with a central unit and a thermostat plus separate TRVs, if your heating system hasn’t got zones already.

Central unit controls when you need heating, and its great if you can control hot (domestic) water too, if you have a hot water cylinder.
Thermostat provides feed to the central unit, needs heating or not, and can provide status heating or only circulating.
TRVs are the same as the thermostat, but they can shut off the radiator when the temperature reached the level. And they can tell heating is needed or just circulation.

And the state of your current heating system. Make sure you have decent valves on the radiators. Old and stiff valves will make the whole thing just a waist of money. And of course check that your valves are compatible with the TRVs. You can get plenty different adapters if needed, but you need to know what you need exactly.
A new condensation heater can save you good money or just cleaning out the sludge from the radiators if they are old.

@jelockwood - re: Tado, it just came to me. The community developed smart app was only available in the Classic app which, whilst I am not against using the Classic app, their is a strategic long term reason why Samsung developed a new platform and so I don’t want to be wedded to old infrastructure as-it-were. Unless some wizardry in the new app has occurred and I’ve missed?

@GSzabados - appreciate your in-depth response. Cost isn’t necessarily an important criteria but I, like many others I assume, fall into the duality of I’ll pay it if its worth it and I’m not paying simply for a logo if it can be done perfectly fine elsewhere!

My heating system is new, fitted before we moved in but within the last 5-7 years. I am in the process of replacing 4 of the 9 radiators in the property so again they will be in the ‘new’ category.

If you follow this idea to make it working with the new app, then you are possibly limited to these thermostats only.

I am new here and this is my first post. I have just taken delivery of my new ST V3 HUB and have managed to add my hue lights to it successfully. I have hive heating and want to add it to the ST Hub. Can anyone help. I’m generally quite tech savvy but am new to ST.
Many thanks in advance.

look into hive (connect) v3
https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-hive-connect-v3-0-british-gas-hive/103473

Is this performed on my smartphone or on pc?

you need to be able to access the ST IDE
SmartThings IDE

Once you get signed up and logged in you will see many different pages, SmartApps and device handlers will be your friend.

If you follow the instructions for the install of the Hive Smartapp you will quickly learn what all the pages are for.

I have followed the instructions but am stuck…I am on q8 and already have the hive app and st app. I cannot see smartapps tab anywhere…HELP!
thanks again!

im confused

#threadhijacked :smile:

If new app compatibility is such a restriction @GSzabados, back to the drawing board for me I guess.

To reiterate SAMSUNG - the whole process of device and/or ecosystem selection is way more complex than it needs to be. Something simple such as an advisory ‘requirements’ questionnaire for customers would a) provide massive assistance in selecting the correct route to take and b) generate huge upsale opportunities for the company…

It is at the moment. A lot of the custom integrations have special tiles in the DH and complex SmartApps. The way to integrate things into the new App is still limited and the API hasn’t been provided yet (afaik).

Most Smart Heating solutions are working as stand alone setups. Integration into Smartthings is just a plus. But not a requirement for any of them.

@7andy

This is something I was looking at doing if/when any of my current TRV’s die (newer firmware is not compatible - grr!)

If you don’t mind me asking, would you mind posting some images / links to the valves you’re using please?

I too am using webcore / seperate sensors for the fine control, the code would be far neater if I was using standard valves instead of needing to mess with my current (patchy) TRV’s. Totally get what you mean about the OCD, I’m still tweaking mine after months! = )