We're thinking of getting a Hive remote-controlled central heating
controller/thermostat so we can set our heating to come on several hours
before we get home from holiday etc.
I'm trying to work out whether we need a single- or dual-channel controller.
Hive's customer support was dire: they wouldn't offer any advice and just
said "speak to a qualified central heating installer". Imagine not being
able to offer any pre-sales advice!
We have a combi boiler which currently has a dual-timer: one for the central
heating and one for the hot water. The hot water is pre-heated in a
reservoir in the boiler, hence the reason for being able to time when that
pre-heat comes on and off, so it's not wasting fuel keeping the reservoir
Hive say "single-channel for combi; dual channel for conventional boiler
with hot water cylinder". Our system sounds as if it has some features of
both: it's mostly heat-on-demand but with timed pre-heat of a small
reservoir in the boiler.
So, single or dual?
If you have a combi, why would you want remote control of on/off for the
water? The tap does that.
Also, are you sure your system doesn't already allow you to set it while
away on holiday? So it comes on the day or whatever you return? Even if a
day or two out, you're not going to use the gas cost of one of these.
I'm not surprised they say to ask a specialist. My guess is it will only
work with a *very* basic system. One with no microprocessor control.
*Bigamy is having one wife too many - monogamy is the same
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
Yes but we need to be able to control the hours that the boiler pre-heats
the water, so it doesn't heat it overnight. That's independent of the
on-demand heating of water. I imagine that when you turn on the tap, the
water that comes out of the tap (excluding what's in the pipe) initially
comes from the pre-heat reservoir, to give the boiler time to start heating
cold water - otherwise it would take a long time to run warm.
As far as I know, the controller just has time-on, time-off settings - I'm
not aware that you can say "from dates d1 to d2 come on between these hours,
but otherwise come on between these hours".
Anyway, what we want is "between these dates, heat the house to a frost-free
temperature; otherwise heat to a normal temperature". Since the boiler is
outside, any frost stat in the boiler will just be to keep the boiler itself
from freezing, not to prevent the house (eg water pipes) from freezing.
My understanding of the Hive (as regards central heating) is that it
functions as a combination of timer controller and thermostat, so as to turn
on the boiler when some condition is met. And that condition is a function
both of room temperature and time of day, so you can tell it to set the
thermostat to frost setting overnight, maybe high temperature in the morning
and evening, and a medium temp during the day so the boiler doesn't have to
work as hard to re-heat the house ready for when we come home.
Single, and turn off the hot water pre-heat whilst you are away,
or turn off the hot water heating entirely is that's possible.
Only reason for dual would be if you have multiple heating zones,
or to heat a hot water storage cyclider.
Actually, what you want is to leave the heating on 24x7 whilst you
are away, setback to frost protection. It depends where the stat is,
but 10C is probably the lowest you can go and some insurance companies
require 15C. If you have frost stats physically located in all the
vulnerable places, you can risk lower.
I would assume Hive can do this, but I'm not familar with its capability.
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
I kicked any thought of Hive into touch when I saw that 'they' would
have full details of my usage, i.e. every time it went on/off, etc.
Quite apart from the subscription charge, at that (any) price I can live
It *is* free. Peter Andrews may have been thinking of the "rental" version
available as an alternative to outright purchase for British Gas customers.
I assume that in the subscription model, you are paying to rent the Hive
controller - three boxes: "hub" which is wired to router and talks
wirelessly (maybe by private wireless network) to "receiver" which is the
on-off switches for the CH and hot water systems and the "thermostat" which
includes user controls such as boost, temp up/down in addition to on-line
I've a Heatmiser version of the same - has worked pretty well for the
past 5 years. I'm not sure if the new ones are the same - but mine is
just a plug-in replacement for a standard thermostat. I didn't want one
with power supply and receiver box.
An extra with mine is the need for a managed DNS address. It costs me
about £25pa with Dyn - but I use it for other things. I think some
manufacturers include it.
I find it quite useful as my hours are irregular.
And I'm sure remote controls, mobile phones and horseless carriages were
once considered 'toys' too. Oh the young things today, whatever next :-)
Yep. I gather it was via the web browser interface (not the phone app),
but forget the details.
I got a letter from them saying I could swap it out or get a credit.
When I tried to do that (either, I wasn't bothered) I got mired in
various denials and definitions of the words swap and credit. I think
perhaps they'd had a change of MD and decided to front it out. 'Ruth',
the admin dealing with it, closed all correspondence and refused to
provide details of the MD or further redress.
The wider saga here:
I could have mentioned that ;-)
Mine are more unpredictable than that. Last night I went for an
unscheduled drink for example - got back at 8.00, set the heating just
before I left the pub.
Of course, I accept it's not for everyone, and I'd concede an element of
frivolousness. Even I can wait 20 minutes while the house warms. For me
it's probably more expensive in gas, given my tendency now to preheat
It's there in the shops, I can afford it, it is of some use and I get
some enjoyment out of using it, so I've got it. Should I? Dunno.
Snag is this place takes quite a time to come up to temperature. With
no-one else in the house I have it switched off during the day. So it
needs a couple of hours to come up to what I want on a cold evening.
That is perfectly acceptable. It's those who say 'this is what you need'
without knowing anything about you that annoy. Like those bloody ads on
the telly. And some on here, of course.
*Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
DynDNS host names are still free, if you sign up for an account with
and submit the MAC and S/N of any old D-Link router.
You can then use your credentials to http://dyn.com/ and even add a
.dyndns host to your account.
It's amazing the angles that some eBayers photograph their routers.
Not suggesting anything, just saying.
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