Develop a "basic backup schedule" mode for when Tado outage or loss of internet

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  • rafm5
    rafm5 | Moderator

    @Flow The easiest way of saving cost is by cutting corners / not implementing all features. Locally management thermostat sounds boring opposite to ‘smart’ and ‘cloud based’

    All those 'modern' subscription based services or cloud based systems have one major flaw. If you pull the plug they became a piece of junk. It's only a matter of time until something happens. Whether they use AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud it doesn’t matter.

    All you will get is "please know that our team is aware and monitoring the situation and hope to get the app back online soon. Please use a blanket instead" ;-)

  • Thanks @rafm5 but I don’t agree this is something we should accept. Nor should it be an inevitable feature of smart services.

    First and foremost, I expect reliability from my home heating system.. I can’t be alone here?

    As mentioned above, Hive (UK market leader and Tado competitor) seem to have recognised this, I quote: “Hive Active Heating - Your heating will continue to work. Until your broadband connection is restored you can control your heating manually from your thermostat. If your heating is in schedule mode it will continue to run to the schedule that you have set”.

    I don’t want to immediately jump ship here (especially after the recent expenditure of a full Tado home system), but to your point - sadly, I am starting to see where Tado’s priorities lay.

  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021
    FYI.
    I’ve recently left an honest review on the App Store. If I can find any other public forums I will leave more reviews.

    Potential customers should be aware of this vulnerability, or that they need internet with guaranteed uptime 24x7x365.

    I wasn’t aware and would likely have made a different decision if I was.

    I would urge others here to consider leaving reviews outside this forum in the hope awareness of this issue will help Tado prioritise better. Despite my frustration, at this point I would still prefer to stick with tado and see this fixed.
  • RetsimLegin
    edited November 2021

    In the last week, I have once again woken TWICE to a disabled Tado. This has not been the case for many months, but the outages appear to have resumed. All three indicator lights were ON and stable on the bridge, but the wireless receiver was flashing (two LEDs, IIRC). No remote access on the app. A disconnect and reconnect of power from the bridge fixed it. It's my assumption (right or wrong) that the bridge firmware (92.1) has updated recently and this version is less stable than its predecessor.

    FWIW, my router is programmed to briefly interrupt the internet connection at around 3am daily. My guess is that my Tado bridge is failing to reconnect randomly after this (but doesn't know it - given its status lights show all to be well).

    I'm considering putting a timer on the bridge power plug to restart it daily - after the router has done its thing.

  • Hi I did have the same problem but added a fixed IP address in router for tado bridge this cured the problem for me
  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021
    Hi Tado - instead of deleting my posts about leaving public product reviews (which it is evident the company is very sensitive about / don’t seem to want new customers to be aware the product has no resiliency), could you please provide us a meaningful development update?
  • rafm5
    rafm5 | Moderator

    @RetsimLegin

    ''my router is programmed to briefly interrupt the internet connection at around 3am daily''

    Is it a bug or a feature? what's the benefit?

  • It's a feature, configurable. It purports to improve long-term connection stability.

  • Not certain you will get the fastest synch speed though...

  • Absolutely agree with others here that the Tado system's vulnerability to loss of internet is a major flaw, other systems can indeed run a basic schedule. It is possible to turn on the boiler and pump manually via the wireless receiver, however, as detailed here:

    There's no auto control of the TRVs of course and the boiler will only switch on and off in response to its own thermostat.

    To those considering a switch to Hive TRVs (some comments above) I would exercise great caution, have a look at:

    I sent my Hive TRVs back for refund.

    NB, one clever idea I came across somewhere else in the Tado forum was to wire the old manual heating programmer in parallel with the Tado Wireless Controller, to be energised at times of internet outage. Whilst this is very "belt and braces" I'm considering doing it myself . . .

  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021
    Thanks @hugbilly I think your last suggestion involves manually failing over or re-wiring a traditional thermostat if there is a prolonged internet outage, correct?

    I’ve kept my 20+ year old kit for that reason, but I think I’m more likely to experience a brief internet interruption that causes Tado to miss an instruction, like ‘water heat on’. This thread is littered with examples and I believe everyone will experience it at some point unless they have highly stable end-to-end fibre. Even then there is a chance.

    Actually it’s become glaringly obvious how poor Tado’s design is.
    I just purchased a ‘budget’ underfloor thermostat and an ‘extremely budget’ smart lightbulb. Both WiFi enabled with great app-based features. Importantly both stick to any set schedule if you kill the internet - I tried! The lightbulb cost just £7… amazing really.

    I just can’t fathom why Tado didn’t want / cannot achieve this? Their internet bridge already distributes every command. So only the bridge needs time (or timer) and to save a few bytes of schedule. Cloud takes priority, unless a ping fails in which case the bridge falls to schedule.
    My £7 lightbulb manages it and doesn’t even have a hub :)
  • While I encourage this conversation to continue, please all be aware that one of the major difficulties of the tado system vs many cheap wifi smart home systems is the big difference:

    Battery powered / mains powered

    If you have a mains powered device, power consumption does not matter and you can choose very different chipsets/communication chips.

    That is why it is relatively easy to make a cheap smart bulb etc..

    For us, with Smart Radiator Thermostats being one of the main products, it is not feasible to have a mains powered device because the vast majority of people do not have a mains outlet directly next to their radiator valves.

    Just something to keep in mind while continuing this discussion.

  • @Jurian I'm not sure that your comment is relevant to the title of this thread. A new Internet bridge that could manage a "basic backup schedule" mode for when Tado outage or loss of Internet, would be mains powered, so why would the smart radiator thermostats be affected?
    I too, would be happy to pay for a new bridge if it resolves this issue.
  • jcwacky
    jcwacky ✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    @johnbur : I believe @Jurian is replying to comments such as those by @Flow 's e.g. "extremely budget’ smart lightbulb [...] stick to any set schedule if you kill the internet".

    I think everyone including Tado are pretty sure that this issue could be resolved by Tado developing a new bridge, but as it's hardware, I'm not expecting any news from Tado until it's been officially announced, and by things @Jurian has said in the past, it doesn't sound like this will happen until a whole new Tado V4 (at least) is developed.

  • @jcwacky just trying to keep this thread on subject. It is a shame that the feedback from Tado we get is to an irrelevant point.
    I don't need a Tado v4 - unless guaranteed to be backward compatible to the current smart radiator thermostats, just a fix to waking up to a cold house because of Internet or Tado server issues which is the purpose of this thread.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ ✭✭✭

    Yes, I'd be happy to pay a little for a new version of the hub/bridge, but only if it is 100% backwards compatible with my house full of other tado gear. I can't afford to replace all of that as well (well, I could afford it at a stretch but I shouldn't have to).

  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021

    @XKRMonkey thanks for the idea around water, I can see how that adds resiliency. Although of course i’d love to keep everything in the Tado app & ecosystem, especially as I am in the process of moving my Tado system to an eBus standard to enable boiler modulation.

    To your point, I too have connectivity challenges at home (with various mesh Wi-Fi and powerline kits in situ), but I am thrilled the radio standard Tado runs across works well and keeps everything connected. I also think the app is well designed and generally the system works brilliantly (a big plus from me).

    Which is why this problem about a lack of backup schedules is such a sore point - simply; it’s the one thing our old timers did well and hence something most people take for granted in my opinion. I did, which is why I am still surprised the feature was overlooked by Tado’s designers.

  • Amazing how Tado moderators keeps deleting my comments. What was it this time? The fact that there is no mention of a requirement for a stable internet connection anywhere on the website, or in pre-sales literature?

    This is something that @Jurian him/herself mentions in this very thread; “…Good feedback about not mentioning the requirement of a stable internet connection. I think it was there on a previous version of the tado website but it might not have been ported to the new one. I will forward this to our marketing team…”

  • @Flow I agree to a point, but like so many products that are conceived in the cloud, the developers have never had to design and test something manually using traditional software development practices, they put their fingers on a keyboard and make something look ok, then start poking it around to add features or fix things.

    In the end you have to be more pragmatic as a (power) consumer. "Why would you want to know how hot your water store is ? You never have before!" "For the last 60+ years, a tank thermostat that cuts the mains supply to the tank when it gets to a certain temperature has been good enough, why are you asking for change?"

    Simply, [paraphrasing my mother] "because I do!" because maybe that leads me to better savings, using solar powered water heating or choosing which tank to heat based on time of day and expected routine/unexpected changes to that routine. Maybe because you're selling this as a green technology, when you're really creating a very snazzy looking, very expensive digital timer for my hot water.

    In all honesty, not a single user needs to buy CH+HW. Leave the old drayton digital programmer on the tank and save the money, the only thing you can't then do is open the app during an ON phase and actually see a big ON tile for Hot Water. Maybe you can't hit the "*naughtyword* that shower's cold" button on your smartphone and you need to walk a few paces for that boost button on the white plastic Drayton programmer, but if you're not home you won't know it's cold anyways. You see - no design, no straw-man testing, just excited "Look how cool it is when I can turn the water heating on from my phone wherever I am!". Worthless feature.

    My Sonoff replacement cost me £18 per tank (and right now it's black Friday week people!). It provides me with real data and a flexible way to program behaviours based on that data - in the EWELink app or by adding IFTTT superpowers. Best £18 ever.

    Tado are not alone in this, all the so-called leaders are leading from the driving seat of a 30 year-old Charabanc with a dodgy hand painted makeover. Come on Tado, open your minds, redesign properly, use the massive amounts of forum feedback and set up real customer interaction panels to change this market. If you don't, others will.

  • Absolutely disagree with the comments about turning on the hot water remotely. When I’m away I turn the HW off, knowing that I can turn it on again remotely, ready for my return . . .
  • @hugbilly thanks for reading, and all comments and opinions are welcome, of course :) I do have one question about your response, purely out of interest.

    On a many digital timers, there is a "holiday mode" - you say "We will be away for XX days" and the timer suspends all switching activities for XX days, and then re-activates the programs. Arguably this is more convenient than having to remember to open the app and suspend the hot water program and then remember to do the same to re-activate it in a timely manner for your return.

    The main use case that defeats this is indeterminate travel arrangements, but this is quite a corner case. Most families with children have a rigid routine based around schooling, even if one parent routinely travels for work, that doesn't mean that anyone is going to be changing the main schedules for CH or HW. This is most likely to apply to single occupancy homes with a job that requires irregular travel at short notice.

    I'm not saying that you (or I) or anyone else can't find a use for it, I am asking how useful it actually is if I never know:

    a) Did the HW actually heat at all or was the "ON" tile just lit for a while ?

    b) Did I even need to activate it in the first place, or was it already warm enough ?

    Room heating is different - the system shows me the current room temperature. I activate the heating and I see the temperature change (or it doesn't and I know that I have a secondary issue that needs resolution).

    Outside of any of this, tank temperature matters from a hygiene perspective - periodically, it's good to heat the tank past the point that bacteria are killed (60^ for legionella, 70^ to be sure of most everything else). This is way hotter than an average HW requirement for general washing, showering and cleaning day to day, but without the ability to see what temperature your water is, it is not possible to accommodate this kind of additional protection.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a massive tech nerd, I am not against sitting on the beach and activating the HW in my home hundreds or thousands of miles away. I am asking whether the Tado feature achieves anything truly useful, and in my opinion it doesn't without additional function that is presently impossible. My original comments are in the context of development strategy and design approach, and my comments stand. Nobody stood in a design meeting and argued the merits of the HW control in the form that it is today, most likely somebody from marketing stood in a design meeting and said "and don't forget HW, that will be really cool and all our competitors do it."

  • Good discussion points but at a tangent to the core subject?

    Here, Tado should be continually reminded that their ‘smart’ system needs backup scheduling.

    Funnily enough I read-back some earlier posts. And from earlier moderator comments, Tado seem to infer non-English language users don’t ask for the feature?? (What a bizarre way to gauge importance!!!)
    Regardless of language used, this is the most voted topic.. please please Tado start listening!

    Sadly, I have warned two friends who liked the look of my setup not to invest in Tado, if they value ‘dependency’..
    Guess what? They were completely turned off Tado and all its wonderful features once they learned all schedules fail if internet drops.
  • @Flow Good point.

    I think that Tado have a big share of markets where shared (community) hot water systems rather than individual boilers are the source of heat - possibly making the loss of the Internet connection less of a challenge for such markets (the boiler demand isn't lost). The flipside is that boiler-centric markets DO have a problem, and "Internet" issues are not uncommon and it's not only the consumers local connection or WiFi that can be the root cause - ISP failures, Microsoft Azure or AWS changes, general transit faults all lead to the same thing.

    Again, this is a fundamental design problem, but with a comparatively "easy" solution. Don't change anything about what you have, or how it works. Create an extra box/stick/whatever, that does have a proper timekeeping source, and sync it with the cloud data for the customer's schedule. Make this device the master device for change when you are in the same building (on the same wifi), otherwise interact with the cloud instance.

    Advantages for Tado:

    Reduced workload in public cloud instance, as all the heavy lifting is done on the local device by default (if present). That means less cost to Tado for providing the service elements.

    The consumer noise abates - there is a viable solution, if it bothers you or you are impacted by this situation you can resolve for a few $$$

    It creates a new revenue stream in the portfolio, allowing Tado to monetise poor design choices of the past.

    Actually, reading this thread https://community.tado.com/en-gb/discussion/9866/upcoming-rework-of-the-tado-community-forum-what-would-you-like-to-see-changed#latest @Rob lists this thread as a priority right now for the developers, and bookmarking and keeping that thread under review/comment could pay some dividends and alleviate some frustrations.

  • hugbilly
    hugbilly ✭✭
    edited November 2021
    @XKRMonkey Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Our circumstances are that our youngest children are now in their’30’s and we are retired, so our movements are not governed by a school, or any other, particular routine. Thus the ability to make changes to the HW schedule, or disable / enable it remotely, at the drop of a hat, is useful. I quite agree doing this gives no certainty that the water is actually being heated. In our Y plan system, HW temperature is determined by the cylinder ‘stat which communicates with the mid-position valve and the boiler. It would indeed be good to have a temperature sensor on the cylinder, feeding back to the Tado system, to indicate the actual HW status.
  • I have the same problem. I guess its because tado is a US based company and that is their primary focus.
  • Tado is not a US based company......German

  • Does anyone know which cloud provider Tado use?

    I know AWS are experiencing outages today, although seems to be confined to North America this time.

    Makes me think it would be useful to know which cloud service I am indirectly reliant on to keep my family warm?

  • Roman38
    Roman38
    edited December 2021

    I would like to understand:

    1)How can I force the control into homekit(say using appletv as homekit controller) in a traditional setup? I added the bridge via homekit network scan/homekit passkey. My assumption was, it would just work as independent setup, do I need to disable something first? In Home Assistant this was just broadcasting/listening after I added it to the controller.

    2)This question is regarding limitations in absence of cloud. In a single boiler>multiple TRVs set in dif zones setup. If there is no cloud connection, and one of my TRVs gets a local call to set target temp higher than current temp in the zone, will it send out a call to the extender on the boiler to call for heat/will it stop the call for heat once target temp is reached in the zone? What happens if I have a tado wireless temp sensor in a room, will it send out call to TRV to open up/send out call to extender for heat? I was not able to get an answer from support, they seemed adamant that no local option in any form exists and anything/everything tado related requires and cloud, even in homekit.

    Rant alert below:

    This will likely never get implemented for commercial reasons. The cloud dependency ensures that certain features generate revenue, makes the product significantly more attractive to an average user because of low use difficulty, generates some revenue and ensures that that product lifecycle refresh stays relevant. Don't want Joe average with local controller using perfectly viable hardware from 15 years ago, if cloud could force sale of newer/better version of hardware. As the saying goes: don't hate the player, hate the game. The model works, and it makes money, it will not change until that changes.That being said, Tado's is big but Apple's is much bigger. As part of hierarchy, all of Apple's tributes had to add chip on their boards for apple secure transport protocols. Luckily, we have this chip on tado bridge(for now). If you want fully local control without an apple homekit controller you can add the homekit controller integration in many smart home platforms, like home assistant(disclaimer:not beginner friendly/not wife tech skills friendly). It is able to pull all the states and call for temp change on TRVs at speeds that cloud based compute can only dream to achieve in the next 15 years because of reduced hops.