Are 3 Zones possible???

I have just moved house where i had the extension kit wireless stat and x2 TRV's.

My current house has an upstairs controlled by a thermostat and downstairs on a separate circuit controlled by a thermostat, and also hot water on another circuit. Tado are telling me that 3 zones cant be controlled, but I have read that it can be by using hard wired stats and then connecting them to the one circuit in the extension kit. This would leave each stat to control the mechanical motor to activate heating to each zone. Is this the case?

Answers

  • I did an install for a friend using 2 zones and the hardwired stats but I had to phone Tado support to enable the relays in the thermostat to make it work. So, in theory what you want to do should be be easy unless there’s a software limitation at their end.

  • Hi Morbster,

    I've just joined the forum to let you know that controlling a 3 channel system is possible as we've just done it! You'll need an electrician (as it can be a bit complex) and it'll of course depend on the exact heating system. I went through the same thing with Tado support, who said it wasn't possible, however the problem is I think there is some slight misinformation from the Tado side and because you can't actually speak to a person on the phone, there can be extra elements of confusion!

    We also had problems because the thermostats we were replacing do not exist in the Tado database - there really needs to be an option for "Other" or "qualified electrician installing" or similar so the you can actually proceed! I ended up choosing a random one from the list and then had to get Tado to do a bit of config their end (presumably to change a mode or something) as initially it was just staying open.

    We also ended up wiring the Tado system in parallel to our existing programmer (an ESI 3 channel) and setting our existing programmer to be permanently "OFF" - this means that if Tado completely falls over, we're still able to get heat and hot water if required at a push. We have a standard S-Plan system with 3 zone valves - hot water, downstairs and upstairs.

    What we have used:

    1 x Wireless starter kit (this includes the wireless receiver that also allows hot water)

    1 x Add-on smart thermostat

    The wireless starter kit is wired to control hot water and the downstairs zone valve and the smart thermostat is set up to control the upstairs zone valve. When setting up the system, you should get the option to add the second thermostat as a zone controller, but if you don't get this option you may need to get Tado support to set this up for you. (Because our thermostat didn't exist in their database, I had to contact Tado support to this up for me).

    Now - this is where there is a slight bit of misinformation from Tado's point of view. When I contacted Tado, they said the reason that a 3 channel setup wouldn't work, when used with TRV's, is that the TRV's can only "Talk" to one part of the system (IE the wireless receiver or the smart thermostat), but that only one Tado device could "fire" the boiler. So if all connected up, you may end up with both devices (the receiver and the thermostat) being able to open their respective zone valves, but only the wireless receiver (for example) would be asking the boiler to turn on. This isn't true - and this is where you'll definitely need an electrician!

    Quite a low of the zone valves over here in the UK (especially in new build properties) are wired to the wiring centre in such a way that the zone valve actually sends the command to the boiler. So in our case, all we needed to do was open the relevant zone valve (HW, downstairs or upstairs) as this is then what passes the signal across to the boiler to say "hello I need heat". The wiring centre we've got actually joins all the "heat calls" for the zone valves up and then there's a single wire going off to the boiler.

    When it's set up, you then set the two devices (wireless receiver and the add on wired smart thermostat) to be "Zone Controllers". Then when you set up the TRV's, in the config for them you just point them to the relevant "zone controller". Then, whenever a TRV calls for heat, it sends a message to the relevant zone controller which opens the valve, sparks the boiler and voila!

    So the short answer is - yes it is highly likely possible, despite what Tado say "off the shelf" and may require a bit of config from them and in some cases. However, you'll need an electrician to come round and wire it in and potentially do some re-wiring in the wiring centre.

    I hope the above helps in some way!