Author Topic: 11 thermostats in small home  (Read 3250 times)

Offline DSE25

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11 thermostats in small home
« on: November 27, 2014, 11:32:17 pm »
My wife and I just bought a small lake house with 11 electric baseboard heaters each controlled by a Mears-brand thermostat.    Any ideas as to how to control them without buying 11 individual zwave thermostats?   Any ideas would be appreciated.   Thanks.
Best,
Dave

Offline Grwebster

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 12:13:00 pm »
That's a tough one.  You may be able to group some together is they have similar exposure to outside walls, or are in the same space.  The problem then is you would have to get properly rated contractors to control from the thermostats since it is low voltage.  You may be able to get away with 3 or 4 thermostats that way.


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Offline DSE25

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2014, 06:28:49 am »
Thanks for giving it some thought.   I guess I'll wait for a sale
-Dave

Offline curiousB

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 03:35:58 pm »
I depends how they are wired back at the panel. Since it is so many heaters I suspect it is a fewer number of branch circuits feeding them. That might be part of the solution.

It also depends what you want to do. If you want to simply disable or enable the heaters that can be done much simpler than a bunch of WiFi thermostats (Case 1). If, however, you need/desire to set back to a lower temperature then this gets tricky (Case 2).

Case 1. If you can live with an on or off only world then buy one or more  3Pole  @ 30A 240VAC contactor (120VAC coil) . Use the high current side of the contactor to break one of the hot legs to each heater branch circuit. Then use a Vera appliance device to switch the contactor coil (120VAC coil). So it works like this. Vera turns on an appliance module, this turns on the contactor, then current can flow to the various heating circuits. The room thermostats will then control the temp levels of the various rooms. The safety concern here is that if someone left a blanket of something covering a heater and you switch it on remotely without knowing such a condition exists.

I suppose you could take this a step further and add a ZWave temp sensor into the largest room. Then write a scene/script to turn on the contactors if temp falls below some lower limit (freeze protection bottom end). I'd be sure to plan for a wide deadband (5-10 degrees) in the algorithm to minimize contactor switching and since no one is there you are really just worried about freeze protection and not ideal comfort. This latter piece means you are entrusting your water pipes to Vera not hanging up. Not sure if you are comfortable with that.


Case 2. This is best done with WiFi or ZWave thermostats and a device similar to an Aube RC840T device in each heater. This pricey though. Its $30-35 for the Aube device and a WiFi thermostat is about $100 for a basic one. I think you can get ZWave thermostats a little cheaper.

A hack to do this, if you are a MacGyver type, is to put a power resistor near each thermostat to "trick" the thermostat into thinking it is warmer than it actually is. You have to experiment with values and positioning/proximity to the temp sensor in the thermostat but it can work. Basically you are creating a temperature setback effect because the thermostat sees the total of the room heat plus this local resistor. I did this 30 years ago with my first house. Had a simple timer feeding a DC transformer and sized a 3-5W power resistor mounted inside the thermostat just under the bimetallic temp coil. It was before set back thermostats were commonplace. A kludge for sure, but it did work.









« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 04:20:00 pm by curiousB »
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Offline DSE25

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 10:21:25 pm »
Thanks CuriousB, case 2 may be above my pay grade but I think case 1 may be doable.  The basement is unfinished so I might be able to find fewer-than-11 circuits to control.   Anyway, thanks again.
Best,
Dave

Offline goldbug

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 12:50:18 pm »

there is a direct retrofit solution for electric baseboard heaters. no need to install Aube relays

you may want to read the following thread...

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,23401.msg202669.html#msg202669


there are 2 products: Caleo (not yet available) and Sinope already available)

the latter can be purchased from their website (sinopetech dot com)

Offline DSE25

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2014, 07:56:29 pm »
Thanks!   I've also noticed some discontinued GE zwave thermostats are for sale for about $50 each.   That may be the least expensive solution!

Offline djrakso

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 11:22:23 pm »
Which GE Thermostat are you talking about?

Offline DSE25

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2014, 01:36:03 pm »

Offline curiousB

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 05:33:56 pm »
..."GE-IS-ZW-TSTAT-100-Z-Wave-Wireless-Thermostat-
may not work with baseboards but at that price, i decided to get it to see if i could figure it out."...


It won't work with line powered baseboard heaters directly but if you use a 24VAC relay it should work fine.

Use one of these in each baseboard and you should be good to go.

http://www.aubetech.com/products/produitsDetails.php?noLangue=2&noProduit=42

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Offline DSE25

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2014, 11:16:29 pm »
Thanks, that makes sense - though now I have to figure out where to hide the relay!
Thanks again
- dave

Offline curiousB

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Re: 11 thermostats in small home
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 05:14:01 pm »
They are made to fit within the wiring panel of the heater.


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